BOOK REVIEWS, top post on indiblogger

Book Review – Destination Kakori – By Smita Dhruv

Around 22 years before India got her freedom, few young boys in their early twenties challanged the mighty British empire and sacrificed their lives for the independence of India. The Kakori train robbery took place on 9 August 1925 during the Indian Independence movement against the British Raj.
The robbery was conceived by Ram Prasad Bismil and Ashfaqullah Khan and was executed by these two along with Rajendra Lahiri, Chandrashekhar Azad, Sachindra Bakshi, Keshab Chakravarty, Manmathnath Gupta, Mukundi Lal, Murari Lal Gupta and Banwari Lal.
On 9 August 1925, the Number 8 Down train travelling from Shahjahanpur to Lucknow. It is believed that they looted this train because it was supposedly carrying the money bags which allegedly belonged to the Indians and was being transferred to the British government treasury. They looted only those money bags ( ₹ 8000) from the guards’ cabin.

Smita Dhruv

Ms. Smita Dhruv has weaved an engrossing fiction around this brave act of young sons of India who were totally committed to the freedom of their motherland. Though we know of only few leaders who fought for our beloved country’s freedom, there are many more Indians who had fought for India’s freedom but their names are no where to be seen. “Who are these hundered and thousands of people?” This thought used to disturb Smita a lot and became the basis of this amazing book. Freedom neither happened in a day nor was the result of efforts of few handful of leaders.

Smita created a fiction which is based on not so known incidence of “Kakori Conspiracy”. But it really shook the mighty British empire. This book shows the trying times which was faced by families when their young children revolted against their own parents to join independence struggle and how their families suffer emotionally and financially.

The story started in the backdrop of cancellation of Non-Cooperative movement by Gandhiji which has disillusioned the youth of country who had participated enthusiastically and made it a successfull movement. The main characters of the story are – Banvari and his brother Satish, close friend Mukund Pandey and Leena (sister of Banvari and Satish), who was married to Mukund in the later part of the story. Some representation is given to Britishers too, which shares the view point of Britishers. The story is in the form of narrations by each of the characters and strongly shares the emotions, anger and struggles of each one of them.

In our history books, we were taught about the sequence and the major event but what this book has brought is the humane side of common man who had contributed to India’s freedom struggle. This book has brought the common Indian to the centre stage. As one goes through the book, one feels to be part of the history. I felt as if I am walking along with the characters as they walk through their life. Many a times, I had goosebumps and tears while going through the struggles of their families who were suffereings but still supporting their children in their fight against British Empire. Leena, the only major woman character in the story represents the role of women in freedom struggle while maintaining their family responsibilities. Author is able to paint a very realistic picture by sharing the social ethics, frustrations, struggle and strong will of the committed Indians of those times. It is a successful attempt to revive the shining moments of the valours of brave Indian freedom fighters who were not given enough credit. The book has successfully portrayed the mental agony, dillemma, financial and survival issues of the freedom fighters and their families.

Smita has done lot of research and met with the families of many freedom fighters to listen to their memories and experiences. This is the reason, she has been able to bring authenticity to the story and transported readers back into those times.

This book is a must read book for our young generation to know the sacrifices of our people in getting freedom which they are enjoying now , the price being paid for it and value their struggle.

Highly recomended to read. You can buy this book from below links.

Amazon Online Gatha

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CAUSE A CHATTER, Knowledge Series, LIFESTYLE, top post on indiblogger

THE SUSTAINABLE DISPOSAL OF ELECTRONIC WASTE IN INDIA

Electronic waste is said to be a hazard for the environment. World over it has been a bigger issue as compared to India. Research indicates that electronic waste in India goes through many cycles of reuse, repair and resale. So, in fact, wasting is regularly deferred. In India mass collections of used electronics are repaired, refurbished, and re-sold to other businesses. Thus the waste is back into use. Producing new products from used parts or reselling your things to new companies is a good practice.

E waste

For example, an old computer monitor is always cited as one of the most polluting categories of E-Waste because of their leaded glass. But it is used in remanufacturing TVs. This extends the life of these electronic gadgets. The recycling of E-Waste, which can be chemically hazardous, is based on the value of materials. For example, a smartphone can have almost Rs.75 worth of gold in it. Such reuse of E waste is essentially a very creative skill. It is based in scientific knowledge. Most of these people who are doing it, do not have any degrees, but have learnt with experience.

