Updated on July 11, 2015
I never had a pet in my childhood. Actually speaking, I have been very scared of dogs and wouldn’t go any where close to them. Firstly I would like to thank ” Buddy ” my pet, who taught me tolerance and love towards his fellow beings .
My son wanted a dog since childhood, so finally we got him one; a cute, energetic Cocker Spaniel, Buddy. He came to our house when he was 6 weeks old. Though my son promised to take all responsibility, besides playing with him, he doesn’t do much. One morning I took him for a walk. It was early morning and as we were walking through the by lanes of my area, a bunch of dogs came charging behind us. I was petrified, almost in tears. As we walked further, another gang of dogs came charging behind Buddy. I could only escape the situation by seeking help from passers by, they surrounded us and shooed the gang away.
After few days, someone told me to take another route near a school where apparently, there were no stray dogs. So I took that route. I thought we were on a safe path, but I was taken aback; as soon as I went on the other side of the street, a rowdy pack of dogs smirked us. I quickly went across the road and they stopped chasing us.
I learnt that the dogs are very territorial. If you enter their territory they will attack you. In fact, all animals are territorial. Be it the chimps or tigers. The Tiger demarcates the boundaries of his territory in the jungle by defecating. If another tiger tries to trespass, he will be killed. So are the chimps. In African jungles the chimps have their own communities; if a chimp from another community enters, it will instantly be murdered.
So are we humans , we are no different. We are divided into nations, religions, caste and culture. People are killing each other over religion. Nations are at war over claiming territories. And, we are very territorial in our day to day life too.
We lean against an object to show a territorial claim over it; to announce our exclusive ownership of it.
Lovers hold hands or put their arms around each other in public to show they have claim over that person.
At home on a dining table, we have a favourite chair A guest calling on you will always ask, “which chair is yours?”
Even when you go to a theatre to watch a film, you take ownership on the armrest of the seat. I know someone who buys an extra ticket and keeps the next seat vacant for the armrest.
Usually it’s my laptop, my phone, my diary, my side of the bed, my money. For a woman the kitchen is her domain. No interference in that area. That’s her territory.
In the cockpit too some commanders get offended if the copilot takes an action without his permission. For such a commander, the entire aircraft belongs to him.
A boss in the office makes it clear to his employees that the place belongs to him and his decision would be final.
Even when I went to Osho ‘s ashram, we had to wear the maroon gown. Though Osho talks about freedom at an extreme level, we are all expected to wear the robe as an identification we belong to his commune. I was not happy doing that.
We have inherited this attribute of being territorial from our ancestors. Though the Gita says, “kya tera-kya mera”, don’t be attached to anything, in reality it doesn’t work. How much ever we try to detach ourselves from people, objects or materialist things: being territorial, ownership, belonging, attachment are part of nature.