My Grandma told me folk tales that aroused my curiosity. Tales that were so mystical and interesting that they opened up a whole world of the un-understood realm \u2013 enticing me to enter and wonder and figure out what was going on.\nShe told me numerous things \u2013 like how turmeric is good for killing infections of the throat \u2013 I\u2019d be made to have spoonfulls of awful tasting turmeric powder to cure sore throat \u2013 yet when an allopathic doc was asked about this remedy he looked down upon us like illiterate ignoramuses. Yet today science HAS caught up with my grandma and her folklore. An article on BBC news extolls the virtues of turmeric in cancer cure \u2013 here.\nThere are many things she spoke of \u2013 and another one is about the sixth sense of dogs.\nI grew up in a neighbourhood where home doors were never shut and no one needed an invitation to drop in to anyone\u2019s home. Kids roamed freely and older kids watched out for younger ones and families assumed responsibility not just for their own kids but also for those of others. And a group of stray dogs were a part of this extended family. Every year we had a few litters from Reggie the beautiful rust colored dog with a limp and kajal-lined black doe eyes. She gave the kids many many pups to play with. There was a semi-formal arrangement in which we all fed the group of dogs and there was a \u2018dotted-line\u2019 master-pet relationship between pairs of us.\nAnd so we always had dogs playing with us and obeying our commands and whining when we went off to school.\nThis whining caused by separation anxiety was very different from the one we sometimes heard from the whole group of dogs.\nAnd for that type of whining my grandma\u2019s explanations was this:\nIn Hindu mythology there is a God of death called \u201cYama Deva\u201d.\u00a0 He or his messengers come visiting to pluck out the ones whose time is up.\nIt is said that dogs can \u201csee\u201d or sense the presence of Yama Deva when he is in the vicinity.\nI had heard these tales as a child and these had been lost in the recesses of memory \u2013 until 3.5 month old pup began behaving strangely one day.\nThe pup \u2013 who was usually playful and hungry and sleepy all the time, was suddenly clingy and whiny. His physical condition seemd normal but his behavior was unusual. All day long he stayed around my feet. Even as I carried him and lulled him like an infant, his mood did not change.\u00a0\nI took him to the playground to cheer him up \u2013 an outing he enjoys \u2013 but he remained distracted and whiny, impatient, edgy and jittery. No one in the family could reassure him or do anything to silence his intermittent soft whines and soulful looks. He didn\u2019t eat normally and almost kept a vigil. We could do nothing but watch. We did not understand. It was not overly melodramatic but if you were close to the pup you would sense the change in his behavior.\nWhen we sat on the bench in the playground my grandma\u2019s words came to me \u2013 and I thought that I might be dying today \u2013 but I swept that thought aside as a ridiculous one and forgot about it.\nUntil the next day.\nWe heard some Hindu religious music playing in the next highrise building but did not pay attention. There are many types of Hindu communities where I live and I assumed that this music would be related to some festival of some sub-community.\nBut later that afternoon we realised that this was related to a funeral.\u00a0 On the same floor of the next building someone had passed away the previous day.\nIt was only after I attended the funeral that I began connecting the dots.\nWere these events a coincidence? Or was my grandma right? Had Yama just spared me and taken another instead?\nI was spooked \u2013 not by the idea of death itself \u2013 but by the possibility that the dog knew \u2013 and by the idea that my grandma knew that the dog knew \u2026\u2026..\njm\nMay 2012\nThe post A Dog\u2019s Sixth Sense \u2013 a spooky experience appeared first on The Art Blog by WOVENSOULS.COM.