RIDERS ON THE STORM: A GREAT DANE CALLED LAYLA & ME

ba50d7df578eb5fc4111d4c4077bf7f5

( While you read , listen to this

)

 

This story is about Layla, a Great Dane.

 

Layla wasn’t just a dog who was rescued by Friendicoes and adopted by me five years back.

 

She and I , in the words of the beautiful JIm Morrison, were riders on the storm.

 

She came into my life and rescued me ,actually. Layla silenced my demons and danced with my angels.

 

I was going through a major personal crisis.

 

My marriage of twelve years had broken up.Although, I was very sure that I would not spend my life with a man who had turned into a stranger,  all those who have gone through it would agree that it is tough. And tough if you are a woman. And especially more tough, if you are and also perceived to be from a higher “ status’ family vis-a-vis the husband who spared no effort in painting  a picture of me as a  spoilt-arrogant-rich- bitch.

 

Rant:I am so bloody glad he is out of my life. It was my mistake all along. I failed to read/recognize the warning signs! The chap didn’t like dogs or Led Zeppelin

 

Auto suggestion: Stop!

 

Yes, let me not digress by talking about a deplorable human and a loser .

 

Let me tell you , instead, about a beautiful animal and a winner.

 

Layla’s story is a typical one which I have seen in my many, many years of being associated with animal rights and welfare. A pedigreed puppy bought for a huge sum of money to enhance status. The puppy grows into a huge Great Dane who requires love and attention,daily walks,exercise, grooming, nutritious food and supplements- all of which cannot be handled by Chotu or the private security guard, who proceed to abuse/hit the dog and keep her chained.The  Great Dane turns aggressive, falls sick and is then promptly dumped in Friendicoes.

 

‘Can you take her in , Aparajita ? “, asked ( the very wonderful) Geeta Sheshmani of Friendicoes, a trifle desperately. That evening, I remember, nine dogs of various pedigrees and age  had been abandoned at the already overflowing shelter.It was human callousness and cowardice at its worst!Abandoning that dog who was completely dependent on you for no fault of his except that he was either sick or old or you were leaving town!

 

I hesitated. I had never kept a Great Dane before and knew nothing about the breed. I worried that I stayed in a first floor apartment. I had a demanding job. The dog was aggressive. And  I also was not ready for another dog I felt. I had just lost my Boxer girl and my three other ones had been dropped off in my parents’ home as I planned to take a break and just travel ( Read: wander)

 

One look at that regal face and the  Eric Clapton moment happened ‘Layla, you got me on my knees”. We both fell for each other! ‘’Alpha females bonding” , laughed my sister, when I told her about bringing Layla home.

 

That is how a great friendship and love story started . MIne & Layla’s.

 

Her world revolved around me and me alone. Though she was attached to my family when they came visiting, her eyes would search mine out and signal that she loved me best. She would sleep the whole day ,  only to wake up at 6 pm, when she knew I would be returning.She never lost that aggressiveness towards people and her fierce protection towards me sent many a Romeos wanting to come up for coffee, scurrying. Those fact and fiction about a single woman being ‘hunted’ ? Well, Layla jaan pooh-pooed them away with her  deep throated bark that struck fear in the most amorous male heart and other male appendages! Great Danes are called gentle giants. Yes,  with me she was gentle …an exquisite tenderness which wrapped my heart and soul in deep layers of unconditional love.

 

As for me. Layla was the most important person in my life too. Even in the dead December cold of Delhi, I would wake up at 4 am and take her for a two hour walk every day in the Jahanpannah city forest and park.  That did me a whole lotta good actually , saving me from stress binging!When my  Bong cook would disappear because of the repeated excuses of “ami bemaar”,’’ bou bemaar’’, ‘baaacha bhishon bemaar”, I would exist on leftover pizza, but  would cook Layla’s food every day. I preferred spending time with her instead of attending all the happening do’s that I keep getting invited to. My holidays were infrequent too. Not because Layla wouldn’t have been looked after, but because even a few days away from her seemed an eternity. Life felt so incomplete without that beloved face next to me in the morning.