They understand some basic aspects of electrical engineering, global electronics production, commodity trading etc. and they found out the useful rather usable part from any waste and reuse it. There is so much free-flow and movement in the used electronics economy that everyone who is involved in managing the waste explores whether a device or a part has another use or potential for use. The overall tone is of experimentation and exploration.

It’s about creative minds, figuring out how to make things which work or things which could be useful. This results in incredibly innovative ways of repurposing E-Waste. For example, laptop batteries were remade into batteries for children’s toys or mobile phone chargers. Some devices are repurposed to test other devices. For example, a small LED light can be used to indicate if a device is working or a wall outlet re-circuited and connected to a light bulb to test whether a circuit is working.

The professionals in the E-Waste industry, generally believe that nothing is useless. They have an underlying wise view with which they approach every item as having a potential use or value. Even if one person didn’t know how to use it, someone down the line would use them.

Everyone recognizes that waste is produced by the people or by the society. The things need not have to become redundant after use. The people need to approach things with a flexible view to their use and should be open to experimentation and finding a new way to use them.

Divide between people working in different segments of the used electronic industry ranges from small scale kabaddi walas to scrape dealers to large-scale traders, who travel internationally. The kabaddi wala mostly deals in regular recyclable, like, plastic, and paper earlier but added e-waste to their portfolio since electronics has more value than other recyclables . They are helping us to dispose off the waste in sustainable and responsible way but their important work is not recognized .

Our country and other South Asian countries which also have similar reused economies provide an important example for countries in the West. The developed world has lifestyles which is based on disposal rather than recycling. They are bigger culprit in harming the environment and planet earth. While we have a sound system in place with low rates of recycling and related reuse and repair. Even my kabadi wala, who did not speak English, know the term “use and throw” as “American way of life“.

There are burgeoning movements in the West now that support people to developing their repair and reuse skills. I am very hopeful at seeing these movements grow in the interest of environment. As far as India’s domestic industry is concerned, the government could provide more support to this informal sector and recycling enterprises with imaginations. The government can set up industrial areas with infrastructure to support the informal recycling sector . The industry experts can work with E-Waste recyclers by guiding and training them. This will help to provide a step forward that would reduce the wastage in the process of re-cycling. These recyclers definitely deserve our recognition and respect.

Sustainable disposal to save environment is the need of the hour.

It is high time, we show responsibility towards electronic waste disposal as a global community. Environmental pollution has reached to such a stage that our climate changes are threatening our basic survival. It’s time to opt for sustainable living and caring for environment. Let us celebrate every day as “environment day” by controlling our habits which harm the environment and planet earth. This is the only place we have to live. Let us join hands to save our home.

This post is part of #CAUSEACHATTER WITH BLOGCHATTER.

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This Pandemic Has Changed My Home

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As they say, home is where the heart is! I believe home is where the soul is. Home is the place where you unwind, at ease, comfortable and uninhibited. A place to dream and act freely !

If we go by definition, a home may be a constructed house, or some other kind of dwelling, lodging, or shelter. It’s a place  where you come back to. It’s a place where you pack your bag to travel and when you come back, you feel the most comfortable here .

Before the Covid pandemic, people used to spend half of their day out of homes thus giving space and privacy to all family members.

I belong to the retired people category so staying at home was a routine. We are four people of three generations living under one roof.

My 89 years old dad has not stepped out of home since last 3 years on his own. He spends most of his time in his room, though mobile and independent for his age. He keeps himself busy in his meditation , watching his favourite shows/ movies on TV and dozing off and on in between .

Me and RB had decided to be  out of the active work force since mid 2018. I was a freelancer content developer and RB was a practicing CA when we hanged our boots to live a more relaxed life.

Cooking Experiments by Son-Dad Duo

My software engineer son is doing consultancy with different companies in different countries and has been working from home for around three years before it became a covid forced norm last year.

