Friday, July 4, 2014









I don’t really know if it was I mirroring Mummy or Mummy mirroring me, but both of us haven’t been very well the last few days. Mummy’s migraine has been troubling her – it has been quiescent for so long now we’d all forgotten she needs to be careful about her sleep patterns and bright lights and noises and some food, but there it was back again troubling her so.

May be it has to do with the weather that has been so moisture laden promising to rain and never actually doing so. So there she was, getting sick and feeling miserable, and I couldn’t but stop myself from doing the same.

Nothing wrong with me apparently, except the getting sick bit that is. No lack of appetite, no change in food and water intake, no dearth of energy so everybody is just putting it down to the weather, and the possibility that I might be mirroring Mummy and working up some acid.

We are both trying to eat smaller, frequent meals hoping the reflux if any, will settle- difficult when you need to refrain from snacking on table treats but I like the ‘frequent meals’ bit!

Anyway, I’m faring much better than mummy. She isn’t still very keen on eating much and what’s actually good for her. Like plenty of fluids and yogurt. I love yogurt, by the way and could eat an entire bowlful at one go and then all of Mummy’s left over too. Did you know? Not that ‘eating at one go’ is a measure of my preference for one food over another, apparently!

Well, I’m digressing from the narrative. Like I was saying, I’m faring much better than mummy and have been keeping all my food down for the last two days. For that matter, Mummy has been too. And I guess those migrainous headaches are subsiding for she’s back on the computer.

So just in case you were working yourself up after reading my post, don’t. We are actually mending quite well. May be the fact that the weather’s starting to behave is helping too.

Daddy’s plants look like his experiments are working! Soon, very soon I hope, I’ll have a nice, green, cool balcony to lounge in.








The other day I happened to meet the GM of this corporate hospital. A real gentleman, rare species these days especially in the corporate world of hard-core dash to the top, with a warm handshake and a genuine smile who still stands up for a lady, who instantly reminded me of his counterpart in another premier hospital I had chanced across for some work some time ago. The latter a pathetic excuse of a human being who lived ( did he really?) breathed and slept work. His every gesture insinuated chauvinism, every word oozed of opinionated beliefs that pursuing a hobby or volunteering to help animals are indicators of an unfocussed, incompetent professional! He of course had long since forgotten to smile.

One certain reason for a relapse of one’s migraines, for sure!

The world of corporate healthcare, like all other corporate fields, is largely about a relentless pursuit of success and wealth and in most cases at the expense of sacrificing one’s pursuit of happiness.

Chance encounters with rare people who maintain vestiges of humanity in the midst of judgmental competition are enough to heal this world. In the first place, aren’t we doctors supposed to do just that? Heal?



Tuesday, June 24, 2014

BUDDY, SHERU and other blessings


It has been over 10 days now since Ricky left. Like someone had said, ‘We didn’t realize we were making memories. We were just having fun’.


( Finding ‘Our sign’ in an ancient stone sculpture at The National Museum )


Two Sundays came and went in a flash. There was so much to do. The weather’s changing fast from very dry and hot to moist and humid, and hot still!

P has been working in the garden a lot potting new plants- this time trying out a few experiments with vermiculite instead of plain old soil. Quite a number of the plants look really promising while a few are sad and morose. It has been rather difficult this time to save the plants anyway, what with the terrible heat and almost zero humidity. Five of my precious plants just dried up and died. I’m really looking forward to P’s experiments that promise stronger roots that’ll keep the plants alive for sure.










Ginger, Buddy and Shadow seem pretty relieved to be able to stay out on their walks for longer now, with the stifling heat no longer forcing us all to get back to the air –conditioning.




Then there is football, of course. I do not want to get into the intricacies here but I feel rather like the Hogwart’s sorting hat at the moment. Which team does one root for? When your country isn’t playing, that is. ‘D-I-F-F-I-C-U-L-T, verry D-I-F-F-I-C-U-L-T!

As I ponder over all the reasons that I’ve had to be thankful for this week, I’m grateful there are so many. One that so very close to my heart is Sheru.




