To my dead Cat

Chunky, my dear pet.
(Oh how you hated the vet!)

You were but a week or two,
when Mom found you,
licking the cauldron of ghee
in adorable kittenish glee…

Before you, I never had a ‘real’ pet
All came, and went away or were sent away pat * 🙁
But you were different
Oh you were so adamant!

To you, I was introduced –
when I came back from the tuition. Boy, I was so very deuced!
You were hiding in the farthest corner under the ‘computer room’s’ bed,
Oh hello, little one…I bent and said.

All squiggly and wiggly, you walked to me.
As I sat down, you purred and circled me.
You were so delicate, but boy, did your purring motor race!
For the first time in my life…a fur-ball had me scare(d)!

They let me keep you,
rather, they themselves kept you!
You were soon family,
The house’s youngest member, officially!

Then you unleashed your childhood.
You were a fussy eater – miss puss-in-boots.
Milk, you drank.
From bread, you shrank.
Buttermilk, sometimes.
The shake incidence, we still narrate at family story times!****

In the living room, you had your own cat-home.
A large metal cage, with a pretty dome.
By the day, the grounds you’d roam,
at night, you had no choice, but to stay home.

Then the hunter in you showed up.
At your sight, the birds would warily chirrup.
You chased insects, who did not heed you at all
One bit your nose. Since then, you ran at the sight of all!

You left behind your childhood garb goofy,
and after teenage, you turned into a celebrated beauty.
You made me an insecure Mom,
when you went out with that tall-dark-handsome Tom!

I soon realized there’s more than food in your tummy,
My God! My li’l Chunky was now a soon-to-be Mummy!
You rested in my lap,
And I watched you nap…

Days went by, and that summer, we had new babies,
I am thankful, you didn’t make me change their nappies 😛
What a joy it was, to see you transform –
from a helpless kitten, to a hands-on cat-Mom.

The rest, my dear, is history.
Far and wide, you and your clan spread your glory.
One day, just like you had appeared,
you disappeared.

I never had a chance,
to give you another glance.
Our meetings had become so rare,
after I was off to College, I had little home-time to spare.

I knew you were gone,
but my heart would have of that none.
You met me in my dreams,
leaving clues, muffled screams…

Of where you’d be,
Of where I should see…
Were you in your old spots where you’d hide
as a kitten, when you didn’t want to be grounded at night?
Speak to me,
I want to rescue you, my child…

And then I woke up,
all shaken up.
I was positive you were in danger,
and I could do nothing but hanker.

One day, you met me in dreams again,
we were at home, and you came hopping in like a mad man.
I screamed. This time with joy,
Come ‘ere, that’s my dear boy!

You played with me, to both our heart’s content,
that’s when I realised, you still seemed distant.
Almost heavenly.
That’s when it hit me.
The way you looked at me,
Even in my dreams, I knew, this is the last I’d see.
Of you, my dear Chunky,
you dear dear cat spunky.

You bid me adieu,
didn’t you?
‘Cos since then,
I haven’t seen you.

Not even in my dreams…
And now, there are no silent screams.
Looks like you’ve found your peace.
Although you were never the one for it, you tease!

Last week, I saw a movie,**
in which there was a playful doggie.
He came back to meet his human friend,
After 50+ years end…

Somehow I know you, you dead cat.
You are planning something…tell me what you’re at!
Are you gonna come back to me, when I am tired and old,
to meet ‘him’ too? He was there, back then too you know – why, that’d be gold!***

If you’d only say, and oh if you’d said it sooner,
I’d have spared that emotional shower,
when I cried my heart out, a year after you did disappear…
Yeah, I took my time until you told me that you’re dead, you heart-breaker 🙂

Now be a gem, and say you’ll be back, even if it’s for the rat(s)!
You nut, you crazy crazy whippersnapper, you smug li’l brat!

* We had a lot of rescue kittens, dogs and birds. We nursed them and set them free wherever they were found. So we had a lot of animals over, but they never stayed as pets.
** A dog’s purpose
*** Reference from A Dog’s Purpose : Ethan’s girlfriend had met Bailey, his Red Retriever dog. After reincarnation, the trio meet again. When Chunky came to live with us, Abhijeet was in town too! He hasn’t met her though. Till now that is… 😛 Ok, I am not crazy, I am just trying to make this poem as good a tearjerker as the movie.
**** Quite a story…saving it for other times…
So this is how 2 week old kittens look. Chunky was found exactly at this age –

Day 14 : Children’s Day

NaBloPoMo November 2016

My school friend called me yesterday (14 Nov 2016). We were in the same class from Nursery to 12th. We used to study together for exams in some of the years.

