Monday, June 26, 2006

summer laze

So it a nice long summer holiday…….
Will do…
Renew the house
Gym myself silly
Walk around the lake at sunrise
Try to be social and politically correct
Give Freddie a haircut.
Get more books.
Music. (non funeral!)
Work in the garden.
Cook! Yes Cook….eeep..cook.
Eat loads of calcium for broken bones and nails.
Watch some real nice movies at home!
Get off my teacher mode with my friends.
Try to live down to my image of a snob.
Scowl less.
Drink more water….
Sleep even if it is after 5:30 in the morn….

Sunday, June 25, 2006


On one windy mournful October forenoon, while the kids sweated away carving answers in unending white sheets, we decided to throw 5 minute poetry challenges at each other.
1.On the husband we would meet….our message to him.
2.Based on a pic of a woman looking at a couple…….speaking of sadness..
So…well…very mediocre….not meant to be a poet…5 minutes or otherwise….

poem to an unknown husband.

I am the person I warned you about my dear,
Crazy, quirky, moody ,sulky, distant, bossy,
My list is quite endless I fear,
Passionate too,and very blue,
With a cherry merry smile.
I’m Hamlet, Eliot, Plath and Keats,
I dance with Cummings dine with Yeats,
With my 11 jumpy dogs and 10 haughty cats,
All that is missing are black pointy hats.
Yet, while I dance a jig , shout and scream,
I’ll hold your hand, I'll build your dreams.
Each morn I’ll look at you and smile,
I’ll be with you every rough mile.
Though life it’s seasons will bring,
I’ll make yours an eternal spring.
All then that I ask of you,
Is love me as I love you.

Chocolate Eyes

Because of you someone smiles,
Remembering chocolate brown eyes,
Eyes that looked into my soul,
And tossed me into the wind.

And spring sings as she dances,
Dazed mesmerized by those glances,
Glances that chilled me,thrilled me,
On hot summer days,

She must live a hundred lives,
Lost on those smiles,
Smiles that fell on me,
Like Aprils hasty rain.

I must walk away,
From a world that is not mine.
A world of chocolate brown eyes,
And summer rain smiles.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Ah Friends!

Being asocial, as I am well known for, comes with the tag of being an ultra snob. As far as I can remember, to those who do not know me well, I am a snooty, spoilt show off. Great. A colleague recently commented that the reason why I was hesitating to come to the ‘bonding’ exercise organized in a resort, for the teachers of my school as that I was way beyond their league and how can someone like me mingle with pool ol’ people like him and others.Well.

And anyway all I did when I went there was sit on a beach chair next to the wave pool and read…..something that has been recorded for all time to come by my well meaning colleagues. Will post the pic.
But my point is not to highlight how asocial I can get. I want to try and articulate how grateful I am to have my small group of very dear friends. Since I can get horribly and repulsively mushy…forgive…

Order random….not alphabetical…

Anushya a has known me from my college days….seen me through CUPA volunteering on Sundays, mended my broken heart over not worth breaking heart guys, my mom’s passing, my pets passing, my annoying girl with a curl in the middle of her forehead who can be horrible days, everything. Huge hugs to her …….. she never gives up on me.

Amruta…who knows me inside out in a way that is frightening. Who has been for me a sister…who, without needing words, has comforted me. ,who has done her best to make me a social creature.With whom I can spend hours just being myself and loving every moment of it….who, I know, will be by my side anytime I need her, no matter how far away she maybe.

Agnes…..who I worked with in my first job and who has steadfastly kept in touch with me, always been optimistic when she has called me out, even though I am sure she knew that my answer 11/10 times would be no. Whose idea it was to begin the cat blog. Who has been so loving , understanding and patient with me. We have had many laughs over many things. A brilliant writer and so well read, I love talking to her and can do so endlessly.

Pummy…friend, philosopher and guide…. She has held my hand literally and metaphorically. Advised me like a mother would. Helped me with my gang, supported me and Leela through Leela’s darkest days. Helped me heal over a terrible heartbreak. Nurtures me, encourages me, wants me to conquer the world and will make sure I find someone who loves cats and other animlas the way I do.

Lalitha…clear minded, level headed, intelligent, beautiful. First time I meet her I faint, fall and hit my head bang on the road. She was with me through all the tests, scans and results which made me think I would die in the next few months. Passionate about cat welfare, she has some of the best ideas for our cat brats welfare. A friend, she has seen through my thick brick wall and has pointedly given me some matter of fact practical talking to. She is dear to me and I value everything she has been for me.