My precious boy is fast regaining his strength. He is eating almost like when he was well and fit, and is walking all over the campus again. I no longer leave his food in his bowl at the gate like I used to earlier. Now I just take it down to him and sit talking to him till he finishes. Just to make sure he eats all of it.

Those early days after he had just come back from the shelter were so uncertain. He had lost almost all his appetite and wasn’t eating more than just a handful. Everyday I debated with myself about admitting him at the vet’s. But then there was this little feling that said all he needed was a lot of love and good food and rest, which he seemed to get at this place which he had known all his life. Kind words from you, my blog friends helped me more than you can imagine. And then there was Ricky. He used to say with all the innocence of a child, ‘Sheru HAS to get well. If I think he’ll die I get nightmares. I can’t sleep at night.’ Exactly his words. And may be they did their magic, for Sheru is definitely going to live. And like in the old days, he would lift his old fuzzy head up, sniff the air and wag and whine whenever I happen to pass by, even if it’s not food-time.

He has taken up permanent residence in our block (on the ground floor) near the lift to our apartment (which is on the fourth floor). Again, I’m thankful for the fact that no one has raised an objection to his being there. Someone has been leaving him food and water. Good intentions, I agree. But I somehow feel every dog deserves a little respect when it comes to food and I do not believe in throwing around pieces of bread, biscuits or rice on the floor. How much effort does it take to leave a disposable bowl or paper?

Besides, Sheru doesn’t eat any of it so it’s just litter that might enrage some residents who aren’t all that dog friendly, which in turn might make things difficult for Sheru.

I haven’t told anyone anything but quietly asked the ‘garbage-guy’ to pick up any ‘stray food’ lying around.

They are kind simple souls. Unless told, they never remove any of the food even when it is no longer edible. They imagine Sheru might eat some of it when hungry.

I explained that Sheru has his fill of fresh home-cooked meals and milk which is his favorite and will not go hungry so they need not hesitate to pick up uneaten food. Now at least there’s no litter. His water bowl lies undisturbed though and I often find it full when I go to fill it. Bless whoever has been taking the trouble to do that!

Continuing to count my blessings I come to today’s – Our dearest, sweetest Buddy boy has been with us now for five years! It was on this day, in fact just a few hours back from this hour one dry, warm evening in Hyderabad five years back that Buddy- then Tommy- came home to live with us.

Now, when I watch him snoozing on the sofa next to me watching me have my green-tea with half open eyes, hoping for a biscuit, I once again realize how he lives in a large place in my heart. He is at peace totally and doesn’t realize it is an important day. But as I watch him I know how important this day is for me- Us – in so many ways. It feels like he just came home the other day. Then again, sometimes, it feels like he has been with us forever….








Thank you, Buddy for being OUR Boy. I cannot be grateful enough that you are family. HAPPY ‘GOTCHA’ Day!!




Sunday, June 8, 2014

Can You tell?


A certain seven year old is holidaying with us….








Thank you so much for your kind wishes and words for Sheru. They mean a lot. Sorry we haven’t been around much and haven’t been visiting blogs. We promise we will catch up soon.

Have a good week ahead.




Saturday, June 7, 2014

A Story of Love..





He stood by Sheru’s side with folded hands, his forehead crinkled in concentration as he prayed.

‘This handband that I got, it’s for good luck. May be it’ll help Sheru get well’, he said earnestly.

And then he said something that left me speechless,’ If there isn’t much the vet can do for him, may be his time is up’.


All of seven years, Ricky is wise beyond his years. And so amazingly kind, sensitive and insightful he makes me wonder if the stories of a new emerging breed of evolved humans are actually true…


The day he arrived for his holiday here with us, it was a scorching hot typical June day in Delhi. But Ricky refused to stay indoors.

‘I’d go out even if it’s 46 degrees C outside for a dog,’ he told me. Ever since he arrived, he has been helping me feed Sheru three times a day in addition to his usual walks with Ginger, Buddy and Shadow.


Yes, Sheru is back.

