Friday, January 14, 2011

Halo - We miss u....



Halo....is now a sweet memory. I had always thought of writing about him. I saw him for the first time when he was just a few weeks old. Chubby, cute and tiny- he was like a mass of white snow. Bringing him home was the topic of discussion for many a days in our home and finally one evening without getting the final confirmation from the lady of the house, my dad decided to bring him as a surprise. He was for sure that on seeing this cute, little thing my mom cannot even think of rejecting him.

My mom's first reaction on seeing him was "How could he survive without his mother's milk and care?" Well, dad had solutions for everything. We were asked to give him milk with glucose powder mixed in it. That was Halo's main food for many days from then on. He used to drink it from his small plate and his stomach alone would grow in size disproportionate to his body mass. The stomach used to be like the kernel of a small coconut or a small sized ball. When he scrawled in our sitting room after this feast of milk+glucose, it was almost like a small ball rolling on. Biscuits soaked in milk was also his favourite then. So that was the first few days of Halo's life. We used to take the measurements of his legs, ears, and tail. He was so tiny that we could hold him in one palm. That was how we started liking and playing with our first ever puppy. His breed was Pomeranian and he was quite majestic looking when compared to other dogs of his breed. He was from a noble dog family, his dad and mom living in the same home and his mother was notorious for her ferocity. Some of those genes were transferred onto our Halo as well which we realized later.

Halo was very soon a part of our family...feeding him, attending to him, taking him for walk, playing with him - all this had become a part of our daily routine and yes... it added a special warmth to our lives. It was like having a new member in the family. One day ma decided to make him a little aggressive in character which I didn't encourage but which was ultimately implemented. To make him angry, Ma used to tie a biscuit on a small thread and swing it in front of Halo and when he jumps to get it she would pull it away, thus making him angry and he also started giving tiny little barks as he grew restless. However such efforts of my Ma resulted in Halo being a very short tempered and ferocious dog. Though, all these attributes of his was never tried on anyone of us. He never tolerated strangers, especially if they were shabbily dressed or if they carried any big baggage with them. He liked kids to some extent and he used to scold (bark at) them when they run around and make noise. It was more like the attitude of an elder brother who didn't wish the kids to fall down and break their legs. Halo was quite adjusting as well. When we decided to keep a few cats as our pets, he was initially hostile to them. But later on, he took it upon himself to safeguard the kittens and bring them up. He knew exactly which were the cats that belonged to the household and which were the ones that were wild and naughty. Sweety and Manu's kittens were treated like his own puppies. Nandu was the last kitten that was brought up by him. They used to snuggle and sleep in his thick hair. Halo's hair was of an off-white colour with a tinge of light brown on his back.

When I think about Halo, the first thing that comes to mind would be his lovely dark eyes. He used to converse with those eyes. He conveyed all his feelings through those black eyes. It used to become misty when he was happy or sad. I wonder when I started admiring animals. But as far as I could remember, I always loved animals, birds, nature and almost everything that was natural. But I had really felt the love of an animal from Halo, my first pet. The love that he gave us was untainted, selfless and devoid of any selfish design The utter faith, the complete trust the pets have for us is something worth learning from them. They are so innocent. The love they have for their master and his family cannot be bribed or altered. Even if we hurt them they never try to hurt us back. People say animals are uncouth and wild. But I feel they are more civil than us. It is not for the food and shelter we give them, it is for the love that we give which makes them attached to us. Halo never trusted anyone outside our close family circle. He wouldn't touch the food offered by a stranger even if it was his favorite one. I could read his body language. I could understand his different styles of bark Yes, I know all pet lovers can do that. Halo even used to smile at us. "It was really comfortable spending time with you, Halo! You used to listen to everything I said."

