Blog Hop, Decade, Pet, love

A Decade- A Bond Of Puppy Love

New Year brings an unwrapped surprise full of 365 days for you. Each day you can gift yourself something which you have wanted for yourself by taking small steps of change or initiative.

So, when I entered into 2020, not only just a new year but a new decade, I wanted to give it a fresh start.

I have been writing for some time on various online platforms and offline publications of newspapers and magazines…however, Blog Hop was something which I had never tried.

 So, when Manas and Rashi came up with this exciting Decade Blog Hop, I felt like participating as I wanted to try something new. Also, I wanted to give my ‘attention-deprived blog’ some energy and life.

The bygone decade saw me becoming a lawyer with flying colours, topping the University with a merit rank and medals. I got married in a filmy style( that story I shall share some other time) to the person whom I loved and shifted to Nagpur. Blissful motherhood, and with my kid growing up, I chose to devote my time to writing. By the end of the decade, I am content with my prized possession, a novel written by yours truly – ‘When Fate Kicks.’

In this blog hop, I chose to write a piece of fiction because I love to write the stories untold.

‘As a writer, you try to listen to what others aren’t saying…

and write about the silence.

  • N.R. Hart

 Here comes a piece of the decade through my words, from the perspective of someone who can’t share the inner thoughts with you in a vocabulary.

The Sun’s rays, coruscating on the windowpanes …and the soft orange hues in the sky melt into golden yellow sparkle, uncovering the blue canvas of the sky.

 The morning hours are my favourite ones; serene and peaceful. I am an early riser, because I am not blessed with the luxury of sound sleep. The Almighty has distinctively blessed me with this quality.  A slight noise of creek of the door or a tiny beep of that text message and I am all ears. My family is proud of my alertness.  But ask me…how painful it is. Just when I am about to slip into the cosy warmth of sleep, these intelligent species called human beings would either switch on the TV or make some kind of noise with their endless gadgets. Can’t a dog have a peaceful life?

 I am noticing some changes in the arrangement of furniture and some colourful decoration with marigold flowers in every nook and corner of the house. Also, the piled up beddings and blankets are eating up my favourite space under the staircase. Why there is such a hullabaloo in the house since past one week? With so many fussy visitors, I am kept tied up to the railings for hours. I am not a free dog in my own home. Some guests shriek at my sight or while some loving ones cuddle me.  

They are up to something and I can swear that on my beautiful wagging tail.Uff…No one is bothered to take me out for morning nature’s call.

These human beings…I have been wondering since last ten years, where do they relieve themselves? Or don’t they do the shitty stuff at all? They have a separate room with water and some strange structures, where I am not allowed to enter. I am unable to fathom some of the ways of their lifestyle. But honestly speaking, being a decade old pet in a loving, caring and humane family, life has been too kind to me. Often, Ghoongru, my street friend asks me how is life when you live with human beings, giving up all your freedom and getting accustomed and adjusting to their way of life?

 …mmm I guess he is plain jealous. He sits in the courtyard and I nap during the lazy afternoons, chained to the railings of the balcony. Most of our chit chats happen during these hours only.

Anyway, let me make a puppy face and pull the corner of the nightgown of Mummyji. She is the only one who can do hundreds of tasks at the same time, that too without losing her cool.

The other day Mummyji said to me in a choked voice. “You know Ronnie, Shriya is soon going to leave us and go to a new home. I am happy, yet I am going to miss her so much.”

 I wondered how she can be happy. I used to get so anxious when Shriya left for her school and college for some hours of the day. The moment she was back, I would jump around to express my happiness and tried to tell her how miserable I felt when she was away. She is the one who gave me a shelter a decade back. I was a tiny puppy, shivering with cold, drenched in rain crying out plaintive howls under a bench.  Separated from my owner in the park and nowhere to go, I was wailing all alone.

Shriya, who was just a fifteen-year-old teenage girl then, scooped me in her arm and whispering kindest of words in my ears, wrapped me in her scarf and brought me home. I snuggled in her warmth and felt assured that I was not all alone in this world. Though I was not a very pleasant surprise to Mummyji and Papaji, yet they just couldn’t act uncompassionate and accepted me. Jay, her younger brother leapt in joy, as he had been insisting to have a pet of his own for quite some time.

