Tuesday, December 05, 2006


My friend, Sandeep, has a very nice dog. It is friendly and amiable. He brushes its teeth with Colgate Gel(blue). The bitch(what?) turned 10 recently. If you're waiting for me to go somewhere with this story, you have a wait coming. I just mentioned it, that's all.

I lived in Madras for the first three years of my life and our neighbours there, in whose house I spent a lot of those three years, were Mr P N V Easwaran(yes, that's how he spells it) and family(wife Bhagyam, sons Shylesh, Vinod and Udayakumar/Udi). I was the youngest person they knew then and at every pretext, they'd carry me over to their house. Which was some feat, considering I weighed around four kilos when I was born and I didn't stop growing until I turned two or something(due to this historical fact, I also have tremendous respect for my mother. You try giving birth to a four-kilo fat-ass.). I also was this immobile, talkative kid who, after being put down in a spot, would not move from that spot, no matter what the incentive/threat. I think I can see where the appeal was in playing with me. A non-destructive kid who did...well, nothing. Except eat Cerelac and defecate unabashedly.

Initially, this family also consisted of "Dog, 1 nos." They had this dog(so my parents say. My memory doesn't go back that far, unfortunately.) for a few days. From the outset, Bhagyam Easwaran was opposed to the move of bringing in the dog. Perhaps, in a prior incident, she had had a run-in with a dog and come off the worse for it. Perhaps, even, she distrusted any creature that was related to wolves and/or my family. Perhaps, ultimately, she was allergic to them. Whatever the reason, she was against raising a dog in the house.

"What about the children?" she argued.
"We will raise the dog just as we have raised them," gently reasoned Mr Easwaran.
"Apacharam, apacharam! We will have to perform upanayanam even for the dog? And call it Subramanya Iyer or something?"
"Don't be silly! It will be easier than raising these boys, certainly. The dog will not demand this and that, it will not go to school, it will not ask for fried food items at every pretext. And, most of all, we will not have to get it married."

Bhagyam Easwaran was simply carried away by the current of logic in that last argument. She relented and the dog came into their house. It moved into the toilet and decided that would be its room. This was the first of many points of disagreement between Mrs Bhagyam Easwaran and the dog. The lady of the house was also severely critical of the table manners of the mongrel. She was particularly unsupportive of its habit of dabbling, literally, in matters of a culinary nature. The boys, Shylesh, Vinod and Udi, and the father were indulgent of the dog and derived much amusement from the fights between lady-of-the-house and pet.

Things came to a head one day, however, and Bhagyam Easwaran had had enough of the dog. It had done something unpalatable and she decided that was it. She confronted her husband and her sons.
"Either the dog goes or I go."

There followed a moment of severe soul-searching by father and sons at this ultimatum. The length of their silence seemed unreasonable to the mother and she demanded,

I think it was Mrs Easwaran's superior culinary skills that decided it for the dog in the furious internal debate among the father and the sons. After what seemed reluctance, they decided that the dog would have to go. But on the day of bidding farewell to the dog(it was given away to someone), there was much disgruntlement in the male part of the family, with Bhagyam mami, as we called her, the only one smiling.

Had the dog been able to whip up a mean dosa/appam or two, I'm not too sure Bhagyam mami would today be living in the same house, in Nanganallur in Madras, as Mr Easwaran.


Anonymous said...

I lived in Madras for the first two years of my life. Heh. Had similar neighbours and I weighed 9 or 9.5 pounds on birth. Torture eh? :D

PS : I read the first sentence as "My friend, Sandeep, IS a very nice dog."

tangled said...


Lovely, lovely, lovely.
In my mind's eye I can see Bhagyam maami with her pallu tucked into her waist-band, brandishing implements of kitchen torture.
:) Awesome.

Shalabh said...

Reminds me of the episode where Marge tells the same to Homer and Bart and they keep thinking and she leaves in disgust.
BTW what unpalatable thing dog did?

Shalabh said...

And you are still an immobile wretch. Hand you a book and you'd never flinch

Malaveeka said...


Tumba ne channagi bariyuthira neevu.

Hail Tams!

Harish said...

I can understand how Mrs Easwaran felt when the dog was brought home. Scary creatures they are, atleast to some like me. You know why.

Sandeep said...

@Harish: Cease existing. Right now!

@AC: I *could* be a dog. (Insider joke, never mind)

@You: Olle jana, Easwaran and Co. They should have given the dog some more time.

Arjun Sharma said...

[Arcane Crapper]Yeah, like he says, he *could* be a dog.

You are also 9.5? I am congratulations.

[Tharunya]He he, in addition to being as menacing as you've perfectly described her, she was about four and a half feet tall, while Mr Easwaran was over six feet tall. That's a beautifully contrasting picture right there.

[Shalabh Agrawal, roll no. 3]He he, yeah, seen that episode. The dog, I think, shed hair all over something it was not supposed to shed over. I'm not too clear about the details.

What book?

[Malaveeka]Houdu, olle Tamilu jana idaare...alli, illi.

[Harish]Yes, but that still doesn't merit the GPS-enabled elimination system you use. As Monsieur Mitty would probably say, fie on you.

[Sandeep]Houdu, bahala-ne olle jana. Nanna balyada dinagalu bahala sugamavagi, anandavagi kaledaddu avara maneyalle. And yes, they really should have given the dog some more time. I wish I had a more conducive environment at home, I'd have had a dog.

swaroop said...

He he... 'Dog, 1 nos' is damn funny!

"They 'had' this dog(so my parents say)"? What a couple! Sons and a dog they had!

Pushuka said...

good one... btw, I totally empathize with Lady B. Anyone that distrusts dogs is ok by me.. :D

c'est moi said...


I feel like that.

Nice post.

I have one.

Love her to bits.

Still feel ...

Harish said...

I feel happy to see that there are people like Pushuka who share my opinion about dogs.

Sandeep said...

Of course, I completely chose to handle your calling of Putti a bitch with stone cold silence.

Arjun Sharma said...

[Swaroop]He he, I think one of the reasons she didn't like the dog too much was that the dog was adopted.

[Pushuka]Dogs, you can trust after a while, man. Cats, never! Fickle feline fiends.

[Suhasini]Cool. I envy people who can have a dog in the house.

Why you feel ...? And why did you stop writing stuff?

[Harish]Aa CD kottidinalla, sumne kootkond nodu adanna. Bandbitta, doddadagi, opinions express maadakke, appreciate maadakke.

[Sandeep]You are a fool. With a dog, yes, good for you; nevertheless, a fool.