15

Sweet Charlington (Guest Post by the father)

“An angel may have a tail in lieu of wings and a halo,
He can enrich your life by ways so sweet and mellow.”

Bye sweet Charlie…. May you rest in eternal peace amidst squirrels and carrots….

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Charlie was my ex landlady’s dog. He was laid to peace on 05/28/2014 after suffering the ill effects of old age. He was an absolute sweetheart. I said goodbye to him on the 27th.

ETA:
My father wrote this ‘as me’ and I edited it to add some more things. He knew how I loved C.
*——————-*
You came in my life by quite an accident. I remember the day I saw you for the first time. After finishing my studies at San Diego, I got a job in nearby OC. I had short-listed a couple of accommodations in OC. When I visited one of those for finalising, I saw you. And I think without knowing I finalised that accommodation because of you! You were quite a deciding criteria.

I saw you and your lively, brown, round eyes caught my attention. Those were so warm and inviting, that I just could not resist. The dog lover in me just could not let the opportunity pass on.

I shifted to that house and immediately you accepted me as a friend. That bond was meant last forever. I came to know that you were brought by the landlady from a rescue home around 9 years back. At the time of the adoption, you were estimated to be around 3-4 years old. That made you about the same age as my Moony. I joined you and we had wonderful time.

You were one of those who would make even a stone hearted person feel affection for you. You had an uncanny knack of getting attention and love. You become my friend when I wanted someone badly, being alone in a new place not knowing anyone.

I took upon myself the duty of taking you out regularly and to look after you. Spending time with you was a delight. I vividly remember how eagerly you used to wait for me to come back from work. You would welcome me enthusiastically everyday and then feel happy going out with me. You made me think about you all the time whenever I was out. I will admit that sometimes I did take you out begrudgingly and got angry with you when you were being stubborn. I am sorry C, for pulling and tugging at your leash and forcing you to climb the stairs.

It makes me smile when I think about your great weakness for carrots. You simply loved carrots. I used those as a bait to keep you moving when we went for a walk. It was adorable to throw pieces of carrots all around the house and send you off on a mini treasure hunt. Even cuter, was to watch you play soccer on your own with your beach ball. I would rather not remember how you loved to poke your nose in the trash cans and pull out disgusting things. You could eat anything, and would eat everything. Food was your fuel, in every sense of the term!

Your cute looks are best memories for me. Your short frame and bright, light brown coat was so nice to feel. Your energy hid your age. Your eyes always spoke and spoke affection. Everytime you would come back from the groomers, you would have a bright bandana around your neck, clea paws and tufty big ears. You always looked so handsome.

You tried to make up for the void I was feeling remembering my fond doggie Moony at home in India. It was a big comfort to have you with me. Also, I am sorry to shut the door on you when Laurel wasn’t around and make you sleep alone in her room. But, I just did not know how to satisfy your hunger anymore! Your whines confused me so much!

Dear Charlie, wherever you are, I am sure you will be loved by all around you. I sincerely pray for your eternal peace.

According to our Hindu philosophy, we believe in next birth. Please come again and be a part of our lives because we miss you so much.

4

Burnt dinner = Homesickness

Last evening, I sat down trying to figure out what to make for dinner. Usually, I wash my hair on Thursdays. So after gym and the hair wash, I don’t have much time and I usually end up cooking something light like eggs or bread or anything ready.. So I stepped into the kitchen to just heat up my ready to eat rotis and I planned on having it with yogurt. But I also had to make salad for lunch. When I took out my basket of veggies, I realized my mushrooms were starting to go brown. I decided that I will sauté them quickly with some schezwan sauce and be done with it. One thing led to another, and I started chopping chilli, tomatoes and onions to make some curry instead.

After I finished frying the curry and putting the mushrooms, I put some water in it to stew a bit and I went to call my parents. I have to call before 7.30 pm to catch my dad before he leaves for work. I made the call and sorted out my gym bag for the next day in like 2 minutes. I was still talking to my mom and went into the kitchen to see my curry, and there, I smelt it burning.

Oh god! I ran to it and my curry had disappeared into a black coal layer on my kadhai and my poor mushroom looked shriveled up. My voice just dropped really low as I told my mom what happened. I just got so upset that my dinner was ruined. She told me to take non burnt stuff and to have it if it wasn’t smelling. I did that because I couldnt just throw my dinner away. Plus, throwing food makes me really upset. So I gave a deep sigh and told my mom that I will call her later after sorting this mess out. I was already done talking to dad.

I took out the mushrooms, and they were alright. They were edible enough. I put the kadhai in sink with water to loosen the black stuff inside and proceeded to finish off my dinner. I felt so so sad while having it and I started missing home a lot. L

I called my mom again after the dinner and she said my dad had already finished a long lecture delivery on how one should stand by the stove while cooking and how my mom should also do that to avoid burning milk and everything. Just to clarify, my dad wasn’t being mean to her, but he was upset because I lost my dinner and that was his venting out. Yes, he vents out by giving weird lectures. I laughed it off and told them I was finished eating and lied that it was alright.

After the whole talk, I was feeling very homesick. I was missing home cooked food, and all the love and the pampering. There are times my mom also ends up burning the food, but it doesn’t matter when you all are together. You just make do with it. When staying alone, getting up in the morning, going to work, working out, making dinner and sleeping is such a regular schedule that you get used to it, and you think you are doing good. But when things like some ache, some burnt food, some cold and cough show up, they disrupt your schedule. That disruption makes you realize how important your people are for you. How they being there, makes everything, even these troubles seem so much easier to deal with. They are the reason why you don’t just live, but you thrive. Sometimes being alone is way too lonely. Siggghhh. The only thing I can do is speak as often to my parents as I can. If not in reality, they are a part of my life here, virtually. And they do make things so much easier even while being thousands of miles apart.

I decided to change my mood and started to talk to mom about random stuff like Corelle dinnerware and anarkalis and what not. It made me feel better, so much better. After our talk, I got my laptop out to start watching my shows, and for once, I was glad that the Big Bang Theory had a really fun episode yesterday.

4

If only….

If only I could get drunk,
On memories of you,
Life would be sweet,
And be again all new.

If only i could relive,
All those moments again,
I wouldnt ask anymore,
You’d leave me when.

If only i could chain,
Your heart to my soul,
We would together,
Be complete and whole.

If only i could feel,
Your hand on my hand,
I would seal our footsteps,
On the golden sand.

If only my wishes,
Could come alive,
I would fall into you,
With one final dive.