I wasn’t an expensive, high breed pet who was bought with choice; rather, I was the one who was added to the family because of the kind of upbringing and values which Shriya received from her parents. She showered her kindness towards me and I found a caring family, a roof over my head and immense love in these ten years of my life.

When I look back, I realise how the decade transformed me from a lost puppy to a beloved pet dog. Though my actual breed is yet to be established, I am supposed to be some kind of crossbreed. Though I have often seen these human beings having differences based on caste, creed and community, however, I was never discriminated. I guess this is one of the perks of being a dog…no social divisions.

I was nearly a month old pup when these guys took hold of me and placed me in a steel tray in front of a man who wore some suspicious kind of gloves. He touched me, poked me and looked into my eyes and mouth through some strange glasses. He checked my teeth and spoke something to my caretakers. Even before I could realise, I felt a sudden painful sting on my hind leg. This man had the audacity to prick me with a needle in front of my family. To my surprise, they didn’t protest, instead, they handed him over some money. I was repeatedly taken to this man after every few months for the ‘needle pricking ritual’. I would whine, cry and make a lot of fuss, but alas, I had to go through this barbaric practice year after year.

Later, Ghoongru told me that these were the vaccinations which the owners injected to the pet dogs, as a measure of precaution from deadly disease called Rabies. I inquired if he was ever given one. He grinned and told me with an air of attitude, that the street dogs are not the pampered puppies of human culture and no one cares for their immunity or health.

I was growing up and so was Shriya’s family in age and status. Papaji’s business reached greater heights. A strange creature was brought in our house during the middle of the decade. It was white in colour with no eyes, ears or mouth. As Papaji went inside it and made it move, it made a roaring noise. Initially, I barked at it frustratingly. Later, Jay calmed me down by stating that it was just a harmless car.

I hesitated as I was forcefully made to enter the car along with others to enjoy the maiden ride. On that day itself, I fell in love with this creature called the car. It magically zoomed past the road and the fresh breeze stroked my hair through the open window, making the world seem a better place. I have enjoyed many long drives in the past ten years. Though due to my age, the frequency is reduced now-a-days. How I wish, someday I could take Ghoongru with us.

In these ten years, love happened… more than once.

There were often some beauties from the neighbourhood who came for a walk with their guardians. With my silky coat and swashbuckling  appeal, I was never deprived of female attention. Though I was allowed to play with them and interact during the outings, yet sadly, I was never allowed to enjoy my animal instinct of mating for many years. Then, one day life took a beautiful turn.

Papaji’s friend had a cute looking female Labrador named Jenny and he asked if I could be allowed to mate with her, as they wanted some more pups. Life felt complete the day I sensed the bliss of procreation. We touched, sniffed, cooed and cuddled. Her silky hair and innocent eyes stole my heart. Soon in a few months, I was a proud dad of five cute puppies. But this joy was short-lived, as my kids were sent to different homes. Only one of them stayed back with Jenny.

 I meet both Jenny and the kiddo once in a while during my evening walks at the park.

Shriya turned 21 and Jay was 18 when they left home for some reason. They would come to stay for a few days during festivals.

 Yeah, festivals…I never understood this concept of human beings.

They would be extra noisy, extra decked up during the festivals…and such variety in food full of oil and sugar. Poor Mummyji spent hours in the kitchen.

Kids seemed to be okay being away from home. Mummyji would proudly flaunt about the wonderful placements they got at distant places. I could see them talking through the screens of mobiles, but couldn’t sniff or touch them.

 Video calls as they are said…just virtual and not really real.

 My heart broke. I terribly missed them.

Why can’t they just stay here, just like the old times…with all the love, pampering and cuddles and homemade meals too? Human life is too strange.

And now…Shriya is leaving forever?

Something called marriage is taking place. I overheard Papaji saying that she would be happy with Vikas in Australia.

With a heavy heart, I move towards her room, wagging my tail softly to nuzzle her and shower her with my licks and cuddles. I smell something strange in the room. She is glowing with happiness, laughing and giggling with her friends. She comes forward to hug me, but suddenly steps back. Something in green is painted on her palms and hands. She is showing it to me…It’s Henna.

She is stepping into another decade with someone she loves, into a new family. A decade ago I found my family and happiness. I pray she too finds her happiness in the future decade. However, I won’t survive the next decade. You know dogs don’t live that long…

Yet, looking back at the bygone decade, I am content and at peace. Some questions about human life still puzzle me. I don’t bother much about it; as long as love is there, the difference of species doesn’t matter. We are all a close-knit family.