She was remembering one children’s day celebration that I had organised at my place. I like to rummage through old stuff, which is aplenty in our 150+ year old house and the ground surrounding it (we used to own a ginning factory). One fine day in the late 90s or in the year 2000, I found a framed photograph of Jawaharlal Nehru. Children’s Day was approaching, and a Hindi lesson where a gang of girls decide to clean up their village was influencing me a lot. So I decided to have a gathering where we make our own gang of girls.

Incidentally, the leader of the fictional gang and my friend N shared the same name. That made me believe that we can bring about a ‘Kranti’ – a revolution.

I called up all the interested girls in our class on the 13th. I am happy to say most of them turned up. We were about 6-8 attendees at the gathering.

I dusted Chacha Nehru’s photograph, took out the jumbo chattai (carpet) to spread under the neem tree in our ground – the venue for the gathering, and cleared the neem twigs with a kharata (broom). At around 12 o’clock, the photograph was propped up on the chair, which was kept near the carpet.

My Mom had made snacks for us. I don’t remember clearly, but all the attendees brought something from their home. Yes, I think they did.

The gathering was planned with utmost detail. When all had arrived, we lit an agarbatti (incense stick) as homage to the great soul. I had prepared a speech, which seemed very inspiring to me. Everybody listened till they could, and then shut me up. 😐

We played passing the parcel. The winner got a prize. Then we had our dabbas in the cool breeze under the neem tree, which gave us shade in the otherwise sunny afternoon. Time seemed to stop. When the meeting was over, handkerchiefs were handed out to everyone as a return gift. (I got to know afterwards that giving a handkerchief to someone is considered a bad omen. Your friendships turn sour, if you do. Well, I am happy to say that it is not so and they might be saying that for used hankys ‘cos they spread infections. We all have retained touch with each other and have stronger ties than ever.)

Of course, we did not realise the significance then. We do now. It was an attempt to freeze our childhood which was running out fast – all of us were in already in our teens.

We fought over the futility of the idea, there was reluctance in getting together, but when we did – we made a merry afternoon of the gathering. There were many such gatherings (not on children’s day) at intervals of 5-6 years after each. The reluctance was always present, last minute drop-outs were coaxed and dragged into the train/car to Lonavala and we kept on making memories like that noon.

Thanks N, for reminding me of that Children’s Day yesterday! Love you, and love our gang of girls!

Day 16 : Something that you miss

There are many things that I miss. Most of the times, they get auto-blocked considering I have so many things to do at all given times. One thing that I cannot block and often comes to me in my dreams is my childhood.

Childhood to me is till 17, the wonderful 17 years that I spent at home – with the most amazing school buddies one could have.

I miss the quiet afternoons painting in the shade of the giant neem tree in our ground. Though I could hardly paint, I miss the pains I undertook to try to paint.

I miss the starry nights and the once-seen meteor shower where we counted upto 459 shooting stars. They were so near, the stars…

I miss Chunky, my cat. How she came running from about 5 blocks away when I called out from the terrace…

I miss my grandparents’ health. I do not like to see them frail.

I miss being awed by special effects in movies like the Jurassic Park.

I miss the grandeur of the zoo and the planetarium at Baroda – it is in ruins now. As a kid I was left open jawed at the shows, now there is hardly anyone to watch the shows. And the kids are noisy, dabble with mobile phones mid-show – I wish they had the same wonder as our generation. But I am too quick to judge, maybe they wonder at other things now…

I miss being the teacher’s pet. Being scolded and patted on the back, equally.

I miss playing music. I miss reading comics.

I miss being amazed by technology. The first time I handled a computer mouse. The DOS game ‘Carmen’ I played in Computer period…

Mostly, I miss my attitude towards life as a kid. It is there some lucky days; on other days I am forced by grown-ups into thinking like a grown-up – whatever that means, I still have to figure out what thinking like a grown-up means.

