Sensitivity: A Gift to celebrate

As a child I have always been told how I should not be sensitive and grow up, don’t be overly sensitive, “how would you ever survive in this big bad world, which asks you to put on that monster mask? Put on your steel armor and go battle?” I thought, it was a curse to be like that, I mean is there a space for people who are sensitive to themselves and others? Just look at the world around us and you would understand how ‘prosperous’ we are with the armored masked warriors and how those statements mentioned above are nothing but nonsensical. Time and again, these preposterous statements have been proved wrong. Not that I am bragging, but I am a perfect example and I survived! Yes, I survived the big bad world and I am pretty much sure I will make it through with flying colours. Do not mistake sensitivity for weakness, for it is one of the most special qualities a person can possess.  The world needs people who are not only tuned into themselves at an emotional and spiritual level but also connected the same way with people around them. Let me tell you a bit on how this works.

There are nine rasas that we all feel at any point of time namely anger, love, compassion, courage, disgust, equanimity, laughter, fear, wonderment and the key is of course coming back to equanimity or shantam. Sensitive people are very well tuned into these rasas and emotions at any given point of time. They can immerse themselves and express it in beautiful artistic ways like movement, art, poetry, stories, songs and dance. This is just one tiny part of their beautiful gift; you would also ask why it is a gift? It is a gift because of it has the power to impact themselves and people around them. When one is completely and purely immersed in one’s spirit and soul at the deepest level, it is so powerful that it radiates energy all around them, thereby evoking feelings and touching people at a very deep level, such that they can only feel it. It is called a state of Saatvikam, where you are completely tuned in to your spirit minus the distractions, thoughts or outcomes etc. This is what we call the spread of goodness all around. Not only this, they are able to sense and feel the pulse of the environment all the time. They can sense the emotions the other person is going through, thus completely empathizing with that person. When they are truly empathizing, they give a lot support and create a space to express and heal.

Aren’t such people special and beautiful? The only way you can actually ‘see’ and appreciate them is when you have felt that strong evocation within you, when you came in contact with such a person. Consider yourself lucky to have done so, because this could possibly be a start to an exciting journey of self discovery and cleaning off the dust that we love gathering over ourselves, our emotions, and feelings. It is never too late to open your eyes and appreciate the real beauty.

 

 

The Day I Decided to Work on Myself

Over the years, we have been conditioned in a certain way with respect to our beliefs, values, behaviours, career and how to lead our lives. There comes a time in people’s lives, where you stop and realize what is YOUR individual path or meaning in this life. How do you carve out your own personal niche by connecting with your energies, emotions, mind, body and soul. It is called spirituality or simply put ; connecting or listening to your inner self. It is a long and trechourous journey filled with questions, confusions, distractions and even discoveries. But at the end of the day there is nothing more fulfilling than working on your self. I too am on this path and here are my reasons for getting on this lifelong journey-:

The day I decided to work on my inner self, is when I decided never to feel alone. My higher eneregy, breath, love is always with me. Your breath that connects you to your inner spirit is your lifelong companion

The day I decided to work on my inner self, is when I decided to take better decisions. I ask my my personal source of guidance on what is best for me and tune myself to receive my cue

The day I decided to work on my inner self, I decided to heal my self. The pains of loneliness, heartbreaks, helplessness and loss plague us. But receiving the love and comfort of the spirit is a sure shot way to get over them permanantly and move on.

The day I decided to work on my inner self, is when I decided unleash the power of manifestation. We are co-creators along with the spirit to attract and manifest our dreams. All you need to do is ask and ye shall receive

The day I decided to work on my inner self, is when I decided to tame my fears. As Jose Stevens puts it, all our fears are like dragons who look invincible but they always have a weak spot. Your guidance from your spirit would help you recognize and tame these dragons to work for you and not against you

The day I decided to work on my inner self, I decided to unleash my creativity. We are all creative beings in some form or the other. Connecting with your spirit or that inner child helps unblock the path to creativity

The day I decided to work on my inner self, I decided to become my best advisor. When you have the best personal source of guidance, you are no longer available to be controlled by others. You learn to carve out your own path and guided by the force that only works for your betterment. Trust yourself.