There goes Shriya, clicking selfies with me again for her latest Petgram… (I am rolling my eyes.#Humanlife and #pics, you know…Uff).

This post is a part of ‘DECADE Blog Hop’ #DecadeHop organised by #RRxMM Rashi Roy and Manas Mukul. The Event is sponsored by Glo and co-sponsored by Beyond The BoxWedding ClapThe Colaba Store and Sanity Daily in association with authors Piyusha Vir and Richa S Mukherjee

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Self Love Is Best Love

Hip Hop, Dancer, Silhouette, Man, Male

Every morning we begin a new day with lots of agenda in our mind. Sometimes lots of pending work is piled up or at times we are looking forward to a new project. Every day is a bundle of opportunities gifted to us. However, sometimes we fail to notice them or way too lazy to grab them. Happiness is an abstract term which is derived from many physical entities. The kind and meaning of happiness are different for every person.

Happiness is within you. It’s just that you attach the abstract nature of happiness to physical entities. Since the physical entities are perishable, hence the happiness derived from them is also mortal and at times short lived. So, if you are looking for that ‘being happy’ feeling to remain constant, you have to first accept the fact that happiness resides in you. Be with yourself first and shower all your love to your own soul. Nourish it with your kindness and understanding. Understanding yourself makes it easy to understand others, in turn giving you a better equation with them.

Self-love and being selfish are two contrast terms. While self-love lets you grow from within, selfishness cuts you out from the outer world. When you are in abundance with love for your self, it will eventually overflow and reach others. Respect your own choices first. In no way, you would want to hurt yourself. This care for oneself leads to conscious decision making. It makes you take a pause, think deeply and allow yourself to choose what is best for the growth of your soul. Prioritizing yourself is not a sin. It is, in fact, a very kind gesture that you are doing to yourself and others. When you have clarity of thoughts regarding what you want in life, you are able to approach it in the right direction. The cosmos, in turn, reciprocates with positivity. The kind of energy you send across is going to come back to you.

The art of saying ‘No’ is not unkindness to your fellow beings. It a gesture which allows you to draw a healthy boundary for yourself. It keeps your sanity intact and makes you respect yourself more. The day you start respecting yourself, your work, your choices and efforts, the world will also get that perception. Nobody other than you gives anybody else the right to treat you in a wrong way.

Being lonely and being alone are to two different terms. One can be lonely even when he is amongst his most loved ones. The kind of vibes you get from people around you can at times make you feel very lonely. If the energy coming from them is negative and full of jealousy you are bound to feel lonely. There is no use of being attached to a wrong crowd. Being solitary in such situation can serve you better purposes. The biggest and most precious struggles of your life have to be faced alone. Alone time, me time, solitude is very essential for the inner peace and introspection. It is very necessary to disconnect from every negative vibe and totally immerse yourself in your own company. The peaceful conversations that you have with yourself during these times are going to enlighten you on the varied and important aspect of your life.

In this way, I hope we can create a better version of ourselves, a more loved one and the one who is ready to give others a very pure form of love.

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The Beautiful Beautician

“You are looking gorgeous”. A compliment like this brings a smile on the face of any woman. Every human being wants to feel and look beautiful.It is a fact that we can never deny.

Beauty is a concept that has been running through the history of human civilizations. Wars have been waged in pursuit of beauty. From Queen Cleopatra to Rani Padmavati we have read about the epitome of beauties in the historical chronicles. One thing that cannot be undermined is that it was not only ‘beauty’ that made these women stand out in the pages of history. Physical beauty transists over the period of time, however, a beautiful person evolves with time. 

Once I called a man beautiful. I was immediately pointed out by some of my knowledgeable friends that the adjective beautiful doesn’t go well with the man. The gender bias with the word beautiful has never gone down with me. For me, it is not the way how a person look that makes him or her beautiful. It is the persona that oozes out the beauty within and makes the person beautiful in a complete sense. Every day we meet so many people. Some of them stay back with us in our heart and whenever we think about them, it brings a smile. The reason behind this is their being beautiful as a person.

