Saturday, August 27, 2005
Life, Love, and Lulu
The snapshot above is of my dog, Lulu. Now, I just winced when I wrote that sentence. The words “my dog” seem to be winking at me and striking my conscience. Because she’s not just a dog to me. And because somehow, in the minds of people who have never been blessed to share their lives and homes with a dog, the word “dog” brings up images and connotations that a dog is somehow inferior to a human being. That dogs don’t think, can’t feel, and are just put on earth either to help you hunt, guard your home, or as a status symbol in society, in the case of high-priced pedigreed dogs.
In my experience with Lulu, I am ashamed to admit that she has given me far more than I have given her. What have I given her? Food, a warm shelter, maybe a hug here or a hug there. And what has she given me in return? That one special look in her large black limpid eyes that tell me of a love and adoration that I have not seen in any two-legged creature before and maybe not ever! A tail that wags so vigorously when I get back home even if it’s after just 5 minutes of going out, that I fear it would break apart any instant! Wet, slippery kisses on my nose when I’m down in the dumps and sobbing my heart out for some reason or the other, when nobody else sees, and nobody else seems to care. A warm body that snuggles up to me at night (yes, she shares my bed!) and shares my nightmares, my dreams, my insomnia, my dead-to-the-world sleep. A love that is so restless when I’m not around that it doesn’t sleep, drink, or eat until I get back home.
So, is she just a “dog”? Or my friend? Or my soul-mate? After all, soulmates can come in all shapes and sizes. Many a time, I have felt that Lulu is an angel sent from up above, a sort of earthing conductor (like a lightening rod!) who drains away all the bad vibes and unhealthy energy dynamics that are there in my family, as there would be in any family. Because of her, fights between family members whimper out, a smile breaks out on the most hardened, sulky, argument-weathered face, and all is well with the world again! In a place where love is supposed to be assumed and not shown, where physical demonstrations of love are a no-no (typical indian family), I don’t know what I would have done without Lulu. She is a safe conduit for me to shower all the love and affection hidden inside my heart, which I cannot show anywhere else. If I didn’t have her to pour out my affection, with all my hugs and kisses, then all that energy would have stood still inside my heart and I would have ended up like a stagnant body of energy, nowhere to go, still and deep, but not flowing anywhere…That’s why I feel she is such a God-send to me and to my family. She has changed the dynamics of how we interact with each other. She has even made me re-think my eating habits. When before I could eat meat without a flicker of guilt, now when I look into the eyes of an animal that is being led to the slaughter, I think of Lulu’s eyes, and I cannot eat it….So many changes in me and in my family, that too because of a creature that cannot even talk! I have learnt to be patient, to be forgiving, to be affectionate, all just by being in her presence. Learning to love by just being with Love.
I have seen many people crusading around trying to change others, change the world, make it a better place, but in Lulu, I finally found the key to making the world a better place.. there is no need to go around teaching and preaching and fighting.. if you want to see a change in the world, in other people, all you have to do is be that change yourself. Bring that change into your essence. Be it. Live it. Embrace it. Be an example. If you want to dispel the darkness, be the light, rather than just hold a torch that beams the light. Be what you want others to be. Just the act of being will attract others to you, make them think, make them want to change, and change them without them even knowing it! And all this I have learnt from the dark limpid eyes of an intense lil’ soul that came into my life in the form of a dog and whom we named Lulu! This one is for you, girl!