Tag: Chennai

A tribute to all dogs I’ve ever known. Adopt, don’t buy.

Kuntea is angry with me. : (

FYI, Kuntea is my doggy, and she visits me every evening. When I come back from work everyday, she is waiting on the road in front of my house and greets me with mad wagging of her tail and excited whining. She can’t jump, however, because she’s limp. (Kuntea in Kannada means limp.) That doesn’t make much difference to her though. This road, this matriarchal road, is her Prideland.

But today, she’s bloody annoyed with me. Every time I go stand in front of her, she turns away. She’s enjoying my caressing no doubt, but she’s being very indifferent. She has caught the scent of another dog at my doorstep.

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Rambo, being a lazy bum

A couple of weeks ago, my dad and mom showed me a new puppy in the area. A tiny and hyper white puppy with big black spots. I’ve named her Puppy. She’s a bomb of energy when she sees people, jumping as high as he can, sometimes lifting all her paws off the ground. But when there are no people around, she’s a sloth. Sleeping all the time. I invited her last Tuesday to sleep on my doorstep. So she comes and goes as she likes, sleeping on the gunny bag or the door mat that has been kept for dogs that like to rest or those that like some shelter from the rain.

So Kuntea has caught her scent, because Puppy has been increasingly resting at my door. I don’t know how to handle the situation. I love them both equally. And they’re the only dogs that I love so much, I mean it. I don’t know how to make Kuntea believe that. Puppy, I’m sure, doesn’t care. She’s an excited little puppy and if she sees Kuntea at my door, she’ll go and bounce happily around her, smelling her and ready to play with her. That’s what she does with my other dog, Piccolo.

Meanie
Piccolo

So Piccolo is a dog that sleeps ten steps away from my house. Puppy is a big fan of him. She’s always following him around and copying his style. Piccolo is her role model. Piccolo is a handsome, muscular, well-poised two-year-old. He’s completely black, with a large white patch on his chest. He doesn’t care much about anybody. He sleeps around all day, eats the leftovers from the Momo and Omlette stalls around the corner, and perhaps some from the chaat shop close by. He’s a calm and composed guy, who’ll perhaps flick his tail lazily if you speak to him. I love him also, despite his indifference towards me. Anyway, he isn’t the only black dog around. There’s Chinnu, Munnu and Blacky of course.

These three dogs, two Newfoundlands (Freddie Ljungberg has one of these btw) and a Great Dane, Blacky, live just 20 steps from my house. They are big, handsome dogs. Blacky is still a few months old. Before him, there was Danny, a grand old Great Dane, whom they have donated to someone else because he didn’t get along with Chinnu and Munnu. All these live in the same fancy house, where the owners couldn’t care less about their pets. (I do NOT like such people.) The watchman takes care of them however, although I don’t really like how short their leashes are, which would be around one metre. But the dogs are the most “awwwwww” inducing dogs. They get so excited when they see me, they pee all over themselves. They jump on me and they’re huge, so I fall down. I stop my bike to greet them everyday, before coming home after work. This isn’t the only threesome around though.

On the other side of my house, there are three new labradors – Dhrona, Rani and something else. Didn’t quite catch the third name when the owner told me it, because I was still digesting the name Dhrona. These three curious fellows jump and peep from their compound wall every time I go past their house. It’s the most adorable thing. Then I put my hand through the gate, pass their trust test and pet them for a while.

That’s around 10 dogs eh? No wonder Kuntea won’t talk to me. Damn!

I used to have two other dogs, that lived inside my house, unlike all the others. One of them died and the other was stolen. Both were adopted. Simba was the one who got stolen. He was a beautiful golden dog with a pink nose and charged up eyes. Gunda, the cutie who died, was a docile fellow, caring and loving. He also had a pink nose. It’s a pity we had to lose him. : (

But that’s all I got in Malleswaram. This is a form of therapy for me when I’m pissed about something. Nothing can match the selfless, honest and blatant love that doggies have for you. I fall to pieces every time I look at them all, but I love Kuntea and Puppy the most. Then, of course, I have dogs in different areas. In JP Nagar, on Brigade road, in Koramangala, in Chennai, everywhere. Hehe… In Guttahalli, there is this furry dog that I’m a huge fan of. He doesn’t even know I exist. He’s a stray, but he’s beautiful, with flowy and surprisingly clean brown fur. I give him my positive vibes everytime I ride on that road.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of him. But I have pictures of so many other dogs and I have a thing or two to say about each one of them. Here are their pictures, along with captions.

