In our daily rush and crush
we too have our very own ways and means to escape. As someone joked, “I don’t see the difference between God and Whisky, both are spirit-ual! “ Ha ha! Now what to believe in is a question that seeks to be answered.
There are some people who will write a blog to express their love, others to seek release from hurt. In fact psychologists studying the phenomenon of blogging as a means of expression have come to the conclusion that it’s a form of release.
Allow me to share with you a blog that I wrote some time ago, when I lost someone very near and dear to me…. Perhaps my longest blog ever
An ode to Bhabiji!
“I belong here” …-Bhabiji… Indeed she did. For fourteen long years, she ruled our society of nine buildings , the adjacent main road, the societies opposite like a Queen… a warrior queen. She had the gait and grace that would have done Gayatri Devi proud. She never begged for food. Foraged for it, or ate what you gave her, that is if she was hungry and liked what was on offer.
She was , God Bless, and touch wood, loved by most. Even those who did not like canines, (may their tribe cease to exist) fell for her elfin charm. A pert nose, tiny beady eyes that were rheumy for the best part of the day, and a lazy smirk all went to create a lazily crafted persona that told you that she as was the Queen and you her subjects!
Her bark was more of a howl that could curdle blood better than a banshee, and her alacrity and speed till age slowed her down could well have earned her the sobriquet bestowed on her by Aparajita (my wife) “White Lightening”. Two years ago, she shocked us by giving a litter of three, Buddy, Ladoo and Gudiya. Buddy got a loving forever home, and Ladoo and Gudiya survived two horrific adoption trials and are back where they belonged, our house. Gudiya being a slightly less hairy version of her mum, with similar traits and royal looks. It was almost as if she knew her end was near and gifted us Gudiya.
Safely spayed , she made me and the wife go down thirty times in a day, up and down our three lift-less floors to check her vomiting and finally broke her thirty hour fast with a lick of her most fave treat, ice cream, rejecting Vanilla for Strawberry this time around. We celebrated.
Each morning a breakfast of biscuits from us, and her 11 fans, and dinner of chicken pieces on bread soaked in freshly made chicken soup over the last four odd years kept her in good spirits, then in an accident with a vehicle in the society premises, followed by an injury in a dog fight, followed by a car going over her (just last fortnight) leaving soft tissue damage in the front area , but she recovered on our terrace, in two days, with me and the wife waking up at all odd hours of the night to ensure that she wasn’t cold, but cosy in a huge carton laden with clothes and covered in a rug , all happening after Golu (five months old) disappeared on us left her sad and petulant. Yet she did manage to do her “Kathak Chakras” for me every time happiness touched her.
Mood swings, food cravings and being completely off food, putting on weight and losing it , all pointed to old age, but little did we know that six months ago (confirmed by vets) she was suffering from both anal and vulval cancer. On the morning of January 26th this year, Bhabiji, at around 3:45 am was involved in a horrific dog fight after having slept in a different place from her usual haunt of the last two months (post Golu’s disappearance). I rushed down to find her badly cut, with puncture wounds after the wife alerted me.
Decdan tablet for shock, Nimesulide to ease the pain, water, and four hours later she drank milk with sugar. The blood matted her white fur making it a dirty pink. When I went down post a small ceremony at home to commemorate my late father’s seventh death anniversary, I couldn’t locate her. Watchmen, youngsters and me all ran helter-skelter , me rushing up and down five buildings, of three floors each, finally managed to locate her and called the vet.
On his arrival we carried her up on the terrace where she vomited and he began shaving her and cleaning her punctures when we all discovered the horrific sight that the cancerous tumor had left after falling off in the fight, a cavernous hole instead of an anus and vulva . Immediately the unanimous decision was taken to put her down, as she could not possibly survive like this. I kissed her on her forehead like I always did. Then left to make burial arrangements. The questions, could we have saved her. Professional answer no, not even with drugs or surgery. She was suffering. It had to end. The cancer had come suddenly in the last six months and she would have died an even more slow and painful death in the next six months. Chilling verdict. It was a blur from 2 in the afternoon till 6:15 when we laid her to rest on a bed of neem leaves and covered her in rock salt with more leaves, after the society managing committee unanimously voted that she should be buried ten feet away from where she had given birth to her last litter and where she had spent a nearly one and a half decades. She belonged here.
I go down every morning and evening, put a fresh flower on her grave and light an incense stick. I guess I didn’t cry as much at the loss of my dad (or did I) as I did on that fateful day when Bhabiji left us.
She had many names like Pabbi, Pabbu, Pabbudana, Prabhudana, Hema Malini, Aishwara Rai, Buddhi, Budhiya, Gudiya, White Lightening, Pabbizee Pabbizee. On good days she would look up from down, as I would toss her Marie biscuits, she would do her dance and then wrap her front paws on me, which I loved even if it ruined my clothes in monsoon. She had scratched my car big time, which was no hassle for her, dare anyone else do it (save Golu of course).
In the rains, when we had brought her babies up, after they were weaned, she would rush up at all odd hours sending our nine doggies into a frenzy of wild barking and we had to lure her down with ice cream, chunks, or biscuits. Then we would put Laddoo down with her to play and bring her up after they had a tug session or get Pabbu up on the terrace to play with her. (Gudiya was on a flawed adoption then).
She trusted me so much, yet in the last few weeks , she used to avoid me, perhaps an indication that she was not too happy saying goodbye. As the wife says, we love all animals, as does my daughter and all our doggies too, as well as the other society strays, but Pabbu was special, and not just because she’s gone. It’s like there is a pall of gloom in the society. I don’t feel like coming home. Hearing about this, my usually bold and brave daughter in Bangalore, Saira, broke down. She’s still not back to normal, neither are we.
I am getting her existing pictures corrected professionally, one with a painting look, getting her sketched by one of the finest in the country, Harsho Chattoraj, planning on getting a custom- made plaque for her tomb. They say erase the pain by forgetting and moving on, this is one pain we all want to keep alive even as she rests in peace. As I said, “Pabbu my dearest, tears may not well up in my eyes for you all the time, but be rest assured that there is a well of tears in my eyes for you always”