Of all the painful things humans have done to me, this one is right there on top. Putting iron in my mouth, tying a bridle around my snout, and hammering nails into my hooves hurt, but what this human did to my leg is something else.
I don’t even know who he was. I mean, all humans look alike, right? I can only tell them apart by the stuff they use to cover their bodies, which I guess they have to because they are so ugly. They do not even have a tail to show off. Few have a mane.
This human who attacked me was peculiar. He wore blinkers, the kind they put on mules pulling tongas, except that they were right over his eyes, covering them. He came after me with a baton.
For a moment, I didn’t know what was happening. I mean, I always stand, right? But now I buckled. I was confused, this hadn’t happened ever before. I felt the pain – a searing, unbearable pain that shot up from the leg to all parts of my body. Then it struck me. The human broke my leg.
The leg! I mean, I like my tail and my mane, but the legs – they are the reason I exist. It hurt so bad, I couldn’t even stand.
My rider fell off, but then he rushed towards me and tried to help me up. There was little he could do; he is about a fifth my size. Other humans rushed to help. There was a lot of noise and confusion. After a point, I barely knew what was happening. I couldn’t see properly, such was the pain.
Something changed after that. A lot of humans tried to be nice to me. The one who hit me kept saying that nothing had happened to me, that I was just thirsty and some water would make me fine again. I mean, couldn’t he see that I was down?
Later they took me to a hospital and tried to reduce the pain. But this changes nothing. This is what humans do, right? First they inflict pain (nails, bridle, crop, sticks) and then they try to be nice (food, water, massage).
I had made my peace with them. If I tolerated their nonsense and did what the bridle and spur told me to, they usually treated me well.
That’s why this human with blinkers confused me. I had nothing to do with him. I was just doing my job. He was marching with a bunch of other humans some feet away, shouting something. I was bored, but I caught the words ‘corruption’ and ‘poor law and order’ – things I had nothing to do with. But still, he came after me.
As I open my eyes in the hospital, I hear some people talking. Hang on a sec, what’s that? They are saying something about an amputation. What does that mean? Probably something they are going to do to my leg. Hope it’s something nice, something that ends the pain. After all, my name is Shaktimaan. I’m the pride of Dehradun’s police. The humans, however horrible they are to one another, will make sure I stand, and run.