 

LIke all Danes, she was great fun and goofy too!  Those moment of Dane craziness resulted in many broken vases and punctured cushions. And the Lord help me,she honestly thought she was a lap dog ! Her great weakness was Britannia’s ‘Little Heart ‘ biscuits and chicken tikka, a weird snack combo, we adopted for our Friday night JIm Morrison, Led Zeppelin, JImi Hendrix etc etc jam sessions.  Oh yeah, we were solid , old school rocker chicks!

 

I lost her to the dreaded bloat disease.It was very quick.She thankfully did not suffer much.I rushed her to the vet praying like I have never prayed before in my life. But, we both knew in those fleeting seconds before she collapsed, that we have to let go of each other. Her eyes looked into mine and I read them .’’ This is the end, beautiful friend…..my only friend”, she told me.

 

She died in my arms.

 

I wept like I have never wept before and understood for the first time what being broken meant .

 

I know I will never get over that feeling of complete loss and abandonment. I dont want to also.It is a very bitter sweet feeling ,you know. Thinking about her causes me great pain and great happiness, both. I will adjust to live in that love and loss,once again…slowly rebuild myself. I will become whole again but I will never be the same.

 

I grieve her and I know it is forever .For grief and love come together.I realize that no one can take Layla’s place . I have loved many a times…all the beautiful animals who have been a part of my heart and life. But, she will rule over them all . ….the queen of hearts.

 

Here are a few photographs of Layla & me. I smile , through my tears as I listen to the very recognized, very loved riffs of Clapton’s ‘’ Layla’….remembering and yearning .

Camera360_2016_7_27_090952.jpgPicsArt_05-03-2016 13_06_07.jpgcamera360_2016_5_29_071051camera360_2016_5_28_122619camera360_2016_3_26_024504camera360_2016_3_26_024427camera360_2016_2_27_010421camera360_2014_11_12_072955camera360_2015_10_1_110933camera360_2016_1_10_012013camera360_2015_6_6_093549

SHE TAKES AWAY A PIECE OF MY HEART

That awful empty feeling haunts me once again. I lost my English bulldog, Jigar ka Tukda, this morning. She was adopted by me six years back from Friendicoes and named after the Janis Joplin number, ”Piece of my Heart”.

I remember the day I saw her while I was feeding boiled eggs to the dogs at the shelter. She came and sat a little distance away and watched me. I was shocked at her appearance. She had no hair and was covered with sores all over. There was a terrible stench emanating from her body.

381046_10151151179834675_724509234_n
( Abandoned @ Friendicoes)
Maybe she realized this? And possibly was shunned because of it ? So she was careful not to come near me? I smiled and held out an egg to her. The look she gave me is one that I will never forget in my life….one of joy and implicit trust. That was also the day she took away a piece of my heart, tucked it into her tubby lil body firmly and named me ‘Egg Lady”.

Jigar moved into my heart, home and life and went on to become a Facebook sensation amongst my friends. They loved to hear about her antics and marveled at her recovery. Fed on a diet of love and generous slices of pizza, Ms Jigar had a thing for wearing lingerie too and loved Victoria’s Secret stuff. She was inordinately proud of her butt which she believed rivaled Kim Karadishan’s. Many a times, I would wake up in the morning, finding it difficult to breathe! That bully-butt would be on my chest!
She became firm friends with the New Delhi-Bhubaneshwar Rajdhani express First AC staff when she travelled with me frequently. A breakfast of boiled eggs and paneer cutlets came especially for her from the pantry car! Her snores and farts were deafening and shattered the peace of my Dad’s reading time. ‘Disgraceful”, he would mutter and fix a baleful eye on me. But, many a times, I did see him sharing his buttered toast and omelet with her.

Here are some pictures of her. She led a happy, pampered life for seven years with me.

