Thursday, January 6, 2011
This is not an obituary!!!
Snowy weighted less than half a kilogram when we brought him home for the first time. He was sitting quietly in a jute bag on my lap while Dada and I carried him on my scooty. Timid, soundless, tranquil and completely white – he gave us the impression of a beautiful angel. How vulnerable he looked; how delicately carved. I feared he might not be real, he might not even move when we reach home. He was the first dog (and probably the only one) we would have. But since the first day itself, he never behaved like any of his counterparts. He was there all the time eating, sleeping, playing, snoring, fighting, enjoying . . . growing with both of us. He was our brother, our very own little, stupid bro.
He started coming out of his basket bed when he was just 2 months old. With his little feet, he used to walk till the kitchen door. He slept under the dining table and would wake up with a shock when the pressure cooker would blow its whistle. He wasn’t even able to jump up the bed till he was 6 months old. I used to take him up to sleep with me. . but with his strange sounds at night he would wake us.
Once he started jumping on the bed, there was no stopping him. First thing we would notice in the mornings were his silly groans - his tricks to wake us. Next was the time for the scratching, the licking and the biting. However silly this may sound, but it had somehow become a part of our lives.
Mom was never fond of dogs in the first place, but she was the first one to take him completely more than us. From cleaning his shit to feeding him food she did everything. She was the first one to even scold him at times he went anywhere near the “Devghar”.
Snowy was a miraculous dog since birth - one of the most amazing miracle he did was to wake up dad at 8 am. Dad, who would not see the sunlight till 9.30 am, started getting up at 8 am only with snowy’s insistence. Many times he would sit next to baba on the bed and start making strange sounds if baba didn’t wake up. If that didn’t work then he would start scratching Baba. Often we feared that baba would slap him hard for this, but surprisingly Baba would happily wake up watching his innocent pleading face.
He loved to chew Dada’s towel and many of them were converted to rags the moment Dada kept them lying on the bed. He loved to go out. If anyone of us touched his chain even by mistake, he would start jumping and scratching and barking so wildly that we had no choice but to take him out for a walk.
He was quite moody when it came to eating. His favorite food was undoubtedly the egg. He could smell it from even a kilometer and the moment Aai took it out from the refrigerator – BOW WOW BOW BOW !!!
The next was the malai cham cham. I don’t know how but he was crazy about this one sweet. He never ate other sweets likes like shrikhand, barfi, laddu. But cham cham was his favorite.
He loved the family. He was the first one to greet anyone with his jumps and licks who came home. People who initially ran away from him became immensely fond of him after snowy made them forget their apprehensions with his unconditional love. Chhotu uncle was his favorite and the moment he entered home, snowy wouldn’t let him rest for long. It was when Chhotu uncle would play with him for 10-15 mins, he would leave him in peace.
Like all others – he hated to take the bath – to get all wet. So the herculean task was always left to me. It would take me around 2 hours to wash, shampoo, dry and then make up his hair. At the end I would be left highly irritated with all his white hair sticking to my cloths and he would be left doubly irritated that he couldn’t bite me or harm me in any way for unabashedly ruffling his body and hair. What he would do was just look at me with an expression best left to both of us.
He was a constant joy to be around, even when he was sleeping – an adorable ball of clean, soft white cotton curled under the sofa or dining table or in front of the door. I often used to get told for picking him up while he was fast asleep. He was the biggest driving force for Aai and Baba when we siblings left home – I for my job and dada for his studies. He was always giving and giving.
He was considered in each and every thing concerning our family. My cousin had once even named him as Snowy Ukhalkar. We were planning all sorts of things to do for him for the coming winter. But he had been ill since two weeks and from Aai’s phone calls it seemed it was something serious. We were travelling from Pune to Akola and the occasion was 2 days before my engagement. I was worried but I hoped that we would meet him . . that he would be alright.
But all my hope was brutally crushed. He didn’t wait. He was gone already when we reached.
Snowy. Our snowy. Gone ?????? It was something dada and I, both couldn’t digest. It was just a couple of weeks ago I had met him on Dashera. How could he be so ill to not even wait a couple of more days ?? How could one day he just decide to leave us and go away somewhere never to return ?? This was insane, this was cruel, this was unreal.
It took us almost three hours to come to term with the situation. But I thought it would take us the entire lifetime to come to terms with the fact – snowy no more.
Mom and dad tried consoling us – his life was measured and he lived a happy life. But all this seemed vague and insufficient explanation. The basic question was not why but was why so soon, why so unexpected???
I guess I am still trying to find out the answer. I know I Know – he was just a dog. But this argument doesn’t stand for me anymore and neither for my entire family. He was after all a life – a happy, jolly, soft, pure white life !!!!
I wish I had got a chance to take him up in my hands and squeeze him in a tight hug . . .
Love you Dheboo !!!