He found us on a Christmas eve,
Lying on a patch of grass, drenched in 'silent night',
His head against the cold compound wall,
Amidst the plastic garbage bags,
Dropped by some unknown Santa.
Appa found him, on his way to the milk booth
Wearing the foul smelling mouth of 6 am,
Thought you were hit and dead
By invisible trucks on the highway:
Then you greeted him!
You greeted him:
Without a bark,
Without a shiver,
Without a cry,
Lest a wagging of the tail.
Just trying to hold your head from withering.
The daughter, sleepwalked through the bushy lane,
dropping the blankets and unfastened night pants
Eyes bursting from unshed tears;
Interrupting her dream of headless chickens.
The five year old son,
Who had heard the story of the first dog in space, From Discovery kids channel,
Whispered the name in his ear:
Covered him with the old Bengal kota sari
and dettol bathed his body with gloved hands
Murmuring about the dirty open wounds
with maggots wriggling, like unspoken curses.
Thus he lay in our car shed:
Braving the cold and painful carol nights
And the hot afternoons smelling of rotten cashews.
With the Universe trapped in his two small eyes,
Like the magic of another small mouthed child-God, across the ages!
The day he left us was like unusually surrealistic
With children flying paper space crafts and rockets
Against the backdrop of a livid twilight sky.
From his colour picture book,
The son had discovered that the first dog in Space was 'Laica';