9659_10151681690038716_782892607_n

( The famous butt along with her teddy called Marylin Monroe)

 

526180_10150879779618716_332255183_n
( Relaxing)

483910_10150976857878716_2358080_n

( The Love For Lingerie)

 

536161_10151203823173716_1692544153_n

( On the Rajdhani Express train)

384003_10151064338883716_1652501508_n

( Playing with her teddy bear called Marylin Monroe)

 

jigar

( Momma’s piece of heart)
I hurt…. I hurt so bad. <blockquote>”It is a curious thing, the death of a loved one. We all know that our time in this world is limited, and that eventually all of us will end up underneath some sheet, never to wake up. And yet it is always a surprise when it happens to someone we know. It is like walking up the stairs to your bedroom in the dark, and thinking there is one more stair than there is. Your foot falls down, through the air, and there is a sickly moment of dark surprise as you try and readjust the way you thought of things.” ( Lemony Snickett, ‘Horseradish’)</blockquote> I am trying to re-adjust too… not check out lingerie with her online, not share my pizza, not dance to item numbers ( she loved <em>’Shiela ki Jawani'</em>),not getting her stink eye, not holding that paw she extended when she thought I was low.

So Jigar is gone. She had been unwell since the last two days and was refusing food. I was not with her to say goodbye. But she played ball with my nephew, whom she adored, one last time , this morning. And yes, perhaps she remembered me too…her ‘Egg-Lady’…for she had a boiled egg, one last time, before she left me. About that piece of my heart? She has taken it with her.

317202_10150284618668716_1657978_n                        jigar 1

Appeal from Jigar & Me : ADOPT!PLEASE DON’T SHOP!
.

The Pug Who Loved Mangoes

Lately, I have taken to learning Urdu. Gulzar shaheb says “kahin kuchh dur se kaano mein padhti hai agar Urdu,To lagta hai, Jaadon ke din han,khidki khuli hui hai,dhoop andar aa rahi hai” ( Translation:When Urdu reaches the ears from a distance,It appears,As if on a Winter’s day, the window is open and the sunshine is pouring in ).  While I started with trying to learn it online, I soon realized that the nuances of this beautiful language necessitates the guidance by an Urdu scholar. From the coming weekend, an Urdu teacher is going to come to my house in the mornings , every Saturday & Sunday and teach me the language.

But when I start my Urdu lessons on Saturday, I shall miss my little pug Bruce Wayne ( Read about Bruce here: :http://www.huffingtonpost.in/aparajita-mohapatra/the-dark-knight-rises-bru_b_7262612.html )

Why ? Well,because Bruce like the great Mirza Ghalib loved mangoes! Reading about this great poet in ‘Ghalib:  Life, Letters & Ghazals’, by Ralph Russell, I found that Ghalib was a mango-lover extraordinaire.Altaf Hussain Hali, Ghalib’s student and biographer,  in his book Yaadgaar-e Ghalib, tells the story  of Hakeem Raziuddin Khan, who while visiting Ghalib noted that a passing donkey had just sniffed at a mango peel and kept moving along. Look, said the Hakeem, even donkeys don’t eat mangoes. True, replied the poet, donkeys don’t eat mangoes! Over this mango season,my little pug and me had  been feasting on mangoes as we struggled to pronounce and understand Mirza Ghalib.

It seems strange that Bruce would prefer mangoes over chicken or meaty bones, but he did! Each time he spotted me getting a mango, he would turn on his formidable charm with a little rakish grin and soon we would both be ecstatically eating the fruit. My Bong cook would look at us and disbelievingly mutter a theatrical “Odhboot” ( Uncanny/Abnormal). Last mango season when we had gone to my parents’ home , Bruce would bark excitedly, much to everybody’s incredulous amusement, whenever a ripe mango fell making a ‘plop’ noise. The other dogs were a bit condescending towards the little guy’s obsession with mangoes, but  Bruce Wayne always smirked with the knowledge of one who is intellectually superior, chuckling in doggy lingo “Brains always over brawn & balls”.Yes, this little miniature pug could hold his ground amongst my  bid breeds like Boxers, a German Shepherd, a Great Dane. He had a Zen like countenance and  attitude to life which made  my sister call him ‘Puga Master’.

He was becoming a little frail and I had realized the end was nearing. A few days back  I had ordered a pram online, so I that I could take him for a walk in the park.’You aren’t serious?” said a friend. ‘I am’, I had replied firmly.’Brucie loves going for a walk, and if he is not strong enough to walk, I shall wheel him in a pram”, both Bruce and me fixed the chap with a baleful glare reserved for Philistines and refused to speak with him. Later, Bruce asked me to forgive him after he got us a half litre tub of Natural’s mango ice cream.

