By N. Niranjan Nikam
She was looking quite different from a distance. All I could see was a grey-haired lady, who was holding a plastic bag with a purse inside it, walking in the sprawling, beautiful, serene campus of Kalamandira. Curiosity got the better of me, as she went and sat near the steps of the board with the statue of Kindarajogi by the side and a few dogs gathered around her. I slowly approached her and saw that she was looking very dignified. Casually the conversation began, and it turned out that she was an Ayurveda Doctor who had retired and came to Kalamandira regularly and as she believed more in animals than human beings, she found peace in feeding the dogs.
She had come from Hospet in Ballari District in 1982 to do her post-graduation in Ayurveda and was attracted to Mysuru. Meet Dr. H. Saraswathi, who is a regular visitor to Kalamandira.
“I love all animals. I come here regularly and some of these dogs have become my friends. I feed them biscuits. I find Kalamandira a very peaceful place and when compared to other parks there is hardly any noise pollution here,” she said.
What about her other interests? “I have been coming to Kalamandira since it was started. I am very fond of culture and arts and I myself have acted in a few plays. I have watched plays in all the theatres in Kalamandira,” she said.
Dr. Saraswathi has watched the play ‘Chirebandevade’ nine times and other well-known plays equal number of times. “I spend Rs.10,000 to Rs.15,000 per month on the animals I take care of at least 15 dogs,” said Dr. Saraswathi who comes on her scooter to Kalamandira.
It is women like Dr. Saraswathi whose silent contribution to society by feeding community dogs or taking interest in art and culture that should motivate other women to also make a lasting mark.