Diwali 2009 was bittersweet for me. The reason being that this was my first Diwali after Bumli's death. Bumli Bora was a 40 kg Arunachali sheepdog and the only dog I knew who LOVED Diwali. For other dogs, Diwali was a time of sheer terror, when their well ordered lives with specific interludes alluded to as eating, playing, shitting and sleeping time gets disrupted. It is to dogs what the first day after change in roster is for a call centre professional.

For Bumli whose life was never well ordered (my mom even got a police trainer to instill some discipline. He left in a week!), Diwali was certainly not an F word. For her this was an extended treat time when she could sink her teeth into new goodies, which need not fall into the eatable category. It was a change of palate time - instead of the same old same old chappals, newspapers, bags, bra straps, chairs and cushions, she could feast on clay diyas (with or without oil), candles (normal or scented), dry fruits (plain or salted), fire crackers and their boxes, wrapping (plastic or organic), mithais and mithai dabbas et all. Lighting a fire cracker near Bumli was a hazard. The way she figured it, a bomb not only made an excellent replacement for the ho-hum ball, but it also made a fantastic noise within seconds of being thrown away. The pin wheel was even better. Not only did it look beautiful but it didn't disintegrate like the effing bomb. And getting the burning piece of leftover firework from Bumli's mouth was a task: when you wanted something to be in her mouth (like polycrol or Carmozyme) her mouth becomes a sieve. But when she has something you want, her mouth becomes an iron vise. Such is the schizophrenic ability of her mouth.

As a dog Bumli was every pet owners nightmare. She never listened to you, would respond only if she wants to, is absolutely unpredictable in front of guests, was all over you during dinner time, loved butter, ate only non veg and kept irregular hours (She used to sleep the whole evening after her "walk", so our bedtime was the shank of evening for her). All in all, she was perfect for us. Bumli was with us for only nine years, but during those nine years, she made the whole Bora household revolve around her. And in return for tolerating her idiosyncrasies, each member of the house was a recipient of sheer unadulterated love from her - absolute adoration during rainy days and stormy nights, peaceful summers and turbulent winters. So in her memory, this Diwali, I went and fed street dogs in Saket. Just a small way of showing that we still miss you.

Me feeding the street dogs (not a very flattering angle, I look 9 months PG)


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