Thursday, February 23, 2012

Coming From The Heart (The Road Is Long)

The title of this post, says it all...

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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Doggy Stories - Pilu

I am taking a lot of liberties with this story, mostly because I have heard many different versions of it from my mother, aunties, uncle and grandmother, all of them doubling up with laughter. I am also writing this from the perspective of my mother, simply because her version is what I have heard the most and would be very confusing if I wrote this from my perspective. Also, this is based in the 1960-1970s.

Phuphu (Nickname: Chando, Phuphu means Auntie - father's sister - in Urdu/ Awadhi) was married off to the younger brother of a zamindar/ freedom fighter/ politician/ parliamentarian - who was one of my father's closest friend. Phupha managed the farms/ various rural businesses and was a more than willing supporter of his firebrand brother (more on him later). Some person in gratitude presented Bade Phupha a tiny jet-black great dane puppy one fine day.

Bade Phupha handed it over to Phuphu. Phuphu, not a great fan of dogs, gave it to some servant. The poor puppy cried pitifully all throughout the night. Phuphu being a huge softie, could not stand it and took the puppy under her wing and adopted it. From that day onwards, Phuphu and the dog were inseparable. For reasons that no one in the family could ever explain since, Phuphu named the jet-black great dane "Pilu" (Pilu, literally means yellow fellow).

Phuphu was known to be the nicest, simplest and most soft-hearted person in our family. After Pilu entered her life, Pilu became the centre of attention and the object of her affection. Pilu got a special diet, special attention, special walks, special attendants, special beds. We were all convinced Pilu was the most spoilt dog in all UP at that point, if not all of India. Pilu became Phuphu's son and was probably given more importance and attention than Phuphu's only child, Usha.

Now, when Pilu grew up, one would have expected his great dane characteristics to resurface, right? However, Pilu, apart from being the most spoilt dog known to mankind was also the hugest cowardly dog with not one aggressive gene. Pilu would dive under Phuphu's bed, if someone even sneezed, and would not come out until Phuphu begged him with the softest words and treats. This is not gross exaggeration, but true fact and witnessed by me and my entire family.

Phuphu gradually became obssessed with Pilu's well-being. During summers (these are UP summers, the severity of which cannot be described - just assume it is VERY hot), when coolers and air conditioners were introduced and installed, at Phuphu's, my mother (a very fierce lady) suddenly noticed that there was no relief. On investigation, it was found that Phuphu had turned the blast in Pilu's direction and Pilu was happily lolling with relief. Mother's fury knew no bounds and she reprimanded Phuphu soundly on spoiling a complete waste of a dog, comparing him with Loppy (Her dog at that time and how fierce and useful Loppy was). Phuphu, the meek darling listened to Mother's scolding meekly and after Mother left the room, called Pilu in and in very soothing tones, started petting and soothing him saying, "Pilu, dont get mad, and dont be scared. Mami (Aunty - Uncle's Wife) is very hot tempered and this heat has made her anger boil. But, she's very nice and did not mean to shout at you." Mother sadly overheard this and blew her top on being called Pilu's Mami and accused Phuphu of completely losing her marbles.

Not that Mother's repriminding had any effect on Phuphu and till Pilu's dying day, Phuphu and Pilu were inseparable and Phuphu spoilt the dog silly. The only redeeming factor was that Pilu was as fond of Phuphu, even though he remained a scaredy cat till the end of his days.

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A Walk On The Wild Side

Just because I dont agree with you about a lot of things, doesnt mean I like you any less.

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Lapses of Judgment

We met for a relaxed dinner at one of my favourite restaurant in the city. Over wine and pasta, we discussed life and got reminiscing about the good old days. What fun we had! D told me about THAT day. Turns out she had broken up with the "Lapse in Judgment". So, my "lapses in judgment" got an airing. Some, not all. Shocked poor A. Or not. Who knows? Who cares? D and I had a really good time, though.

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