He Lived

I lost a close friend yesterday.

He was really really full of life till one day he fell really ill and we all knew his time had come.

I remember the first day we brought him home .. he was named toffee, my brother gravitated towards him like he knew that that was the missing piece in our life, we knew … mom said we should let him grow a little more because he was tiny, but we insisted and we brought him home. He was snuggling into the warm space between my 5 year old brothers back and the car seat in our old contessa. at 10 I still remember thinking i want to touch him but im so scared ill be too rough. Mama saw him , lots of people were at home. he said he has skin like a wolf.. blue.. we all laughed .. he said lets name him wolf.. 

i would return everyday from school and gingerly open the door so that the runt wouldnt run out. one day our driver brought home a pure breed Alsatian saying look at him and look at wolf… hes so much better looking.. pushkar said he loved wolf. he would not give him up for the shiniest dog in the world. we dismissed the pure bred and continued to play with the runt.

"Kitna gandhaura sa kutta hai" Nani says while feeding him daal chawal and ghee by her own hand.  

the compound was big, we even had our own basketball hoop in the back .. everytime we would bounce the ball wolf would trap it and run to bite it. pushkar and mama taught him how to stop the ball but he was just so enthusiastic about it he would inevitably try to bite it. suddenly a bird would fly past just about 7 ft from the ground.. wolf would miss it by inches. 

one day he finally walked in with a parrot in his mouth. nani was horrified, nana and mama proud, a hunter is amongst us. he proceeded to display his prize on our main carpet.. growling and glowering at us , hackles raised if we ventured too close. it was his prize. his blood stained teeth barred in great ferocious accomplishment. what a sight. and the growls still resonate. 

i walk out of the door, he speeds past, runs straight for the gate and bites the first thing that moves. he wanted to be alpha dog. he was the alpha dog. a pack of dogs roamed the streets, and one glossy doberman. the pack he took on , came back in tatters. bloodied but victorious. the doberman he challenged from his leash , dragging anyone who held the other end. Mama suggested we should tie him to our bikes and make him run to get rid of his energy - picture a cycle being dragged behind a muscular sprinting dog, duly pursued by its rider.

the wall of our compound was high. topped with barbed wire. Pushkar and I would go to the roof and play our spy games, talking to each other with our walkie talkies, in the bubbling summer heat of delhi. i still remember the tar on Pushkars knees. Wolf and the Doberman (duly renamed Pawa Pawa * bhojpuri slang for ahh!gotcha! or suchlike loosely translated) would have shouting matches over the wall. one day Pushkar said, lets get him to the roof, so that he can go bark at him and mock him. Pushkar thinks that he carried Wolf up, but he actually egged him on so much that Wolf climbed a ladder up to the roof for him. and then duly shot off trying to get past the barbed wire to bite the Doberman. We had to ask Biren to carry him down after that cus he soon became content with just barking at something he could finally see.

Wolfs teeth were an inch long, and once he held on to something he would basically rip it to shreds, i have lost many chappals, shoes, odd cloths and stuffed toy to his grabbing and wringing out. Mama somehow got him afraid of cold water. We would spend endless hours just spouting water from our mouths or just pretending to and watch him spin in circles jumping on everything as he tried to doge it.

The first portrait i draw of someone i know - wolf

I tried walking him and learnt how slippery he was when he wanted to do something his own way. i have been left standing in one spot his leash , collar still attached and him running into the unknown , he just did everything he wanted his own way. he needed to assert himself and he did. He bit so many ‘intruders’ but never one of his own. When we were kids, to when he lived with Mama , he would growl everytime anyone entered a room too loudly. 

"Get up for school Reva!"

"nooo i dont want to gooo"


Wolf runs in , doesnt lick you. he jumps on you, gains traction, rips off the sheets , punching you in the nethers as he goes, and there was never a need for a second run cus youd be up, cursing and hobbling.