So, even before the pandemic, all of us are used to of spending most of our time at home. The pandemic brought lockdowns and restrictions which curbed the freedom to go out or get food delivered at home or go out dining,  off line shopping, movies, plays, outings with friends and long drives etc.

My first Covid casualty was my early morning yoga class, which I used to love a lot as it was a perfect start of the day. The yoga class had since been started in online mode and I am finding it better than the offline class.

It also gave house helpers much needed paid breaks. It was tough at the onset as I have made myself too much dependent on her. But I am always eager to find ways to solve the issues rather than crib about them.

The maids were banned by society management as per the government guidlines. But three of us have shared the household work and taken the responsibilities / accountabilties of  specific household work. All SOPs were in place and thus daily running of house became well oiled .

Baked Rice- Rajmah

My kitchen had always been a gender free space since long time now as both my sons along with their dad RB makes a good cooking team. Cooking is a life skill and all three ( sons and RB) knows enough to fill their tummies when need be. My sons  had  studied abroad after their 12th class and are well versed in cooking and planning a meal. Cooking for them is a stress buster activity.

As pandemic started and with no kitchen help, it was too much for me to handle all the three meals. This leaves me with no time to do my kind of things. So we divided the work. Now, dinners are organised and cooked by son – dady duo. In my family, breakfast and dinners are major meals while lunch is mostly non cooking options of fruits and salads, leftovers or bread kind of assortments. I had the responsibility of laying a full breakfast on table. I am a morning person, so breakfast is my favourite meal and I enjoy cooking it too.

The routine cleaning is also done with every one’s help. Let me be very clear about it, with no helping hand, we could only manage to do the basics and all other household works have been on hold. My household help rejoined in May 2020 and it was a day to rejoice. She has again been asked to go on leave with the commencement of second wave.

I had started going out for late night walk with my son around 10 in the night as there were lesser number of people so less interactions and more distances. Yeh kahan aa gaye hum ….

I have added some gadgets to help me in managing the essential household jobs. I have a dishwasher since a decade and it has proved to be a great boon in these times. A robotic vaccum cleaner brooms the house and a smart spinning mop proved great help in mopping the whole household. Washing machine has also become the basic necessity now.

Dusting is something which I have not done since long time now but forced to do in the absence of dear Kokilaben, my helper. I will not tell lies— I avoid doing it many a times. 😛

I find atta kneading very boring so I had added an atta kneader . No one in the family knows this art. Thus, house hold jobs are taken care of with the help of gadgets and division of work.

Another addition to my gadget galore is foot and leg massager as it really helps to warm up calf and foot muscles which are underused. 🙂

Our small balcony garden !

Not going out and being at home 24×7 puts lots of mental pressures on every one. We have dealt with it by dividing our personal and family time. This freedom to be your own self helps in keeping mental peace. Keeping in touch with extended family and friends also helps. One of the family activity is gardening. Besides, we have a daily session of cards after dinner and a long session of scrabble on Sundays.

With time, every one in the family has set up a routine. Every one has found a favourite corner too to do his/ her things. Though there are times when it feels suffocating to be at home and we just go out for a drive when the sun is still shining. Since I live in the outskirts of the city, there are still many vast fields and green areas around. Driving through nature relieves tension and opens up mind.

I miss the human interactions, dressing up and a well kept home everything which we used to take for granted !

Who knows, when will the life will come back to normal? But hoping the next year will be like 2019… open, free and full of sunshine!

‘This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’

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Blogchatter A2Z 2021, FOOD, Knowledge Series, top post on indiblogger

How about a Date?

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It’s quite ok to have a date, whatever your age! Isn’t it?

Yes,  dates keep one  quite healthy and happy and one should try to include them in the diet. Confused?

We are referring to dates  also known as khajur in Hindi. 🙂

This being Ramadan month, dates is one of the most popular foods that are served as part of Iftars. They are natural sweeteners. Many desserts are prepared using them without any added sugar.

Dates are said to be  originally from Iran, though it is now available and consumed across the world. Date Palms are mostly found in the deserts and they usually grow in clusters. I am born and brought up in Haryana and remember seeing dates trees while crisscrossing the state. As a young child, I find them  similar to  coconut trees.🌴 

I had eaten or rather seen for the first time raw red dates when I had first shifted to Ahmedabad in 2003. I have ever since become fan of those sweet bright red coloured wonder fruit after taking my first bite. 

