of trouble on four legs

I woke up startled at 2:00 am with a parched throat and a head ringing like church bells. It was just another Friday night in Hyderabad, except for the loud squeal that had just woken me up.

Groggy, I stepped out of my bedroom, leaving the lights off and D sleeping. I walked into AP’s room and found him and N busy playing a Monopoly. N was bent over the board, displaying her substantial assets. Awake so soon?

It took me a few seconds to recover from the daze.

Yeah, I thought I heard a dog yelp.

I heard it too. Maybe a dog got run over or something.

Where’s Ben, I asked, concerned, though I still maintain that the dog was trouble on four legs.

He was right here! AP called out loudly: Ben!

His voice was drowned out by the sound of thunder, and a sudden gust of wind slammed the balcony door shut. I hadn’t even noticed that it was raining, or that the door had been open all day. And then, I heard a soft, mellow squeak.


We ran to the balcony, looked down, and there he was, two floors below, lying on the cold, hard ground at the bottom of our building.

Oh Ben! AP screamed and nearly jumped off the balcony. We ran down, and his tail started wagging even as blood oozed out of his mouth. He tried to get up but couldn’t.

All three of us had tears in our eyes. God, Ben! What were you doing out in the balcony this late? How did you even manage to get past the railing?

We woke D up and made frantic calls to all the vets in the nearby area, but it was really late in the night, and nothing could be done. One doctor was kind enough to agree to seeing us, but when we reached, he said that since Ben couldn’t stand up, the fall had likely broken his spine, and he may have to be put down, but we can’t be sure until we x-ray him.

He gave Ben some painkillers, and sent us packing, asking us to return in the morning for an x-ray.

We spent the night cursing ourselves (yet blaming each other) for not checking whether the balcony door was latched.

Ben lay on AP’s chest all night, barely moving except to lick off the tears that were streaming down his face. Dogs can sense your grief, the doctor had warned us. Don’t look too upset, or he will know something’s wrong.

I was mad at AP for so shamelessly grieving, but couldn’t blame him. I spent the rest of the night tossing and turning, too, thinking of all the times that I had jokingly said that this dog was probably a minion on loan from an evil witch.

In the morning, the x-ray revealed that the spine was okay, but two of Ben’s legs (the ones in front) had been badly bruised. Since he was young (no more than a couple months), the bones were still soft, and therefore, didn’t break.

Ben spent a month in a small cage with his legs bandaged because like I said, he was trouble on four legs and would not sit down in one place for too long.

When he got better, we celebrated by giving him some rum and coke to drink. He had grown fond of that particular concoction. He drank his share, then passed out flat on the mattress in the living room, as the rest of us proceeded to create an excel file with who spent how much this month on Ben.

There I was, sitting in front of the excel file that nearly messed up my finances for the next two months, wondering if getting a dog was worth the trouble.

It totally was.

Until he jumped (the kids downstairs witnessed it) from the balcony again and broke the same legs. Then I wanted to kill him.

of being driven by justice

How many of you have ever driven on the roads in Delhi? Those of you who have will agree that it is fucking terrifying with the complete disregard for traffic rules. Because rules are for children. This is war, and all that matters is victory, not the bloodbath that leads you to it.

Most drivers are egotistic, homicidal/suicidal maniacs. They will pull out of their driveways in full speed, not caring that there’s moving traffic on the road, and then start driving on the wrong side of the road without so much as blinking (pun intended).

People just assume that they have the right of way. They will flash their headlights at you, and honk until you give them space, even if they’re in YOUR lane. If you don’t move, or flash back at them, the will keep coming at you until you swerve and hit someone. So you end up moving.

And then there is the complete irreverence for human life – pedestrians have nowhere to cross the road, because cars will only stop ON the zebra crossing, a quarter of an inch from where the signal is. No sir, we won’t let anyone pass, not even ambulances. Let them die if they must. Cop cars, however, are free to do as they like. Thulle se panga? No way.