Pushkar is lying on the floor, Wolf is sleeping beside him. Pushkar plays the fly game with him. Wolfs nose twitches, Pushkar laughs and Wolf wakes up with a start and sneezes on him.

We move houses, Safdarjung, Baba has joined our little family. Moms birthday comes around, we are seeing the guests off, we come back in , the cake is missing. Wolf is looking a little sorry. He licks his snout.

Nana Nani visit, Nani cant move cus Wolf is sitting on the hem of her saree. “arre pehle inse mil le” 

We are at the dining table. sniff sniff sniff, iv taught myself as have the others, to sit as close as possible to our food, arms tucked in , elbows unexposed. He still manages to lick it and get his fair share of what we ate.

Its the middle of the night, tentative scratches on my door, then the whole door moves like hey i was polite now let me in. ”kuu kuuu kuuuuu” he whimpers, i say noo in a threatening voice, but he can whine louder. cursing i open the door for him cus he wants to go back into moms room.

Im eating a toast - i eat it to some extent , chuck it to him he chomps it up. i havent eaten a complete toast around him in 13 and a half years.

There is a couch. We all used it in the room with the Tv because it was the most comfortable couch. Wolf runs in, digs it up. There is foam everywhere. One time we catch him in the act.. he stops, turns, looks at us, and his expression just says , bros im in too deep and he resumes digging .

Im alone at home. That was never true. He was always there.

"Watch out for Wolf, and shut the dammn door!!"

"shut the door he’l escape!!!!"

Pushkars birthday. He makes a break for it. Mom and i watch from the balcony - wolf followed by lalu, baba, pushkar, raghav, aditya, and our driver run this way, then run the other. like something out of a scooby doo skit. Wolf finds himself cornered - he falls into the nala. Tiwari driver has to get him out— He gives us the slip again and finally someone tackles him to the ground, stinking covered in god only knows what. we get him home , and hose him down.

all the kids of the family - sit on him , pull his ears - from tarini, to shaurya, he does nothing, he is patient. he knows.

Wolf is sitting on the balcony , waiting to bark at someone, looking into the distance, waiting for us to come home.

clicking of his nails on the marble, the clinking of his chain whenever someone took him for a walk, him sighing suddenly and resuming his chilling .

"hes bitten too many people , i think we need to get him neutered." he comes in wibbly wobbly from his surgery, and in 20 minutes overcomes the anaesthetic and runs from room to room , continues to bite people.

"mom and baba are out , come over"

"watch out for wolf, shut the door!!"

deafening barks, jumping on people.

"hes just so unpredictable"

licks them 2 mins later - he knew they were friends.

"hes so scary but i love him " (snigdha , richa)

"dude, let him out, hell chill with everyone"

to cops - “bhaiya andar aae toh kaat lega, fir mat bolna”

i wake up cus he left the door open. 

i walk by him and pet him.

i take a few million pictures of his beautiful wise face.

"whos a good doggie, cus i think its youuuu!!" 

"whats that??!?! woolf!!? whats that" (runs runs runs, ripped sheets of moms bed.)

Rat in the house ? Wolf killed it.

The only tattoo i want - Wolfs name. the only tattoo i get.

We are moving to Bombay - we need a cage for him , we are at the airport, Pushkar is worried, he cries. Wolf comes out at Bombay Cargo , smiling like nothing fazed him.

Pushkar joins college - wolf hai na. 

Home , boredom, blue nails, more pictures, barks, licks, scaring away birds, people not daring to enter the house.

The most successful portrait i draw of someone i know - wolf

Nana Nani visit, Nani cant move cus Wolf is sitting on the hem of her saree. “arre pehle inse mil le” 

Make him pose with me , mom takes a beautiful picture

i take a million pictures of what him and Pushkar get up to. Wolf sits , if he could for hours, he would with Pushkar, nothing but complete love and devotion in his eyes.i hope i will find love that unconditional in the world someday again.

