Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Have yourself a merry little Christmas…….








Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Let your heart be light
From now on,
our troubles will be out of sight


Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Make the Yule-tide gay,
From now on,
our troubles will be miles away.


Here we are as in olden days,
Happy golden days of yore.
Faithful friends who are dear to us
Gather near to us once more.

Through the years
We all will be together,
If the Fates allow
Hang a shining star upon the highest bough.
And have yourself A merry little Christmas









We love you all,


Ginger,Buddy and Shadow



Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Ricky’s Wish

Remember our Human-pup Ricky? Mummy’s friend’s son?






He is all of five and a half years now. We’ve always known he’s a very smart, kind and sensitive kid. To our delight, even his teachers think he’s smarter, helpful and much more mature than most kids his age. These days he is picking up writing skills. He is also doing very well at his Taekwondo classes and is already a purple belt. We are just so very proud of him.








Last night he sent us this letter so we can post it here for Santa to read. He says the internet would take it to him faster than the general post!




What we can’t understand is why he wants yet another truck or a boat. He has like a hundred of them. His alternate choice is a remote controlled helicopter.

We aren’t very sure about the helicopter too. Only last month he flew a brand new one into the living room wall and it smashed to pieces. It wasn’t his fault though. He is otherwise a very sensible kid and takes very good care of his toys. The helicopter wasn’t responding to the remote while he tried it outside because it kept flying out of range. What else could he do but fly it inside?

Obviously a new helicopter will meet  with a similar fate. So you see, we aren’t that keen on getting him one.



Oh Yes! We know all about how this Santa thing functions. Ricky is still a pup but we aren’t. We know who fills our stockings! But why let him know just yet? He is just so happy preparing for Santa to come by. The kind boy that he is, he was even worried the other day about the chimney being too dirty.

‘It needs to be cleaned, Daddy, so Santa won’t get his clothes dirty sliding down it’, he insisted!


We are undecided. What should we get for him? Another remote controlled truck? Yuck!!







Ginger,Buddy and Shadow


Monday, December 10, 2012




It’s been just so long since I last sat down to write. Over two months now. It makes me very restless. I go about doing everything that needs to be done and even on days when I’ve accomplished(I use that word here because that is exactly how I’ve been feeling at the end of my days, there’s always so much to do) my day’s agenda there’s this persistent feeling at the back of my mind that I’ve missed something important.

It is just not about blogging. I’ve come to realize that I need to write if I want to really relax. Anything at all, but I just need to be able to put the never-ending string of thoughts cluttering my mind down on paper. Alright, the keyboard isn’t bad either, though I prefer pen and paper. And then of course I do keep thinking about all the friends that I have made over the years in the virtual world. Many a times the blogging world and all the beautiful people- YOU- who I’ve come to know seem so much more real than the people I meet and interact with in my real life. You seem so much kinder, we share so much and I’ve learned so much from you….I really miss everyone…


There’s been a lot going on actually. The new CEO at work has devised policies to ‘kill two birds with one stone’. Free health check-up camps, including on Sundays. So last month I ended up working for three weeks at a stretch without a break!

Yes, we did ‘kill the two designated birds’ very successfully. One was making specialized health check up free to over a thousand people (who also got discounts on any investigative procedures that was required) and two, increasing the foot-fall in our hospital so we also garnered business.

The whole experience was amazing. We are placed right in the middle of Delhi NCR – the National Capital Region and there are just so many hospitals around. Both Government ones (mostly free) and Corporate ones (highly expensive). But there we found thousands of attendees at our health camps that were still ignorant of the available healthcare schemes or just couldn’t afford even basic medication! It felt good to be able to make a difference in our own way, however small.

My husband has been very supportive all the while in spite of his forever hectic schedule. For one, I’d always get special lunch on the table when returned from the Sunday camps. It’s, of course, another matter that he loves cooking and takes all the pains to perfect the dishes, unlike me who ‘quick fixes’ all the time!

Ginger, Buddy and Shadow enjoy the time when their Daddy’s home, cooking. There they would lie patiently, sniffing-nudging-snoozing-sniffing-nudging-snoozing and invariably manage to wean out scrumptious treats straight from the stove!


kitchen treats


Time seems to have flown so fast I didn’t quite realise it’s winter now till that day when I wasn’t wearing socks and my feet remained very cold the entire day!

It is amazing how the whole world changes overnight. Just the other day we were still complaining about how the sun still burns through and then, one fine Saturday morning Delhi woke up to a nice and cold 11 degrees! Just like that!

