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R.K Narayan’s ‘The Blind dog’ is about a loyal street dog and a blind beggar. R.K Narayan describes how human beings treat animals and their heartless attitude towards animals. The story highlights the fact that every living being is born free but human nature tries to capture and bind animals for his own selfishness. R.K Narayan describes the colour of the dog as white and dust and it’s tail mutilated at a very young age. It was born on the streets and grew up feeding on the garbage of the market place. The dog had spotty eyes and an unimpressive body.
Though the story describes the dog as blind but actually it was the dog’s human companion,who could not see anything. In the lesson, the dog was ‘blind’ with his faithfulness towards the ‘blind beggar’. It could not ‘see’ how unsympathetic and uncompassionate the blind man was. The dog was blinded by the loyalty and the blind man’ was blinded by his dependence on the dog, when he takes it for granted and treats it like his slave.
After three years, his life underwent a drastic change. One day,the dog was stirred by the smell of food while sleeping on a market side. He approached a blind beggar eating his sparse meal. The man stroked it gently and threw a handful of food at it. The dog ate the food gratefully and thus their friendship was sealed.
The beggar was looked after by an old woman. The dog spent most of its time with the beggar after befriending him and defended him from being harassed. A village urchin stole the blind beggar’s coins and teased him. This had been going on every Thursday when the boy would come to the Market to sell vegetables. One Thursday,the loyal dog chased the urchin out of the market. The old woman who had been looking after the beggar died and the beggar was left home alone.
He lost the only home he had and the only person who cared for him in this world. The ribbon-seller gave the blind beggar a length of ribbon so that he could tie it around the dogs neck and it could lead him about. It was then that the dog lost its freedom completely. The blind man was dependent on the dog and his dependence made him into a merciless slave – driver. The blind man started earning more because of his dog,who lead him to different sites.
If the dog grew tired of walking around leading the blind man, he would kicked it with a staff. The ribbon-seller, the vendor and the perfumer observed the condition of the dog and felt pity on it. One day the perfumer borrowed the scissors from the ribbon vendor and cut of the dog’s leash. In this way the dog regained its freedom and ran away happily. The blind-man was now without any protector.
Loyalty over freedom
After more than twenty days the dog returned to his master but the heartless beggar thought that the dog returned to him because of hunger so he tied the dog with a steel chain. The dog and the blind man were as usual seen roaming about the market place.
On seeing this the Ribbon vendor commented that ‘Death alone can help that dog!” and with a sigh he continued that nobody could help a creature who returns to his doom with such a free heart?”