...obeying the voices in my head...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Death Whispered a Lullaby

Almost 2 years back there was a new guest in our house. Where by 'in' I refer to our porch. It was a dog, it was a she. I refrain from using the word 'bitch' since it brings a few negative connotations to people's heads.

I had always wanted a dog when I was a kid, but never could get one. My mom always used to scare me that I'd have to take it for a walk, feed it, clean its poop etc etc. Still there was a huge fuss and a few tantrums were thrown...eventually my futile attempts made no change. Since its obvious that I'm a dog lover I took the next best thing. Petting stray dogs. Although even this didn't go as per planned initially coz mom always used to drive them away since some kept pooping around the place, and mom wasn't a person who would appreciate the company of dogs the way I did. Dad was a neutral player then.

Then the first one came. A black n white stray dog christened 'Raj Malhotra'.

Sphinx Style

Now he was the most fattu and the most mischevious of the lot. His repertiore included being chased by a cat, stealing chappals, bring garbage from the dump and spreading it on the road as if its a garage sale.
Dad slowly started taking my side then on since Raj Malhotra liked to sit near dad's feet while dad sat on the porch. At such times dad would say, "He always likes to be near his master for a feeling of security."
My question was, who was protecting who.

Raj Malhotra's string of random garbage sales and covert chappal/sandal stealing came to an end when our neighbours got fed up of his adventure's. Since I was seen as his 'caretaker' people used to come up and complain, "Dekho tumhare kutta ko kuchh samjhaao!" as if I would take him to a room and ground him for a week.

I did make attempts to train him but people soon grew impatient and overly fed up by the local "nuisance". And so one morning came the dog pound snatching him away right in front of my eyes. I could just stand and watch and cry. They tied him up and put him in a van, thats when I yelled "I hate Humans!" in front of everyone watching me.

In his memory was only a photo on orkut. That's all I could do.

Then came a thin malnutritioned dog, probably influenced by the 'size zero' fad that went on with models. I fed her, made her 'visible' for the general public. She was named 'Paris Hilton' then and was probably the most inactive of all dogs. All she did was sleep near the door. But one day out of nowhere she destroyed one of moms plants in our garden.
Well, that was the last straw for mom and the same day she splashed her with a bucket of water. 
Offended by such treatment she exiled herself from our society and went and settled in the next one.
This was at a time when my sister was here. And she was/is shit scared of dogs always complained about how they look at her with their "Khooni nazar". I remember how me n my sis used to discuss paris' partying habits!
Paris was later spotted several times but she failed to recognize me. It was sad, but at least she was alive.

And then again from where I started, she came. Not paris. It was mostly paris' kid but she was a year or two old when she came over. At that time I didnt know whether she was a male or a female. So by my gross assumption I named her 'Chandu', assuming she was a male. Then when realization struck she was renamed 'Chandni'.

She slowly grew on the family, not mom yet tho. Our garden was her 'crib' and our house for her was a kitchen. Dad alongwith me started feeding her and she in turn did some house protecting of her own, mainly by barking at strangers. (She disliked people wearing caps somehow).

She was trained in her own way coz whenever she went near someone her hand would spring up in a shakehand sign of goodwill.

She's the one who has been here the longest. Soon she became a member of the family when mom once called her "Cho chweet!" with her neat shakehand move. Somehow it impressed people. 
Now she was also notoriously popular for goin into people's houses and wandering aroung with a regal air of granudeur but fortunately no chhappal stealings.

The best moment of all was when a neighbour came to complain about the dog to our place while mom was reading her morning paper. The moment she came in through our door she wasnt looking at mom. Coz chandni was sitting on the opposite sofa with a 'can-you-please-pass-the-sports-section' expression on her face. Mom was shocked at her silent arrival and her majestic aura of the art of sitting on the sofa.

Hence she was often shooed away, but me n dad used to smuggle her back and make her retain her position in the family.

On october 2008 she gave birth to two new family members. For the first time given the normal names Cookie(Joan) and Brownie(Gengis Khan). 
Although the first month was scary because they didnt show a lotta movements and most of their time was in the garden sleeping and well...sleeping. At a point it turned out to be a question of whether they would make it alive or not for they didnt open their eyes even after the second week.

But fortunately one fine day, Brownie ventured out 'into the wild'/'the rest of our garden' and Cookie followed. Now me n Dad loved them, and even mom couldnt say much with their adorable wet baby eyes staring back. 

Soon they started hopping around, crashing into themselves, running in circles,bouncing like happy merry children. It was one big happy family!
Their best moments at action were the both of them trying to sleep over each other playing the part of a contortionist in order to take up minimum space.

This december I had taken a trip down south for a cousins wedding. We were away from home for around 14 days.
The day we came back we couldnt find them. I was scared they had moved out. I looked around our colony but no sign of them.

I called my friend up and asked them where they were. To my relief he said they were in his house. I gave out a whistle, and both of them came running and bouncing towards me. And that feeling of happiness that you get like watching your own children after such a long time. The joy of relief. Loved all three of them.

Today January 15th I was digging a grave for one. Joan was run over by our neighbours car and she died on the spot. I froze on the site unable to take in what happened. The night before I fed her a few biscuits and it was the first time she actually jumped up in the air to catch it in her mouth. She was growing up. She was.

11.30AM today it changed and she took her last breath. Mother and brother standing next to her. I went back home and cried for a while to get it out of my system. After a while I called up a friend who also cared for all 3 of them a lot. He came later and wasnt able to bare the sight of it. 

I had to lift Joan and put her in the grave I dug for her. But when I covered it up with mud, chandni came running back and started digging again. We tried stopping her but she didnt budge and left her alone.
A few minutes later she realization Cookie wasnt coming back and so she sat there watching her. 

A while later she buried her own child herself and sat next to the grave refusing to eat. Even when we gave her a chappati, all she did was take it and put it next to the grave. Gengis still didnt know much of what was going on but eventually he was seen sulking under a car and refused to come out.

It was a sad day. I cried a lot. And I believe my friend had too.

This is for you Cookie(Joan). We miss you!

Been hearing this song the whole day:


Dagny said...

i miss her. terribly.

No words.

NRkey Menon said...

Its so sad to see Brownie now. Remember it was so much fun to watch them play n sleep. Now he wanders alone all by himself. Its so sad to see that.

Tina said...

I'm sorry to hear about your loss. Chintan.

Anonymous said...

very sad to hear about ur loss... the way u wrote actually tells how much u cared for her... May she rest in peace!!

Jinal said...

dude ...

i have no words

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