That’s how hot it was yesterday. Cold drinks, Aam Panna(popular Indian summer drink), Shukto(a Bengali preparation to combat high temperatures)-nothing works effectively enough to beat the heat. Online shopping got more popular because people just couldn’t tolerate the heat during their shopping sprees. In fact, my German teacher actually fainted in Delhi (where it rained so the temperature was relatively better than here in Lucknow) while shopping. What made the heat even more unbearable was that we were subjected to the torture of no electricity supply for at least one third of the day. Yeah, I live on the outskirts. But this is how hard it hit us-humans. What makes me LITERALLY curse this summer’s heat is the fact that it probably caused the death of my beloved Sheeba: my pet-stray-dog.
Just the sight of her at our gate- all excited and worked up when she heard our door being unlocked, with a tail that wouldn’t stop wagging, eyes all sparkly, head jerking with every move of your hand, and trying to pounce at you when you finally stepped out of the gate. Oh Sheeba!
I distinctly remember the day I was walking down from my Bus-stop after school and a cow appeared to be charging at me. It sounds funny, I know. At the time, I shifted to the other side of the lane and so did the seemingly possessed cow! I was scared because a rumor of a mad cow, on the loose, was doing the rounds. And there came Sheeba to my rescue- wildly barking at the cow and finally driving it away.. If she saw me walking on the street, she would trot up to me every time, without fail. She survived the harsh, oh-so-chilly winter. But, alas! This summer’s heat was way too much for her, I think. She was pretty old though- I’ve known her for almost 6 years. And she wasn’t exactly a puppy when we met. But still, it was too soon. Although, I think, it would always be too soon.
I have had fights with my mother about giving her food, because one of her puppies died in front of our house and my mom had a hard time getting the poor chap disposed, what with people finding dogs too worthless to dispose and finding themselves too highly placed in society to do it themselves( I would’ve done it but for Mumma’s ‘stay out of this’ glare). But, I fed her. And so did Mom, occasionally. I fed Sheeba on lonely afternoons when we both had nothing to do and rainy days when she shivered whilst it rained. I fed her on days when we had leftover food and on days when I felt particularly generous. But, that’s all I did. A little love, food that no one cared for and a second hand name (for we knew another dog named Sheeba). So little, in exchange for so much love and affection. And people ask me why I love dogs as much as I do..!
So, thank you Sheeba. For your loyalty, your playful and endearing tail-wagging, for the adorable sounds you made at the sight of food or myself, for your cute little puppies and so much more. Mostly, thank you for proving yet again how undermined dogs are as a species. As much as I love the species in general, you will always have your own special place in my life. You are loved and will be dearly missed. Rest in peace.
And to the summer heat- please, pretty please, restrict yourself to killing shopping sprees?