We used to have a hirsute Lhasa terrier called Teddy. It never had to look for food, hunt or harm anyone except books on lower shelves. Until one evening, he noticed a mouse stray into the kitchen. He chased it and the panicky mouse got trapped behind the cooking gas cylinder.
The dog caught it briefly, its first prey. He let it go in panic and, we believe, some embarrassment. But it endured with our family, first as a ploy and then as a story. A ploy to entertain our guests: just shout ‘chooha’ and the hunter would go charging, straight behind the gas cylinder. He had found it once there, so it must only be there. It’s a story because whenever somebody shows the same dumb, sorry dog lovers, innocent, instincts, we say now, don’t go looking for the mouse where you found it once.
Fact is, Delhi’s AAP government wasn’t even successful the first time in its own kitchen-mouse chase when it threw its odd-even scheme at us. All data showed it made an insignificant difference to air quality. But it was a political success. It made a lot of Delhi citizens, especially the well-heeled (mostly multiple-vehicle owners) believe at least something was being done and that they were a part of it. In any case, as we noted in another National Interest over the ridiculous cracker-sale ban on Diwali this year, this answered that important sentiment, Mujhe Kuchh Karna Hai (I have to do something about it).