Don’t even get me started on the incessant honking.

Now I’ve been driving for only three (or four?) years – and I know that I am better than most newbies. I know I can easily take on most of the “No if no but, only Jatt” Pajero owners and people with political party flags as they try to stick their cars into the barely-enough space between my car and the next, close enough for me to count their nasal hair.

But I don’t, because I try to obey the rules and be what my ex used to call a “smooth” driver. No jerky movements, no surprises, no rule-breaking. Unless it’s an emergency of course, like when someone’s injured or dying, in which case I’d take just a few nanoseconds to get where I want to be, regardless of how many rules had to be broken. But that hasn’t happened yet.

Now since I conceived, my driving has become slower and more deliberate. I barely drive over 50 km/h (which, btw, is the speed limit here). This slowing down has sensitized me to things that I probably wasn’t bothered by earlier, and the innate sense of justice that I inherited from my father (yes, he did teach me something good) has come to the surface, and I’m unable to push it down.

Which brings me to what happened this morning.

It was drizzling, and I woke up feeling like a cow; bloated, slow, and nauseous. I didn’t want to, but I had to drive to work. I reluctantly pulled out of my driveway, and headed out onto the main road.

Just as I turned, a blue-gray Swift appeared out of nowhere in front of my car. This guy was trying to overtake an RTV that was moving slowly, and had ventured into my lane. Now I did have space on the left to maneuver, but I didn’t stop. Of course I did this only because I knew there was enough distance between us for the guy to slow down – I wouldn’t have risked my baby. Truth be told, I was done being “nice”; done giving way to errant drivers who zig-zag their way into my lane, assuming that they can bully me. I needed to be “just”. So I stopped. He had to, too. He stood there, staring at me through his windshield. I stared back in defiance. The road in his lane was absolutely clear by now, and he could just have backed up and gone his way, but he was just being cocky, so I started honking manically.

Eventually he had to back up, but he pulled over to my side, rolled his window down, glared at me and asked: Aapka steering ghoomta nahin hai kya? Does your steering not function?

Mere steering ki fikr chhodiye, apni lane mein gaadi chalaiye, itni zillat nahin uthani padegi. You should stop worrying about my steering wheel, and instead focus on driving within you lane. That way you’ll never have to be embarrassed, I said, victorious.

He drove away without a word, and I instantly felt better for having stepped out. Justice had been served.


of how I survived two murder attempts in one night

This may come as a shock to you, but one of my closest friends tried to murder me twice in the same night. I thought this was yet another story I would end up taking to my grave, but after what I’ve been through the past few days, I don’t see how I can be quiet about this anymore.

It started as a party at Booyarang’s house, with Giggles and Fartsypants and Mister and one of my other friends you don’t know, whom I lovingly call the Sloth from Ice Age. We were up all night singing Deeply Dippy and Time of My Life; living, laughing, loving every moment of the debauchery. And before I knew it, my face was on fire. It’s amazing how your life can change within seconds.

Here’s what happened that night. Continue reading of how I survived two murder attempts in one night

of being a weirdo magnet

This morning, as I drove to work, I was especially happy because there were none of the obvious signs of the migraine. No sensitivity to light or sound, no throbbing vein in the temple threatening to burst.

Today is going to be a good day, I thought, as soon as I woke up. So I decided to enjoy my drive. I left home early, drove slowly, savoring every turn, every beautiful flower on the roadside.

As my car rolled to a halt on a signal that was about to turn red, the guy driving the car behind me Continue reading of being a weirdo magnet

of aggression

You’re crossing the chauraha near Sector 18. Playing with your phone, too. Yes, you do realize you’re behaving like a retard, but you want to do it anyway. So, you’re walking along, playing with your phone. A Scorpio literally pulls out of the Max Hospital driveway and speeds its way into the road. The fucktard sees you but instead of stopping, he keeps going, and you’re still walking. Continue reading of aggression