So, the Master left me yesterday. He went peacefully and yes after eating two huge mangoes.

He was a little warrior, fighting humans and fate, which had tried to break him.He emerged victorious over tremendous physical and mental abuse..Inside that tiny little body was an indomitable spirit. The Greek, Heraclitus, says of a warrior:”Out of every one hundred men, ten shouldn’t even be there, eighty are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior, and he will bring the others back”. Bruce brought me back many, many times from life’s battlefield of uncertainty and anguish.

I am happy that he died peacefully. Yes, I am grateful that he didn’t linger or suffer.

But I cry.

How does one hide from something which will never go away ?

By not hiding from it.

So each time I will eat a mango and read Ghalib, I will remember you Bruce….khuda hafiz…I wish the Rainbow Bridge had visiting hours.

10356161_10152517803973716_3913001921298350762_n

Dante’s Inferno

 A  dark, well built, hot, Italian guy walked into my life yesterday.Not only is he uber handsome but the guy is intelligent and brainy too. In fact, he is  a literary genius and the ‘ il Sommo Poeta’. He is called Dante :).  Here is this absolutely gorgeous guy’s pic :

Dante   dante 1   dante 2

 Well guys and the world, I fall in love yet again 🙂 With a ‘divinely comic’ Boxer dog, around 10 months old and the fourth child of an Italian couple here in India.

 Let me tell you mine  and Dante’s story.

My family has always had a soft corner for the Boxer breed. They are delightful beings , full of attitude, tremendous energy,  huge clowns, fiercely loyal and passionate slobber-ers! Between October- December 2013, I lost a bro-sis Boxer duo,called Joshua & Danielle. They had lived upto the ripe old age of 14, ruling my family with their benevolent despotism. In January this year, I said goodbye to my beloved Boxer girl, Jill. She was a rescued and adopted from ‘Friendicoes’ ( animal shelter & NGO). The house and my heart  felt strangely empty without the exuberance and boisterous buffoonery of a Boxer dog. People who own/have owned a Boxer will know what I am talking about here.

So I told my friend, who is associated with Friendicoes, to let me know if a Boxer comes up for adoption. ‘Why don’t I get you one of them show pups?”, asked another  annoyingly rich,friend of mine, adding ‘Will an adult dog be able to bond with you ?”. I felt a trifle irritated and snapped ‘Kabir, we are great friends right? Did you know me when I was in my diapers ?”. He hurriedly withdrew at the manic gleam in my eyes! I tend to lose patience  with people who give me this absolutely stupid, in-ward looking logic that one can bond  ONLY with a baby, either human or animal. I have very , very strong views on adoption and consider it to be true religion, the hallmark of compassion and the barometer of gauging what/how ‘being human’ we are.  Love doesn’t need to smell of your womb, you know!

Well, my animal rescuer friend told me that an Italian couple who were leaving India wanted to give up their dog and would I be interested ?

At this point, I am pretty sure, many of you would be having a negative and angry feeling about this Italian couple, right ? Thoughts like ‘ How can they do that ?’, ‘ A pet is a commitment for life’ etc .

To be frank, the same thought crossed my mind too, when I rang the bell  of the couple’s house. I had gone to see Dante and they wanted to know who they were giving Dante to. I was un-prepared for what happened next. I saw a very courteous, soft-spoken ,middle-aged man who loved this dog like his own child.The great love between both was palpable, beautiful and tender.

He got me a glass of water and settled down to telling me about Dante. As he spoke, his eyes became moist. He told me that he and his family absolutely did not want to leave Dante behind. They were ready to pay all the charges, however exorbitant But, the airlines were not ready to take the responsibility of transferring the dog because of the  high risk involved. Boxers, and some other breeds like pugs, bull dogs  etc  that are  short -nosed ( brachycephalic) are very  vulnerable to changes in air quality and temperature in the cargo hold of a plane. Although pets are transported in pressurized cargo holds and get much the same air that the passengers in the cabin do, the air circulation  is not  ideal for them.( since the dog is in a crate that  affects ventilation too). In addition, nobody is there in the  hold area that can monitor the dog   and provide help if needed ! There are  a horribly huge number of pet causalities due to this. Although, the couple’s friend was the cargo-head of a major airline and  ready to help, he warned them about possible consequences. ‘How can I take him along, knowing that I will put him to risk of death?, he asked me. I nodded my head in agreement, feeling the man’s anguish and helplessness.