That morning I woke up with a headache. In spite of a very tiring hot day I'd slept fretfully, debating with myself my decision to bring Sheru back from the shelter.
His external wounds are healed but that paw isn't going to be the same ever. He hobbles around slowly, almost painfully, just about tip toeing on it. The bones aren't aligned well. At his age and with his feeble constitution, it would be almost inhuman to subject him to anaesthesia and surgery.

Will he be able to cope? Will he be able to keep away from the cars? Should I let him be at the shelter for the rest of his life? I can't take him home, I can't be around all the time- it wouldn't be fair to him that I ask him to adjust to apartment life at this age and it wouldn't be fair to Gin,  Bud and Shadow that I ask them to adjust with Sheru as he is. Am I right in bringing him back?
There was no turning back though once we were at the shelter gate.
There he was, looking so small and forlorn amongst the younger, robust dogs that competed with each other to get at the treats I'd taken and to leave their smells on my dress- I'd always thought it was more of a cat thing!
Sheru looked lost and sad. Over two weeks at this unfamiliar place with so much competition had taken a toll on my boy. His paw has healed well, but at the expense of his spirit.

Most parts of his drive back home, he tried hard to make sense of the moving world outside. When tired, he'd nap on my lap.
The guards were delighted to see him and promised to keep an eye on him.

But I was worried. Terribly worried because Sheru didn’t seem his old self. He’d caught a chest infection, had lost his appetite – probably the meds, the heat and everything new at the shelter - and was far too weak and sad.

He still responded to my touch though, woke up and drank a little milk. That night and the next morning, all he ate was a handful of chicken liver and rice. I’d been lacing his food with meds and vitamins, thankful for each mouthful that he took, hoping and praying I’d know if I need to make a decision.

Till Ricky came along.

‘I don’t like to see Sheru like this,’ he says,’ I don’t want him to die. I’ll get bad nightmares if I think of him dying. I feel a little happy because he’s eating again.’

It must be Ricky’s good luck charm , his deeply earnest prayers and a seven year Old's innocence that has revived Sheru. Today he walked all around the campus, passed potty in two days and ate more than he has eaten in the last three days. For the first time in five days, he wagged when I tousled the fur on his head.

That one moment of joy and of overwhelming gratefulness, I’ll remember for ever….

This evening I found Sheru in front of the lift to our home – does he actually know?


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Saturday, May 31, 2014

A Staycation!


A scorching 43+ degrees centigrade, an umpteen number of heartrending, nerve wrecking events in addition to work and regular life in the past two weeks were all brewing into the perfect recipe for a nervous breakdown – it was all just too much.

We put our paws down!

We need a break. NOW!


Flurry of plans – do we escape to the Himalayas or find a quiet resort in some other place?

A dog needs, once in a while, to rediscover himself. What better way to do that than to go lose oneself in the hills – away from the city lights, the internet, phones – just breath in the fresh clean air, listen to the birds and watch the twinkling stars in the night sky. (Do you know? We never see the stars here in Delhi clearly. The lights are perpetually on and the haze dulls the view.How sad!)


But it wasn’t to be. What’s that saying? – ‘A dog proposes but Mummy disposes’.

Well, apparently hill–climbing was out of the question because Buddy still hasn’t recovered fully from his limp.

So, after much deliberation, we decided to make it a ‘STACATION- Stay-at home-holiday’.

Which is the reason why we disappeared without pupdating you about Sheru and without telling you the incident with the Girls – Daffodil and Lily. (A harrowing incident – but the girls are fine now. We’ll come to it later)

We were on a HOLIDAY! No phones(at least not work related), no facebook, no blogging – just a Holiday!

Plenty of good food, some photography, some movies, exploring our museums, the cultural events and exhibitions by day and the city parks by evening.










When night fell, we went on long drives, played fetch in the parks at India Gate till they switched off the lights at the monument and almost everyone else but the lone ice-cream man hoping we will buy yet another ice-cream, left.




























It was rather fun. And it seems to have ended too soon.

And we all seem to have got back from the brink of losing our sanity!

