I can’t stop wondering about how all of us are weird.
Yeah, I guess all of human race is, without exception, unusual and peculiar.
I mean, we are more or less alike in the way we come into this world and leave it, and we all experience a similar set of emotions, and every one of us has a bunch of habits and activities that are relatively comparable.
And yet, we are all so different. All of us don’t like the same things or people, and even those that we do, we have different reasons for liking or disliking.
… Oddly enough, sometimes, there are no reasons for liking or disliking.
For example, I never quite figured out why I like the Bollywood flick 15 Park Avenue. Those that have seen it might recall it for different reasons - the theme, cast or acting. Most folks wouldn’t have seen it, so leme give you a brief overview of the plot.
The film revolves around a schizophrenic Meethi (Mitali, played by the fantastic Konkona Sensharma) and her doting elder sister Annu (Anjali, played by the lovely Shabana Azmi) and how Meethi’s delusions wreak havoc on Annu’s life and emotions. There’s also Waheeda Rehman, Shefali Chhaya and Rahul Bose who play minor characters, but the movie belongs hands down to the two female leads.
I won’t give out the climax here, just in case you feel curious enough to check out the film for yourself. (I don’t know if I’ve already written this review in the past; must have, considering I write about everything in my life on my blog!) However, I will definitely tell you that the end left me feeling very anxious and baffled. I am a practical and organized person, not entirely innovative and spontaneous. I expect things to be a certain way. One such expectation is that movies ought to have clear endings. When 15 Park Avenue closed on a mystifying note, I was left restless and incomplete.
I still remember how desperately I was trying to reach a conclusion, with Deepti finishing the last of the popcorn beside me, when the curtains went down at the E-Square screen. She gave me a hypothesis fiercely beautiful and stunningly original, I was gasping for air. (Damn! That woman can REALLY think out of the box. Good thing she is in advertising. A blessing to her industry, she is.)
Coming back to the topic, there’s nothing too WOW about this production. There have been other films with far better storylines and more incredible actors. Yet, I can’t stop myself from feeling a funny sense of partiality towards this film, and an irrepressible desire to watch it anytime it comes on TV. And I enjoy it every single time. Don’t ask me why.
The point being… there are occasions when individuals like things and people for no reason, and the same goes for not liking someone/something.
I won’t deny that I keep asking everyone for reasons for everything under the sun, and I coax them to explore if they aren’t sure of the reason. That is because I think they are being too lazy to think and express, or maybe they aren’t utilizing their brains and emotions as much as they are capable of. And yet, I know, that sometimes there is JUST NO REASON.
Like the other day when I went to Bounties (Bounty’s? whatever it is - the beer/wine and sizzler joint near Gold Adlabs, Kalyani Nagar) and I was so drawn to this golden Labrador that I couldn’t resist touching him even as I was grabbing some grub.
Now most of you would find nothing strange about this, but if you know me, then you know this is REALLY notable. I think I have OCD (which stands for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) – a condition where you fret about seemingly simple things and you make certain actions an involuntary yet forceful habit.
My silly habit is that I have to wash my hands after I touch anything, so I avoid touching things. And I’m not talking about only stuff like shoes and body parts. I mean ANY thing. So, I touch a button on the elevator and I go wash my hands when I get off on the floor. I prefer not shaking hands with most people, as I am not certain about where those hands have been. I’ll touch my own hair/clothes at times, and rush to the wash basin just in case…
(Yes, I WILL wash my hands after I type this article, coz this keyboard has passed under other fingers before, you see.)
Sorry for digressing. So, at Bounty, I was digging into my not-so-great sizzler (I prefer Yana anyday, or Kobe second-best), and this big, handsome Lab comes right to my chair and settles down with his back to me. I looked at it once. It looked VERY appealing. I looked away out of habit. One, I was eating food and his lice/fur just might get into my veggies. Two, if I touched him, I would have to keep that hand at arm-length distance till I could use the washroom.
I didn’t look back for exactly a minute, hoping that the dog had felt bored and ignored and gone off. No sirree. He was right there, sitting in the exact same inviting posture. Almost daring me, luring me, with a “I know you wanna touch me, I know you cannot resist me, give in to the pleasure now, you know you can’t hold out against me too long, I’m just too sexy for you to control yourself” kinda way.
And I gave in.
As I merrily combed my hands through his soft, golden fur, I suddenly was overcome with a rush of love and joy. Never before had I felt such a strong sense of peace and bonding, trust even, with any living thing, forget an animal. It was like I’d finally realized what destiny had brought me to this restaurant for. To understand how much I needed a (real) dog in my life. To comprehend how imperfect my life was without this loyal friend and companion.
I’ve seen pets before, and I’ve always interacted with them in a politely distant fashion. It’s a “hey, I don’t detest you, but I don’t like you too much either, so keep your paws off me” style, which doesn’t really keep the mutt off me, but makes the owner realize and yank him off. THIS dog took my breath away, and made me feel at home. It was like Moksha – the perfect state of being. Or not being. The thing that Yoga and the Bhagwada Gita talk of.
(Sorry, God. No offense. Merely an attempt to describe my experience as effusively as possible.)
We sat there quietly, the dog and I (and the folks I was dining with, obviously, though I’d forgotten they were there with me). I felt like I was in a bubble with the animal, and nobody could touch what we were sensing and feeling. Any other person or word within that bubble would be an intrusion. The dog stayed still as I moved my fingers over his head and back, and we were as snug and serene as friends who’ve known each other a zillion years.
When I (and the dog) finally came out of our shared reverie, I went back to my food and the dog slouched off to a corner. We were physically apart but our minds were still connected. How do I know this? Because he sauntered past me a few times, checking to see if I recognized him, and I spoke to him each time, once even ordering him to sit down coz I wanted to stroke him some more and he gladly obliged. Couldn’t be a coincidence, right? I’ve got witnesses if you’d care to check.
Rocky. I think that’s what his master was calling him.
I’d call him Whisky.
(I didn’t think of this name, to be frank, but someone very close to me did, and the name fit like a hand in a glove that very instant.)
And that very instant I decided I would have a golden Labrador in my house. Sooner or later. But definitely.
To hell with all my concerns about dog health and dog poop.
To hell with my reservations about fur allergies and child hazards.
To hell with my fears about the who and how and what.
I’m getting a dog. For sure.
So that I can sit and pet him and feel like home all life long.
Something warm and fuzzy under my fingers.
Someone to sit quietly with and feel like monarch of the universe.
Somehow to love and feel loved unconditionally.
No other reason.
Waiting to welcome you home Whisky.
As soon as I figure out who’s gonna do the poop-cleaning and vet-visits.