This blog is alive, barely breathing. But during a pandemic, when doing anything is doubly hard, some things can fall on the way side. Allowed hai. Every ball cannot be balanced at every point of time in life.
What would this blog be if there wasn’t a post dedicated to Mishka. Sometimes when you meet a person, you know in your bones they are going to change you and your life. At other times, you turn back years later and realize their impact on you. I have known Tanuj for decades, few years after his marriage Mann and I met properly. Hanging out with spouses of friends isn’t my thing. We don’t do the couples hanging out together thing. Liking one person is hard enough, how are you supposed to equally like two people? KC has his set of friends and I have mine. If we like each other’s friends, great. If we don’t, great. Anyway, sparks flew at that meeting and we had enough in common to get invited for a home cooked World Famous Chicken Biryani by Tanuj. It did come up that they have 2 dogs – Gin and Mishka.
KC and I aren’t really animal people. We lived in an apartment complex with dogs of all breeds- dachshunds, pugs, boxers etc but never felt the need to even acknowledge them. I had never even been to a house with a dog except on 2 occasions.
We turned up at Tanuj’s door in my Gurgaon finery (=absolutely overdressed) and rang the doorbell. There was barking from the other side which didn’t subside till the door opened. 2 dogs came towards us demanding that we acknowledge and pet them. Chicken biryani was at stake here so we had little choice. Gin moved away after a few minutes and I could concentrate with both hands on Mishka. I was overwhelmed that someone was so happy to see me. That, almost, never happens. We decided that were bigger pros than chicken biryani in continuing to be friends with Tanuj and Mann.
Over 4-5 years, Mishka became my therapist. During my lowest lows (most recently in 2018 end and 2019 beginning), I couldn’t get out of bed till I saw her picture on her IG handle. Mann may have received a few calls demanding she post pics as early as possible since some people depend on her to start their day. When I had terrible days at work, I would rush to Mann’s house and get me some Mishka snuggles. It wasn’t a coincidence that I wore a fleece jacket on those occasions. I carried her hair home like an honor badge. On weekends, there was conversation and breakfast with T and M before they picked up Mishka from the groomer’s. She would come rushing out looking spiffy and gorgeous and demand belly rubs at the vet’s office.
These are the memories am going to hold on to while I deal with a world without her. Distance makes a difference. Living in a different city means I can be a coward and pretend like she is still around. If I never meet T and M again, I won’t even know she is no more. Because the thought of ringing their doorbell and not hearing her bark on the other side is unimaginable.
KC and I wanted our Mishka who would bring so much joy to our lives 24/7 and that’s how we decided to bring home a dog. We weren’t searching for a dog, we were just searching for Mishka. Our Mishka. Trust me, there would be no Barfi (in our life) if we hadn’t met Mishka. Because Mishka is perfect. In every way.