Yesterday, I saw a movie called “Hachiko , a Dog’s story”. Needless to say that I am a dog lover and had downloaded the movie simply because it had the canine angle to it. With no expectation I put it on, and by the end of one and half hour went through the most emotional, intense feeling of love & devotion in a long ,long time.
Hachiko is a story of the relationship between a dog (Japanese Breed: Atiko) and its owner Parker, who is a professor in a university in America( Richard Gere ). The initial phase of the movie beautifully portrays the growing bond between Hachiko & Parker. The camera angle switches gracefully from Hachiko’s perspective ( monotone ) to the directors perspective ( color ) to show how in everyday life Parker tries to train Hachiko & how Hachiko it his own unusual ways shows that he is not like an average canine. For one, he never fetches a ball (Parker finds this very unusual, and is sometimes upset over the fact that Hachiko never does ordinary dog things ), companies Parker everyday to the train station and comes back to receive him at 5 o clock in the evening.
This routine is noticed by other passerby ( Indian Hot dog guy, train station master, shop owner ) who become accustomed to finding Hachiko at the entrance of the station everyday at 5, waiting for his owner. One day, just when Parker is about to leave for work, like everyday, Hachiko begins to act unusual, he even gets a ball and asks Parker to throw, to which he fetches. Parker is really surprised at this, and happy, this moment is special to him. That day, in class, while teaching music to his students, Parker gets a stroke and dies, never to return from that train, outside the station of which Hachiko is faithfully waiting.
Parker doesn’t return.
But Hachiko does, everyday 5 o clock in the evening, for the next 10 years, waits at the same spot like he did, waiting for his masters to come. Till he passes away.
The movie is inspired from a true story of a dog ( Japanese breed : Atiko ) named Hachiko, born in the year 1924, who waited for his master, Professor Ueno ( professor of Agriculture in Tokyo university ) who passed away and never came back from the train he had left in. Hachiko waited for 9 years before passing away on March 8, 19385
This story touched me at a couple of levels. First being the endless love our canines have in them, and their miraculous ability to share it with people of another genealogy. Just think, how many of us ( humans ) treat them with the same love and affection that they give us. We often undermine their intelligence as lesser beings, and create demarcations in our lives where they can come and disappear to. Whereas for them, we are everything. Their entire life revolves around us, our pattern of routine, lifestyle, our little portion of love that we give them.
Hachiko’s endless wait , for me , transcends beyond many human romantic stories & emotions, where he waits, silently, full of the same expectation every single day. Imagine again, when one day, your beloved does not call you, or you have to wait for a sour relationship to mend, we get so impatient, or restless, or perhaps, don’t wait at all…look at the strength of our ability to love. As compared to them, our love has no strength at all. Then how can we claim to be better beings?
Why, I felt so strongly about this movie was, because I had a beloved dog like this too, a German Shephard, Nawab, whom I loved dearly and who in return loved me endlessly. He would follow me wherever I would go, look forward to my return, sit with me patiently when I would cry. And then, one day, quiet thanklessly I moved on, to another city, leaving him with my parents. I would often miss him, but I had a career to make, other people came in my life. I would often go home to meet him. But by leaving him, I had betrayed him. Then one day, he died, and I wasn’t even there. I only got to know about his demise over the phone, Like a mundane news. I think, he would have liked it if I would have been around, he would have kept his giant furry head on my lap, he would have liked, if I too would have been with him, to wipe his tears.
Now, not even a day goes by when I don’t think about him. This movie taught me an important lesson. Having a dog is not like having a toy, they are real beings, with a gamut of feelings , feelings so vast and compelling that we can seldom bear the intensity of it. They are more than any relationship, and if we have the power and the heart to bear it, only then do we deserve a companion of such faithfulness and loyalty.
Lucky are those humans, blessed actually, who get the love of a canine. Thou are blessed Prof Ueno, and always will be.
A clipping from the movie