And I told him that he has nothing to worry about.Dante would be my child too. This is destiny and perhaps my love for pizza and pasta that is working :).   I met his very lovely wife and children too. The relief and smiles on their face made me think that Dante was so lucky to have had their love.

Well guys, I have always learned something valuable  from each and every animal that has touched my life. Dante has taught me not to be judgmental… to never judge others and jump to hasty conclusions because one simply may not know what someone is experiencing in their life. I had  for a brief while, wrongly judged this beautiful Italian couple. I found out they were genuine and caring people….they wanted only the best for Dante…..they were courageous even while they hurt. Dante also gave me something else 🙂 Yeah, new friends in Giovanni & Francesca. We shall all remain in touch and anytime they are in India, they will meet Dante 🙂

As for me, I have jumped into ‘Dante’s Inferno” joyously.  I have a happy, happy grin on my face. Dante’s snores last night sounded like music to me. My face and skin glow with all the excited slobbering and sloppy kisses he bestows on me. My other dogs have welcomed this new kid in town with glee…the more , the merrier.My excitable, over-angsty Bengali cook is worried whether he needs to learn Italian now ? I have told him to shut up and make pizza for dinner.

 Its the 750th anniversary of Dante Aligheri’s birth, in 2015. And I am celebrating it in my own way…loving a dog called Dante 🙂

Ta, guys…this is what I am humming:

Goodbye, Jill

How does one come to terms with grief?Of losing someone you loved dearly? To realize that you will never see her again? Never feel the warmth of her gaze on you again ? Never hear her happy excited bark when you walked into the house ? Never feel her cold nose pushing against your face in the mornings ever? Never hold her paw which  she trustingly put in your hand again ? Never have her slobber over you again?

 I  am hurting so much today. My heart aches once again.Its a heart ache I have never got used  to, although I have gone through it many times before in the past.

I lost my beloved Boxer girl, Jill, early this morning.Jill was rescued and adopted by me  five years back. She was a very, very beautiful white Boxer with a star of her forehead. She had three legs and her right hind leg was mangled beyond repair.Perhaps, that is why she had been dumped by her previous owners.

I won’t dwell much on her past. For it angers me and fills my heart with hate.And Jill would not like that. She taught me many things; the biggest was forgiveness.Like she forgave her previous owners or those who had hurt her.She did not close up and loose her faith in relationships. Rather, she was strong enough to battle terrible physical and mental abuse to emerge a winner.A dog who loved  wholly and tenderly. And one who always had a big, goofy smile on her face.

 In the last five years, Jill led a grand life filled with pizza, cakes, walks, huge meaty bones, balloons,music, laughter, fun and a firm place in my family’s heart. It was lovely to see her  fiercely chase the ball with my other dogs.It was also heart warming to see them treat her gently and maker her ‘win’.

 Last year, when Jill had gone with me to my parent’s home during the summer vacation, she  stayed back with them. She fell in love with the huge garden there and the joy of chasing squirrels was too much of a temptation, I guess. I am glad that I left her there. She saw flowers bloom and also went to the beach in Puri. Apparently, she was gleeful chasing the waves 🙂 And yes, she gave my Ma company, eating all kinds of ‘pakoras’, ‘bhajjis’, ‘chuda -matar fry’, ice -cream ,chocolates, cutlets etc 🙂

When Jill died this morning, her head was in my Ma’s lap. She was surrounded by people who she loved and who loved her back. She left us hearing my Ma chant the ‘Maha-Mritunjay’ mantra for her. In Hinduism, it is one of the most powerful mantras.(‘Maha mrityunjaya’ is a call for enlightenment and is a practice of purifying the karmas of the soul at a deep level).

त्र्यम्बकं यजामहे सुगन्धिं पुष्टिवर्धनम् उर्वारुकमिव बन्धनान् मृत्योर्मुक्षीय मामृतात्” Translation :We Meditate on the Three-eyed reality Which permeates and nourishes all like a fragrance. May we be liberated from death for the sake of immortality, Even as the cucumber is severed from bondage to the creeper.