The day I decided to work on my inner self, I decided to discover who am I? We all wear masks on a daily basis, but underneath the mask do we really know who we truly are, what is our worth? Once you connect with your inner spirit, it will keep reminding you who you are- A wonderful person!

There is an incredible sense of freedom and purpose when you start working on yourself. The path of truth is profound and full of obstacles like distractions and self deception. Patience, persistence and ability to recognize these obstacles is the key to moving forward in this path.
Thus, here is a big shout out to people who are walking on this path. This is a lifelong journey and may it make you stronger and happier.

An Oldie but a Goodie

‘An oldie but a Goody’, is an age old statement applicable for a lot of things around us. Unfortunately ,this does not apply to our senior dogs and cats who are languishing in animal shelters throughout the country. Some abandoned in shelters by families just because they are no longer energetic and some who just grew old in the shelter, in the wait for someone to take them home. What makes it worse is that many of them will never leave the shelter, unless more adoptive families give them a second look.
My first dog was an senior Indian dog named Blackie whom I adopted when I was 18 (may her soul rest in peace), and she stole my heart from the day I laid my eyes upon her. There was no looking back after that, she was my best companion for next 7 years and I cannot be more grateful to her for coming into our lives and making us better people. I can bet that none of you really know the benefits of adopting a senior dog. Here are some of the benefits which I personally experienced-:
1. They are well behaved: Anyone who has adopted Puppies know that it can be nightmarish to train them for obedience and toilet rules. The grown ups on the other hand are obedient and mostly toilet trained . If not, then you can still train older dogs because they are more focussed towards a task at hand unlike a distracted young one. They are eager to please you, hence more attentive. It took my Blackie a few hours to choose her spot in the house to call it her bed and in a few days learnt toilet rules, which she used to clearly communicate when she wanted to go. In 10 years, there has never been any mishap despite her arthritis.
2. They are less deestructive and calm. My current dog of 3 years has still not gotten over the habit of chewing stuff around the house, and this is despite training her. I write it off saying she is still a kid. But an older dog, like older children have moved on from the ‘find and destroy phase’, chances are they will not even look at your shoes, furniture etc . They will just sit calm in a corner and do their thing i.e. sleep!
3. They make very good companions for senior people and kids- Their calm demeanour and slowed down pace of life, is very comforting for elderly people. One appreciates someone to sit by your side, hear stories and in return they get a few cuddles. The reduced energy levels sometimes counter balances the high energy of young kids, thus they are very patient around them. My Blackie was ever so patient around my 2 year old niece and my 85 year old Grandma. In fact both of them used to talk to her as though she understood everything.
4. What you see is what you get: the temparament and size of the dogs are well defined and there would not be any surprises on how big, small or ferocious would they become. Unlike a Puppy whose personality, appearence etc would evolve as he/she grows up, the senior dogs are predictable based on their history
5. You can spend more time loving and getting to know your pet because you are not contantly running behind them cleaning up or chasing them. You can find that moment of peace around them, just having them around causes a tremendous energy shift when you need it the most. As they say, sometimes slowing down to smell the flowers is a good thing
Lastly, you can be a hero by opening your hearts and home to a deserving senior dog or cat. There is a sense of pride and purpose when you open your heart to a hard place pet. The satosfactiom you get by doing this divine deed greater than any achievement in your life. In return, you can be assured that these dogs are ever so grateful for giving them a home and the true love when no one else did. Blackie was truly devoted and loyal to our family, she used to participate in our joys and sorrows more than any other human being. Thus, she lived a magnificent 15 years, which is remarkable for a dog. Their life expectancy grows in a loving atmosphere and what greater service can one do, than saving a living being’s life and making sure he or she lives happily thereafter. So, what are you waiting for? if you are ready for it, open your hearts and home to a deserving senior dog/cat and see your life transform.