Shibani…. a wonderful support system who is there in any time of need and even when there is no need. Silent and subtle, she has helped me in more ways than I can recollect.

Mimi…. who just order me about and makes sure I do what she wants me to do. I have no choice. So whether it is a toned body by killing myself in the gym and living on air…I have to do it. She will continue calling me to her lovely get togethers in the hope that I take a fancy for one of the array of men she has on display. Will always scowl at me when I combine a classy wrap around with gym shoes in school..never mind the huge distances in school that a dainty sandal wont take….her ultimate agenda….a makeover for me…!

Sonya…my HOD, sister figure, long sufferer of my total lack of adherence to deadlines, completely believes I can handle pretty terrible cases and has the confidence in me that I sometimes don’t.

Pamela….ah Pam!….she spreads joy just by being there, makes me laugh, and is very dear to me. Fav, bus conversations…her massacre of the ex-men in our lives.

Jyothi….patient long suffering friend….who loves me.

Misch..who though we have met only a few times..i know will be a great friend….

Anirudh who loves Leela and has always been there to help.

Mrs. Benjamin, colleague Ex-principal of Indus, the closest to having a grandmother. We have spent hours in her office talking about everything…..who worries herself sick about me. Who dotes over me. Believes in me. Wants me married. Thinks I am wonderful. Who thinks I am mad as a hatter but tolerable nonetheless.

And of late my wonderful cat blog people…..
JP…who is talented, intelligent and funny…!
George who is funny, intelligent and talented..!…
I enjoy talking to both of them…..and think that they are lovely gentle souls with soft as butter hearts, no matter what they may think they are projecting otherwise.
Ok now I am going to cry….

Friday, June 16, 2006

Give me my dream....

Someday I will run away, far into the hills. Sit by the window sill in a cottage where fiery yellow flower creepers have mingled with calm watery blue ones. There my cats will purr by an old fireplace. There will be books, maybe somewhere a guitar will play, and I , I will watch the rain make the landscape into an impressionist painting. The kettle will bubble merrily, tea will linger. ……and then………. of what would I lack…..?!

Thursday, June 15, 2006


Sun ripples on blue........I must begin my walks drift away....

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Wish List-2

Give me

Evenings with sunsets on fire…
Hot (chocolate crumbled) coffee with garlic infused cheese toast…
An old yellowing book with old forgotten tales….
Turquoise wrapped in silver….
A water chiseled river pebble…
A song that rips my veins apart…
Old creaking guitar melodies…
The stillness of 3am in a musical box……
The tickling tingling chill of stream water….

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Dearest Leela

She is in doggie heaven now and I know that even from there she is keeping her bossy eyes on me. Perhaps there is even a Kookai or a Lea there for her to tease. Maybe someone groggily wakes up and stumbles down the stairs in unearthly hours of the morning( it would be unearthly, wouldn't it?) to make her her favourite breakfast while she snores, snug in her bad. Who is she giving a telling off to now in her loud firm voice?

My Leela fought death with her spirit and will for a year after the doctors had struggled twenty days to save her life. She came back home with twice the energy she had before she was admitted into hospital. She bossed over me, my friends, the house helps, the gardener, everyone. People she did not like were not allowed in the home I shared with her. She took on the role of guardian of the cats and me , who she viewed as a human who had no idea of how to look after herself , and therefore, she had to do the looking after.

Five times after that she had to go into hospital for various medical problems, and each time she returned, bursting with energy. I had to stop going to visit her in hospital because she would rip apart her drip and begin yelling at me, demanding to be taken home. She would bark orders to the CUPA doctors, cleaners , visitors, everyone. Everyone in CUPA knew her. She was notorious and loved.

The one year that the doctors had given her ended this May, and I thought she had beat all odds. However, I had to be realistic. With cancer, kidney failure and cataract, I was being absurdly optimistic be thinking she had many years ahead. She went down suddenly over the weekend and died on the 7th of June. The pain of not being with her at the moment of death will remain.

I am grateful to have been loved so deeply and unconditionally. I have been looked after and protected. My need for her exceeded her need for me.

Death is just a new beginning and the spirit that is Leela is forever young, happy and full of life. Our sorrow over death is for our suffering thereafter. It is our loneliness we mourn, it’s the blanking out of our life that we fear.