Winter’s here with all its signature trappings – spicy snacks, woollens and a series of bright and beautiful festivals.

It’s the perfect time to come visit us in Delhi if you are planning a trip. Lovely autumn flowers are fast changing into seasonal winter ones, the summertime juice stalls have morphed into spicy snack stalls and the general atmosphere is one of elation and festivity. 

A couple of months back we celebrated Durga-Puja, Navratri and Dusshera! Three of the most exuberantly celebrated festivals in the entire Northern,North-Eastern and North-Western India, they all denote the triumph of good over evil. For most of us, it is actually a time to gorge on the numerous delicacies like innovative kulfis (an Indian ice-cream that comes in almost 50 different varieties! Our favourite is coconut,paan and kesar), Chaats (snacks that include fritters, curd, sweet pickles, potatoes and a variety of other mouth-watering fried stuff!) and fruit salads.

Ramleela Ground in Old Delhi is known for the largest and most un-believable combination of food and festivities on Dusshera, when the larger than life rag idols of the wicked King Ravana and his brothers are set afire to once again reiterate the victory of good over evil.

This also marks the end of Durga Puja, a 5 day long festival in which the powerful Durga, a Goddess with ten hands, along with her brothers and sisters are revered, adored and venerated.

Navaratri, meaning the nine Holy nights, is essentially a nine day long festival when believers shun what is considered the routine pleasures and attractions of a material life – smoking, drinking, non-vegetarian food- and spend time in prayers, fasting and giving alms. It is basically a festival that is aimed at purging your soul and cleansing your life.

Diwali however is by far my favourite-most festival. I love Diwali. It isn’t just a festival but a part of the identity of the city of Delhi.

Diwali transforms Delhi. The bright decorations and the food are just a tiny little aspect. It is more about the joy of anticipation, how every face shines and how there is a general aura of love and sharing.

The one part of Diwali which everyone talks about changing and which needs serious transformation is the ritual of setting off crackers.

Why is it so necessary to be so loud and that too for hours and days on the end? Is it some kind of power game, like I can afford louder and more crackers than my neighbour? At least that is what it felt like when I watched the group in my apartment complex having a face-off with the group across the street.

I am not against anyone having fun. But I strictly believe that one hasn’t the right to hurt others in the process.

On occasions, I have been told I am concerned mostly because of I have dogs at home and not so much because of the noise pollution and such like effects.

To them I say, So what if it is true? Earlier Ginger used to be sick for days afterwards for days. She has congenital arrhythmia which gets worse whenever she’s scared. Ever since Buddy and Shadow came along, she’s so much better. The boys would get a bit upset and lie down quietly or cuddle but they both don’t seem that scared. May be it has rubbed on to her. So much so that this time she actually went for her walk, albeit less confidently, and had dinner afterwards. Her heart was quite stable and almost back to normal when we all settled down at night. A terrific improvement and we are just so thankful.

Yes, I am concerned because I have dogs at home. Because I know exactly what those poor strays must be going through out there when we humans are having our bit of fun.

As I watched those groups of people on their cracker bursting spree (which continued till the wee hours of the morning, by the way) from my balcony, I kept praying and hoping Sheru would be alright. Sheru, our colony dog who’s 13 and stays at our gate. And the two little pups, barely two months old who usually cuddled under the mattresses in the road-side mattrees maker’s stall across the street – their new adopted home. And those two girls who weren’t allowed inside our colony but have chosen to live just outside our gate and invariably consider this their home. It was exactly their home which was being vandalized that night.

It isn’t just about the noise. What of the litter of burnt crackers which adds up to tons, which certainly is going to kill a lot more dogs and birds when they rummage through the rubbish searching for food? And what of the fumes that make Delhi choke the next morning?

Is it really all that necessary? Why can’t the bright lights, family and friends suffice?

Sheru and the girls were fine the next morning. Shaken, but fine. They accepted their meals, forever accepting and forgiving of all that we humans do. The two tiny pups were safe too. But sadly, one of them soon fell very sick. I tried to help a bit but it had probably caught parvo viral infection. With no mother to suckle him he refused feeds, even the chicken soup I tried to feed him. And then one afternoon when on my way back I inquired of him, the little boy who was taking care of him told me he had died. 


Ginger, Buddy and Shadow are sheltered and soothed by classical music and what not. There must be hundreds of other lucky dogs who had someone to cuddle them. But for every lucky dog there must have been at least two more who didn’t make it through our ‘celebrations’…
















Friday, September 28, 2012

A Dog’s Life..