Human Connect in a small business

Let me tell you a small story of a customer experience of a friend when she dealt with a home baker in Delhi, which is a small business and received some good reviews on social media. She called up the home baker requesting for a special birthday cake for a family member. Even though she had a few ideas on the kind of cake, she still wanted some inputs and help from the expert baker (apparently a baking expert as per their social media handles). During the call, the owner was completely distracted and did not really pay heed to her request and questions, so instead advised the customer to continue the conversation on Whats app because she was too busy to talk, before one could even react the phone was disconnected . Seriously?? Do you tell customers do not talk to me but whats app me to order a customized cake and mention your requirements. One might say that my friend could have simply taken her requirement elsewhere. But well, she chose to stay on with this baker because of the rave product reviews. While clenching her teeth, she started typing the requirements on whats app. After typing it, the baker simply said ‘ you know, Just go with our popular chocolate cake and it fits your bill exactly.’ Errr… she was hoping that bakers are supposed to be creative and enthusiastic about a customizing an order, giving options for a customer and making them feel really happy. But nope, not this one, the baker simply wanted to make things easier for herself and make mass chocolate cakes rather than put in some thought and work into a new type of cake for a new customer. She ordered that anyway, because of lack of time and as laziness! The final nail in the coffin was when she was made to wait outside the shop to collect her order and her request to meet the owner, is declined because ‘Nope, the owner is busy to meet people, so just pay for the cake and get going.’ This is the exact sequence of events that happened to my friend. My first reaction to her was ‘you are a fool to tolerate such an unprofessional behaviour, when there are so many choices in the market.’

Keeping aside what my friend should or should not have done, the point that I am trying to make here is where did all the good old fashioned customer service, customer is King or even a simple human touch etc go? In this instance, the baker has not only lost one but more customers. How? because like it or not, word of mouth, especially a bad experience with a product or service spreads like wildfire. Somewhere down the line, it will have an impact on your business and not in a good way. Below are some of my observations-:

1. Needs identification: A customer needs to be given a patient ear whether via phone, in person or text. The customer has come to you for a solution to his/her problem, so you need to genuinely show concern and help them out. In fact, business should go one step ahead and identify any other need that might have been overlooked by the customer. Like in my friend’s case, the owner who is a one-person show did not care to listent to her. If you are swamped with work, hire people who can listen to your customers and help.

2. Needs go unfulfilled: If a customer feels that their needs are not being met and that you are simply trying to thrust your ‘popular’ or ‘high priced’ product, then you are going to lose that customer for sure. In my friend’s case, if I were in her place I would have gone to some other baker who would have given me what I want rather than what the baker wants. The business should at least tell me that what I want cannot be done, so go try somewhere else. A customer would appreciate honesty rather than swindling him/her.

3. Word of mouth spreads like a wildfire: As a business owner, we all know that a bad experience is splashed all across social media and of course we tell all our near and dear ones to never patronize the place. I for one, would never approach that baker for anything and would tell this story to people I know.

4. Decline of Repeat purchase: My friend made that one purchase and swore never to go back again. There you go, lost a customer forever. Good and honest customer service keeps people coming back for more and they would not mind paying extra for your products or service because they feel valued. The cost to retain a customer is lesser than attracting a new one. In my friend’s case, had the baker invested time, believe me my friend would have been a loyal customer and referred a few more. It is a win-win situation!

5. Human connection: I seriously think the new generation of business owners need a course on emotional intelligence and how to interact with people. If a customer of mine wanted to meet me, I would definately stop everything I am doing so that I can meet them, smile, make them feel good and thank them for being my customer. As a small business owner, I have an advantage to give that human touch my service or product which is getting tougher with the rise in online shopping.