The Middle East nations ( Iran, Egypt,Southi Arab etc.) are top dates producing countries. In these countries, dates are considered a staple food . The dates cultivation seems to be from the 6th millennium BCE. There are different varieties of dates available in the market now and each have diffrent taste and texture.

Dates is a nutritious fruit, especially when dried. It contains a lot of fibre and essential vitamins and minerals which are good for our health. Many people eat it as a dessert and they really make a healthy dessert but only if taken in moderation!

Let us see why dates are said to be an excellent food?

 

Dates have always been known for the rich concentration of antioxidants in them and help us prevent and combat a lot of infections. 

These powerhouse of antioxidants  protects human body cells from damage to oxidative stress from free radicals. Also, the carotenoids  in dates help reduce eye-related disorders. They are also richly endowed with flavonoids  and Phenolic acid. The dates have anti-inflammatory properties and can reduce the risk of cancer and help with heart issues.

Dates are good for bones as they have Copper, Selenium, and Magnesium in abundance. They also are a rich source of  essential Vitamin K . Vitamin K helps in coagulation of blood which in turnt helps in bone metabolism. In post-menopausal women, the Potassium in dates is beneficial by protecting the bone mass. Hence, eating foods rich in minerals that provide bone strength and keep them healthy is important.

Anything sweet is supposed to be bad for diabetics. However,  sweet foods with low glycemic index can be safely eaten by diabetics. Low glycemic index  means is that  the absorption of sugar into the blood will be slow. Dates have a low glycemic index. They are  rich in fibre which slows down digestion. The fibre rich dates also aids in bowel movements and prevents constipation.

Interestingly dates  also help to increase the production of insulin in the body. Hence can also prevent  from getting diabetes as the sugar absorption rate in the intestines is reduced. Overall, it can be considered a diabetic-friendly food.

Every want to reverse ageing. Our super food Dates come with anti-ageing factors. The Vitamin C and D present in dates helps maintain the elasticity of  skin. Funnily, most dates  (especially the dried ones) come with wrinkled skin but may help keep  skin free from wrinkles.

Studies have shown that dates can lower brain inflammations which are found to be associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Some studies have also found that dates prevent the formation of plaques in the brain which cause to cognitive loss. This is mainly due to the anti-inflammatory properties mentioned earlier. The choline and Vitamin B in dates helps learning and memory functions.

It’s time to Date !

Dates being  good source of a lot of essential stuff that helps us stay healthy.

Come on, let’s go dating !

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Blogchatter A2Z 2021, Down Memory Lane, LIFESTYLE, Musings, top post on indiblogger

Retired Life

Top Post on IndiBloggerRetirement brings shivers in a man’s heart and more so in his wife’s. But no one seems to be concerned about her. Everyone is unconcerned about the changes that will bring her world “topsy turvy”. 

If you are a working wife, chances are you are still going to the office, leaving the whole house to the “old man”. 🙂 (What else to say about a retired man?) The only change you will find is entering into a not so clean house, which is a very small price of his retirement as compared to the upheavals in the life of a stay-at-home wife or work from home professionals like me.

I remember a very unusual advice from my mom, when I told her about my decision to marry the man, I was dating. He was 10 years my senior. He didn’t look 10 years older than me. We both looked good together. I remember, whenever we entered any get-together, people always turn their necks to bestow admiring glances on us. 

But mom, my girl Friday warned me about the future. My mom told me, you will find it very difficult to handle his retirement as you will still be working, fully independent,free from household juggleries and a free bird. That would be the time, when children must have left the nest to find their own place in the big world. A prophecy from someone who was dreading her husband’s retirement after  few years. 😋. Papa retired  6 years after my marriage. How true she was, I realized it when it happened. 

I didn’t see it coming the way mom saw hers and also warned me too. I didn’t give it a thought then. It was still few decades away, I thought.  Anyway, when one is in love, the thought of spending lots of time together is nothing but more love. 