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The brown fellow here is Mr.Johnson, our dog at ACJ. He was a stupid dog, all over the place, getting chased away constantly by the hostel warden. We loved him. The girl he’s sparring with is probably his girlfriend.
This handsome German Shepherd is Mamba, my atthei's doggie in Koramangala. He might look ferocious but he's like a little puppy. He's harmless!
This handsome German Shepherd is Mamba, my atthei‘s doggie in Koramangala. He might look ferocious but he’s like a little puppy. He’s harmless! That thing around his neck is a rakhi that his sister sent for him from California.
This is Drago, a Golden Retriever from the next road. I was devastated to learn that someone stole him. I used to go and meet him everytime I was sad. He'd just rest his head on his paws and listen to my woes.
This is Drago, a Golden Retriever from the next road. I was devastated to learn that someone stole him. I used to go and meet him everytime I was sad. He’d just rest his head on his paws and listen to my woes.
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I don’t have a name for this guy, but he stuck around my area for a few weeks. He was sooo loyal, that one day, when I went to the beauty parlour, he followed me all the way and entered the parlour also, until the ladies inside started screeching! When they shooed him out, he waited at the entrance, until I got done. I think he sleeps near Malleswaram railway station now.
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This little puppy here, who looks much like my Rambo, is Paco. She is a resident stray at Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music, in Chennai. I made quick friends with her. I loved her for her tireless nature, despite the unforgiving sun
This, as all Mount Carmel Girls will know, is Gloria. She rules the roost at MCC. She would normally sit around the cafeteria, hoping someone wastes a chicken leg or something. She was a lazy, fat one, but a loving one.
This, as all Mount Carmel Girls will know, is Gloria. She rules the roost at MCC. She would normally sit around the cafeteria, hoping someone wastes a chicken leg or something. She was a lazy, fat one, but a loving one.
This beautifully furry doggy made friends with me outside Egg Factory on St. Marks Road. He was sitting by my bike at the parking lot and was too cute to ignore. He had a rich, golden mane
This beautifully furry doggy made friends with me outside Egg Factory on St. Marks Road. He was sitting by my bike at the parking lot and was too cute to ignore. He had a rich, golden mane
Doesn't he look like he has all the worries in the world? We found this puppy near Muttukadu beach house in Chennai. He was tied up outside a restaurant, and his friend, another puppy, was also tied close to him, but just out of his reach. He strained and pulled at his leash, but was still a foot away from his friend. He was so sad. : (
Doesn’t he look like he has all the worries in the world? We found this puppy near Muttukadu beach house in Chennai. He was tied up outside a restaurant, and his friend, another puppy, was also tied close to him, but just out of his reach. He strained and pulled at his leash, but was still a foot away from his friend. He was so sad. : (
This was the friend of the puppy I just wrote about. He was really handsome, in a very English way. I don't know why! He looked very smart.
This was the friend of the puppy I just wrote about. He was really handsome, in a very English way.
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This guy was so hyper that I couldn’t get a non-shaky picture of him. This is the third house from mine, and he almost jumped over and out of the compound wall. I don’t think he lives there anymore. He grew out of the place.
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This puppy was a shy one that I found at NITK, Suratkal. He was hungry and haggard, and scared of everyone. Look at those sad, watchful eyes
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My dad found this puppy lost on the streets and told me about it. I immediately brought it home. This picture was taken before leaving to CUPA that same evening. I left him there. I hope someone adopted him. He was dazed, confused and disoriented all the time. Strange fellow!
This dog made a one-day cameo and disappeared to God knows where! He was the most humble dog, who came up to my door step, ate Parle G and went away. Look at how those ears have gone back with humility. So heartening!
This dog made a one-day cameo and disappeared to God knows where! He was the most humble dog, who came up to my door step, ate Parle G and went away. Look at how those ears have gone back. So heartening!
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I don’t know this dog, but I was fascinated with him. He sat calm and majestic, feeling the wind in his hair as his masters rode on the road to Auroville, Pondicherry. Seriously, it happens only in India.

 

That’s that. These are just doggies, whose pictures I have. There are more of course, like the one at SN on JP Nagar, and others, whose pictures I haven’t been able to click. The entire species itself has had a huge role to play in my life and affected my general outlook behaviour, and the way I think. I take inspiration from these dogs.

I just want to thank God for making these four-legged creatures that are way way WAY better than human beings. I hope that someday, I can be as loyal, selfless, caring, protective and loving as a dog.

