No one plans to fall in love, it happens like poetry. Well, the writer too happens to fall in love during a visit to an animal shelter. And while the world may think the object of his affection is a jackass, the author doesn’t.
I am in love. And his name is Hob.
We first met at an animal shelter I had visited along with some friends and family.
We met and played with some of the four-legged residents of the shelter. I have never met the likes of these spirits. For all those broken, cynical, depressed or merely tired two-legged souls, come and meet some of these creatures. They are the epitome of white light. They shine so bright with love and faith that it is difficult to look into their eyes without melting. There are those who had homes for more than 70 per cent of their dog lives, but were abandoned just when they needed the most love and care. But that hasn’t made them bitter or untrusting. Instead, they approach you with a longing that makes you just sit down and coochie-coo them. Of course, there are a few who would be best deployed at the border. Their incessant barking would make the enemy armymen lose their sleep and sanity.
And where was Hob during all this coochie-cooing of poochie-poos? He was sauntering around the farm. Yes, not a very helpful sort, you will think and you won’t be wrong (you won’t be right either). Like two ships passing each other in the darkness of night we passed each other too. But it wasn’t the darkness of the night, but the sweltering heat of midday that made me look him over. I looked through him as if he were an illusion, a mirage in that parched land. After all, who can imagine someone walking around in the sun, while all others at the shelter were seeking the protection of the shade or some wet spot?
Eventually, we were introduced to Hob. Some of the volunteers at the shelter seemed to be jealous of all the attention H was getting. Still, the disgruntled volunteers began to badmouth him within our earshot. They talked about how he would behave rudely at times, not listen to his seniors and try to enter restricted areas…all in all, be donkeying around. They called him a Jack, but added a few suffixes that made this Jack not fit for civilized company… unparliamentary even. They even called him Hobgoblin.
What they didn’t get is that Hob wasn’t showboating! It’s just that he didn’t care to behave in a ‘socially appropriate’ manner and fit in. Even after being introduced to us, he continued his cavalier devil-may-care behaviour. And that is what, believe it or not, attracted me to him. He didn’t seem to notice me at first. He showed me his bum and just paid me no heed while lavish all his attention on my friend. He seemed to be sniffing around her too much. Did she have some weed on her? May be in her purse, for that beast seemed to be almost biting at the bit; take a nibble, almost, of her purse. But then who was I to object?
And then that ass nudged me and, oh, it was such a joy! He then poked me again. And there he was doing it again. Was he doing it deliberately? Yes. He was prodding me. What did he want? Just a little bit of loving, I guess. He believed he was born to carry around, not carry weight around like a beast of burden.
While my friends were sweating like they were in a sauna, I was getting to know Hob. But then we had to part for this trip was, but, a brief escape from our daily drudgery. I have to admit that I have never been a believer in the adage, “distance makes the heart grow fonder”. My friends, of course, had to butt in and correct me. It is absence that makes the heart grow fonder, they said. Well, don’t they realise absence is due to the distance? This distant relationship is very painful. My days are spent waiting to go back and meet Hob again. For he may be a jackass for the world, but for me he’s just H.
Earlier in Ayanpills
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