When we speak about beauty, it necessarily doesn’t mean that we are talking about a perfectly chiseled out face, ivory-hued complexion or that sharp nose. Beauty is a far beyond the adjective than what it has been reduced to. There are a few women I have come across in my life who are beautiful in a different way. They had given me a perspective about beauty which is not in sync with the usual norms.

One such person is a skinny little frail woman with very thin hair and wrinkles around her eyes. I will not call them wrinkles. They are her laugh lines, that she has lived her life with loved ones. She is a person who brings out the beauty in other women in a literal sense. A beautician by profession, this woman is a hardworking homemaker, a wife who equally contributes in the income of the house and a mother who has a strength to bring back the confidence in her child who almost lost the ability to walk.

In a small town of Maharashtra, where my parents reside I came to know her as a tenant. The two-room block on the upper floor of my parent’s house is now her home. The husband-wife and a boy constituted her small family. The husband is a contributary lecturer in a local institute, hence the income is not a stable one. To ensure a financial stability, this hardworking woman started a door to door beautician service and started earning a few extra bucks. 

I have seen her rising up early in the morning and doing chores. the preparation of tiffins of both husband and son, then cleaning and laundry with no house help around would tire her down physically. But she had that passion for what she did. She would then carry her kit and kick her scooty and visit her clients. Whole day giving services like manicure, Pedicure, facial, waxing at a cost of peanuts didn’t deter her enthusiasm to learn. Since the small hometown lacked in facilities, she would often travel to bigger cities, to attend the beauty workshops to keep up with the latest trends and techniques in her craft. 

Meanwhile, there was one incident which made times difficult for her. Her teenage son had a serious fall from the terrace. His both thighs got fractured. He had to undergo a surgery and a metal rod was inserted in one of the thighs. Running tirelessly between the hospitals and clients, she didn’t give up. Handling the home front and the crises she slowly overcame by putting more sweat and time to her profession.

Like a tiny persistent ant, she stuck up to her goal and managed to rent a small shop nearby her home and converted it into a simple beauty parlor. The progress from door to door client service to having her own shop was a difficult one. Saving pennies and sacrificing pleasures and also bearing the heavy medical experiences for the son’s recovery, had made her more strong and determined. She agrees that the launch of variously branded salons had brought a big change in the beauty industry and she too dreams of taking her little shop ‘ SOUNDARYA’ to reach a brand level.

I have read somewhere a quote, “People are prettiest when they talk about something they really love with passion in their eyes.” I find a gleaming beauty in her eyes when she speaks about her dreams.

In marriage seasons, she is up at 5.00 am. after completing the household chores, she will be ready to make a bride look most stunning with the magic of her fingers working on her makeup. Although she is herself a beautician, I have never seen her wearing any kind of makeup. The only accessory she wears is her confidence and broad, endearing smile. She always says that she feels beautiful when her client is happy looking in the mirror. Their gratitude for making them look good and feel beautiful gives her immense satisfaction. 

She is not beautiful per se, but her attitude towards life, her hard work, dedication and a constant zeal to learn makes her shine in a glow that makes her look always stunning.

Looking at her always reminds me of this qoute of Audery Hepburn-

 For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.

I believe every woman has TRUE BEAUTY within her in all the roles she plays. For over 18 years across 650 plus salons across the country, Naturals has been helping the Beautiful Indian Woman get more Beautiful.

Today Naturals Salutes the Beautiful Indian Woman.

Presenting Naturals TRUE BEAUTY… http://bit.ly/naturalsOF

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MUSINGS AT THE TRAFFIC SIGNAL

The balloonwala comes and stands near my window. He appears to be a boy in early teens in tattered clothes. His dry messy hair and those hollow eyes give me the stark introduction of want, need, and hunger. Before I could take one more look at him, the traffic signal turns green and my car zooms past him. A silent conversation ended aburptly.

A traffic signal is like a mini canvas of the society. You are there around only for a  minute and you can see different shades of the world. The crossroad where the riches of motorcars meet the poverty and begging. Most of the time the long glossy vehicles are indifferent to the mundane vendors. Once in a while a hand adorning a classy Rolex might come out of the power window and drop a token of charity.

The traffic signals have so many stories passing by. I can see through the window a couple who is madly in love. The pillion rider embraces the biker with a carefree attitude. The love in the air reaches the nosey auntyji besides them. She takes a sneery look at them and maybe mumbles, “Today’s generation… Ugh.” That is the judgemental face of society. A lot of hullabaloos made if love is expressed. A pervert can harass a girl in public transport and most of the people will turn a blind eye. However, if you give a friendly hug to your friend of the opposite sex and all the hell breaks loose. Double standards…I have come across many at the zebra crossings.

