Muffin and the torn shoes

Mamma entered the living room early in the morning. “Muffin, what have you done?” she yelled at the six month old pup who was seated in the middle of the floor surrounded by bits of what had been a shoe.

Muffin sat looking at Mamma with the most innocent eyes as if to ask, “What? What did I do?”

It was the last straw. Mamma lifted her by the scruff of her neck and gave her a good shaking. “You have bitten through the sole of my special shoe! Now how am I supposed to take you out for a walk? You know I can’t walk for long without those shoes! You will be the death of me! And do you know what will happen to you if I die?”

Mamma put her down and limped away in a huff. By now Muffin was truly terrified. She had never seen Mamma so angry before. Would Mamma really die? And would it be because she had eaten Mamma’s shoes? Oh no! What could she do? And what would happen to her?

She hurried after Mamma, “Tell me Mamma, what will happen to me? What will happen?” But Mamma was too upset to pay any attention to her.

She skittered off to ask Trigger, the old stray dog, who lived near the gate. Mamma had adopted him, but he refused to come into the house. He preferred to roam the streets, coming home only to eat and sleep.

“Trigger! Trigger!” Muffin barked! “What happens to puppies who cause the death of their mammas?”

Trigger heaved a huge doggy sigh! “What have you done now?” he woofed back at her.

“ I ate up Mamma’s shoes and she says I will be the death of her. What do they do to puppies who are the death of their mammas?”

Trigger gave a wolfish grin and said, “If anything happens to Mamma, you will be taken to the doggy court and then either you will be given to “The Cruel Master” who whips the puppies for every mistake they make, or you will be put down.”

“What do you mean, put down?”

“You will be given an injection and you will go to sleep forever.”, said Trigger in a sinister voice, “you will never get up, you will die just like your Mamma, because you made her die.”

“Oh no! Not the Cruel Master!” yelped Muffin dramatically. “I’d rather die! And if Mamma dies because of me, I deserve to die!”

And she sadly waddled her way into the house, where Mamma found her lying on her back, sometime later, as still as could be.

“Muffin, what are you up to now?” Mamma asked with a laugh.

“I am practising to be dead.”

“What? Why?”

“For when you die because if I am going to be the death of you, I dont want to be sent to the Cruel Master. I also want to die.”

And she flopped down again.

Mamma burst out laughing and bent down and picked her up, “Come here you crazy dog.  Give me a hug!No one is going to die! ”

“We’re not!” She wriggled to the ground and rushed out barking at the top of her voice, “Trigger! Trigger! We’re not going to die!”

She ran round and round the garden while Mamma stood there shaking her head and muttering,” You really will be the death of me!”

 

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Problogger October 2017 Blogging Challenge and I hope you enjoy reading my posts here. If you do, please leave a comment. It motivates me to write more. 

Bated Breath

She hummed to herself as she happily went about her chores. They had got back from their honeymoon just a couple of days ago and she was still feeling the novelty of being a married woman.

“It is fun being married”, she thought. “Just like playing house-house as a kid, but only now I have a real house to look after. Instead of a toy kitchen set, I have a real kitchen. No more mud pies and leaf chapattis. Now I can experiment with dishes and hope Vinay enjoys them.”

She stood in the middle of the room and looked around. Though the living room was functional, it was a bit cluttered and lacked something. She glanced at the clock. She had finished all her chores and had a few hours to spend before Vinay got back from work.  She decided to give the living room a facelift.

Newspapers got stacked to be sold. The furniture got rearranged a bit to give the room a more airy look. The tangle of shoes and slippers near the front door got sorted into a carton. The curtains needed to be changed but she couldn’t find any other set of curtains in the house. “Maybe one of my saris will come in handy” she thought. And right enough she found a barely used cotton sari that she had forgotten she had. “Mom must have put this in when she was helping me pack,”

She remembered seeing an old man with a sewing machine in front of a clothes shop in the nearby shopping centre. He had a board that said, “Altaration done here”. She had smiled at the spelling then. An hour later she had her curtains sewed and ready to be put up. On the way she picked up a bouquet of flowers.

She dug out a set of candle stands from the gifts they had received and placed them on the side table.

“‘There”, she said to herself in satisfaction, “that’s so much better!”

Happily she got ready to greet her husband when he came home from work and waited with bated breath to see what his reaction would be when he saw what she had done.

She never expected the stinging slap across her face accompanied with the words, “Don’t you dare change anything in my house. I will not tolerate it!”

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Problogger October 2017 Blogging Challenge and I hope you enjoy reading my posts here. If you do, please leave a comment. It motivates me to write more. 

 

 

Platform 9 ¾ #Terminal

I am taking part in the Write Tribe Problogger Challenge 2017 and the prompt for today’s post was “Terminal”. I pondered it, mulled it over, wracked my brains but couldn’t come up with anything. Then while chatting with my daughter I mentioned my dilemma to her. And she asked me, “What’s your interpretation of it? Is it like an airport terminal? Or maybe death – terminal to the after life? Or platform 9 ¾  – terminals we don’t know exist.”

And being a diehard Harry Potter/J.K.Rowling fan, I could immediately see the potential of the third option.