I am reminded of Jeanette Winterson’s ““You’ll get over it…” It’s the clichés that cause the trouble. To lose someone you love is to alter your life for ever. You don’t get over it because ‘it” is the person you loved. The pain stops, there are new people, but the gap never closes. How could it? The particularness of someone who mattered enough to grieve over is not made anodyne by death. This hole in my heart is in the shape of you and no-one else can fit it. Why would I want them to?”

I will always have a Jill shaped hole in my heart.Every  pet-parent who loses a fur baby finds a way to laugh again. The timbre begins to fade. The edge dulls. The hurt lessens. Every love is carved from loss. Mine is. Yours will be , perhaps. But we learn to live in that love.

299281_10150293678138716_1987912274_n

Jill’s special Look 🙂

299281_10150293678123716_206088118_n

Look at the star on her head 🙂

jill 1

She is wearing my Led Zeppelin hoodie 🙂

jill 2

With her great friend Bruce.This is on the train from New Delhi to Odisha.Vacation time 🙂

jill 3

Jill loved listening to Pink Floyd with me 🙂 Wish you were here! Thank you for your gift of un-conditional love…for teaching me that the only disability in life is a bad attitude…for inspiring me with your amazing will power…for healing me with your trust…for rescuing me, actually. Goodbye, my baby.Run free over the Rainbow Bridge ❤

Wabi-Sabi Your Life

227729_10151225209153716_1741983437_n

This is my Golden Cocker Spaniel girl. She is called Ashlee Aishwarya. Her second name is from ‘Aishwarya Bachhan” who is a former Miss World and superstar in Bollywood. She is not a favorite actor of mine though, but undeniably beautiful. Well, my Ashlee is a rescue baby.She came to me when she was around 7/8 months old. Starved, tortured and beaten.She had terrible aggression problems because of sustained abuse.Gradually, with a lot of gentle handling she settled down. She regained her health, her coat is a mass of golden curls today. She learned to trust human again. Her attachment to my big sister , especially is very touching.

But, today my Ash baby, only 3 years old, can no longer see.She has become totally blind. Her eye sight was poor when she had come to me because she was not given any food when she was a pup.Let alone necessary nutritional supplements ! The damage to her eyes was irreversible, my vet told me, although we kept up a steady intake of Vitamin A.While she cannot see any more, her sense of smell is very, very strong and as the days go by, I think it keeps getting more acute.So also is her hearing. My sister’s gardener, who is Ash’s pet hate, has to tip-toe around the place!

I seem to love her more now though. She is damaged..but she is so brave, so beautiful , her  eyes shining with trust and so much love that  I am reminded of the Japanese concept of ‘Wabi-sabi”.

What is ‘Wabi-Sabi”? “Pared down to its barest essence, wabi-sabi is the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection and profundity in nature, of accepting the natural cycle of growth, decay, and death. It’s simple, slow, and uncluttered-and it reveres authenticity above all. Wabi-sabi is flea markets, not warehouse stores; aged wood, not Pergo; rice paper, not glass. It celebrates cracks and crevices and all the other marks that time, weather, and loving use leave behind. It reminds us that we are all but transient beings on this planet-that our bodies as well as the material world around us are in the process of returning to the dust from which we came. Through wabi-sabi, we learn to embrace liver spots, rust, and frayed edges, and the march of time they represent“. (http://nobleharbor.com/tea/chado/WhatIsWabi-Sabi.htm) Loosely translated, “wabi” is simplicity, whether elegant or rustic; “sabi” means the beauty of age and wear. 

Some years back, the accidental sufi had met with a terrible car accident.Although my injuries healed and I was back to normal within a short span of time, a  long,perpendicular scar remained on my right forehead. I was very conscious of it. Put it down to female vanity, but it troubled me a lot. I would brood .Although my sister told me that I look perfectly fine, I cried and harped on getting plastic surgery done.

