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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Forgive me, Diana - innervoice@hindustantimes.com

Vanita Srivastava

We all crave for love and emotional support from our family members and friends.
What we don't realise is that unselfish love can come from any quarter. We just need to acknowledge the feeling.

Diana, my Labrador, and Aditya, my son, entered my life at almost the same time.
My son was six months old when the beautiful onemonth-old breed walked into my life.

I had never been a pet lover but her innocent eyes stopped me from packing her off.

She grew up in the sprawling district collector's bungalow of my husband with an army of peons to look after her. My son had two servants at his disposal. She had five.

As she grew, her beauty blossomed. But I was never attached to her despite her `leaning' towards me.

She soon grew into her full form. Her carpet-like white hair, her big bony structure and her ferocious bark, all made her into a "beauty queen". I, however, continued to have a `cold' attitude towards her.

She would take her early morning stroll, with a host of dogs following her. I had to keep her away from all those "boyfriends." Once she disappeared in the evening and returned only the next morning. She was in an unusually high spirit.

Months later, she delivered many pups, though none survived. After years of distancing, I finally developed an emotional chord with her when she had to be operated for a tumour. I anxiously waited outside the operation theatre for almost two hours while she was fighting inside for her life.

At 14, she had become old, battling cancer of several vital organs. She couldn't move on her own and had to be lifted. And yet she, she always greeted me when I returned home. She made all the efforts to come near me as I would step out of my car.
Even my son has never greeted me as warmly.

Recently, when I passed by the place where she was laid to rest last year, I felt extremely guilty for not having acknowledged her love.
Sorry, dear Diana.

innervoice@hindustantimes.com

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