Puppy
Puppy

Of course, I’d also give anything to just laze around all day like them, wake up to a beautiful sunny day on the road, and sleep under any sort of shelter, anywhere.

If only…

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouette

Art 13
A watercolour painting I made of the Deadwing album by Porcupine Tree
Silhouette 1 birdie
A bird on a tree. I feel this picture is so Twitter-esque.
silhouette 2 hrishi
Sunset at Paradise Beach in Mangalore. It’s all about timing.
Silhouette 3 bessie
Sunrise at Besant Nagar beach, Chennai
silhouette 4 hand
Love sunsets in Kerala

Looks like I love sunsets and sunrises too much. But mostly, I love silhouettes. 

Thanks for dropping by! 

Bottled up memories

I just had a break up. It was a year and a half long relationship. With a water bottle. It was very dear to me. Ask anyone around me and you’ll know. I never went anywhere without it. Not to college, not to office and not on a ride on my bike, not even on my cycle. It’s this orange Tupperware bottle.

Fishy and beer
Oops wrong picture! That’s not my bottle. That just Fishy refusing to drink beer. “You want me to drink this? Really? Irritating!”

Here’s the right picture.

Orange tuppy
With a heavenly glow and everything

I remember the day when my mum first bought it. She bought it because my previous Tupperware bottle started smelling weird. That was the normal blue bottle that everyone has these days. Other companies have even made an imitation of it and my roommate Sanjana had bought the fake one. Gosh! How hard she was trying to be like the elite Tupperware folk. (If my editor read this copy, she’d tear it apart and ask me if Tupperware was paying me). Anyway, my old bottle and I had good times. But it wasn’t unique enough. Also, it began having an affair with Sanjana’s fake bottle.

Look at that! Bottles these days... Shameless I tell you!
Look at that! Bottles these days… Shameless I tell you!

So my mum got me this new bottle when I visited Bangalore from Chennai. Sorry to quote the cliche, but it was love at first sight for me. The colour, the never-before seen shape, the size – it was too perfect. It was made for me.

I have taken it everywhere with me. First of all, its childhood was spent in Chennai when I was studying at ACJ and I’d bring it to Bangalore everytime with me. I took it to Pondicherry every time I visited the little pizza-land. I took it to Pavagada, a tiny taluk in Tumkur, to cover deprivation. (A course we were required to do for 15 days, to go and write reports about how deprived people are in remote areas in the country). There, it served me well. We even collected water in the bottle from roadside taps. And that water was full of fluoride, because that’s the biggest problem Pavagadans face. But my bottle purified the water and didn’t cause us any sort of fluorosis.

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Roadside tap water in Pavagada. I have no clue what that tiny star is doing on my hand

This bottle has been the orange ray of sunshine in my life. I have made iced tea in it an innumerable number of times, during hot sultry days in Chennai. It was the best combination with pizza from Pizza Republic (Because I don’t drink carbonated drinks). I have made rose milk in it after sweaty bouts of TT or cycling. It has accompanied me during walks to the beach. It didn’t matter that it was big and bulky. I’d carry it anyway, even if I wasn’t carrying a bag. It has been in my room in Chennai, day in and day out, and it has watched Game of Thrones and That 70’s Show with us. It has seen the four of us do things we shouldn’t. It knows all our secrets. But it never ever opened up, not until I made it open up. It’s a loyal, good bottle.

I feel bad about not having taken it to Europe with me. I’d lament in the night thinking about it, because bottles in Europe were either too small or too well-rounded. It’s just that this bottle has taken good care of me. It has made me drink so much water, and that is always good for health. I used to refill it around three or four times a day. More times in Chennai than in Bangalore. That’s about four litres of water. Now you know why I’m healthy all the time. It’s all thanks to my bottle, Tuppy.

Today, I am replacing the bottle with another one. Another Tupperware bottle of course. Like the bottle, I’m loyal as well. It’s of my favourite colour.

Me and bottle
Purple. Picture courtesy: Mum

I haven’t used it yet. I’m still in the process of letting go of Orange Tuppy. We are on good terms. But I’m not entirely letting it go. Don’t want to hurt it. I’ll keep it at home and use it from time to time. But for now, it’s a good bye.

Strange how such silly little things can get so attached to us.

