Monday, February 11, 2008

Friends and family

I spent an interesting weekend at home in Torda, warding off langur subadults who made free with the trees and leaves in my balcony. I tried unsuccessfully to get some pictures of them but the dogs and cats kept hounding them from branch to branch so it became quite impossible to get them still even for ten seconds. I have therefore made good with some of these.

This is PD, blind as a bat after maggots ate away his eyes more than once. He now gets around with the help of his nose and young Beauty, his personal guide dog.

Shadow was with us for four months with a large gaping maggot wound on his head. After full healing we sent him home to Moira, a week later he was back. We sent him home again, he left his owners and found his way back one more time. Last week, once again for the third time. Persistent chap. Here he is lurking away from my camera in my backyard, and later giving Stick a lecture in geography.

Kim was left with us by his owners at the ripe old age of twelve. Two years on, here is sunning himself at the top of the hill on a chilly Friday morning.

Boo has a sad story behind him. After treating him for repeated skin infection, his owners abandoned him at Betim after he was discharged. For three days he wandered around hungry and chased by the street dogs, till a lady spotted him and called us. We took him back, and have refused to let his owner have him again. Five months later he is fully cured and being adopted soon.

And finally this is Rita, daschund cocker spaniel cross who was brought in for sterilisation and discovered to have jaundice. She is less than a year old, fully recovered, had all her shots and is up for adoption. A real real darling, very tiny and playful. If any of you are interested please call us at +91 832 2416180, and speak to Dr Dinella (in the picture) or Dr Deby.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Ash Wednesday

Today is Ash Wednesday. We had piping hot pancakes for breakfast yesterday, as is traditionally done on the feast of the Mardi Gras. For years as a child, Ash Wednesday meant queuing up to be anointed with ash on the forehead by a priest who recited, "Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return". Then begun the 40 days of Lent, fast, abstinence and reflection.

I have long since stopped going to church on Ash Wednesday for the ritual annointment. On a working week day with all the travel I do, it just stopped working out. However, for the past decade, I have tried to use the season of Lent to reflect, repent, and hopefully recover from past wrongdoings.

One is supposed to abstain from the pleasures of the flesh - eating meat, drinking alcohol, etc - during these forty days. Since I don't do either anyway, my symbolic sacrifice is to give up on anything I really love and enjoy doing, whatever that might be that year. This year the sacrifice is going to be particularly hard on me....but what the hell, it could never ever match up to a crucifixion, so why not?

Let me leave you with this poem called Ash Wednesday, written by T S Eliot in 1927, the year my father was born. It's a long read, but if you have 5 minutes to spare, try it out. The words are haunting, some of them will stay with you forever.