Then, my Shams, gifted me a rough clay bowl. It was cracked.The crack had been filled with gold. Somewhat like the pic below.

wabi-sabi-bowl-with-golden-400-px

( Photo Credits :http://sloannota.com/blog/crash-art-kintsuori-and-modern-dreams/)The art of filling pottery with silver  or gold lacquer to repair the crack and understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken is called ‘kintsukuroi” in Japanese.

And Shams explained “the difference between the Japanese “kirei-merely” or  “pretty” and “omoshiroi”, the interestingness that kicks something into the realm of beautiful”. I stopped thinking about plastic surgery 🙂

Much later  there was this terrible  upheaval in my personal life.My sister told me   ‘scar tissue is stronger than regular tissue. Realize the strength, move on.’ My Ma gave me a photo of the Lord Jaganath to keep in my purse.Its frayed now…but  strength emanates from the folds.  My Shams wrote me this :”I know sometimes
it’s still hard to let me see you
in all your cracked perfection,
but please know:
whether it’s the days you burn
more brilliant than the sun
or the nights you collapse into my lap
your body broken into a thousand questions,
you are the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.
I will love you when you are a still day.
I will love you when you are a hurricane.” ( Clemetine von Radics)

All in their own ways living the wabi-sabi way and telling me to do so 🙂

So Ashlee Aishwarya, of the golden curls and the beautiful eyes , is wabi sabi-ing her life with me….we both heal each other everyday 🙂 Try adopting a broken damaged animal and heal it, guys, with your love.Your soul will smile, believe me 🙂

And what about love ? Well, wabi sabi love tells us to find perfect love in imperfect relationships .

And what is perfect love ? Ummm…anything less than mad, passionate, extraordinary love is a waste of time. There are too many mediocre things in life to deal with and love shouldn’t be one of them.

And what is an imperfect relationship? Ummm…the Shams sent me this pic.Says it epitomizes an imperfect relationship !  Oh by the way, he plans to make this the wallpaper in his house 😀

off-the-leash-06

( Photo Credit :http://waggingworld.com/2013/08/05/off-the-leash/ )

Alright guys, check this song. My kinda wabi sabi. It takes courage to attempt ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon. Its not perfect. But its beautiful because Eddie Vedder sings it with so much belief and passion ,non? http://youtu.be/KhrmkCW6Ph8

Ta ta, guys !  *curtsies low* .Jeez, I need to work them  ahem gluteal muscles 😦 Auto suggestion : Wabi sabi your a*** woman…its perfect 😉


The Dark Knight Rises: Bruce Almighty

The new cook  walked into the living room with my coffee today at around 9.30 am this morning.Suddenly, I heard a ferocious howl. Bruce Wayne, my little black miniature pug boy, jumped off the sofa and charged at him. It was a hilarious sight because the new cook is a 6ft 2″, swashbuckling chappie from Chennai. (He is called ‘ Mahalingam” and has helpfully told me that I can call him  ”Lingam”. Ummmm ,Blush and Jeez! I am quite stumped. ‘Lingam’ is the Sanskrit word for phallus.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lingam )

The cook ran for his life. And I teared up.

Why?

I remembered the Brucie of  two years back, when I adopted him from the shelter. I had gone to the shelter with my sister to have my English Cocker Spaniel ( also adopted, her story for another day) checked by my very fantastic vet . We didn’t notice a little black pug sitting quietly on the table near the vet’s main one.As we were about to leave, the pug sort of dragged himself to us and laid a paw on my sister’s hand.

315064_10151133100869675_1143005371_n

( Notice his hind leg paralysis & awkward posture)

He  was around 4/5 years old, had a bad skin condition and had hind leg paralysis so he couldn’t stand up.Some guy saw him on the streets and mercifully got him to the shelter. He had been there for almost a week with no takers . Till date, I don’t know whether the pug mistook us for his previous owner, recognized us from some previous birth or it was just an appeal to be taken away from the shelter and be given a home.

We returned in total silence.I already had four adopted dogs who were special needs K9.’You won’t be able to take care of him with your busy schedule, you know. He needs  a lot of attention and care”,  gently remonstrated my sister. Blinded by my tears, I nodded.

Nothing more was said.