There was this terrifying storm that lashed our city last evening with a ferocity it seemed like the world was at it’s end. All due to the intense heat of the last few days creating a low pressure zone. As dust blew at speeds of 90 kilometers per hour many lives were lost, trees uprooted, electricity suspended and thousands lay stranded in the underground metros and massive traffic jams. Thankfully, our corner of the city escaped without much damage except for a few uprooted trees.


Thanks a lot for all your wishes for Sheru. We have been in touch with the shelter and Mummy & daddy went visiting him. He is recovering well. There’s a storm alert so it isn’t really a good idea to try bring him home this evening as per the original plan. If all goes well, we might go fetch him tomorrow morning. And if the vet gives a thumbs-up, he might get pampered at a dog-spa before he comes home!








Hope you are all well and hope your summer isn’t as harsh and un-relenting as ours.



Ginger, Buddy and Shadow




Tuesday, May 20, 2014

All your prayers that you can spare….


It was by habit that I packed three portions of dinner for my street pups last night. When I realised it was going to be only Daffodil and Lily waiting for me, there was a lump in my throat. But I was not prepared for the surge of sadness that overwhelmed me when I went down to the gate and saw Sheru’s empty bowl. I had not realised just until that moment how integral a part of my life the familiar figure of the 14 year old pup with salt and pepper fur has become.






It isn’t like he always sits there waiting though. On many an occasion, I would need to go look for him all over our apartment complex in his favorite lounging corners that I’m familiar with now. Till last year it was easier. He would come hobbling on his rickety, arthritic paws as soon as he heard me call out for him, sniff hard to make sure I got his dinner and would follow me till the guard house by the gate where his bowl is kept.

But of late it has been difficult to find him. He can no longer see well – his eyes thickly clouded by cataract – and has lost almost all his hearing so he can’t hear me searching for him.

He would jump up startled at my touch and then begin his whining and sniffing ‘ Is it you with my food?’.

I would let him get a whiff of his dinner and he would invariably follow me to his bowl.

He loves milk and chicken. I always give him, Daffodil and Lily ( my two girls at the gate) steamed rice, some boiled pulses, a bit of vegetables and chicken. Actually I cook for six whatever I cook for Gin, Bud and Shadow for dinner.

This has been a part of my nightly routine once I get back home from evening clinic. The pups know. They follow my car on days I’m late till some distance from the gate, Sheru often standing in the middle of the lane right in front of my car whining while the girls prefer to stay back outside the campus gate.

It is an overwhelming feeling – a privilege actually - to have him waiting for you and asking for dinner when you know he cannot see or hear you. Somehow he senses and he trusts.



On Sunday morning, Sheru was hit by an errant driver. The guards called up ‘ Sheru has been run over. Can you come and check on him?’

He had deep cuts on his belly and hind paws, lacerations and open wounds and a very badly injured hind paw that looked like it might be fractured. But he stood up and whined, ‘It’s paining. I’m hurt’, he seemed to say.

P dressed up the wound and I called Gin, Bud and Shadow’s vet. He would see Sheru after 5 pm. By evening, his paw was badly swollen and though he stood up he was crying in pain and dragging it.

It was bad. Might be a fracture but there wasn’t any dislocation. Mostly a lot of swelling and oozing from the open wound but that made it difficult to clinically assess much.

We discussed shelters and finally the vet suggested one he said he trusted. So on Sunday night, after preliminary medication, P and I drove down and left him there.




He was scared and in pain but again, like always he overwhelmed me with his infinite patience and unquestioned trust. He would sit up and look out the windows but for most parts all the way to the shelter which was about 35 kilometers away, he cuddled up on my lap and slept. Like he was tired, just very tired. 


There are about 350 to 400 homeless, injured and abandoned pups of all breeds, shapes, sizes and temperament in this shelter. It’s full beyond capacity and bursting at the seams. But like they put it, ‘their gates are always open for just one more injured and sick dog’!

The vet refused to accept his fees and the shelter took Sheru in. Little acts of kindness so rare these days.


