Next Posting – Binnaguri – 1983
After Hasimara, we were posted to Binnaguri. Class 8th ! I told you earlier – number 4 and 8 have been unlucky for me….well – unlucky in the sense ‘Little lesser’ enjoyment.
I joined Kendriya Vidyalaya – I had missed one month or so of the classes for transfer delays. The girls there were behaving very pricey. They immediately started giving names to me like – Haughty, Proudy …arrogant.They were actually screaming at the top of their voices and asking each other – Hey what are the synonyms of the word ‘proud’ …in fact I myself added some words – trying to be pally with them – I needed them you see – for class notes etc. There was another new girl who had joined recently – Kiran…kkk kiran (she was a great fan of Kumar Gaurav – she had life size posters of him all over her walls!!). Since we both were new so we became close to each other. Now when I think back I can understand that in Binnaguri – most of the girls were daughters of ‘Officers’ – so all had their individual Airs – and all were high and mighty in their own right ..that’s how…what they think!!
Anyways later they got pally with me and told me also that they were teasing me by calling me names like ‘haughty’ etc for they thought that I was some extremely ‘high and mighty’ femme` fatal !! In fact most of the places I have been to – make this comment about me – looks are so deceptive…isn’t it? !!
There was one of my class mates living in the same building as us. Most probably Rustogi…Vikas Rustogi (I maybe wrong). His parents had invited our Geography Teacher to their house and did him little favors because of which he used to tell him important exam questions – I had come to know this but well…couldn’t do anything about it. We girls were never pally with our class boys – we always had this competitive spirit – who came first kinds – whether boys or girls etc.
Around 10 years were left for my father’s retirement so they thought of renovating our ancestral house – My parents took Annual leave for two months in order to renovate our ancestral building. But my sister was in class XII and myself in Class VIII – so we had to attend school.
The ADMS Uncle – Sharma Uncle and Aunty were very pally with us. Since all their sons and daughters were married and they had a 4 bed roomed flat so they agreed to keep us with them for 2 months. We shifted to their place.
Sharma Aunty was a very pious and religious lady and a great cook as well ! She fixed fantabulous tiffin for me – Gods have been very kind to me as far as good food is concerned ! one day she made Ice cream at home with an ice cream maker and mixed some sweets and nuts etc. – gosh !! I think that has been the BEST Ice cream I have ever had.
Aunty used to do Govardhan Puja – a small piece of Mount Govardhan was with Aunty and she used to bathe HIM with ghee, honey and give dry fruits etc to HIM aan sang songs and read Kathas for him.We used to enjoy it a lot and while she told us stories about Lord Krishna’s escapades at Vrindavan – we actullly used to get transported to the scene – such beautiful were the narrations written in the huge Book that Aunty possessed. Initially I was a Lord Shiva devotee – for he was a Loyal Husband and we always knew Lord Krishna as the flirtatious one. But the Kathas told a very different aspect of His and it truly was a new World for both us sisters !
There was one Jamal aunty who lived just beside our house. She had two Pomeranians – Rohini and Gujju. Rohini gave birth to 3 pups – as white as can be – like white cotton balls.I used to always look at the pups playing and wanted to have one of the pups absolutely desperately. Even my parents had taken a liking for the white fur balls – and my Mother had said to Jamal Aunty that we are interested in the pup. But there were many contestants waiting in queue. Jamaal Aunty needed time to decide. In the mean time – she gave one of the pups to my class friend – Kavita (most probably) who lived just one building away form me. They were 3 sisters…and were pretty bold..the ‘Bold and beautiful’ kinda boldness you know. They often went to the Clubs and were pretty infamous in doing things famously !!
Jamal Aunty had given them a male pup. Daily Kavita used to tell things about the new arrival like what he ate, how he slept, how he was given a bath etc.– and I used to hear it with all my heart. The pup died after 3 weeks or so …for too much bathing ! – when I went to show my sympathy – I came to know that she had gone to the club !! I was amazed at this really – for I always thought that if a loved one dies at home – one does not feel like dong anything …atleast for the next couple of days – you are kind of sad – but she had just gone off to the club !!
Anyways – so one afternoon I was just loitering outside basking in the sun – it was winter time – when Jamaal aunty called me over the hedge – she was wearing a dressing gown and in her pocket , she was carrying Sheba. She called me over and said “Tina , call your Mother – I want to give you the pup” – I couldn’t believe my ears – I think that was one of my most ecstatic moment. I ran inside and my mother was about to go for her afternoon siesta when I pulled her and said that Jamaal Aunty wants to give us the pup.
