RAJA AND BRUNO

Sharmila Roy Ghosal

A little brown puppy was foraging the dustbin, it was almost evening. Raja who worked in a brick kiln pushed a cart full of bricks towards the construction site, saw the puppy and took pity on him. The pup’s leg was hurt and bleeding. He lifted the pup onto the cart, finished his work and took the pup home.
He decided to name him Bruno.
Bruno had a warm meal that night, and his leg was tended to. Next day Raja took Bruno to the same dustbin where he had found him, in search of his mother and siblings, but no one came.
The practice continued for a few days but to no avail.
Raja was all alone in the world, ever since his parents had died, he decided to keep Bruno with him in his house.
Days passed by, Bruno’s leg was healed, and gradually he started growing into a strong young dog.
Raja decided to pursue his studies at night and work in the morning. Very soon he was able to land himself a job of keeping accounts in a departmental store.
Raja had one dream in life that was to see snow. He had read about Auli in Uttarakhand, India a ski destination known for its snowy slopes. The place was surrounded by oak and coniferous forests.
The distance was around 19000 kilometers from Bengal, his hometown to Auli. Raja did not have the money to visit Auli and stay there for a few days.

It was an afternoon, there were not many people in the departmental store. A woman came into the shop with a little girl around three years old. She was possibly her governess. The woman put the girl in a cart and started searching the counters for items she had to buy. Just then there came a call on her mobile, she left the cart with the girl in it and went outside the store to speak.
The girl was getting restless, she tried to get down from the cart and would have fallen and broken her skull had it not been for Bruno, now a strapping young dog, sitting in one corner of the store, bounding and catching the little girl’s dress in his mouth and preventing a fall.
Some residents who had come into the store for shopping gathered around Bruno and the girl and informed her parents.

The girl’s father, who was the owner of a luxury hotel in Joshimath ( a city in Uttarakhand situated at a height of 6150 feet) was overcome with gratitude at his daughter’s life being saved. He offered Raja a post of a desk manager in the hotel. He would be given a room to stay in along with Bruno, and free meals.
Raja readily agreed. His dream had come true. Joshimath was just 16 kilometers from Auli. And he would be able to visit Auli whenever he wanted.

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