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   As at all Diwalis, so at this Diwali also... (October 30, 1986)

As at all Diwalis, so at this Diwali also, the most nervous dog in the world is my dog, Bolshoi the Boxer.

I was telling his last night: "Look Diwali crackers do not hurt anybody. Little children play with them, they are not scared. Why should you be so scared year after year.!"

"Who says I am scared! I am not scared one bit," said Bolshoi.

"If you are not scared, why are you sitting under the bed, your nose in your pawas and your eyes covered by your ears, for one week," I said.

"I am sitting under the bed because I like sitting under the bed," Bolshoi said. "And it is not for one week, it is only for two-and-a-half days," Bolshoi said. "And I am Shivering because I am feeling cold. After all, it is almost November and winter is here."

"It is not winter, not even for old dogs," I said. "You are ascared every time a child lights a tiny sparkler and literally jump out of your skin. Imagine, a dog jumping out of his skin."

"I have never jumped out of my skin, I would not know how to do it," Bolshoi said. "I can jump out of the fourth floor of a building, I have been trained how to do that at the Kremlin police school, but not skin, that is in your imagination."

I said: "It is in your imagination that you have been trained at some Soviet police school and that you have even been to Kremlin. You have never been anywhere outside Bombay. I should have listened to my friends and not given you a Russian name, it has all gone to your head. Now then, why don't you come out from under the bed, come on the balcony, and like all the other poor people are doing, watch the rich people bursting crackers."

"I am not interested in watching the bursting of crackers, it is childish," Bolshoi said. "Besides, dogs have sensitive ears, they can't bear loud and totally unnecessary noise."

"All right I am scared of crackers and I admit it," Bolshoi said. "So why don't you do something about it instead of finding fault with my ears and nose."

"I am sorry, I did not want to hurt your feelings," said. "Perhaps, I can speak to Police Commissioner Soman and see if he can stop children in our area from bursting crackers."

"What can Mr. Soman do," Bolshoi said. "He cannot stop children from bursting crackers, just as he cannot stop all these bank robbers from firing guns."

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