Lastly, treat every customer like the most valued customer and more importantly treat people with respect. I am sure if my friend was a big shot celebrity, the baker would have personally delivered the cake to her doorstep. If you are serious about growing your business, these little things do matter and ultimately, if you don’t pay attention to them you will lose out. The choices are galore and competitors are just waiting to latch on to your lost customers. The human connect is and will always be a differentiating factor

With every broken bone..I swear I lived

So, I have completed 3 weeks as a full time entrepreneur (yeah, before that I was juggling multiple roles, so technically not a ‘full time’ entrepreneur). Oh boy, this is the most stomach churning emotional roller coaster I have ever experienced and mind you, the ride has just begun.

I flipped daily starting from the euphoria that ‘I will own the world and impact the lives of millions’ to a day where I would think ‘Yikes! Doom seems only weeks away.’ I know this is the story of every start up founder, but when you go through the motion, you ‘actually’ understand what they were talking about. The level of stress one is in, magnifies the incredible highs and unbelievable lows at manic speed. Sounds like fun?

Let’s face it, this emotional see-saw is part of the game and you have two options- you can hold on and scream or you can wave your hands in the air and enjoy it, Whoopee! I analyze this situation similar to a visit to Disneyland. Initially from the sidelines, we look at people who are going through those outrageous rides- some are waving their hands and laughing while some have closed their eyes and praying ‘Oh God, when would this ride stop!’ You then ask are you courageous enough to go through the motion? You do not have to because you can choose to sit on the sides with your popcorn and be safe. If one decides to experience the ride (not because they have to, please!), you have a lot of uninformed optimism and you do not really know what is coming yet. Believe me, watching others go through it would never give you the real picture. So, in that optimism you take the risk of getting into it. This is the stage you convince your potential investors, employees or customers that why would this idea work and why should they support you? Similar to convincing rest of your family or friends to join you in that roller coaster ride.

Once the ride has started, you are super excited and slowly the speed picks up. Now you have more information on what is the ride all about and there are times in between where there is an uphill climb, where things would move slowly or may be a bit jerky. No, you are not worried or depressed, perhaps somewhere between scared and excited. So, in this stage you have assessed the ground reality and can make better decisions without having that over-optimism. You still have those small wins of conquering the humps, making sound decisions and of course a lot of course correction. Your idea of the business model would change umpteen number of times since the time of conception to the launch.

During these times, what has helped me in keeping my confidence high and morale up is to constantly remind myself of the why? The purpose of taking this leap, when I know that and visualize it, it boosts my confidence. If you know your why, you can go through the how part. I am not neglecting myself during this time because all work and no play makes you a dull entrepreneur doesn’t it? A healthy lifestyle complete with a good diet, exercise and meditation helps a lot. Not to forget, that you cannot handle it all by yourself, so you have your support group of positive people around you who lend you an ear and simply tell you ‘you can do it.’ Let me conclude with the lyrics of one my current favorite heart pumping song ‘I Lived ‘by One Republic-:

Hope when you take that jump, you don’t fear the fall
Hope when the water rises, you built a wall
Hope when the crowd screams out, they’re screaming your name
Hope if everybody runs, you choose to stay

Hold on tight and see the magic of Chef In a Box unfold…..