“A dog reflects the family life. Whoever saw a frisky dog in a gloomy family, or a sad dog in a happy one? Snarling people have snarling dogs, dangerous people have dangerous ones.”

Arthur Conan Doyle, The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes



shadow n P


We will try and get back with a proper post soon.




Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Are we?

If you indeed have forgotten us, it’s really not your fault. It has been so terribly long since we last posted or visited any of you…


We have had a very busy time in the recent past.

Mummy’s hospital suddenly decided it needed to change the person running it and went ahead and got a brand new CEO whose sole purpose in life is to work, work and work!

We haven’t yet figured it out if he is just a workaholic or assumes the hospital is a life-giving star (read ‘Sun’) and he needs to revolve all around it to sustain!! Thankfully, even though his whole life is about work, he hasn’t been pressurizing anyone to work over-time. The only change is the quantity and quality of work at the hospital is improving in many ways which is why Mummy is just too tired at the end of the day.

We needed to chose between long walks and blogging and naturally we chose the former.

We hope you understand.


Things have been pretty much the same at our end. Only the weather is changing rapidly. Mr. Rain seems to have taken Shadow’s letter seriously. Today’s newspaper, in fact, officially declared that the monsoon is retreating.

Thank Dogness for that!


Ginger hasn’t been feeling very well for the last four days. Dry cough and reverse sneezing. She had us all rather worried for a couple of days. Mummy took the day off on Monday. It was unthinkable to leave her alone the way she was sounding so distressed. The only good thing is she has been as active as ever and never refused a single meal.

It is such a relief that she’s so much better since today morning and she’s coughed just once since the evening. The antibiotics and allergy sprays are still on though. It’s that time of the year when you need to be extra careful again.

Shadow too is on allergy sprays once again. He is extremely allergic and his nose gets all runny after his morning walks. This added to some vigorous reverse sneezing is enough to freak Mummy out.

No cough or fever, so don’t you go worrying!




We have been trying to catch up with our reading a bit. Remember all those new books we got at the sale recently? We really do not know when we are actually going to be able to read them all!




Daddy, we think, has found a rather nice way of catching up with what he wants to read. Audio books! He just gets them on his (read ‘Mummy’s’!) Kindle-fire and listens to them on his way to work! And since he has almost hijacked the Kindle ( we’ve forgotten when we last saw it, it’s always inside his bag.We just know it’s not lost or something because he keeps talking about the books he’s listened to!) we have no other option but to read the printed word.

Oh! Don’t get us wrong. We PREFER the printed word any day. Only we are so short of reading time.


Talking of books, did you know how knowledgeable most of those road-side book vendors are?

You find these little book shops all over the Delhi streets. Most of them are concentrated on the footpaths in busy market places like Nehru Place and Connaught Place and near the University campuses but you do find them in isolated housing colony markets as well. You’d think they were just selling pirated copies or worn out give aways to make an easy buck.

That simple, un-educated looking guy certainly can’t be expected to know much about what he’s selling. But oftentimes, you’d be surprised at how widely read they most are! They would suggest to you the latest John Grisham best seller, the all time favorite Jane Austen classic, the best Osho Zen book or the most interesting book on business strategies!


street books


Guess we who live in a sheltered world always tend to under-estimate all those who are less privileged. Just a few minutes spent chatting with them heartily and they lead you into an entirely new world…it’s quite incredible, actually!


A tad pensive, 





Monday, September 17, 2012


Place: Northern Hemisphere

New Delhi, India

Time of the year: 17 Sept 2012

Season: Autumn



Dear Mr. Rain,

I know you are extremely busy these days but I’m addressing a subject of extreme importance here and I hope you’ll pay attention.

A few months back our country was staring at the worst possible draught in history because you happened to get delayed in the traffic over the southern seas. Prices of all goods including our treats skyrocketed. Everyone was talking about the sorry state of the economy and dreading further damage. Farmers in the far off villages were terrified they would have to sell off their livestock and land and head for the cities in search of livelihood.

And then, you arrived!

In just a few months, with all your exuberance and enthusiasm typical of an Indian monsoon, you set things right. The grass turned greener, the pastures fuller, the dust settled (literally) and we could see the emerging dawn!

Everyone was grateful to you for bringing the country out of a certain economic doomsday. We all relaxed and began enjoying the soft, wet grass, the fresh air and talked of nothing else but the amazingly beautiful monsoon season.