How many times do we go through life, not realising that we have options. Not realising that there is a Platform 9 ¾ which is waiting to take us on a different journey?

We are so trained (for want of a better word) to do what is expected of us. Be good children, do well in school, do well in college, get a good job/spouse, settle down, have kids. Baaa…. baaaa….baaa..

We live our lives travelling the same line day in and day out. It doesn’t matter if our jobs are so stressful that they are killing us. (At least you are earning a good salary no?) It doesn’t matter if we face domestic violence (at least he provides for you na?) We are expected to put up with it all for the sake of conformity.

But what if one day life gave us a letter saying that there is a better life ahead but that instead of staying on the train we are on, we have to change terminals, change routes?

What if this is a route that none of those around us have travelled or even heard of? How many of us would get off and go? Or would we be hesitant and scared?

Would we listen to our Uncle Vernons, the people who will deride and humiliate us for making the choice? Or would we find the courage to crash the walls that hold us in and go on to that platform that is calling out to us? To board that train that is going to take us to journeys unknown?

If we do, maybe, just maybe  there is magic around the bend, and  just like harry Potter, we will find our Hogwarts and discover that we are magic.

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Problogger October 2017 Blogging Challenge and I hope you enjoy reading my posts here. If you do, please leave a comment. It motivates me to write more. 

Sundays #Nostalgia

Sunday mornings always feel special to me. No mater what the weather, it could be pouring cats and dogs, but Sundays for me are always days of sunshine and happiness. If I had to give Sundays a colour, it would be yellow, a lovely smiley sunshine yellow.

Sundays are meant for a lazy snooze in, but I love being up early, especially on a Sunday, knowing that the whole day stretches before me; mine to do what I like; no compulsory chores; just my lazy “me” day.

Sundays have a special smell, coffee, bacon and eggs and mummy’s favourite perfume.  As a child, Sunday mornings meant getting ready to go to church, all dressed up and pretty and if I promised to behave well, I got a spray of Mom’s perfume on my wrists. This was a very precious gift as Mom’s perfumes were always hidden in her cupboard which was always locked. So not only did we get to use her perfume, but she had to open the cupboard to get it out and that afforded us a glimpse of that magical place where she kept all her lovely silk sarees and jewellery.

Sundays were the days when the whole family sat down to a leisurely breakfast together; Grandpa Willie, Grandma Mary, Dad, Mom, my sisters and me and our dogs Laddie and Trigger, under the table getting scraps of food from everyone.

Sundays always saw a stream of regular visitors to our house. No sooner was breakfast over, than Giprya would be at our door. He was an old vagabond of indiscriminate age. He wore a long oversized black overcoat that someone had given him. He had a battered worn out waking stick too, which I think, he used more to hit out at the stray dogs that barked at him than to help him walk.

His face was thin and gaunt, framed with an unkempt salt and pepper beard. To our utter fascination, he wore earrings. He was always accompanied by his mangy old dog who went by the generic name of Kutriya.

After Giprya, came Mai, an old bent woman, with shockingly pure white hair. She wore old baggy dresses and smiled her toothless smile when we gave her food that she liked.

And boy, she sure had a temper. Once my grandmother gave her some leftover vegetable made from bitter gourd. She looked at it suspiciously and asked Grandma what it was. On being told that it was karela, she overturned the bowl and dumped the contents in anger at Grandma’s feet. Though the adults were affronted by this, I, at five, found it absolutely fascinating that she had the guts to do that to my grandmother, who could be pretty tyrannical when she wanted to.

Then it was the turn of the dhobi. I loved the ritual of him and Mom sitting and counting the clothes and arguing about a bed sheet he had not returned or a shirt of Dad’s that he had not ironed well enough.

While this colourful parade of visitors graced our door, Grandpa would be in the back yard, deciding which hen would go into the pot for our lunch that day. We always watched in wonder as he deftly wring the neck of the hapless hen and dressed and cut the bird.

Lunch was a grand affair, with “dal curry”, rice, “appars”, cutlets, salad and either mutton or chicken along with a fugath; and of course dessert. The meal was cooked by Mom and Grandma, using recipes handed down over generations.

Though Sunday was a holiday, it was the one day no one would be outside playing. Playing with friends was for the weekdays like lessons and school. Sunday was totally family time and it was generally spent at home.

In the evenings, we would go over to Grandma Bessie’s house. Mom’s sister would come with her family. The adults including Grandma Bessie and Mom’s brothers would all sit to play Carrom or Scrabble or some other games where all the kids too could join in.

My uncles, Newman and Oscar, who were bachelors, would compete in the kitchen, to produce the most exotic dish. We loved these competitions as we got to taste things like mushrooms and noodles and other dishes which were to us exotic as we rarely got to see them leave aside eat them.

The grand finale of the day was being rocked to sleep by Grandpa Willie .Though it’s been almost 40 years now, I can still hear his voice as he sang lullabies to us.

Yes. Sunday’s were truly magical and maybe it is the memory of the Sundays of my childhood that spills over to make Sundays feel special even today.

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Problogger October 2017 Blogging Challenge and I hope you enjoy reading my posts here. If you do, please leave a comment. It motivates me to write more.