Of the blue dogs of Bareilly!

There was an item in this morning’s Times which made my jaw drop a couple of inches… for a while, I thought maybe TOI was playing a practical joke on its viewers – then decided it couldn’t be! In which case, the news must be true! The Bareilly district administration, in its wisdom, apparently has decided to tackle the menace of “killer” dogs – which have killed as many as five kids in the last week, by – hold your breath – painting the “good” (their term, not mine!) dogs blue! So… the implication being, first they’ll catch all the dogs, wait for a while, watch their behaviour, getting whiny? Off with you to the red (seems an appropriate colour for ‘bad’ dogs) compound! Getting snappy? Growly? Sleepy? Dopey? All away to the bad dog enclosure. Let only Snow White stay here!

Good dog? Bully – sorry – blue for you!

Why blue? Maybe like the characters in Amar Chitra Katha where the gods were generally blue in colour – like Rama and Krishna. Ergo good doggy is a blue doggy! But, that’s not the end of it. How do they intend to do it? By pouring buckets of thick blue paint on them! No, I’m really not making this up! But… there are concerns that since the painting of dogs (I can’t quite believe i’m saying this!) is being done by the bucketful, the paint may enter their eyes and damage them – they don’t specify whether it’s the eyes of the dogs or the painters! My own preference would be for the admistrators who thought up the scheme to be the first guinea… dogs! It does get curiouser and curiouser!

Some wag in the village apparently objected – on the grounds that Holi (the festival of colours) is round the corner and with colours being sprayed around freely, what if we ended up with multi-coloured dogs? So the administration has an answer to that too – “We will mark the blue dogs with a cross. We will also try to modify their behaviour!”

Do you too feel like you’re slipping down the same hole that Alice went down?

So, if a pack of dogs is after you, do NOT take to your heels. Stop, turn back, look carefully for blue undertones under the pinks, yellows and oranges of Holi colours. Yay, here’s a cross – under the dog’s left ear – no, no, that’s not a cross – is this one i see here under his belly? Nooooo, that’s not a cross either! Oh my god, I think that’s his fangs closing in on my throat – my eyes are crossed – he’s so close!


Fadeout to the colour of bloodshot skies – very appropriate.

P.S.: The villagers are “not convinced” reports the Times. They must be amused though!

While on the subject of dogs, I vote to outlaw the phrase ”a dog’s life” meaning a sad, unenviable, put-upon life. Most dogs I see as pets seem to lead rather enviable lives – pampered and petted and handfed with the choicest of titbits – my brother-in-law’s dog will eat dosa only if it has ghee and sugar to go with it and even then, only if you break the dosa into delicate bits and ever so gently tempt him with piece after piece! A dog’s life? I, for one, wouldn’t mind it – and the dog doesn’t even have to make the dosa himself! All prasadam from pujas is offered first to him – the doted upon younger ‘son’! Gotta admit, he is cute, though 😉

So, on a more practical note – well, more practical than what the Bareilly administration – till now it was famous in my mind for Mrs IG’s ‘safe seat’ for the elections and the song Jhumka gira re, Bareilly ki bazaar mein (meaning “the earring has fallen down, in the bazaar of Bareilly”): Does THAT make any sense to you? Hmmm… NOW, maybe the whole dog thing begins to make sense – the same administration must have written the song – same inanity – that’s it! Let’s look for a solution to the dog menace. Methinks feeding the dogs might help! Will contribute my vegetarian mite to these bloodthirsty hounds… with any luck they’ll turn Jain!

Also since Holi is round the corner, cool them off with this…


  • Milk – 1 litre – preferably full cream milk
  • Sugar 3 – 4 tbsp
  • Saffron strands – a large pinch


  • Almonds – 20-25
  • Poppy seeds (gasagasa/ kaskas) – 2 tsp
  • Saunf/fennel seeds – 1.5 tsp
  • Cardamoms – 5-6
  • Peppercorns – 1/2 tsp
  • Cinnamon – 1″
  • Dried rose petals – a few or rose essence though I personally prefer kewra essence – 3 drops

Grind together to a very fine paste and set aside.

Boil the milk and add the sugar – a tbsp at a time, stirring till it melts.

Add the saffron and keep stirring.

Lower the flame, add the masala paste and continue to cook, stirring constantly. Otherwise lumps will form and the dogs might just spit it out!

Cook for about 5 minutes more. Switch off, chill and serve.

And who made the dogs blue? Who.? Who?

P.S.: I am in hiding till you get over the shock of this sacrilege on the lyrics of “Who let the dogs out?!!