Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Tequila and the Snake Poison Man

Eyes of liquid gold. Destroyer of daisy beds. Duchess of the Drm Bungalow. Floppy eared rabbit. Little licking devil.

It's hard to tell all of these names apply to a little dachshund with shiny brown skin and cuervo gold eyes. Much has been written about Tequila and her little brother Mowgli on this blog. But it's hard to believe neither one of those little devils is around any more.

Just yesterday my mother absentmindedly admonished my father for putting his hand below the dinner table while she was on the phone. She thought he was feeding Tequila yet again!

Tequila was our 1st pet (if you don't count all my imaginary ones including pumpkin, my chimerical dog). My mother fetched her from a colleague one morning around the 1st week of December. She was barely a month old, and understandably disliked her little bed on the floor.

I arrived home from college to be surprised by the entrance of the daintiest little dog in the whole world. At night i would sneak her into my bed, and soon the only place she'd sleep would be our beds! My mother was trying to find a name for her, ranging from Daisy to Chrysanthemum - all the flower beds she chewed and stomped all over with her little paws.

My friend R who was visiting, and had a Cuban connection decided Tequila was a good name for her. Tequila it was. Tah-keeh-laah according the forty odd souls who looked after the bungalow. Word spread fast, if one were to curry favour with Sahib and Memsahib - the route was here. If Tequila liked you, you had instant access. If she didn't , the guards at the gate, nor Ramu the "House Manager" could help.

Tequi as she was soon referred to - nothing to do with little insects that plague dogs, was every bit the top dog. She ruled the house, the gardens, the paddy fields and of course, our hearts. All the crows that had drunk water from the garden fountains for several generations found themselves chased by her. The same goes for the monkeys that used to frequent the lichee and jamun trees. Our Dhobi's son found his already tattered clothes further damaged. The living room carpet which was for constant use soon found disuse as she zealously worked on the tassels with her sharp little teeth.

Her friends were many - right from the visiting out of town dignitaries who threatened to adopt her if my father didn't find one just like her, to Singhji, a bearded old man who came twice a week to put out the bottles of Snake poison. Even before the guard at the gate rang on the old winding phone, we knew he had arrived as Tequila made a mad dash for the gardens!

Just like every whimsical girl, she too had her moments. Like the time she sneaked out from my mother careful watch and came back from the paddy fields - soaked, muddy and smelling of something other than the buffaloes. Further investigation revealed she had found a skunk for company. I am not surprised skunks don't have too many friends. Tequi despite a couple of baths was in danger of being given up for adoption thanks to the odour from Stinky.

Then there was the time she spent an afternoon locked inside with us, while we took siestas in the long, faineant summer afternoons. I woke up and reached for the book I was reading - only to find that Tequi had chewed off the cover, destroyed the foreword, but somehow left the label that said it was a prize awarded to me in college intact! I could have killed her - but what do you say to a little dog, who sits amongst the remains of your book, and strangely enough doesn't ruin the part you consider most important?

Like all good things that come to an end, Tequi's sole reign ended with the arrival of Mowgli. Their love -hate relationship is another long story.

My grandmother always said Tequi was more than a dog. Extremely discerning about her likes and dislikes , once S. , one of the maids asked my other rather sadly, 'how does she know I am the help'? Unlike Mowgs who ate everything in sight, Tequi was very finicky. The test of a sandesh was whether Tequi ate it - if not, it was probably doggy, sorry dodgy!

The same deeper wisdom was to reveal itself more recently. A week before my mother was to leave for the Netherlands to prepare for the arrival of baby N. , she had a minor domestic crisis with the help vanishing all at once for a couple of days etc. My parents worried about who would look after Tequi if the maids didn't return. One evening after her usual walk with my mother, usual biscuit with my father, she was lying on her favourite sofa, and produced a sudden yelp. Without a fuss, she decided to make things simple for my folks, as she made her way to the Happy Hunting grounds.

So if you look up and see what looks like two dachshunds playing in the sky, throw them a biscuit, because those are two great dogs!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The inheritance of Pujo

Just like countless other migratory birds, it's that time of the year when we suddenly flock to seek our own kind. Cooler weather, fall foliage, cinnamon lattes and a whiff of nostalgia all seem to draw us together. Not that vivid vermilion sugar maples are remotely similar to the fragrant shiuli found in Shorot kal, nor does the sleepy, sedate silence of suburbia compare to the drumming of the dhaks. But flock together we must. Be it Billerica, Generica , whatever. Durga Puja is here.