The decades gone by in a jiffy and it’s time for his retirement. I am writing from my own experiences of seven years now. 😋

I have opted to work from home from 2007. Market in online education was nascent then and there were many opportunities to choose from. I had my fingers in both the pies of being a professional and stay at home wife. The boys had flown away almost around the same time. 

As a stay at home mom or homemaker, the whole household is yours the moment children and husband go out to their “daily outings” of school/ college and office at least five days in a week. This is the time when one feels  being the real “ queen of the house”. You can do any changes at home without any interference or approval from anyone. Least of all the master of the household for the simple reason that he spends most of his waking hours outside and when he comes back, there is nothing much to be done in the day to day running of the household. I loved this situation as it gives me total independence and control on household affairs. On the first day of his retirement, his waking hours at home gives him all the time to poke his nose into all the affairs and I remembered mom and her prophecy.

The first casualty of his retirement was the freedom, solitude and my “me time” at home. I was working as a freelance professional and strictly followed my office timings. With him at home, “chalo Yaar chai peete Hain” sessions were affecting my time schedule of the day. My evening walks had gone for a toss and were replaced with evening long drives. They were somewhat romantic when we started but after a few rides, they became a fertile ground of starting a fight. The only solace was that it was a new one every day. Repetitiveness bores me to death. 😄  

Wise men or women have rightly said that “too much intimacy brings contempt”. 

The tussel of keeping a clean house started the moment maid rings the bell and he gets up from the ringing of the bell. The daily bone of contention is to stop him from walking on the freshly mopped wet floor. But his belief in “ chodte chalon nishaan” is killing my belief in a clean shining floor. 

It has been ages since I saw a neat and clean bed throughout the day. The moment it’s cleaned, he takes the newspaper and then perch himself there, slipping a little with time and then falling asleep. To counter the wrinkles on my bed sheet, I opted for fitted bedsheets. It has saved me at least to make bed every now and then. 

Another fertile battle ground for us is the selection of plants and placement of pots in our small balcony garden. Our plants now grow on our fights and not on fertilizer. It was decades ago when Dr. Jagdish Chandra Bose proved that soft music helps in keeping plants happy and  healthy. I can prove that a healthy fighting atmosphere around the plants helps them grow healthy. Being a smart operator, I thought of using this unfounding situation to my advantage. After all, everyone needs a routine. So, we have come to some fix some new rules in the household. 

  1. Everyone will make their own bed tea.
  2. We have divided the plants and took full ownership in the assigned area.
  3. Each one will take full responsibility of one meal complete with planning, inventory and guiding the cook.
  4. We started doing a lot of individual stuff.
  5. Developing creative hobbies.
  6. No interference in the household styling because I am too good at it. 

These simple rules have sorted most of the issues of having a retired husband at home.

I have learnt my lessons over the years but now life is good.

Now with the “Work from home” mode, I think many households are facing the same situation. I guess, these rules may find some relief in their day to day life. 

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Blogchatter A2Z 2021, LIFESTYLE, Movie Review, People, top post on indiblogger

Remembering Irrfan

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Irfaan Khan was one of my favourite actors. “Life in a Metro” was the first movie where I saw him for the first time. Irfan has a small role of a man too keen to get married. His talent was matched by Konkona Sen Sharma. The film had a bevy of stars but Irfan was the only actor there. Subtle and expressive!

From then onwards, I started looking for his movies. Since crime is not my favourite genere, I did not watch movies like Maqbool.

Irfan Khan was described by Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian as “a distinguished and charismatic star in Hindi and English-language movies whose hardworking career was an enormously valuable bridge between South Asian and Hollywood cinema”.