Even I, Shadow, who unlike my siblings Ginger and Buddy is not a water dog enjoyed getting wet and muddy.










But of late, I’m beginning to wonder if you are taking this hearty welcome a tad too …errr…seriously.

If you haven’t noticed, it is mid September now. In the northern hemisphere it means the beginning of Autumn.

Though I have experienced just two Autumns in my life yet, I know for sure this is not the time you’re supposed to be around. At least not so exuberantly and full of purpose! .

I think it’s time you come to terms with the fact that you are overstaying your welcome.


Look what you did the other day!

You flooded half of our city, held up traffic (Well, yes. I do agree it’s not all your fault and the Public works department need to work on improving the sidewalks but your being there exuberantly filling up the drains beyond capacity didn’t really help) and uprooted many trees (OK, that was your friend the Wind but then again, he couldn’t have been so unbeaten without your help!)


I do not even want to discuss the way you ravaged our beautiful easterly state, Assam. What is it that you have against Assam anyway? I mean, do you have to overfill the mighty Brahmaputra river and make it wash away everything? It is already mighty, if you remember?

So many lives lost, so many homeless, priceless animals in National Parks, dead…it deeply pains me….


And have you forgotten all about Jaipur?

Yes, Jaipur the capital city of our neighboring state, Rajasthan. Wasn’t it you who poured incessantly the other day like you’ve never before done in the past decade? Those poor, unprepared people in that peaceful city were stranded without vehicles and even a proper road to walk on for days just because you had to prove yourself.


You have made your point. I absolutely agree that you are powerful enough to make or mar the economy of a country (at least till a dim-witted Government keeps depending on nature to determine it’s fate).

At a personal level, I also heartily appreciate that you made our parks greener and the grass softer but you see, it is time for you to move on.

I am no longer amused by the puddles you make right in the middle of the park and how everything is just too wet all the time.

I am not a water dog and unlike my sister Ginger and my brother Buddy who turns super silly at the sight of the smallest collection of water, I get very distressed. I can’t enjoy my walk and am often forced to take refuge on a bench and wait out the time while everyone around seems to enjoy the water.














Also I do not appreciate that the mud sticks to me each time I go out so I need to have a bath ever so often so I can cuddle on the furniture later.

I do hope you understand my predicament.


Please understand that it’s time you get your priorities right. We do not need you here any longer but I’m sure you’d be more than welcome somewhere out there in the Southern hemisphere where drier pastures and hot, panting dogs are awaiting you.

Isn’t it always better to be someplace you’re wanted and valued?








Of Skywatching on a Green Morning…


“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive- to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love-then make that day count!”

Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free






We are skywatching at ‘ SKYWATCH FRIDAY’ and also admiring some greens at ‘ RAINDROPS AND DAISIES’.

Please do go visit them for some more fun and pretty pictures…




Ginger, Buddy and Shadow




Friday, September 14, 2012



my  tree


Claimed by,





Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Silly Mummy!She ended up burning Buddy’s barkday cake.Can you believe it?
Well, alright. That was a bad start. Let’s start again.

Today is Buddy’s 7th barkday!

We’d decided earlier on not to order him a proper cake with fluffy icing on top. Mostly because he insists on having just a little bit more and the occasion being his birthday we cannot say no so he ends up with an upset tummy or an extra few kilograms on him after a week!

So obviously we needed Mummy  to bake him a plain cake minus the calories! And believe it or not she ended up burning it!

She was multitasking trying to fix us a special fish dish and forgot all about checking the cake. Of course the oven was set to stop but something had to go wrong just today. And Mummy only realized when she noticed us sniffing away. (So now we know she isn’t taking her allergy medications!)
Anyway, the crust got burnt just a bit and turned a dark chocolate which is certainly not what you’d expect a vanilla flavored cake to look like! But to our relief it tasted just right inside.

And all that matters is that Buddy didn’t seem to notice anything was amiss!
He was pretty surprised and very pleased he was allowed a huge slice. And then of course there was that fish dish. And all this before proper dinner!

Buddy certainly seems very happy! And content after his post dinner bone.


(That's Buddy asking for his post dinner chewy. That little cabinet to his left? That's our treat cabinet)

We are glad he enjoyed his evening. He is easily the best brother anyone can have ….
And we even forgive Mummy for burning his cake.
Didn’t someone say, ‘To err is human. To forgive, canine’?
Smart human!

