Honeymoon holidays are not always about romance. In fact, quite often it may turn out to be one where you become a mother immediately.
When my partner and I decided to visit the place we wanted to set shop and home, we went to the northeast of India to mix pleasure and business together. It was early March. The wind was strong at that time of the year with occasional rain even. One day, staying over at a family friend’s place, we woke in the night with the sound of a puppy crying. Shivering in the cold, we found a small creature looking like a tennis ball, yelling at the top of her voice. She was cold and miserable and very hungry. She had also lost her mother, because she had been wondering around.
We instantly picked her up and I got busy trying to find her something warm and something to eat or drink. She was a little baby and I was not sure if she would drink anything outside of her mother’s milk. But be that as it may, I quickly warmed up a little milk and fed it to her. She drank up the milk as if she had not eaten in a long time, but within half an hour she also brought it all up. And again began to cry loudly.
I knew my sleep was gone for that night and I would have to hold the baby in my arms till dawn. And it was exactly that. Every time I closed my eyes, she would begin to cry softly gradually progressing to loud yelling. When my eyes were open, she would nap in my arms!
Thus began a story with Snoopy, our little hill dog. The next day, we both went to look for her mother all around the neighbourhood. But, alas, no, we just could not find her. And so, even as the growing romance was sharply interrupted by a baby on hand, I became a mother!
When we, a family of three, settled down in a house, rented out to us, overlooking our shop called “Grub”, we had the most wonderful neighbor called Wilty Aunty and Uncle. They had retired from Kolkata and returned back home to build a lovely English style house with a large garden. Snoopy found her grand parents in them.
Wilty aunty’s daughter lived with her husband and two daughters in Italy and her son, an Air India pilot, lived in Mumbai. The couple had many relatives in the place they settled down in and rarely bothered to busy themselves with the lives of their children. But I heard a lot about them.
Wilty aunty had lost her father early in life and her mother went out to work, leaving her in the care of her pet dog. Indeed, it is the dog that looked after her, while her mother returned every two hours to visit her as a baby in the care of her dog. And so, Wilty aunty knew a ‘dog language’ which Snoopy picked up easily. You should have seen them when Snoopy got a bath in Wilty aunty’s bath tub.
The two would enter a tub that was filled with warm water and Wilty aunty would start to give Snoopy a bath. And the whole bathroom would be splashed with water. There inside would be Wilty aunty struggling with Snoopy and outside, a fully wet Uncle would stand with a stick to scare Snoopy and try to manage her. But, it was useless. Snoopy would jump out of the tub and throw herself on their carpet to wipe herself dry, while there ran a wild couple behind her, trying to throw the towel on her. The loud screams from all quarters nearly brought the house down!
“Be careful,” she warned me, “those boys who live in the rooms below, will kill Snoopy and have a hearty meal. They eat dogs.” Wilty aunty warned.
I could hardly believe what they said, but we all got very cautious thereafter. But Snoopy never became their lunch. Nor her grandparents ever failed to keep a watchful eye over her.
And I continued to be a mother.