Filmy Career and Journey :

He started his film career with a small role in 1988 film, “Salaam Bombay”. Those were his struggling days. During these tough times, he got the central role in British film, “The Warrior”. This film was in Hindi and was much appreciated. Actually, this was the movie which helped Irfaan to showcase the wide spectrum of his talent. After this, he had the quantum leap in his career and got main roles in the dramas like Haasil (2003) and Maqbool (2004). He went on to gain critical acclaim for his roles in The “Namesake” (2006) , “Life in a… Metro” (2007), and Paan Singh Tomar (2011). He was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male for his role in “Namesake”. He won the National Film Award for Best Actor for Pan Singh Tomar. Further success came from his roles in “The Lunchbox” (2013), “Piku” (2015), and “Talvar” (2015).  He had supporting roles in the Hollywood films The Amazing Spider-Man (2012), Life of Pi (2012), Jurassic World (2015), and Inferno (2016). His other notable roles were in Slumdog Millionaire (2008), New York (2009), Haider (2014), and Gunday (2014)  and the television series In Treatment (2010). The comedy-drama Hindi Medium (2017) and its sequel Angrezi Medium (2020) were two of his highest grossing films. These two performances won him the Filmfare Award for Best Actor in 2018 and 2021.

Coming from a small town Tonk in Rajasthan and making a name and space in Bollywood without any connection speaks volumes about his talent.

Some of his films which I have seen were – Life in a Metro……, Piku, Hindi Medium, English Medium, Karwan, Qarib Qarib Single, Haider, Slumdog Millionair, Life of Pi and last but not the least – Jazbaa.
My most favourite Irfan movie is Jazbaa. How he had matched with Aishwarya’s glamourous looks was beyond comprehension. I liked  these two simple movies “Karwan” and “Qarib Qarib Single” too only because one can have more of Irfaan in these movies. He was good in every genere.

A master craftsman, he spoke more with his silence and eyes. I am a fan of his subtle acting.He was married to Sutapa Sikdar, his NSD  classmate and a writer. Today, I just happened to come across a chitchat with Sutapa about Irfan. In reply to one of the questions she said – “Everybody tells me that time is a great healer and time is going by and you know that it’s not healing”. She mentioned that she is a positive person otherwise but his absence is making her helpless. The lonliness is very strong, she said. They both were not very social and hence did not have many friends. They were two people unit. As irfan was working a lot and hence was away for long periods, but when he is at home, it was all about him. It is very difficult to figure out a life without him. Every thing she mentioned about Irfan points out that he was a great human being too.Sutapa said that- Religion for him was spirituality. He had read Upnishads, Ramakrishna Paramhans, Vivekanand , Osho, Mahaveer etc. He believed in being true to self. He was not a practicing Muslim. He could not fast but wanted to. Once he said, I will fast once a week and will fast on Mondays, the day of Shivji. Though he was very busy in the last two decades with his work, he was quiet a hands-on father.

His family has not yet come to the terms with his absence and yet to accept his being not there. My heartfelt sympathies to his family and wish God gives them strength to bear this loss. This is the hard fact that who is left behind and is alive has to live.  May his family find peace and find strength from the good time spent with him.

In a small life of 53 years, he has created a great body of work and there is enough to remember him for years to come. the best tribute to this great actor by his family and friends is to remember and enjoy his work and memories.

Irfaan you live in our memories through your films and in our heart for being a good human being!

Rest in peace !

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My Dear Lhea

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Lhea came into my life precisely on March 5, 2018. She was my son’s pet and came to Ahmedabad when he shifted to Ahmedabad. Since he stayed with me before setting up his own home, Lhea also came to stay with us. Frankly speaking, I was not ready to have a pet at home because they are a huge responsibility and I did not want to compromise on my freedom.

But Lhea has won everyone’s heart with her eyes, so full of pure love and innocence. Before she came, we were skeptical about her moving in the whole apartment. We thought of confining her into the living room only. I was worried about “hair nuisance” which is a perpetual problem in homes with pets. At the back of my mind, I was worried about my maid’s reaction due to this extra work load of cleaning. Thankfully, it worked.

Lhea was very fond of auto rikshaw.

My son travelled from Bengaluru to Ahmedabad by train only to keep Lhea with him. In air travel, they keep the pets in cargo. While on a train journey, in first class, the pet can stay with their humans in their coupe. He was allotted a two berth coupe. Lhea came very comfortably with him and his wife travelling almost 1500 km in a journey spread over 2 nights and 1 day. She was in shock due to this change of city. As we came home, we offered her food and water and she felt comfortable and at home. The moment, we looked into her eyes, our plans of restricting her movement went for a toss. Her kohl lined eyes were so beautiful and full of love. At that moment, I felt so ashamed of myself. This little girl has accepted us with such open heart and how judgemental I had been for her. I embraced her with all my heart !

