ROGER LIVES

In the morning my wife and I sat before the Sri Guru Granth Sahib; the holy book that has guided us for several years and which has been a gift to me by my mother on my birthday after my father died on the 1st of May 1984 in a jeep accident (Read: Seventy-Eight Not Out). An appropriate way to begin the Mothers’ Day? Yes; but, there was another reason to say formal prayers today. It was one year back that the entire family sat at Parel Pets Hospital (The Bai Sakarbai Dinshaw Petit Hospital for Animals at Parel) having cremated our bundle of joy: Roger just two months before his twelfth birthday. For a long time after we cremated him – I reminisced today about the scene one year ago with my younger son, Arun – the entire family sat in a trance as if moving away would somehow break a link.

We didn’t know it at that time but the last few breaths of our baby

Today’s waak (select reading as a blessing/teaching) was from Raag Sorathh and was written by the fifth Guru of the Sikhs: Guru Arjan Dev ji. As if answering my wife’s and my persistent (though unspoken) doubts it clearly brought out that Hari (God) looks after you wherever you are in the Brahamand (universe) before and after death. A very comforting thought indeed. Roger has to be somewhere in the universe; he couldn’t have died. He must be having another assignment somewhere, another family to love, another place to spread the joy of his being, another mama and papa to go to walks with, other children to play with. (Read: Roger And Us – A Love Story Without An End)

Just next to the Crematorium – No Entry? Well, it was No Exit

But, we are mere human beings: we are neither gods nor dogs (both anagrammatic, both meaning the same). So, whilst wishing him the best in his new surroundings, we don’t mind telling that we miss him everywhere in the house. Here’s Roger coming to greet me in the morning just two weeks before he went. In our earlier house, the beds were low and he could have jumped up to hug and play. But, in our house after retirement, being a small house, every little space has to made use of. Thus, the beds are high with storage space under. Also, Roger had become too old to jump up.

The pitiable look for not having been able to jump up

But, if one mama has gone for bath, Roger would be on the mat just outside, patiently waiting to be fussed and hugged:

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Waiting patiently outside the bathroom door

In the end, since all of us, that is my sons and I, went for our work, my wife had Roger with her as her child and companion. This is how Roger felt safe, secure and comfortable with her:

She would pick him up and put him on the bed

When he was alive, we frequently complained about the ticks and his falling fur. After he went away, one day, my wife found a few strands of his fur and we were elated as if we had found a great treasure.

I am too small a being to question about God’s Creation. However, I have to admit that I have often questioned about God’s wisdom in having a mismatch between our normal ages and those of our pets. Under normal circumstances, we, having been born earlier, would die before our children. However, in case of our pets, sadly, they die before us. I was thinking of an answer to this and then one of my friends put up a beautiful piece on the facebook. I immediately commented that it was the best post I ever read. It is not my intention to repeat the complete piece here. But, here is the gist:

Pic Courtesy: Carole Hughes
A Dog’s Purpose?
(from a 6-year-old).

“Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog’s owners, Ron, his wife Lisa , and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker; but since there was no hope against cancer, the dog was to be given euthanasia.Ron and Lisa felt it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker’s transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker’s Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, “I know why.”

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I’d never heard a more comforting explanation. It has changed the way I try and live.

He said,”People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life — like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?” The Six-year-old continued,”Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”

And where do dogs go? Well, we know where Roger went: to another part of the universe to spread his message of abiding love.

Roger Lives.

He is somewhere around….it is just that we can’t see him.

© 2012 – 2013, Sunbyanyname. All rights reserved.

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2 Comments

    1. What a beautiful note on facebook with such loving pictures. Haven’t yet shown it to Lyn but I am sure both of us are going to cry reading your note together. Thanks for sharing.