Sheru, I was informed is eating well and settling in, in spite of his injuries, hundreds of new smells and unfamiliar quarters. Which is a saving grace I’m sure. However much I’m dying to bring him home, I can’t manage to look after him on a full time basis. Left out at the gate, there would be no one to watch over him and ensure he wouldn’t hurt himself again. I can only feed him and take care of his medications but what he needs now is to be safe till he is up on his paws and the open wounds heal.

I can’t help but keep him at the shelter now for some more time where he’d be safe, get regular meals and veterinary care.

No news today morning, which I assume is good news. But I’m going over for a visit this evening.


Please do keep my precious old boy in your thoughts and prayers and send some healing vibes his way. I need him to recover fast, start walking and hobbling and whining.

I miss him….




Wednesday, May 14, 2014

It’s done!




The ink is supposedly indelible should be impossible to wash away for at least a week. But it faded from day one and disappeared by the end of day 2! Unlike the blaring newspaper headlines every morning that didn’t seem to talk about anything else except what one candidate said about another and what rules were broken by high profile politicos for the last one month.

Finally, after a long drawn out drama, the multi-phase polling in the world’s most populous democracy ended last evening.

In Delhi, there was no dearth of incentives to encourage people to go vote.

Show your inked finger – buy one exotic lunch buffet and get another free! Get fifty percent off on all salon services on poll day if you are inked! Upload selfies of your inked finger and stand a chance to win a holiday for two!!

But the drama is far from over. From all that has been happening one is inclined to be concerned that the large electorate hasn’t quite managed to decide on an absolute answer, in spite of  more than average polling.

814 million registered voters. An overall average of 65% voted. Well, about 600 votes, give or take a few millions!

They say a brisk voter turnout indicates ‘vote for change’. Not good for the ruling political party but then, in today’s scenario I wonder if we have managed to elect a government that will be stable enough to last a full five year term.

What a mess that will be! Re-elections – like we have all the time and money in the world to indulge in sheer wastage! I am not sure I’m ready for another round of debate and drama, which, like an eminent columnist said the other day, wouldn’t even qualify for a college debate – it is so irrelevant.


But amidst all these emerges some heart warming stories that make you wonder – about those who fought for the freedom of our country and who set out to mold a free India – what made them tick? What made them different, who were these people?

Shyam Saran Negi –  a 97 year old walked several kilometres to the polling booth to cast his vote at 6:55AM on 7th of may 2014 along with his 92 year old wife Hira Mani. The first person to vote that day in his constituency at Kalpa, the little Himalayan village in Himachal Pradesh. Incidentally, the polling booth was at the very school from which he had retired after a service of 23 years.



( Photo courtesy PTI )


What’s amazing is that Mr.Negi was the first person to cast his vote in Independent India in 1947 and has since then never missed a single general election, often trudging through heavy snow to reach the polling booths. The state Election Commission had appointed Negi it’s poll ambassador for campaigning in the tribal areas in the state and this grand old man also received a  lot of media attention when he was featured in a Google India campaign video.

Negi was cheered on by local well-wishers and honoured with flowers, a shawl and scarf by the Deputy Commissioner of Kinnaur where his constituency is when he emerged from the booth after voting.

"I’m happy to get yet another chance to vote”,  he said. “At 97, if I can vote, there’s no reason why the youth cannot. I  Want India to be led by an honest leader, a leader who is not corrupt in any way”.









Saturday, May 10, 2014









Daddy is away on a work related conference, so it is just us and Mummy tonight. Our walk this evening was a short, quick affair. There’s a storm brewing, I have been sensing it since our walk, and now it’s here! We are snuggling close to Mummy so she won’t be scared by the loud thunder.

After the dust and heat of the past few days, rains are very much welcome. But I wish it came alone and did not bring along thunder and lightening. It’s nice and windy outside, fresh earthy smells and all. It would be really nice to open all the doors and windows and let the cool air in. But we can’t do that. Loud sounds often prove too scary for Mummy and I always need to snuggle close to calm her down till they stop.




Music often helps but since it’s weekend we have decided to settle in ‘The Den’ and watch a movie.

Have a nice weekend, everypawdy! Hope your whole family is home.





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