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CANINE LOVE - SABI WAILS - Adieu Papa - Chapter 2

Published: Oct 20th, 2020 01:59 pmBy Shipra Magon

Welcome to SI Lines, our colony in the cantonment.

SABI ( Our golden white Labrador )is a huge hit with all kids.She is a darling and loves to play whenever she is awake. Its like she knows no boundaries...….literally. Many times she tries to sneak into our neighbor's  backyard  & garden.

We are all in festive mood. Holi is round the corner and we have already bought our pichkaris and dry "> I am in total bliss. I am feeling very proud and responsible too.Papa has just told me( during our evening walk ) that I am a big girl now and must take care of my younger siblings. I must guide them.

March 18, 1992

It is a usual morning for all of us.We have Holi tomorrow.

7:15am - Mom has prepared Alu Paranthas and I am gorging upon them as I eat in the company of Papa who is all set to go to his  office and then further for some important official work. He is on a confidential project.

Sabi is moving around too in the hope of getting a bite from us.Mom has strictly advised  us not to feed her unnecessarily  lest she fall sick.

Post breakfast as I laze in my parents' bedroom, Papa comes in with his charming smile and touches my feet and seeks blessings. I am baffled. I look up to Mom quizzingly and she simply nods and smiles too. I feel as if I am a real  goddess n say "Tathastu " in the most animated fashion. In my mind I am on cloud nine and plan hard on how I am going to narrate this incident to my brother & sister when they come back from the school. The idea is to establish my supremacy over them.

11am - At my neighbor's place now. Listening to music and eating homemade chocolate cake. Wanted to bring Sabi along and show off that I am not as scared of her as I was earlier. Mom didn't allow so she is playing in the backyard.

Suddenly Sabi starts wailing.

Now I have never heard a dog wail or cry in real life. I am unable to understand at first that this is Sabi in some distress.

She is so loud that we an hear her sitting in my neighbor's living room.I rush back home almost confirmed now that this is Sabi's call. Mom is already in her attendance. We don't know what is the matter with her. We examine her thoroughly to figure out wounds or bite marks. Give her water & milk. CUDDLE her. No solace.

Sabi is howling now and it is horrible.

My mom is scared. And I am confused too. What do we do? We plan to call a few people who have dogs as pets for advice.

It is half an hour now that Sabi has been asking us to help her. Calls have been made and suddenly Sabi becomes quiet and comes n sits next to us.There is total calm in the house now. We are relieved too yet unable to understand what exactly happened. It is decided that we take her to a veterinary doctor when Papa comes back.

2 pm

There is a call from Papa's office  & Mom looks devastated. My siblings are back from the school. She commands my brother to take out the scooter. I ask nervously, what's wrong ? She says Papa has been seriously injured. We don't know the details. "Take care of your younger sister", is her command. 

I run to our home temple, light up a lamp and start praying.

It seems like years when finally I hear mom & my brother are back. I am aghast at the sight which both of them present. Mom's hair is all tussled ,Bhai has blood on his upper torso. I run back to the temple and wait.. . . . . 

As Bhai approaches me and I hear my mom break down and cry, we both look into each other's eyes and tears swell our eyes. There is complete silence as we both embrace each other and tell ourselves that  WE ARE  GROWN UPS NOW. We are not kids anymore.

I have lost the time count now

There are people all over the house now ; everything is a blur. Mom has been given injections & medicines to calm her down.My kid sister has become so courageous. She has been sitting with mom ever since she came back with the news of Papa's martyrdom. And she is in control of her emotions.

And Sabi is in control too though I am sure she is perplexed .She is hiding under the bed. She has not seen so many people in the house.

As days pass by and we gather the spirit to move ahead in life as a family, I think and ponder multiple times that

Why did Papa tell me to take care of my siblings ?

Why did Papa seek my blessings out of the blue ?

Why did Sabi wail the way she did that day?

My Papa's watch has been handed over to us and it is frozen at 11:15 am..............  



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