We have all come under one roof to celebrate Mom and Dad’s golden jubilee anniversary. Mishi is hosting it because she just got a big raise, and has the largest house amongst us all.
I excuse myself from all the humdrum and go to my assigned room. Just as I get ready to plop down on the inviting mattress, I hear a sound. It is a growl, a menacing one. I have heard this before. This growl belongs to the evil creature of whom I am extremely petrified.
Slowly, I turn around. This one is a ‘he’. He seems to be very young.
I can see his gleaming set of denticles waiting to bite and kill me; I can see pure evilness and wickedness in his eyes. I can see that he is thirsty . . . thirsty for my tears and blood.
The room begins to revolve around me, as my dizziness sets in. This is quite normal, actually. Whenever I come face to face with this monster, I experience dizziness and panic attacks as well, all because of my fear. He can sense my fear, I know it.
I look for escape routes, but he is standing right at the entrance . . . I think of screaming for help and decide against it. I am in no mood to be called a “scaredy cat” or a “loser”, because I am not! It’s just that I fear him. Everyone fears something or the other, right? I don’t understand how it is alright to base taunts on someone’s fears.
Okay …. He is coming towards me. I can feel my cheeks flushed with my hot, salty tears. He seems to be smirking at me. He is wagging his tail and kind of jumping, probably at the sight of my tear-brimming eyes.
I wish Mother could just sense that I am in danger, and rush to the room. I hate this. This fear of mine makes my anxiety level(s) go bonkers, and I begin to fall into depression.
I cannot let this fear win over me each time I see him or anyone from his family (or species) tree.
My country doesn’t have rehabs for people like me, but there are some institutions abroad. I could get my fear, anxiety level(s) and depression alleviated.
I cann…. no, no, please. Stay right there. Let me go. Please.
I start trembling, and I want to sit down, but my feet are rooted to the ground. I thank Mr. Fear for that.
I wonder how people find him “cuddly” and “cute”. He is a monstrous ball of fur, that’s what he is; this is the worst day ever.
I have gone through anticipatory fear before (as the name suggests, I fear confrontations with this evil being even before its occurrence(s)), but I didn’t know that he would be here! Mishi should have told me. How could she do this to me! She knows I fear them. If this is another trick of hers, I will kill her with my bare hands. If I come out of this unscathed and alive.
His terrorizing bark almost makes me shit in my pants. I need to get out of here NOW.
Usually, I am good at finding escape routes, but there is no route here – except for the entrance (of the room), which is being guarded by this evil creature!
I begin to feel suffocated. I can feel my terror-stricken-self losing it by the second.
“HI Naina … Why’re you crying?!” says Mishika, appearing out of the blue.
“MISHIKA! MISHI, PLEASE SAVE ME! HE IS GOING TO HURT ME.” I shout, looking at him.
“This darling? Didn’t I tell you I got myself a Labrador? Oh shit. I completely forgot. You have Cynophobia… I am so, so sorry, I’ll take him away”.
She takes him away. He is gone. GONE!
I (silently) rejoice at this and sink into my bed. I can feel the fear leaving me. Relieved, I try to nap… and before drifting away to Dreamland, I make a decision – To overcome this fear, NOT because it is an “abnormal” fear (as some Psychologists say!). Having Cynophobia isn’t a normal or an abnormal thing. It’s just a thing. Everyone fears something or the other and don’t we all want to overcome them? I am no different.
Yes, I have Cynophobia, and the sight of any dog scares me to no end. Please don’t ridicule me or demean me because I have this fear of dogs. You might find them cuddly; I don’t. I do want to overcome it, and through the course of time, I am sure I will … I hope to do so!
Wish me luck, and I wish YOU luck in your efforts to overcome any fear of yours … because we weren’t born to be fearful; we were born to stand tall.
Sketch By: Shivendu Shekhar Rathore