Not a single day passes when we don’t ask Joy if he’s a dog or not because of traits he displays similar to the human..
There is something enigmatic about how dogs (say hi to Joy) behave around objects so simple to the human eye. The clothes lying scrambled on the floor, the birds that seldom chirp and take away a part of their lunch, a knock on the door, the biscuit your hand holds. The way they run hearing something inaudible and yet trying to show us the thing that they have seen. Many articles, many interviews, even more movies had made an image of unconditional love of a dog in my mind. I had seen one in my uncle’s house and was amazed. I always wanted to pet a dog, was always fascinated by those TV ads that showed how a dog and its owner become a single soul.
“Hutch wala kutta” was the thing my parents first said when I declared I wanted a dog. But like other things, deep research went into finding Joy. We zeroed into Labrador and it was decided Joy will be our new family member. Of course, joy has become a family member more quickly than anyone of us could ever imagine. The way everyday he barges into my parents room and whenever he finds it locked, he instructs one of us to open the door. Joy came to us on a hot summer day of August. My father and brother had already seen joy and were busy playing with him. I was told to go and meet him. But I waited. Not because I feared the little pup. But the selfishness of enjoying that feeling when we meet someone for the first time, all by myself relucted me. They were done playing with him. That’s when I went to see him. He was drinking milk from a saucer in which Amma used to serve the guests.” Haha, Amma itna royal treatment.” I commented. Joy had finished drinking milk. I now saw what 26 days of coming to life meant. His eyes were closed and he moved around smelling things. He came around my foot, smelled my slippers, put his tiny head in that slipper and went to sleep. We all started laughing seeing what just had happened.
In the night, joy came and slept around my parents bed. He sleeps where they sleep. And while he sleeps, he dreams. In dreams, he runs, tries to shoo away something we all try to gauge seeing his movements while he sleeps.
I don’t have many pictures of joy because he is a bad poser. Every time you ask him to pose, he will run away. And it could be that whenever I see him, I just play with him leaving beside everything( have been scolded million times for this).
Joy has been the biggest listener to me. He knows about all my secrets, all my misadventures, what I do when no one is around. Many a times I got angry at him, many a times he got angry at me. But everyday just at 8 in the evening, he comes wagging his tail, with sparkling eyes commands me to take him out. I have seen all his shades. The sleepy one, the excited one, the sad one, the angry one, the one where Amma begs him to eat his food, the one where Papa scolds him when he lies aimlessly in the middle of his way, when we say Joy “biscuit”.All, but still joy is an enigma.
This 23rd of July Joy will be 5 years old. 5 years have passed in a blink! His beard has turned white. Today Amma commented when she was going away for some work. ” Amitabh Bacchan jaisi dhadhi Uga Rakhi hai. Kaise kam chalega.” I laughed and joy acknowledged.
I sometimes imagine what life would be after joy because his voice has become addictive. Just like the anger of papa, the bells Amma rings everyday when she prays, my brother calling me “bhaiya”. It would be heartbreaking for all of us, we all know deep down and we don’t discuss it. We don’t fear losing Joy. Because Joy will be always with us. Joy causes us Joy.
I remember Amma had named him Joy…
I now see…… Why