Wednesday, May 27, 2009


by Geetanjali Gayatri
He came at a time I needed him most. Almost nine years back, when Teddy, my two-year-old white Pomeranian, died following a blood disorder, Shogun, German shepherd
, romped into our life and home.
He came as a gift from a friend who could not see me in tears on the condition that I would not cry remembering Teddy. As I took shogun in , I thought he would never be my Teddy.
But dogs certainly have a way of endearing themselves and charming their way into our lives. Shogun was no exception. Soon our whole life began to revolve around buying bones and to keep the “baby” of the house entertained.
As weeks turned into months and months into years, he grew up into a big dog whose bark was worse than his bite. When I got married , Shogun welcomed my husband into his life with a wag of the tail, a sniff of his shoes and a lick on his hand.
I moved in with my parents again when my daughter was born. Shogun spent the entire day sitting by her cradle, wondering who lay wrapped in the blanket as he watched over her. With a slight tilt of his head and a queer expression, he watched my daughter’s tiny frame move, crawl and stand up in a matter of a year.
Gradually,their friendship grew to the extent that my daughter decided that Shogun was her bhaiya. She was head over hells in love with him and he reciprocated the emotion.
The mere mention of my daughter’s name worked like magic and he skipped and jumped all over the place in search of her. They played hide and seek, watched television and spent their time doing everything together when we went over to my father’s place.:)
A week back Shogun died at around midnight of an infection. We buried him while my daughter was away to school. On her return ,I broke the news to her. Stunned, she mourned in her own quiet way, sobbing alone in another room lest upset me more than I already was.
He was her first dog, the only brother she ever knew. As a tribute to him, she spent that evening making a card for him. “I Love Shogun” it said. Next morning, she went to the place he was buried and left it there.
On our way back, she smiled and said: “Mummy, Shogun will see the card from heaven and know that I miss him, won’t he?” I didn’t have an answer.
Night came and we prayed like we always have since she learnt to speak. Over the years, our prayer has “evolved” from being more than just the recitation of the Gayatri mantra to remembering our family, friends and all those who wish us well to God. Shogun was right there in her last goodbye to him nor manages a last hug but Shogun continues to live on in her prayers.
As for me, I, too , have realized that there are no substitutes in life. Shogun never replaced Teddy. He carved his own place. Life is about additions we make to the “ours only” list of family, friends and memories as we move ahead on the road called life. Then, how can life ever be about finding replacements?


1 comment:

Nirmla Kapila said...

right sir very trui there is no replacement of any relationship thanx for this nice post