We are sure when Mark Twain had said 'The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven not man's’, he meant a dog exactly like you.

We love you and are so proud of you,
Ginger and Shadow


Thursday, August 30, 2012

G for GIFT of LIFE: Pigeon Diaries


Amidst all the usual news, that I mostly found rather grueling, in today’s newspaper, one that caught my eye was about the arrival of the Painted Storks in our city Zoo.

The Painted storks, so named because of their vibrant pink tertial feathers and monochrome markings, are migratory birds that travel from the cooler Himalayan state of Himachal Pradesh to Delhi during early autumn. A number of other migratory species like the Teal, Coot and the Dabchick are expected to reach Delhi from Siberia, China and parts of South-eastern Asia by mid September.

The Painted Storks typically breed during December and are expected to stay on till February.

Torrential rains of the last few days have considerably plummeted the mercury, encouraging the storks to take up residence at our Zoo a little earlier than usual.

They are being gregariously welcomed and generous efforts are on to make them comfortable at the Zoological Gardens. The ponds are getting filled up with generous portions of stork-dinner-a variety of local fish. One interesting fact about these birds is that they refuse to build nests from the twigs of trees that they stay in. The Zoo officials are graciously catering to their whim and getting them twigs from other nearby trees!!


This little news item made me think how amazing the ways of nature are.

This GIFT of LIFE – that’s one gift that makes our earth unique.

How extraordinarily different every life form is and yet, is gelled together somehow…

A few months back, I was lucky enough to be able to document such an event. A complete cycle of life…

I consider it a gift from nature.



You often see these birds, the common domestic pigeon scattered all over the cityscape.

Sadly, these very peaceful birds are considered nothing less than a form of city pest.


One day, sometime last June, I found a pair of them busily gathering twigs on the windowsill of one of our bathrooms. Now, all our doors and windows are in pairs. A net-structure that opens inside (and for most parts remains shut to keep out mosquitoes and other insects) and one in glass or wood that opens outside (that mostly remains open). Before I could get myself to brush off the twigs, the industrious little pair had already set up a beautiful nest on the shelf, in between the two sets of windows.

They looked so proud that I just didn’t have the heart to shoo them away. I’m glad I didn’t because in the ensuing days, I witnessed one of the most beautiful events in nature …the Gift of life on earth.


mono P1050685










It was a practical lesson in natural history for me! I watched, fascinated, as I saw both Mr. & Mrs. Pigeon take turns to incubate their precious pair of eggs, just like the books said. Once they hatched at around the 18th day, they  fed their little babies pigeon milk and regurgitated grains. I would often put out some rice and cereals which promptly disappeared.





( You can identify Papa Pigeon by his darker neck band)


In just 35 days, my perfect little pair of eggs had turned into this perfect little pair of pigeons!

They had now begun to accept food from me, rice grains. They were all ready to fly away. But for days, I watched them hesitate to move away from the safety of the nest. I began wondering if I was actually disturbing the natural order of things. Was I just reinforcing their fear, providing them with ready food and delaying their flight?

Or may be it was not my fault at all. They were scared because the ground looked so far away from that height.

What a thought! Acrophobic birds!






One of them was braver. It’d step out right till the very edge and spread out its wings as if to fly. But for over four days, that was all the progress it’d made.

And then, with utmost determination, I stopped feeding them. The mother pigeon had long gone away and no longer came back to feed them. My heart broke and I felt I was starving them to death. But I stuck to my resolve (with cruel encouragement from my husband!)

And then, one day when I was back from work, they were both gone! Just like that. They disappeared.

I ran down and checked with the gardener and the caretaker. No, they hadn’t come across any dead birds. Nor had they seen Sheru, our resident colony dog feast on one since morning!

So finally, my little pair of eggs did spread out their wings!



P.S:  Since the last couple of days, a pair of pigeons has been cooing and cuddling on the very same window sill. Were they my pair? In all probability they were. The domestic pigeon can be trained to be very successful messengers – homing pigeons.

This time though, I have begun to regularly open and shut the outer window, sending out a clear message that this particular surface isn’t a safe place for a nest. The sill is now clean, after a lot of effort and I don’t think I’m ready to ‘let it out’ again!



I’m glad to link ‘A GIFT of LIFE- Pigeon Diaries’ to Mrs. Nesbitt’s ABC WEDNESDAY:G. There are ‘G’s gallore at this Great meme. Do gallop over if you don’t want to miss any…