Last year we found ourselves on yet another continent, seeking yet another flocking zone. We had some options, none within the Netherlands. B was relieved, I was not.
Armed with the determination to converge, we found ourselves in Koln Chorweiler (perhaps not the best of names to carry out sacerdotal activities, such as they are!). Bravely we shed all inhibitions, and found ourselves carrying conversations ranging from where the best Bangladeshi Hilsa was to be found in Brussels, why Aachen seemed to draw so many aliens , and of shoes, ships and sealing wax. You get the idea.

Come September, I found myself seeking to flock again. This time with renewed vigour - it being baby N's 1st pujo and all that. We found ourselves - B's parents included, heading to Chorweiler again! Somethings are as eternal as the rain..or in this case the Bengalis. The arati scheduled for 4pm hadn't begun till 7.30 ! The samosas promised for tea hadn't arrived till 7 pm ! All the well greased efficient German organisation couldn't hurry the Bengalis along! While all of them discussed last year's pujo, the year before and the one 20 years ago, the German spouses attempted to sell tea, peel potols and collect chanda!

It was nice enough this year, just like it is every year, every pujo. Made more so by the sudden entrance of family - B's, part Bengali, part German cousins with promises to see each other more often.

All in all , a day well spent. So what if we missed the anjali, the arati , the samosas and the cultural program..as someone once said, most delights are sweeter in expectation than
enjoyment.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Big Wheel Keep On Turning





Ok...so I fell off the map last year. Unfortunately i also fell in and out of the blogosphere. But fallen off yhe wagon I have not for sometime. Most of you know the reason.
Having promised myself and myriad other souls i will not cause diaper rash....am not at liberty to ramble on about every goo and gaa of my latest obsession.

But here go a couple of pics! Posted by Picasa

Friday, July 21, 2006

's-Hertogenbosch International Women'sClub


I'm a member of an expat womens club in Den Bosch which helps to keep me sane. Here's an article about them on expatica.com - which is a webzine for expats across the EU.
http://www.expatica.com/source/site_article.asp?subchannel_id=1&story_id=31629

To underscore the diversity of the group, that's me(Indian) in the picture , 2nd from left - with Jacqueline(English), Sharon(Scottish) and Charlotte(Danish) - as international as you can get !

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Nayantara

 



Born Jul 15 2006 at 2345 hrs CEST, weighing in at 2.85 kilos …. Nayantara Deb, Ladies and gentlemen! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Baby Shower


I am not big on surprises. Probably something to do with the control freak in me. But this weekend was different!

Having managed to pull my ever increasing self together to go with B for afternoon tea to Pilkingtons, I found tea in my living room instead! A bunch of my friends from the HIWC threw me a surprise Baby shower!

It was a lot of fun! It was amazing how much effort had been put into the entire affair! S had organised tons of games, ranging from Baby lotto and scrambles, to guessing the size of the tummy ( a variation of 'weigh the pig' at country fairs!).

Turns out the entire thing was started by M & J who set the ball rolling! There was tons to eat, right from fresh scones to samosas! There were tons of gifts for the little one. More importantly there were tons of funny stories - fortunately non about child birth!

The piece d'resistance was of course the diaper cake! I can't believe I am saying this - but the entire affair felt rather sex and city like!

Now the countdown has truly begun.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Monday, March 27, 2006

Monday, March 06, 2006

Back from the Land of the Porcelain Goddess to 't Misverstant

It's been a while since I blogged. I guess it's been a busy busy 3 months. So much has happened. Single friends decided to settle in. Little children arrived in different parts of the world. And B's diaper rash seems to have transmogrified into diaper love.

It's been an exciting and not so exciting last few months. Worshipping the porcelain goddess is not my idea of time well spent..but such is life! However that phase being over, B & I are looking forward to the next few months!

It was nice to be home last month, be pampered endlessly and feel wholesome again! It's funny how being sick can make you long for things you typically turn your nose up at! Try the 'Indian menu' on the KLM flight to Delhi for instance. I wolved it down with such gusto, B thought I was going to be sick!

Tomorrow B is taking me out to dinner. He has promised to make amends for last year. Remember my birthday ? When i found myself locked in, in a new land, with no friends in sight, having quit my job, turning to carrot stubs for sustenance?

So a seven course French meal it is this year. In a quiet neat restaurant tucked away in the by lanes of Den Bosch. The name of the place is interesting though - 't Misverstant (apparently means misunderstanding)!?

Doesn't bode well given the experience I had last birthday. Will keep you posted!