However, I took to visiting the shelter everyday after work to see the pug.(normally I go the shelter on weekends, because of a terribly busy work schedule)There was no fixed time of my visit as such, but the pug would be there waiting patiently  and would  brighten up when he saw me .There is this very sweet para-vet girl who would help me put medicated lotion on him and feed him biscuits and milk. This continued for almost 15 days and life fell into a pattern.

I left for a short trip to London.Just a break to see part of my family who live there and of course the Beloved.Somehow, the trip wasn’t all that fun.

Back to New Delhi and catching up with work meant that I couldn’t go to the shelter for some time.

When I finally did after twenty odd days, I found the pug lying listlessly in a corner with vacant eyes. The food in front of him was untouched.  The para-vet girl told me that he was refusing food and sinking gradually despite all their efforts.The fellow perked up a little when he saw me, but with none of his previous enthusiasm.

I came back home. It was a Sunday and plans had been made to have lunch in  a posh  and expensive restaurant. The Yum-Yum tree. http://www.theyumyumtree.in/

Extended lunch happened.Some good friends joined us too. Much food, much wine, much laughter. But I felt empty. I wonder if any you get that feeling sometimes? Being alone even in a crowd?

I excused myself abruptly.No one thought there was anything amiss. The family and friends are pretty used to my arrogance. Read : I am completely spoiled by them.Including my nephew, who is twenty years younger to me, but pampers me rotten. *Sniffs.I love that kid* 🙂

I went straight to the shelter, gathered up the pug in my arms and never looked back.

431770_10151102510948716_1462110152_n

( The day he came home)

I named the pug Bruce Wayne. It was about this time that ”The Dark Knight Rises’ was released and playing in the theaters. I love Batman by the way. Dark ,strong and  tender .Hubba, Hubba. But, I digress. Sorry 🙂  I wanted the pug to rise too…in health yes, but most importantly in spirit.

Which he did, eventually.To have become to day , my little protector. He is fiercely possessive  of me and  considers himself to be the sole guardian of my home. Its a funny, heartwarming sight when he charges at ”strangers”, like my new cook!

Bruce’s skin infection has been completely cured. His coat is glossy and black. His hind leg paralysis is also 99% cured, with the medicine and advice of my vet. I fed him bone marrow soup for months to strengthen his spine. And massaged his legs with  a special Ayurvedic oil that my Uncle uses for his arthritis.( Its a horribly expensive oil and I shamelessly stole it. Well, my Uncle is stinking rich and stinkingly  un-compassionate. So, I actually  aided rectifying his karma indirectly, non ? 😀 ) Because of damage to his spine, he had urine incontinence for some time.In fact, I had to use diapers  meant for a new born human baby. We don’t get doggy diapers here in India , unfortunately. Although the Beloved gallantly offered to courier them to me from London 😀 * Sigh. I love that man* 😀 Well, the neighborhood pharmacist did get concerned because I kept buying the same size diapers for quite some time! Lol, the poor man must have  imagined that I am starving the baby. I wonder what would have been his reaction had I told him that it is for the pug? 😀 Thankfully, Bruce got cured of this problem as well.

308495_10151048319618716_2138468846_n       1231415_10151634937288716_1235626598_n   1044708_10151529094208716_1193103041_n  548375_10151120099483716_1055753367_n

( Early days of recovery. He would sit in a carton box so that my other  rowdy dogs didn’t stomp on him. Bonding with Jill, my Boxer girl))

Bruce does not and will not need wheels. That’s what is beautiful and miraculous about his recovery. His left hind leg drags a bit. But that gives him lots of attitude and style. In fact, he struts around, like Mick Jagger 😀

Below are some ”now” photographs of my Brucie.I love him so much!

307994_10151112630188716_369637021_n

( Stands on all four legs ) 🙂

534111_10151138246728716_1086888288_n

(Watching CNN-IBN.His favorite news channel.He is  a keen follower of politics and a damn good analyst 🙂 )

984274_10151462871673716_895660458_n

( The Batdog )

996069_10151877944593716_44820843_n

( Gimme Red! Rawwwr!)

Appeal to anyone reading this post/blog: Adopt,please. Don’t shop!

Hasta La Vista, guys 🙂

And yeah,this as always:

$(KGrHqZ,!ioFCj1nzu(wBQ1KIFuQcw~~60_35