Lhea was a rescued little girl by a Bengluru based  organisation, where my son was volunteering. She was thrown from a running car on a pile of garbage. The guard of a nearby society found her and informed this organisation. The veterinary doctor who treated her told that she is emotionally stressed and it’s advisable that she does not change homes. Vaibhav adopted her. This was how she became part of our family. As per doctor’s assessment, she might be around 5-6 years of age. It was 2013.

RB has taken full responsibility for Lhea. She became his morning walk motivator first and then companion. I have never seen him getting up at 5.30 – 6 am, but for this little girl, he used to get up early and both used to go for a long round. In no time, she became the most loved little baby of the family.

Lhea’s Food Story:  

When she came, she used to eat everything which was offered to her or put in her bowel. Slowly, she became very expressive of her food choices. Let me share her daily meal plan. As soon as she and RB came back from their morning outings, RB used to have his morning tea. He started giving her milk and she loved this new routine. If by any chance, she had not served her morning milk, she used to nudge RB with her wetty nose, as if asking– “hey buddy, where is my milk or how come you are drinking your own tea and not offered me my milk. 🙂 Her expressions and rightfully asking for her milk were priceless. She became more open and expressive with her choices as she felt more at home with us. Now she does not like any of her meals to be repeated. Some of her favourite veggies were – pumpkin, carrot, boiled potatoes. In fruits, she loved mangoes, apples, bananas etc. Talking about breads, she preferred puris over rotis and Britannia bread over any other bread. Britannia cakes were her favourites.  She was a food connoisseur. I used to order a new brand of readymade food for her everytime and she used to love the change. All three of her meals had to be different, otherwise she wont eat and show tantrums like babies. While we used to have our tea, she demands her share of biscuits. She had matched her meal timings with us. I always used to serve her before I sat down to have my  food. No, I am not complaining. She used to show her gratitude and happiness when she liked her food by coming and nudging whoever has served her meals. She was very open in expressing her feelings.

She came to us almost 9–10 years of age. Lhea was Springers Spaniel, a medium size species with expected age of 12-14 years. Slowly, age started catching on. She was arthritic. Doctor prescribed two tablets, one for joint health and one for general well being, which we gave her till her last days. As she was getting old, we could see the reduction in her time spent on her outings. She used to get tired faster. Her running changed into walks which became slower in speed and lesser in distance. The spring in her gait was going away. She had lost control of her urine. We trained her to relieve herself in the balcony. As she found it difficult to walk outside the society to clear her bowls, we drove her out in the car, so that she does not have to walk long distances. She was losing control over her muscles too, though very slowly but was visible to us. It was 19th March and on her night outing , she was very happy and there appeared a visible improvement in her. We were happy at her recovery. It was around midnight, we were just having our routine after dinner fun games,  and we observed there was some abnormality in her breathing.  The same night we observed that she was unable to get up on her hind legs.

On 20th March, we took her to her vet doctor in the morning as soon as it had opened. She did a blood test and told us that she will wait for the blood report and then plan for the line of treatment. Around evening, she called again for a drip session. We took her again in the evening, holding her in arms as by this time, she was unable to get up and hold herself. One and half hours’ session of drip was too hectic for our little Lhea. She came totally drained out. She was weak , rather very weak but did not sleep at all. We did not leave her alone even for a second. My younger son kept awake with her for most of the night, patting her and comforting her. We knew, there was not much time left. Her breath became somewhat abnormal around 3 am and after that we all were by her side. She was a little uneasy around 4.30 am and by 4.55, she had the last hiccup and we could see the blankness in her eyes. She has gone to meet her creator. 

Being Hindus, we did a shanti havan for our little girl. According to Gita, every living being is a soul and there is no difference between the souls. 

Later, I was told by few friends that some residents were making fun of this. Not that I care but I really feel sad at the bankruptcy of their thoughts and basic decency of respecting feelings of fellow residents. Even Lhea was better than such people who have the wisdom of appreciating feelings and giving back unconditional love. 

Om Shanti Lhea !

 

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