Keep The Faith

This week we saw thousands of heartfelt tributes to our past president, Scientist and an amazing human being – Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. Apart from a recap of his glorious life across various media channels, one of his quotes that stuck to my mind was ‘Dreams is not what you see in sleep, a dream is something that does not let you sleep.’ I go a step further and say that if your dreams do not scare you, then they are not big enough. Apart from your dream which is the good part, sleepless nights are also filled with self doubt, fear and discouragement which come as a byproduct when you think of achieving that dream.
And what distinguishes great leaders from the rest? It is their ability to wade through the pool of self doubt, negativity and fear. Lastly, what fuels this ability? A little faith. Ok, not little but a LOT of faith  Chasing your dream requires a leap of faith and you need that faith every step of the way. Faith is a deeply held belief that pushes and compels a person to move forward to reach for their dreams. For dreamers who lack this belief, it is going to be tough for them to achieve anything.
Why do I say that? Because your dreams are going to be criticized, doubted and ridiculed from the very start. If you give in to these demons, then it is the end of the road for you. Our strong faith in ourselves and our ideas keep us going when everyone else throws in the towel or when it seems that the end has arrived, and we should give up on our venture and shut it down. However, somewhere deep down there is a beacon of hope that there is a solution and we only need to keep trying. The hope that we will achieve our dream and the confidence that this ‘dream’ does actually exist, even though we have not yet felt it. Similar to why a farmer sows a seed? With the hope to enjoy the harvest, It is all to do with faith.
The first seeds of faith are more of inspirations you draw from success stories around you, particularly entrepreneurs who will vouch for faith as their magic beans in their journey. Their outcomes especially, are very appealing to us. These seeds slowly grow in you, and there comes a time when you see a dream so big that it would not let you sleep at night. And voila! Our friend faith is right there to help you act on it. All entrepreneurs have one thing in common- they along with their businesses are what they are because of a leap of faith they took. Faith inspires you to reach for the stars and motivates you to act. Faith is not the final destination but the first step and a constant companion in your path to achieve your dreams. If you really want to achieve something that you have never achieved before and you are ready to take the leap of faith. Then be grateful for the spark that has ignited this action and enjoy it.

Diary of First time Public Speaker

Two weeks back I was cordially invited along with two other people to speak at the Delhi chapter of the Rotary Club, for a session on ‘Emerging Young Achievers- How did they do it?’ When the organizer lady told me the topic of the session, I laughed and said ‘Really me? An emerging achiever? Wow! Even I did not know that, so how come you guys knew it?’ Then the lady said ‘Err…you published a book called Life’s Macchiato-A collection of short stories, didn’t you? Hence, you are one and we would like to hear from you about your journey with this book.’ I was then tongue tied and sheepishly replied ‘Well, of course I have published a book and am proud of it. Sure, I would love to speak.’ I was sitting smug and prancing about telling myself ‘Woohoo! You are a young achiever…Yayy!! After the hoopla in my mind settled, then came the ‘good’ part wherein it dawned upon me that, err…you also have to think and prepare what you are going to speak.
So, I checked on the format of the session, duration of the speech, audience background and number of attendees. With that information, was figuring out what I was going to speak easy? Not at all  I was still as blank as the time when I first heard about the invitation. So, what did I do? I decided to mentally note some key points about my journey with the book, why it is so close to my heart and end it with some simple inspirational quotes and personal learnings about chasing one’s dream. D-Day arrived, and there I was at the venue dot on time; all set in my mind and heart to speak at my first ever public event. While I was chatting with the guests, the other two co-speakers were busy cramming up their speeches like a kid cramming up math tables. On the other hand, I was busy gulping down some much needed hot coffee and betting on who would win the French Open Men’s singles finals. Was I perturbed? Not at all, in fact despite the massive preparations the other two colleagues had done, I was called up to speak first because I simply agreed to and of course, I wanted the first mover advantage of setting the bar. The room had twenty odd people and after a quick introduction by the convener of the session, I was called up at the podium. I took a deep breath, looked at my audience and then words came out like a natural flow of water. I kept in mind the structure of the speech and let my heart choose the right words to convey the meaning. It was amazing to see how everyone’s eyes were on you, nodding their heads in agreement and for the first time the tables turned wherein I was asked questions in a Q & A session rather than the other way round. At the end of it, I was so energized that I managed to make a sales pitch for my book and sell a few copies of it too. Not bad eh? I inspired a few, was applauded by all and most importantly a sense of accomplishment flowed through my body.
Yes, up and until recently, like many of us; I also had a fear of public speaking. Now I can safely say that, here is what worked for me-:
1.Acknowledge the fear- It is OK to have fears and feel scared from time to time. Our fears keep us human and grounded. You would not be punished to have fears because we are not Gods. Learn to express that a fear exists and then find ways to tackle it.
2.Never lose an opportunity to speak or present- I grabbed any opportunity that came my way to present or talk- whether to a single person or a group of people. I consciously tried many styles of speaking before understanding my natural style of a simple conversation style of speaking. That is how you would get to practice, find your natural style and improve.
3.Prepare and practice- There are no shortcuts to preparation and practice. If you need to- write your script and speak it aloud in front of a mirror or a buddy who would give you feedback. I have written and practiced the articulation, tone and speed of my speech many times before I went into a presentation or meeting. That really boosted my confidence up a lot.
4.Ask for feedback – After any presentation or meeting, try and gather feedback from the audience to understand what worked well and what did not. This is the best way you can improve.
5.Relax- I know this is cliche but nothing throws you off your game more than filling your mind with the worst case scenario analysis. This is very common and easier said than done. But it will do you wonders if you can minimize this as much as possible. The more you speak and present, the more you would learn to relax. Why? Because you have been there and done that.
Just remember one thing, that after all this you will experience a feeling of a ‘Big win’ which I experienced and that was one of the proudest moments of my life- which is really hard to pass by. Like I always say, enjoy the journey as much as the destination. So, focus on the destination and never give up trying to reach it.