Leela will always be the happy bossy girl she was in my memories and I know that she will always keep her eye out for me from way up. It is only the physical Leela who has gone. My Leela never really left me.


Kipiling.....on his Dog.


I have done mostly what most men do,
And pushed it out of my mind;
But I can't forget, if I wanted to,
Four-Feet trotting behind.
Day after day, the whole day through
Wherever my road inclined --
Four-feet said, "I am coming with you!"
And trotted along behind.
Now I must go by some other round,
Which I shall never find
Somewhere that does not carry the sound
Of Four-Feet trotting behind.

Rudyard Kipling

Sunday, June 04, 2006

My Leela

Eyes…..she did not need anything else to call me to her…the eyes were enough. 8 am on a Sunday morning in May, three years ago, I went to adopt a dog. We had lost Tipu, a mad black GSD, a month ago in a most terrible way and mom and I were missing having him tear down the house every 45 seconds. The cats were missing having dogs around too.

At 8 am the dogs in CUPA were still in their kennels and as I went from one to another, there she was , sitting quietly, staring fixedly at me. I asked Sudha, the trustee of CUPA if I could adopt her. Sudha was uncertain because no one knew her history, there was no record of who had left her and why, besides, she bit anyone who tried to be friendly with her.

I kept going to CUPA for a few Sundays after that, and no matter where she was tied during the day, and no matter where I was, she would fix me with her stare. I told my mother about her and about why no one was adopting her.

Animals have always loved and trusted my mother. I have grown up with her looking after birds who were injured, cats, dogs, even a blind elephant from a circus loved her and went trumpeting towards her in the ring when he was supposed to be ‘performing’.
She wanted to see this dog who stared at you unblinking and bit anyone who wanted to take her.

She, as always when she went to CUPA, took along bags of food. I did not need to point out the dog to her because my mother had been fixed with the stare. We went down to feed the dog and I went up to her but dared not pet her. Mr. Lingrarj , the shelter manager, also told me to be careful. Just the other day a couple tried to take her and she snapped at them , he told us. My mother took a fistful of food she had brought, and put her palm to a big black mouth. I froze. Next thing I saw was a wagging tail and an empty palm. My mother told me to untie her and take her to the car. I shook and trembled as I untied her,expecting any moment to be bitten. Nothing happened. She walked with me to the car park, went to the correct car, jumped in and sat down to wait until we finished all the adoption formalities.

So that was that. Mom named her Leela , and Leela settled in with us and the cats like it was the most natural thing to do.

Two months later my mother passed away and my life as I knew it ended. I have never been the same person again. I aged years both emotionally and physically and shut out the world and have lived in a dark limbo since then. Only recently have I tried to pull myself together. Leela took on the role of protector, friend, family, everything. Thanks to her, I had something to look forward to in an otherwise huge empty house, full of memories that gave me nothing but anguish.

Leela fell very ill a year later and was diagnosed with cancer of the bladder along with kidney and liver failure. She had always been incontinent and now I knew why. She was not expected to survive the night and I sat inside her ICU cage in CUPA till the wee hours of the morning. I had never seen her so limp and unresponsive. The CUPA doctors worked a miracle and she lived and lives to her fullest. She was notorious in the shelter. She would bark orders to everyone. Sudha told me she had never seen a dog more expressive with her eyes. Whenever I go to CUPA, the animal care people ask me “ What is Leela….still shouting at everyone?”……..

An excellent judge of the character of people, she is never wrong. Friends of mine who she has loved, have turned out to be wonderful people who I treasure, 'friends' who she hated, over time proved that they were only out to take advatage of me. If Leela does not bark at people who come home, I know they are great human beings, having passed the 'Leela test'. If she barks the first time and welcomes you the next, she was just teasing the first time!

She was given a year more to live
by the doctors, given her medical status. It is one year now. Saturday night she was vomiting the whole night. She could not retain anything I gave her, medicines, soft boiled egg, nothing. I called CUPA immediately.

She is in CUPA now. A blood test will give her status. I am frightened. Frightened in a selfish way as well, not being able to think of my life without her. Yesterday I was in and out of tears, missing her presence in the house. Habitually calling out to her and getting no response.

My Leela is a fighter. One day , I know I will have to face up to not having her, however, today I want her…jut for a little more time…….