Circular Movement
Tanuj Solanki

In my childhood, if one behaved badly, one could be sent to Agra or Bareilly, where the only two mental asylums in India were supposed to be. To me, these were not cities but mental hospitals; helpless, gagged bodies were given electric shocks there to make them writhe and ache as a punishment for acting insane.
I wanted Bhuri the bitch sent to Agra or Bareilly. She always barked at me and ran after me as I brought back bread from the market. Even after my parents bought me a bicycle and I was not as vulnerable as on foot, she would be after me. I reported this to my father, who told me that dogs don't understand the circular movement of feet, so I would do better to keep pedaling whenever she ran after my bicycle. The next day I went to the market to buy curd and she followed me and I pedaled harder and harder, so hard that I fell and hurt myself, afraid she would tear me apart. But she stood there stunned, wagging her tail, not knowing what to do next. Angry from pain, I shouted, "Go to Agra, you bitch."
As I grew up they put a Taj Mahal in Agra, and the whole world came to see it and took pictures of it. An actress from Bareilly made it to Bollywood. And the two places became cities after all.
Years later, in my hostel room in college, I saw 'One Flew over a Cuckoo's Nest' and McMurphy's prank after his electric experience. I didn't like his flippancy. I wanted him to be shattered. I came to know that there were numerous mental asylums in India, not just Agra and Bareilly, and I felt sad for the two cities. Also, Bhuri the bitch died out of old age, after having survived on the leftovers of the twenty families in our neighborhood for an incredible fifteen years, and having had sex with many dogs every season.