Oh Chintu, you sweet doggie. You came into the society right after my 9th had ended with your cutie lil sister Mintu. Both white. Chintu, a boy with brown spots and Mintu, a girl, with black spots. You both were adorably cute and wanted to play with Moony, who, ahem, can have a li’l attitude. You were just a year younger to Moony. I remember Risbood auntie christening you both.
Time flew and you grew up to be such a weirdo. You had the smoothest head I have ever seen! With taut skin and super short hair, and a thin long tail, you looked perpetually naked. One of your eyes had thick black liner and one eye had half and rest half some pink thing going on. We never stopped making fun of your funky looks. Mintu was the prettier one clearly. She had puppies when she was 2 years old. It was inside a junk hut full of wooden planks and stuff. Mom told us not to go near Mintu because she may have bitten us, but yet Dad and I went near the hut the day after they were born to see them. We were peeping through the window when she saw us. She came running outside with the most amazing expression on her face! She was smiling, we kid you not! She actually nudged us in and then pushed her li’l puppies to dad and my feet. It was like she was showing them off! Dad started patting her saying things like ‘kiti goad aahe tujhe baal, shaani Mintu majhi’(How cute your kids are, my good Mintu). She just lied down for a tummy rub from Dad while I played with the pups. Sorry Chintu, for we had to send your nephews/perhaps sons(I hope not!) away for adoption and eventually the watchman also sent Mintu away to live on someone’s farm. I hope she had a good life.
Chintu, it was amazing how you could recognize our car’s horn from one lane away when Dad would come back from work. Heck, you even recognized our Scooty’s sound! Well, our Scooty roars like a rocket engine but goes at the speed of a bicycle, so it is not hard to recognize. It doesn’t matter if you were snoozing somewhere, or eating, or doing any of your business, but you came running and gamboling to greet mom or dad or me. You used to be rewarded with toast or khaari. Just this was enough for your evening snack because you liked to have chicken courtesy Aderao auntie for your dinner. You were so regular that toast and khaari was a part of our monthly ration even if no one else in the house ate them.
Your breakfast was set to be milk and roti. We had to do every trick in the world to shut the door on Moony’s face because he would get insanely jealous when you got the food from us. Moony was a jerk at times barking at you from the car, but you would just go ‘aaaaoooonnnnn aaaaaa’ at him and continue wagging your weird whippy tail in circles.
It was a delight in the morning to meet you. Dad says you never missed the morning walk. As soon as he would take Moony out, you would join them and roam together. And then, you would earn your breakfast. Well, you would also go missing for days, when you were out and about like a Romeo. We always wondered how you did it in spite of the operation we got done on you! Geesh! You would come back with new cuts and bruises from all the wars you fought for the ladies. And then it was Dad’s headache to pot ointments on you or wash you up. There was this one time I had to wash your face for a gross reason. Moony had lifted his leg to pee on a small plant and God knows why you rolled over there and Moony continued his business. You were blinking when his pee hit your face but there was nothing anyone could do!
The funniest thing I remember of you is your vigorously wagging tail going thwack-thwack on the ground because you wouldn’t even get up out of sleepiness and then squealing for me to pat you. The other thing is how your and Moony’s weird relationship made me suspect that Moony’s gay. Also, I am going to slide over the fact that you stole some of Moony’s girlfriends. You got slapped by mom and no snacks on those days.The biggest Chintu characteristic was that we would be walking home from the grocery store and suddenly we would feel this wetness on our hands. You would always sneak up from behind and lick our hands! Sneaky you! You also had the most incredibly clean and white teeth ever! You could have been a walking and talking advertisement for colgate.
A lot of building people always wanted you out. But mom and dad argued with/convinced everyone that you were okay. You had indeed prevented some robberies. Except Vengurlekar aunty who kept up a constant tirade against you. Not considering the fact that you were old, and arthritic, and so tired. We defended you. Always. Dad threatened this man at the grocery store who claimed he would poison you. That is the only time I have heard of Dad really losing it. You were the most harmless creature ever and even little kids played with you freely. You were last in the generation of dogs that came with you. Kolhoba(accident), Furry(disappeared with the watchman), Mintu(gone), many others. Now there are Audi and Snowy who are extremely sweet as well.
My parents last day in Kothrud, they fed you eggs and milk and you really enjoyed the meal. They sent me pictures. Even I had tears in my eyes looking at you. They don’t tell me, but they were very emotional at the thought of leaving you. But they were sure Aderao auntie will keep you full and fed and well-cared for like rest of the dogs.
We left on 26th November 2014. We had our Vastu Pujan on 3rd January 2015 when I was in Pune. Risbood uncle and auntie came home on 6th January 2015. Auntie told us then…. You were gone…. 28th December 2014. You had a very bad evening and probably had a cardiac arrest. You left for the rainbow bridge later that night surrounded by your kiddo friends and Aderao Auntie. She took care of you and kept you warm. She got you medicines from the Doc as well, but there was no point.
You passed away at your 12 years of age. You had a long and hopefully good life. You are the only roadie I know who had a natural death so that makes me happy for you.
Chintu, we will always remember every bit of you.
That very black wet nose, the hard and round scalp and the whip of a tail you had.
The wetness of your sneaky kisses, the hundreds of fleas we pulled out of your skin, and your very strong legs.
The funny floppy ears, the half pink eye, and the funny squeal of yours.
The lady-love scars, your love for butter-milk, and your evening snacking.
We miss you, sweets.
Chintu, the great.