How I remember his embarrassment when I surprised him one afternoon during his nap. He used to know of our home-coming even before we turned the road to our home. He used to smell our arrival even before he saw us. The best thing about having a pet is forgetting all your worries in its presence. Halo was quite possessive about us, especially the two of us - me and my sis. In his childhood he was like our little brother. When he grew older, he used to behave like our elder brother. He was very mature and stopped all his childish pranks. We were surprised by his transformation. My sis being the youngest in the family, he wasn't very obedient to her. He used to play with her and never obeyed her orders. They both used to run around the courtyard in the evenings. Later when she moved on to higher classes, she couldn't spend more time with him. That was how he started losing on the exercises and slightly gained weight. This led to increase of cholesterol and eventually to a heart disease. If we had given him some more exercises, we could have had him longer. He left us when he was nine. True to his name, he was spreading light and sunshine when he was around. After he left, my mother never allowed us to keep another pet. It was like the loss of a close family member. It took many days for us to come out of it.

I remember reading a short story wherein a lonely old lady was worried about being separated from her pet dogs after her death. She kept asking her doctor whether dogs had souls. The doctor consoled her by saying that she could meet them in heaven after her death. I too wonder whether they have souls. I do believe they have. I also feel Halo would know when I am thinking about him. I hope I will meet him again sometime in some other world.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Musings on my career paths...

A career that is fulfilling, encouraging and satisfying is the dream of a great many people in this world. Very few can vouchsafe for sure that their job is the best or the most appeasing in terms of job-satisfaction, remuneration and motivation. Human needs and desires are endless. Can we declare our job at a particular point of time in our career to be the best or the most suitable one? Or do we always strive for something ideal in our own fields?

I strongly believe that a job that is satisfying and up to our expectations can make tremendous change in our life. The job that we engage ourselves in can have a considerable influence on our life. I don't think that money is the only reason why people go to work. It is one of the reasons but there are other intense reasons as well. Of course, there are people who work only for making more money which they think is the indispensable necessity of life.The kind of well-being that we get after contributing some thing of ourselves in a cause or project that is not directly related to us but which is for a greater and nobler cause makes us feel unique and distinctive.

Teaching, I believe is one such field of work which never exhausts you. New faces, young energy, the enthusiasm and the eagerness to learn that we find in some students - this makes this profession incomparable with any job in the world. People can disagree but I thoroughly enjoy my job. The satisfaction of handling a session well, delivering fragments of knowledge and wisdom to the students who are eager to learn, the simple pranks that we get to see in the class - all this makes teaching a memorable experience in one's life. It is not just imparting knowledge to the students, it is more of a self-learning that I gain every day of my teaching. Knowledge is vast and no one can ever claim to say that someone has mastered everything...this is all the knowledge in the world..I have acquired it. It is just impossible. I have learned a lot by just listening, observing and imbibing whatever I could by simply being as silent and unassuming as possible.

A good job can mould, transform and ennoble the person that we are. A place where one gets recognized for the efforts one puts in is truly motivating in the initial days of the career. But it seldom happens and when it happens it is really inspiring.
A career as far as I am concerned is my destiny...my key to self-realization and personal satisfaction.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Resolutions...

It was really hard searching for a subject to write on.. It is a new year..new resolutions..but its always difficult to let go of a past which again prompted to go for the new resolutions. It is not the dearth of a subject but rather the obscurity and abstractness of the subject which is stopping me to pursue it.
I try to de personalize my scribblings but then this 'I' keeps recurring. I wonder if I am a little self obsessed. No, may be I am more of an introspect who likes to evaluate and judge every thought and action of mine. Why do I find it difficult to accept that the subject has to change. It has to be something noble, liberating and not a lament of what is past and bygone.
Life often takes one through strange and abrupt routes. This is oft-heard in the discourse about human life. But I have been through the uncertain so much in my life that I don't believe anything to be stable and reliable. Of late, life has taught me to expect the unexpected. Joy and sorrow come together that it becomes hard to differentiate the two and I wonder whether to rejoice or grieve. The instability and unpredictability of life baffles me at this juncture of my life when I am blessed with so many good things. I wonder if the good will remain longer and life won't give me bumps again. There is so much to write, so much to think. I wish to pen down everything that comes to my mind.
I believe my New Year resolutions would stay in place and this year be something memorable as always.....