I can see a handicapped man driving one of those specially made vehicles. He tries to keep pace with the heavy vehicles albeit his shortcomings. I feel life has now made him used to it and he has developed a new kind of driving skill. There are enthusiastic kids in school vans which draw my attention towards the energy of childhood. The age of learning doesn’t know any differences. A friend might be sitting in another luxury car at the same signal. The kids will shout out to him without any inhibitions. The one in the car also screams back with the same zest. The friendships at the traffic signal and the joy of waving a heartfelt bye are the memories in making.

Traffic signals always appear so similar to the milestones of life. On a road, you travel to reach your destination. You know your path. You travel at your speed and once in a while come across the traffic signal. Either you are halted by a red signal or head towards your station through the green signal. The journey of life is similar. The zigzag path to your goal makes you cross so many hurdles. You take a pause, struggle, fight and move forward. These struggles are like the red light. You have to face them. You can’t avoid them. Only when you overcome them you can get that green signal to reach out at your aim. 

Then there are some who are in hurry to achieve a lot in a short time. They put their life at stake. They break these signals and try to fast forward their journey. They might reach early but the risk of losing everything stays. And at times everything is lost. 

As I ponder over the story of a rustic couple waiting for the signal to turn green on their black hero bicycle, the traffic bustles and I too go with the flow of the vehicles.

  

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Looking Good…is not so easy !!!

The perfectly straightened silky hair and that luscious lip gloss. It always makes me wonder how some women can look so perfect and that too so effortlessly. All the glossy posters of those supermodels having that perfectly pointed out brows make me wonder about my own overgrown harvest.

Everyone loves looking good. Likewise, I too dream of looking jaw-dropping gorgeous. However, the amount of hard work, time and investment that goes into making that perfect look, in turn, motivates me to be just my presentable self.

I have my own flaws. I do at times get compliments for the texture of my hair. But I always dream of having those soft wavy curls rather than these straight as Highway tresses. To fulfill my wish I gifted myself the hot iron curling rod. As the costing of going to the salon and getting it done by some professional every week sounded bit royal, I tried a hand at styling myself.

The hair got jumbled up while making sections and my hands and poor neck was aching like hell. The end result was nowhere near to the one shown in the magical advertisements, but yes it was somewhere between the geometrical straight line and curved once. By the time I achieved this result, I was too exhausted to attend the function for which I was trying this look at the first place.

Makeup is an art. And I am born with two left hands at it. I am always awestruck when I see women putting on eyeliner with such perfectionism. There are so many versions of it. The bat wing, the cat wing, the smokey eyes, etc. It takes such a long time for me and three or four cotton buds dipped in the cleanser to achieve a painstaking result of a straight line with that liquid kohl. After that, waiting for those couple of minutes to let it dry is a testing time. More often I  open my lids too early to mess up the whole effort and begin everything from start.

I fathom the idea of pampering myself at a salon once in a while. The expensive facials, treatments and hair spa are luxuries which at times lure me to have a treat. However, after looking at the exorbitant prices, the typical middle-class woman in my head starts calculating. I end up thinking that I can treat myself another lovely book that will be with me for a lifetime. I come out of the salon with a little threading done or a pocket-friendly session of waxing. I guess it needs a big heart and fat wallet to spend a fortune to achieve those completely poised looks.

The kind of investment of time these beauty procedures demands is also another big reason. Sitting through a one and a half hour of facial or hair treatment makes me uneasy. I might feel like making one or two calls during those hours or feel that this much of time could be better invested in reading stuff. Looking good needs time to be devoted to it.

Even though I try to dress up differently every day, I find myself ending up wearing the same jeans alternate days with my few favorite t-shirts. So, finally, when I am ready to show off my best looks, I might always end up looking always the same. The ponytail woman in some kind of solid basic colors.

I appreciate women who take time to look good with those perfectly done nail art. The kind of devotion and time that goes into it needs an applaud.
However, there are many like me in our species who are either at the mercy of tight budget or tight schedule and can only gape at the posters of those picture perfect faces.

The perfect faces with polished looks which have stories behind them. Stories which humble beings like me try to read and bring out in words.