Travel Tales

Last month I spent 10 days travelling to Cancun, Mexico and New York City. Two very different cities in terms of the culture, food, people and the weather of course. Though, this post is not about comparing the two cities, because each city is splendid in its own way and comparing them would be unfair. However, what I would like to point out is that after visiting a certain number of cities in my life so far, exploring a new city is an absolute adventure. To make this adventure interesting, it should combine a bit of impulsiveness and purposefulness, in short an organized spontaneity. By all means buy a good map of the city, lonely planet guides and research on the sights and sounds you would like to see. But, I believe the following 3 tips would help you to maximize your trip.
1. Explore the city as much as you can by foot and local transport to ‘enjoy’ what the city has to offer. Apart from being easy on the pockets and a damn good exercise, it allows you to traverse through the socio-economic and demographic layers of the city. In short you will understand how people live and a lot of history. I traveled through New York City on the local subway and walking- it allowed me to observe the people, conversations, billboards, small as well as fancy shops/eateries and importantly the pulse of the people.
2. Ask the locals for recommendations- I think this is a very essential knack to have, wherein how do you engage the locals for a friendly conversation and derive as many recommendations as possible. For e.g. in Cancun, we specifically asked the cab driver as to where would he go and have an authentic Mexican meal if he had to rather than recommending a touristy place. I am sure not all the locals would be rude and this is a fantastic way of discovering some quaint places which no guide book would ever tell you.
3. Do nothing- Sometimes simply sitting back and stretching your feet just helps you soak in the air with all your senses. You do not have to visit every museum on the list or the place recommended by your friend. Just wandering aimlessly on the streets or sitting by a roadside café helps you explore the city deeply. We walked aimlessly around Central Park trying to look for the exit but we also sat down on the grass with a cup of frozen yogurt just to soak in the warm spring and the peppy music rolled out by the talented street musicians.
In a new city apart from the ‘must see’ the ordinary becomes very intriguing and beautiful. That is the adventure travel brings about combined with multiple flavors of the unknown, curiosity and excitement. Similar to what every phase in life should look like. Eleanor Roosevelt once said “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”