There are so many other things I miss…in a good way. But I am happy living on, each day, making new memories, buying new things – that I will someday miss. 🙂

Me and the Jurassic World

I just realized how fans of Star Trek would have felt all this while, when I heard of Jurassic World last month. Funny I had no inkling there was a dino movie in making.

The childhood memories came back rushing. I was 7 when the first movie released. There is a theatre just behind my home (literally! When it was not yet sound-proofed, I could hear every dialogue of the movies showing there. I have been told that it used to be an open theatre and my Dad and his cousins used to watch the movies from our terrace!). They used to extend neighbourly courtesy of allowing the tiny me to watch the show anytime, everyday for free.

Truth to be told, I hated the movie. I was petrified at the thought of the T-rex chasing people in the movie. ‘Cos that was an age when I thought I was with them in the Jurassic Park. It all seemed so real! I think all the kids’ minds augment the CGI effects, till they are below 10. I passed up the ‘watch for free’ opportunity and used to stay only for the scenes where the herbivores roamed tall and free.

Then the second part came. We had gone to watch the movie Border, to the neighbouring district. The theatre there had better sound effects ‘Dolby Digital’! And alas! Border was taken down the same morning and some Lost World was up. Our faces (mine and the younger sibling’s) were worth watching – to have travelled 2 hours for a war movie and to find an English movie up! Those were the days when I barely understood 1 or 2 lines of the foreign accent. The younger sibling was only one when the earlier (Jurassic Park) was released, so he was very curious when we got to know that the Lost World is actually Jurassic Park II. I was hesitant. I had signed up for Border, a war movie – not THAT horror movie again! And they said it was even scarier!! Reluctantly, I stepped in with the family – to 2 and a half hours of sheer horror. The li’l girl’s part in it was comforting though, as I was nearly as old as her – or so I thought 😛

After that, whenever we went to Balaji Talkies – a theatre owned by my friend’s family on a property located at the outskirts of our town (we basically went there to play in the garden, their house was being constructed nearby – so we used to make a half-day trip out of it) – we used to sneak into the ‘balcony’ and watch the scary scenes with open mouths. It was a funny feeling – to be scared to death and enjoy it. Maybe I had grown up. Those were the days when movies ran for months on end. Jurassic Park II stayed for almost 6 months or even a year, enthralled a packed house everyday and the theatre closed down a la the park after that. A fitting end to a legendary theatre of the town. I still remember sneaking in, the guard coming rushing after us and us proudly stating we are the owners or just staring at him till he realised it for himself.

Such was the effect of the movie on our small town that the winning Ganpati pandal that year (organized by my other friend’s grandfather) had a 20 feet T-rex – roaring, walking, and then chasing the spooked and shouting audience. I went there daily and could hear some of the petrified kids earnestly appealing Ganapati Bappa to save them from its wrath!

Jurassic Park III came and went by in a haze. I don’t even remember whether I have watched it or not.

When I was watching the Jurassic World yesterday, it was the first time I thought – ‘Sigh! I should’ve had kids old enough to watch it! Then I could have told them about all the fun I had when I was their age.’

Oh boy! These childhood movie sequels and the nostalgia they evoke!

If you ask me about the movie, thankfully I did not try to analyse the CGI. I watched it with belief. Like I did in childhood. (The only difference being, now I understood each and every dialogue. 😛 ) And I was rewarded. It was a real thrill to discuss memories with the hubby – us having been in the same school! Pity, we never watched the movies together as children 🙂

You should’ve seen my wistful face. And then it gave way to an excited expression – I had just watched a movie which dominated my childhood RPGs- with my husband! These games were not on the screen, by the way, but in actual playgrounds – where we (not me and him, we hardly talked then *sigh*) released the fattest, strongest buffalo and pretended she was T-rex and the winner had to bell it! Later, we added the calves as raptors 😛

Go watch it! You will relive your childhood. Better still if you have kids 🙂 They will relive yours!

 

 

 

 

Beyond the obvious….obviously

Eleven is the first number which cannot be counted with a human’s ten fingers. Hence, it may as well represent the human mind taking an effort to go beyond the obvious and expand the boundaries of the doable.

Apollo 11, respect.