Blood, sweat and fear (of an injection)

I had my first minor surgery today. And how? I left office with three options: go get soothing oil for my stiff knee, go to the parlour to get rid of man hands or go get the disgusting corn growing on my foot removed. I gave the last option first priority. So I went. I went in jeans, tshirt and flip flops, saw the doctor in a room when I just entered, waved at him and wordlessly pointed at my foot (he has seen me before) and went into an inner room and lay down on a bed in a local hospital.

I’m quite accustomed to pain generally. When I was around 8, a <insert a very rude bad word> dentist put me through a week-long root canal process without giving me anesthesia. I have hated any needles ever since. And I haven’t gotten an injection after I was four years old. I haven’t even been vaccinated against Hepatitis A and B. (Don’t lecture me about it now you!) I have never gotten a Tetanus after falling because God-forbid I haven’t fallen and hurt myself that badly. And I’m quite proud of holding this no-injection record.

So the last time I went to see this doc was ten days back. You see, I have extremely pretty feet. I get comments like “You should be a foot model!” (Not like my face isn’t pretty and I can’t be err… a full-body model; it’s just that my feet are exceptionally pretty). Look at these. Aren’t they pretty?

 

Yes, I love to click pictures of my feet.

So back when I was in Chennai, a small corn began growing on my right foot. I ignored it and let it become bigger, just to experience a corn. Ten days back, what had until then remained innocuous, suddenly began causing irritation. Not much, but I didn’t like the look of it on my foot. So I visited Dr. Bellubbi. He glanced at the corn carelessly but with a mocking smile and said, “Wear a corn cap for a few days. When it becomes soft, I will chop it off.” The words “chop off” resounded in my head and I looked at the doctor’s sudden wicked smile. I asked him apprehensively, “Will you give me an injection?” He said, “yes” and positively did a loud evil laugh like Mojo Jojo. I widened my eyes and ran out of the clinic, without even paying him, and went home and hid under my blanket.

Ok. No. I didn’t pay him because he didn’t charge me, I went to the apothecary (oh how I love this word!) and bought a corn cap and wore it religiously until today. Yesterday I did make a visit to his clinic to have it removed and he said I’d have to go to the hospital because it wasn’t such an easy procedure.

So I dragged my daddy along with me. My dad hates hospitals. He hates needles, he hates blood. He’s a wuss when it comes to all that. Just like me. When the doctor told him to stay outside the room, he was a bit worried, but probably relieved.

I lay on the bed, and explained to the doctor that I was scared and warned him that I would scream. He responded with, “even I’m scared. I may scream as well.” I rolled my eyes and looked away from the injection into which he was filling anesthesia. He promised it would be just a mosquito bite and I bit my lip and buried my face in the pillow. He poked me once. I screamed. He poked me again. I screamed louder. He poked me thrice, four times and a fifth time. By now, my eyes were tearing up hopelessly. It wasn’t crazy painful. I was probably just depressed that my 18-year-long record of no-injections was coming to an end. That’s the only way I can explain the relentless tears that followed for the next hour.

The procedure itself was a breezy affair. There was a lot of blood involved. It didn’t irk me. I held my foot still and obediently had it removed. I didn’t cry. The doctor removed the corn, told the nurse to clean it up and dress it and left. After all that, when I walked out of the room, another nurse beckoned me towards another inner room, saying “the doctor has arranged a syringe.” I figured he wanted to give me the syringe for memory’s sake. I didn’t know if that is a nasty gesture or a sweet one. But I ignored the nurse and walked towards the exit. I thought I’d pay and then go take the syringe.

But no. The nurse called out to me again. I turned around and raised my eyebrow at her because my voice was a bit shaky to talk and I didn’t wanna look/sound like a wuss in front of the 30 people who sat on benches facing me, waiting for their number to be called. So yeah, I raised my eyebrow at her. She said, “You have to take a tetanus.”

With that one sentence, I lost it. The clouds burst and I thundered in front of everyone. I AM NOT TAKING ANOTHER INJECTION I yelled in between my sobs. Thirty people sat staring, some smiling, some laughing, some empathising, and some children just bewildered and tugging at their parents’ sleeves to take them back home. I walked to my dad. I was about to bury my face in his chest and weep, but like I have written before, we are an awkward family when it comes to handling emotions. My dad backed off. So I just wept into nothing. I wailed all the way to the room in the back. My dad patted me on my back encouragingly but I saw the pained look in his eye. He wouldn’t want to be in my place. I sat on the bed there, told the nurses to give me five minutes to sort things out in my head and figure out why I was crying. The nurse, surely, felt like laughing. She and her friend exchanged if-you-know-what-I-mean looks.

