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   In the area where we live... (April 13, 1990)

In the area where we live, we have formed a vigilance committee to detect any bombs being left in the place by strangers. Our neighbour is the president, man staying on the fourth floor is the secretary, I am the joint secretary, though I told them I did not want any official position. My dog, Bolshoi the Boxer, has been co-opted on the committee as sniffer dog.

Though the entire committee has taken its responsibilities seriously, Bolshoi has taken it more seriously than others.

I was telling his this morning: "Just because you have been appointed sniffer dog, it does not mean you have to sniff me."

"I am not sniffing you," Bolshoi said. "I am sniffing if you have got any bombs on you. In this job you cannot trust anybody and everybody is a suspect."

"Surely not me," I said. "I am the joint secretary of the committee. And, another thing, you don't have to sniff all our visitors, it does not look nice, especially as you are not a good sniffer and you leave half your spit on the visitor."

"I am a trained sniffer, all dogs are, so do not try to find fault with it," Bolshoi said. "And to a sniffer dog, all people are equally suspect, though they may be your visitors, your friends, your family. We are like a metal-detector, everybody has to pass through us."

"I think you are taking your job a little too seriously," I said. "It is only an honorary job, and it was givern to you because we don't have any other dogs in the area, except stray dogs. Now then, if you don't mind, I will pick up my briegcase and leave for the office."

"Don't touch that briefcase," Bolshoi said. "I had made a note of where you had put it last night and its position seems to have changed. Somebody has tampered with it, let me have a sniff first."

"Look," I said. "I don't have the whole day to stand here while you sniff a simple and innicuous briefcase for hidden bombs. I am leaving."

"Better call the bomb squard," Bolshoi said. "And, if they are busy, I will instruct you in how to open the briefcase and dismantle the bomb. First, get a heavy-duty canvas bag and fill it with water, then immerse the briefcase in it."

"Not on your life, it is my new briefcase, presented by Taj, you are not going to ruin it with your sniffer dog games," I said, snatching the bag and leaving the house.

As I was going down in the lift, I met the president of the vigilance committee. So I told him: "If you don't mind, I am resigning as joint secretary, and my dog is resigning as sniffer dog."

 
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