I am tagged in such an exercise which has 11 questions to answer, 11 questions to frame and 11 people to tag. A warm thanks to Usha Aunty for giving me such wonderful food for thought. I have come to adore you from the very little time I have known you. 🙂

Usha Aunty is a much loved teacher and like all our favorite teachers in school, she is as strict as she is sweet. 🙂 Hence, here come the rules for the tag :

1. You must post the rules.
2. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged.
3. Tag eleven people and link to them on your post.
4. Let them know you’ve tagged them!

I love reading and doing tag posts as they are mini-interviews, where you interview yourselves ( and you get to play the imaginary reporter with the recording machine). *switches the imaginary recorder on*

Meta answers

1. In one word, what have you gained, in life, that you hold most precious? (there, that rules out “weight” :P :P )

Insight

2. In three words, a pet peeve?

People feigning refinement
3. A word you think you use a lot, unconsciously :D ?

Obviously

4. What is it that you love to do, most, and would rather spend your time doing it?

I love interacting with people from diverse backgrounds. I can spend a lot of time talking to any person, be it a rustic farmer, household help, teenagers born and brought up in cities, techies, artists….you name the kind of people and I will always find something to talk on. 🙂

If this question refers to a skill, I can spend hours writing 🙂 and I actually have a larger part of my lovely work involving it.

5. What do you think others think of you?

Gaaha! This is a googly!

First I think, people think I am a chatterbox and a miya mithoo (If I am not awed by the person. In that case, I sit quiet). People who don’t know me well, might think I profess to be a know-it-all. People who know me well, think I unnecessarily say that I don’t know things, I don’t make full use of my capabilities in any field.

My besties think I am crazy with a new topic to chase every week. Nevertheless, they love me for my nerdy talks and lovingly reprimand me for my self-deprecating way of talk. They admire me for my composure in tough times.

To sum it up, people who meet me might have diametrically opposite views – One that I am crazy and don’t know anything about the real world out there! And the other that I am a very knowledgeable person. 😛 (This is completely untrue).

6. Who would you say made you who you are today (other than your parents, if that is what you would answer :) )

If it weren’t ‘who’ in the question, I’d say books. In my growing up years, where I formed my thought process, I read Bhagat Singh a lot. He has made me the kind of person I am.

7. What gives you joy?

Small things in life. Watching clouds float by, birds practicing formations in the evenings, the first star at twilight, cats and dogs (any pet for that matter), spending time talking to gracefully aging people and getting to know the treasure troves of knowledge they hold…..the list goes on.  🙂

8. Your all time inspiration?

Sardar Bhagat Singh.

9. If you could go back to one moment in your past, which moment would it be?

A toughie! It depends. One goes back either to do the things differently than one has done so far or to relive the happy moments. I would like to go back to the annular eclipse of August 11, 1999, which I watched with Baba, at the dam near our place. No words can describe the natural beauty of the phenomenon that manifested itself as darkness set in, the dam’s water reflected the ring and birds started flying homewards dead in the noon. I had planned watching it since about ’93. And that noon which I spent discussing the eclipse and life with my dad was an experience I will cherish all my life.

10. Do you believe in alternate lifetimes? If so, what is the you there doing now? (It’s actually one question, with two parts :D )

I don’t believe in alternate lifetimes, I think life now is exactly as it is meant to be at any given time. But this is a fun question so here is my answer :

Can I be a cartoon? I am garfield and am lazing on the sofa. Well, that’s what I am doing now. So I gotta find another one. I am an airforce pilot, I’ve been part of several covert operations and right now, I am being selected for a confidential military space mission to assess and sabotage the space encroachment plans of China. (Heeha! You may take Arunachal but you can’t take over the real Arun’s (Sun’s 😛 ) space).

11. What makes you you?

Don’t ask. Only I can submit a Applied Sciences file in an Electronics subject lab in First Year engineering by mistake (the file even got submitted and stamped!) and find out the goof-up next day in the Applied Sciences submission, tip-toe into the Electronics lab, get it back, replace with actual file and then submit the Applied Sciences as though nothing has happened! Goof-ups, they make me, me. 🙂 And my ability to get past them successfully too 🙂 The nerdy and the more professional would term it risk management.

Already done?! Sigh…I was liking answering them. Thank you for the interesting questions Usha Aunty 🙂
So here’s the part where I ask a few questions, 11 to be precise, in my imaginary reporter role : Metaquizz