My sister gave her the name Sheba – after some ancient beautiful Queen.
Sheba was a highly ‘High and mighty’ dog ! Whether she became like that after staying with us or she was born like that – is still a mystery to us !!
Since she was our first dog – she was pampered no end ! A small sized bed was made for her and our old woolens were made her sleeping cover. My Mom made clothes for her also for her brother had died out of cold and we were afraid that something like that should not happen to her. My father used to put her to sleep by singing a lullaby !!
After observing what kind of ‘Amazingly pampering’ Masters we were – Sheba immediately started acting pricey ! She was given an egg poach, then chicken stew, toast with a little bit of butter…suddenly she was getting bored of these things and then a time came that daily we had to give her a different item or else she refused to eat. Initially she started with plain Milk…then one day we added some Horlicks in it – it was our mistake – but then she developed a taste for it and then she had to be given milk with Horlicks !!In absence of Horlicks – something had to be added for she did not like plain milk at all – either coffee or chocolate powder had to added.
Her parents who lived just beside us used to come sometimes and eat her food. We gave chicken pieces to her parents as well – after all they were the ones who had brought to us our ‘white fur ball’ –our love object !!
Whether to fondle her or not – when to fondle or show love to her – even utter sweet nothings to her – was totally up on her ! She showed her irritation if something happened against her wishes. She used to bite her hind leg herself – a way to show her irritation and we all used to vacate the space for her to do whatever she wanted.
Afzal Bhaiya took her for walks. Once, she came back and started to limp. Immediately Infra Red Light was used and Bhaiya messaged Dolopaar on her thighs – she was seen enjoying it as well !
One day Sheba sneezed – we thought of mixing Brandy to her milk so that she feels warm. Since we had no brandy – so Afzal Bahiya went to Col Roy’s (TwoIC) house (he had 2 daughters – Sejuthi and Soma) for Brandy. Later he had enquired why we asked for the Brandy and was really surprised to hear that it was for the Sheba !It was made into a joke then ‘CO sahaab ka Kutta’ Kamaal !!
I used to feel that Sheba is the reincarnation of Sikra !!
One day while I was at school, Sheba was found missing. There were some MES fellows and Civilians working in our premises – and Mom was sure that some one had kept beautiful small Sheba in some sack in order to kidnap her.
Immediately Mom rang my father and he came with other Officers to find out about what happened. One officer sort of screamed it aloud that ‘lets call a Nakabandi’ so that the workers could hear it. The trick worked and suddenly Sheba was found in under the Tomato bush – almost in a doused state – probably breathless in the sack! Everyone had kept their fingers crossed for they were worried as to how I would react once I come back from school.
The next day Mom had a small get-together among the neighborhood ladies to celebrate Sheba’s recovery !!
Later it became a habit with Sheba – she hid herself – probably to find out her value. Many a times she purposely hid under some bush or tree and saw who all are searching for her. …whether someone missed her or not !
After an year or so a TV serial by Jaspal Bhatti ‘Flop Show’ used to come – and there was an episode on the Boss’s ‘lost dog’ – we were really amused to see the episode and could relate with it !!
Since I was the keenest one on getting a dog at home – so a contract was made that in case of ‘potty’ and ‘pissy’ – I will have to clean up the mess. I had agreed.
Her Highness- Sheba the Queen – never learnt to go outside for answering Nature’s Call – she mostly did the needful at home – so I kept my promise to my parents – and did the cleaning ! But it was worth it – the way she recognized my School Bus’s horn and ran towards me wagging her tail – to welcome me…makes one really forget all about the cleaning stuff !!She also let me pat her occasionally – remember ? Sheba was actually my dream come true – I always wanted a white furred dog – since my childhood – after having seen other Officers taking their dogs on walk !
Those were the days when Punjab was not a restful peace station. My father got posted to Bhatinda and we all were wondering how the place would be. It would also be the first time I’ll join school without my siblings around !Suddenly the posting place changed and we were to shift to Mathura !!
Sharma Aunty (ADMS Aunty) said that it was sheer blessing of Lord Krishna – since both us sisters listened to the kathaas so earnestly that HE called us to His abode !! In fact it must have been a blessing cause if we had been in Bhatinda (Punjab) at that point of time then we would have had to experience the brunt of ‘Operation Blue Star’ and the ruckus on Indira Gandhi’s Assassination in October 1984 !