The accidental sufi has such a gleeful smile on her face, guys 😀 For the first time in my life perhaps, I rallied from a position of moral high horse where my Dad is concerned. My Dad , whom me and my sister refer to as ‘The Don’ for all his Don Corleone high handedness!
For years, I have listened to his sermons about my ‘disgraceful’ lifestyle which includes addiction to Led Zeppelin, pizzas,general disregard for all societal rules and yes, the exasperation at my ever expanding motley crew of rescued dogs, cats, birds, monkeys etc. I have put up with his pompous and self-righteous statements like ” I wish you cared about your Dad as you do for this miserable bulldog” . This was after I had made his favorite cheese omelet and crisp toast with butter and honey. Its another matter that Jigar, my English bulldog stole his omelet while was imperiously reading the newspaper 😀
Well, day before yesterday, my Dad was in our holiday home in Puri ( a beach town in Cuttack,Odisha). He normally spends a lot of time there. I guess this great love for the sea that I have, is inherited from him. A little stray puppy, around two months old, was run over by a motorcycle. The motorcyclist sped away without a second glance. The puppy screamed in pain, got up and tottered past my Dad standing at the gate and into our home. The chap who works for us told me that Shahib got very concerned and immediately asked for water to be brought for the little fella and if needs be, rush him to the vet. Mercifully, the little pup was fine except for a grazed leg. Reports have reached me that my Dad then personally bandaged the pup, fed him biscuits and asked that he be allowed to sit at the entrance and sun himself 🙂 Then, he called me and told me this incident with ” Let it recover, then of course he has to go”, much to my irritation. By evening, the pup had found its way to my Dad’s bedroom and both were watching television. The next morning, they both had breakfast together on the terrace.
My Dad called me up to say very cryptically ” Accha, I have named the pup ‘Tommy’ ”. I was ecstatic at the bonding and furious at the name, which I felt was rather common. Further, I was not consulted about the name.All our pets are named by me .Period. I would have liked to call the pup ‘Sydhartha’. A combination of two of my very favorite people. The insane and beautiful Syd Barrett and Sidhartha or Gautam Buddha whom I wanted to talk about renunciation.Especially, his ‘In the end,these things matter most:How well did you love?How fully did you live?How deeply did you let go?”. Questions that trouble me a lot. But that’s for another day 🙂
Me : So Dad, you have adopted Tommy ?
Dad : No, I am not a sentimental fool like you. Tommy adopted me.
Me: I hate the name though.
Dad: I never asked for your approval.
That was that.
This morning he called me to tell me very philosophically ( euphemism for pompously) that God doesn’t make men like him anymore and how this should be conveyed to my Ma 😀 I learned that they had had a disagreement about something absolutely trivial but my Ma was refusing to take his call 🙂 And then suddenly he told me for the first time about a little male stray pup, white with brown patches and soulful brown eyes, which he had as a child.He was very attached to the pup who grew up into a beloved dog.Some years later he died of a snakebite.In my father’s arms. He was called Tommy.
They certainly don’t make men like you anymore, Dad 🙂 Strong and beautiful! “I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren’t trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom” ( Umberto Eco)
Animals are such special people .As John Grogan says about his dog Marley “He taught us the art of unqualified love. How to give it, how to accept it. Where there is that, most other pieces fall into place”
And welcome to the family, Tommy! Say what, I quite love Tommy Hilfiger stuff :).