One of the one per cent in 13 million.
[Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi]
He spreads out his four legs, tries to lift his body but falls flat on the floor. He tries again, and fails. Nameless Kapoor, a 20-days-old cocker spaniel, lives in a bungalow in Kailash Colony, south Delhi. “Since we have no plans to keep him, we are not giving him any name,” Mr Kapoor, owner of a showroom in South Extension, tells The Delhi Walla. I’m in his bedroom. Two years ago, Mr Kapoor bought Chhoti, Nameless’s mother, from a friend in Dehradun, a town 300 km from Delhi. Five yeas ago, his wife, Mrs Kapoor, had purchased Jojo, Nameless’s father, from a pet showroom in the neighbouring Gurgaon.
Nameless was born with nine siblings. Only one of them survives. “The servant buried the rest in the ground beyond the metro station,” Mr Kapoor says. Nameless’s brother looks exactly like Nameless – white hair, black nose, and champagne-brown eyes. There’s one difference: the brother runs all around the bedroom; Nameless can’t.
“I think there’s a problem in his skeleton structure,” says Mr Kapoor’s son, who enters the room with his pregnant wife. The wife takes up Nameless’s brother in her lap and starts cuddling him. She exchange glances with her husband and they smile. Nameless looks around, moving his head from left to right, right to left, in great desperation. “He is searching for his brother,” says Mr Kapoor’s son. He picks up Nameless and sits down on the sofa. Patting him gently, the son says, “His brother won’t have difficulty in getting a family, but we are not sure about him.” Nameless’s eyes are closed. Running his fingers across the dog’s body, the son continues, “See, you can’t feel any chest muscle here. Something is wrong and that’s why he can’t walk. We have to show him to a doctor. Perhaps we’ll have to put him to sleep.”
Just then Chhoti enters the bedroom. Nameless’s brother jumps from the arms of Mr Kapoor’s daughter-in-law and rushes towards the mother. It’s feeding time. Mr Kapoor’s son lowers down Nameless on the floor. Seeing his mother, the pup tries to lift his body to go to her but can’t. Instead Chhoti runs to her son and starts licking his face. After a minute, she walks towards the door and lies down, ready to feed her babies. It’s now Nameless’s brother who is licking him in love. Mr Kapoor’s son lifts Nameless and brings him to Chhoti. The brother follows. Both feed on their mother.
“If he can’t be cured, we’ll first try to give him to a dog’s shelter,” says Mr Kapoor’s son. “If that doesn’t work, then perhaps…”
After ten minutes Chhoti disappears into some other room. Nameless’s brother, full of milk, slips under the bed, as if looking for the mother. Nameless, too, seems to be anxious for his maa. He tries to lift himself but fails. He tries again. He gives up and dozes off. “He must be thinking that this disability is normal,” says Mr Kapoor. “He has no inkling of his future.” That’s a comfort.
[This is the 43rd portrait of Mission Delhi project]
My name is Nameless
I have a brother…
… He can walk, I can’t
But there’s no sibling rivalry between us
Our mother loves us equally
That’s my brother