Cooking Up Creativity

One look at me and you would not think I am a foodie nor am I a sous chef. But I am always after my mom to try out new recipes either by adding simple twists like adding chopped veggies to a bread pakora batter or adding powdered digestive biscuit as a topping for apple crumble. Cooking allows one’s creative juices to flow because all you have is plain raw materials in front of you and you have to cook up something that is appealing to your taste buds, eyes and nose.
You would notice that in culinary competitions where chefs are pitted against one another, some of the most creative dishes are produced. Interestingly enough, creativity is at its peak when these chefs have to conjure up something with a restricted number of ingredients. Can you ever imagine what can one make with leftovers like bread, vegetable stock and cabbage? Well, voila! You have steamed cabbage dumplings in warm vegetable stock seasoned with Thai herbs. Well, at least the contest judges loved every bite of it, so I am assuming it would be more than just ‘edible’. No wonder at home when you have a limited and an odd combination of ingredients, you can come up with very innovative and tasty dishes like fried pasta with a simple mint chutney dip. It seems necessity or a ‘do or die’ situation brings out the most amazing inventions.
My point is that new and unusual ingredients foster creativity by forcing chefs and at home cooks to consider possibilities that would otherwise never occur in front of them. Of course it is not always necessary that all the results are successful. Would a batch of fried carrots in gram flour batter taste good? I am not so sure, but having access to a wide variety of ingredients, however odd can provide more opportunities for success as well as some flops. Would it not be interesting if we are given a new set of challenges or information on a daily basis and asked to come up with creative solutions? I am sure there are days when you feel that your mind has hit a block- you cannot think of any new idea that has not been tired before or how to solve a problem. Unfortunately, we humans are creatures of habits and think of the same old approaches again and again. If we are in a field for a long time, it is tougher to think out of the box.
To tackle it, you go back to your source of inspiration and wellspring of creativity. It can be as simple as reverse mentoring wherein you partner with new trainees in your organization and simply hear their views and ideas about stuff, even collaboration across various disciplines bring in expertise or even a new perspective to an ingredient contributing to the problem at hand. Believe it or not watching the Masterchef competition or even watching baby TV can trigger an Aha moment. Personally for me, the Masterchef competition have provided me a lot of inspiration to believe in my dreams and a spark to kick start a new thought. So, have you found your creative source yet?

An Ode to my lost dog Blackie

Dear Blackie,
I do not know where you went or vanished on a cold January morning. You should have at least given us a hint that you are leaving us forever. Perhaps you did give a hint and we foolish human beings never took the hint. I doubt our intelligence but never yours my dear. I did not even say my goodbye to you..If I knew you were going away forever, then this is what would be my ode to you.
I still remember the day in the year 2004 when I first saw you frolicking in the park with your ‘then’ boyfriend, a dark handsome lad. You were at your fittest best my dear and as always full of enthusiasm. Then a few months later the enthusiasm for dating guys changed to responsibility-motherhood. You were blessed with 4 beautiful puppies and thank heavens 2 of them were adopted by good souls. The rest of the 2 came to our home and we took in both, but alas God had different plans when he took one of them away from us and left the other girl-Brownie with us. We took her in and kept her like a Princess. You stood outside the house every day waiting for a glimpse of Brownie and of course the food. I started giving you little milk and you would run away as soon as I approached you but after I left, you lapped up the food. It took me 6 months to gain your trust and love. Our doors opened for you forever and that is the place you called home.
You were the world’s best behaved dog without undergoing a minute of training-sleeping in your mat, not pissing around the house, not begging for food and most importantly you loved us with an open heart. You gave everything to protect and love us- right from chasing monkeys, other stray dogs and chasing certain human beings whom I also did not like. I knew you were my best pal when you used to do a 100 meter dash to greet me after my walk in the park. No human being can ever replace the love you showered on us. I doubt any human being can ever take credit for making someone so special, unique and extraordinary. As time went by, you slowed down but never reduced your love and enthusiasm for us.
I admire the unconditional love you had for us, which even a human being does not have for each other. There is so much you taught us-love, respect, friendship, stand up for what you believe in and protect it with your life. Perhaps that was the mission you were sent on earth for and boy did you do a splendid job. Wherever you are Blacku, I hope you remain happy, loved and peaceful. Not a day goes by without taking a minute to remember you and your antics. God bless your soul forever.
Yours Forever,
Gayatri