Grrrrr…why do they switch off the AC. Tried to glare hard at Parvatidi…who ignored me totally. Prrrrrr… lovely morning sleep, stretched my arms. Where’s Mohu…, I dragged myself to the master bedroom, sneaked beneath Mohu , curled up with warmth as she hugged me in sleep and her knee over my tummy. Cool AC, Mohu and me…but I knew good times are always short in fact very short.
Mohu, Mohu…I don,t like her voice really, though I think I do love her. But she is like but all moms…tough, hard with a heart of gold.
‘Ah here you are as well…’ That was to me of course... ‘Get up you two… Mohu get up... school time’
I sighed and sprang from the bed. I don,t like this school thing. Earlier in Delhi me and Mohu would sleep for hours while Mom and Dad left for work, wake after repeated calls from Pravatidi. Since we shifted to Gurgaon and Mohu,s school started…life got tough. Lots of tussle to wake up Mohu and send her to school, entire house bustling with activity till she leaves. I miss my sleep and… miss Mohu as well. In fact feel a bit lonely without her, back there in Delhi we would play the entire day and when Mohu would watch Doraemon I would stare from out first floor balcony and growl…so many of them there, barking, playing, loving. They would bark vehemently if I tried to speak…still I could,t help uttering a word or two. So many of them… all free, breeding and multiplying ,surviving on dry stale chapattis, biscuits thrown by the residents. How they hate me…wouldn,t even say ‘ Hi’. What,s the harm in a smile and a ‘ Hi’…naah all they would do is bark growl and spring on me.. Are they jealous… well they ought to be considering my family Mohu, Mom , Dad even Parvatidi, the lovely AC, TV , fridge, good pet food. But I need friends as well.. at least speak a word or two…these wildies…no courtesy no decency! As mom says one fine day the municipal van would come and pick them all up…sometimes I wish they would but… most of the times I love to watch them play, tease , fight, make love..
Anyway those were days of yore it seems. This is Gurgaon… from what I could make out from conversations we were shifting to a bigger better and ‘own’ house. All fine… though I pined to hug them and say good bye as they stared when I got into the car with Mohu and Mom…I could not get myself to do so. Even her..I called her Pooja..i heard that name so many times in the movies Mom watch…she was brown, shabby like all of them but we exchanged glances…at least she wouldn,t pounce on me, just stare from far. Lovely eyes, sweet bark…hmm didn,t want to leave her…But where was she, my eyes searched frantically…sigh.. Who knows...better things await me in Gurgaon.
Gurgaon.. 12th floor balcony…whrrrrr…feel dizzy. They had brought me here earlier but I had no idea this was my to-be-home. Large, spacious at least much bigger than the house we lived in Delhi. Me and Mohu loitered all around the house, enjoying the ‘ space’ which we were deprived of in our two room quarter. Packing, unpacking all of us were busy in the initial days and after three four days of unpacking we unwinded. Me and Mohu got a room of our own to play in...all our stuff scattered, though Parvatidi grumbled at times we hardly cared. In the evening Parvatidi would take us for a walk, in the park. This was nothing like the small field we used to play in South Delhi colony. It was a park with lot of children rides and Mohu enjoyed here like anything while I didn,t have much to do , there was a ground as well but since Mohu did not enjoy it much, we went there for a while after her play was over. Mom and Dad used to come late now, their office being far. So we spent most of the evenings in the park. I missed them, the entire stray group, squealing, shrieking… pouncing on me, as I sat idly watching Mohu and the other kids. Ah yes… kids and their moms. Yes in our Delhi colony I did see nice pretty girls…but here…i don,t understand how they wear such short cloths, all the moms and honestly I don,t understand their language as well. Few things Mom taught me ‘ Hi’ , ‘ Come’, ‘ Sit’ and later Mohu…but I was more used to ‘ Arann aaaaooo’… ‘ Arannn uthooo’ . Here even if we meet someone in elevator, they greet me with ‘Nice pup’ and then chat with Mom as Parvatidi stares blankly and later grumbles to Mom later, ‘Why don,t they speak in Hindi..’
‘Learn some English Parvati’ Dad would quip.
‘ Somehow Parvatidi refined her Bengali after coming with us, then with great trouble picked up Hindi….and now ..’ Mom was smiling..
‘You mean I have to learn English…’ Parvati was speechless as Mom Dad laughed
I couldn’t help smile too. Parvatidi came after Mohu was born. Grandma sent her from village, the initial days all she would do was watch television, couldn’t speak or communicate …I helped her as courier man came, or someone to sell utensils...but she picked up fast as I did once and soon became a member of the house. I did feel irritated as we shared the same room but with time we got used to each other and I began enjoying the bath she gives me as Mom hardly has time now with Mohu grabbing all her attention. But that’s ok.. me and Parvatidi… we adore Mohu and with this common agenda we gel well though not excessively fond of each other…may be we are apprehensive about stealing the ‘little’ space we have in the family.
I have seen lovely green parks in Delhi as Dad used to take me out in Sundays. Here choices are few, though Dad did drive us once or twice. In Delhi I did meet other dogs of so called good breed but in the colony I felt the prince. Here, I will be honest I felt a bit shy ...Alsatians, Poodles, Hounds…I don,t know the other names and I was just… yes , yes I am simply a street one whom Mom picked up while I was a baby. Do I look like one…I don,t may be and I don,t look like the others as well…
Pooja… wonder what she was doing in the Delhi heat!! From my twelfth floor balcony I could hardly see anyone...I mean I could, girls in shorts, jogging men, babies in prams, sometimes I could see the rain though, very rarely and with rain the whiff of earth…From the first floor I could see Mom,s car… growl with pleasure as she waved at me, steal a glance at Pooja. …Pooja , Pooja…. Here I had met a few pups, smiled at them... may be because of my colour or breed...nobody paid much attention, as if I care!! On a positive side I love the supermarkets here…push Mohu around in trolleys, collect stuff for her. I heard Gurgaon is all about malls and supermarkets… in South Delhi most of the times we did our grocery in the nearest Kendriya Bhandar… stuffy, non functioning ACs, the long long queues.
Mohu left for school finally, giving me one tight hug, Mom hurrying her to the elevator, Dad,s turn next to leave for office. Parvatidi,s turn to relax over TV soaps with a cup of tea and my time to stare from the balcony…Without Mohu around my day would pass more idly and yes… I don,t like it but I was putting on weight. Was I missing my old home, old locality and… old friends… Were they friends…hhmmm, I remember yelling back at them when they would bark at me, remember to be weeping when the municipality van came to pick them up, getting mad at Mohu if she threw some of my dog food at them…
Mohu was playing in the park. I gave Parvatidi a miss and walked over to the open ground. I was running around when I first saw her… the small pup running about, a girl slightly older than Mohu,s age chasing her… She stopped at my sight…unsure whether to run or wait..
‘Grrrr’ I was as polite as I had ever learnt to be….
‘ Piqqquuii’ Sweet reply
‘ Brrr, grrrrr’ I live here actually
‘Piuuuu’ Me too
‘Arannn Arannn’ Could hear Parvatidi,s shriek, and Mohu,s voice..
‘ Bhhoouu’ They are calling me. I showed no sign to leave though.
‘Oh here he is…. With a friend’ Excited Mohu
Some more barking, I was back with Mohu and Parvatidi.
Wait… her name… I turned round... she had disappeared with the girl.
I decided to call her Pooja.
Written for IBL under ' Travel Experience' as a dog in new neighbourhood