I asked them to get me tissue, I lay down on the bed again sniffing and breathing in short gasps. The nurse turned me over, and gave me a tetanus shot on my hip. It wasn’t as bad as the injection on my toe. I got up, with my lips quivering and my cheeks about to give away. I blew my nose into four big tissues and went to the exit.

The doctor saw me and said to go back through the week to change the dressing. I told him firmly that I was never going back there. When he saw me waiting for my dad to finish the payments, he said he could drop me home by car. (He’s a local doctor. He knows my home). I flatly told him, with the best smile I could manage, “I don’t want to see you for a while.” He smiled and walked away.

Imagine I came back home to find all my neighbours at home, dressed up and singing songs to Lord Krishna on his janmashtami. I wore a Led Zeppelin tshirt and looked as horrible as possible with a running nose, a sweaty face, teary eyes and a limp to add to that.

Sigh. That’s how my first ever surgery went. I am quite the wuss. And damn! I’m never going to have tattoos in my life.

 

Veshtified

It was the year 2011. April was around the corner. My parents had become edgy and anxious as my sister’s wedding loomed closer than ever. We had driven to Chennai from Bangalore for our one-day pattu-sari shopping trip.

On the way to T.Nagar, the silk saree hub in Chennai, my mother suddenly remembered that we had to buy clothes for men as well. My face fell at the thought of selecting tens of lifeless, boring, white pieces of cloth- veshtys.

You can’t picture a veshty on a man and think if it would suit him or not like you can with a saree. For instance, my atthei is very fair and a bright pink would suit her perfectly. The would-be mother-in-law is rather plump, so a dark colour would be apt. My dad on the other hand, is skinny and has long curly hair. My mama, he’s bald and overweight. But they’ll both wear similar veshtys- plain white ones, with golden or red border. They’re all the same.

Crest fallen, I entered the store looking into my phone. When I finally tore my eyes away, I was shocked at what I saw. Bales and bales of the most colourful clothes hung on all sides of the room- cotton, silk, tussar, crape, nylon and what not. Random uncles and aunties in the store stood feeling rolls of cloth, considering different colours, making calls and asking what kind of a veshty was required for the groom, what kind of a veshty must be given to the vaadhyar as dakshina, bargaining with the shopkeeper – “nyaayuma sollungo saar. Moon aiiyira rhomba jaasthi.”

An old man was walking around with his own veshty folded up, looking very purposeful. His torso was hidden behind a pile of pink, purple and yellow shiny silk veshtys that he dumped on the billing counter and shouted out something incomprehensible.

Another man with a big moustache stood tall with his arms folded, talking to his malli-poo clad wife. He wore a beige veshty, crisp and smooth until his feet. It emanated a sense of dignity. They had a third person with them- an aging man, who sported a dark purple cotton veshty tied up kachche style. He looked like he’d been wearing veshtys for years. A veshty veteran.

A young man, perhaps a to-be groom, stood looking confused and harassed at the amount he would be shelling out of his pocket for a veshty he wouldn’t bother looking at after his wedding day. He held expensive-looking blue and purple veshtys with rich zhari borders around him. I was fascinated with the variety of borders and designs on the veshtys. This store would put any saree shop to shame.

Colourful Veshtys!

I looked outside the shop and a poor man in a worn out off-white veshty stood selling postcards. My dad himself wore a semi-veshty to sleep every night. His was all colourful and had designs on it. It was more of a lungi than a veshty. But then again, they’re variables of the same species.

Suddenly, a whole new world seemed to open up before me, a world that I never knew existed. If sarees can tell stories, so can veshtys. Be it the colour, the way someone ties it or carries it. Veshtys have a whole language of their own. The wonders 4 yards of cloth can do!

Wildlife in the city

I’m a new girl in the city of Chennai. I come from Bangalore, a highly urbanised city, where there are more buildings than trees. I have fallen in love with Chennai simply because it’s so green and full of wildlife. So I decided to take my camera out and roam about Taramani and Indranagar a bit. Here’s what I found.

The arrogant mister
Colour me orange
Underwater beauty
Hubert Cumberdale, ACJ’s very own kitten
‘Shrooms
Coiled up under a tree
I’m drying my clothes and- “Oh look! Deer!”
“And the deer’s baby!”

It’s a joy to see such beauties in the middle of such chaos. I was rather lucky to have seen the deer and the chameleon. Hope I get to see them more often.

If you’d like to see more of them, click here.

Also, if you’re a fan of reptiles like I am, you’ll surely enjoy this.