Its the middle of the night, tentative scratches on my door, then the whole door moves like hey i was polite now let me in. ”kuu kuuu kuuuuu” he whimpers, i say noo in a threatening voice, but he can whine louder. cursing i open the door for him cus he wants to go back into moms room.

I go away for almost a year. Mom misses me , wolf starts to almost never leave her side. Every birthday since the age of 12 i spent with him, he was born on the same day. except the one this year. Cake. he loved Cake.

I come back. Hes chilling.

We move houses, pushkar uses him as a pillow while the stuff moves in.

I roam around the house petting him as i go by, talking to him cus he just gets it.

i wake up, i try not to recall what it was like to see him stop breathing.

i cry all the way back after dropping Pushkar. I cry because i took him for granted, i cry because iv experienced death for the first time in all its finality , iv lost a brother. 

I sit at the table, my whole body in anxious wait by default for his lick and sniff , me to say nooo, or someone to just say “wollf hato yaar, beech raste me fir se.” i cant eat toast. i cant eat at the table. period.

i roam around the house, trying to not cry, i talk to pushkar.

i decide, im going to talk to wolf, because he is still with me. i have to accept in his physicality he is gone, its going to be tough,

i cant not bend down to pet him, feel his fur and see his silly face while he lies oh his back waiting for me to scratch his belly. 

i know i still will.

life he was my brother rip

After droogs

Five days of power
Full days of trance
Sack full of havenots
Do a psychedelic dance

I look at the world
And notice its green
Mountains of substance
Nothingness in between

Fire pits in spiderwebs
Trips in pine cones
You work yourself away
To find it in your bones

The drugs turn, take you
You’re aware
See what you find bud
Like it if you dare

Then its all over..warmth gone
Done lost obscure
Fall, stumbling, blink awake..
Hate it, needing more.

poetry old back when its pretty good tho india


1) A boy telling you you’re pretty won’t make you see the beauty in the fullness of your cheeks, in redness of your lips at 2 in the morning when tequila is making the bar bathroom spin. He can’t take away the ugliness that you see in yourself, you have to do that.

2) You have to be ready to hear someone say they love you. You have to be ready, and you have to be willing, and you have to listen. Because sometimes, they won’t say those three words, they’ll put a blanket over you while you’re watching a movie, they’ll kiss your cheek when they think you’re asleep, they’ll smile when they see you first thing in the morning. But you, you have to be willing to see it, feel it, let it in. Letting someone love you takes practice.

3) Don’t make compromises you can’t live with. Compromise is a different version of what you want, not a whole other Universe.

4) Learn to say no. No - to a movie you don’t want to watch; no - to sex you don’t want to have, no- to a relationship that’s driving you mad. Say no - to things that hurt you, to people that extinguish your fire, to jobs you hate and places that are desolate. There are bad things that we can’t control, bad things that happen and we are sucked into and have to feel with every fibre of our being, but the rest - learn to distance yourself, learn to say no.

5) Don’t expect people to walk through fire for you - not your parents, not your friends, not the person you’re in love with. Love doesn’t mean sacrifice, love shouldn’t mean sacrifice. Don’t expect someone to give away pieces of them, so they could fit you better. And don’t feel hurt when they refuse to - it’s self-preservation. Instead - learn from them. Do it as well.

6) Don’t tether yourself to people. Learn to make connections, to love, with both your feet steady on the ground. Learn to let people pass through your life; like a summer breeze, not a storm that’s just been unleashed.

7) Learn the difference between growth and growing up before it’s too late. Rooftops and water fights and ice cream for breakfast can be a part of your life at 10, 25, or 35. But by the time you’re 35 you need to learn to say enough, to be able to walk away, you need to be able to love yourself. Love yourself the way you loved yourself at 10, before the world had a chance to fill your head with ugliness.

- m.v., The list of things I learned before turning 22, pt.1. (via internetexplorers)

(via donniedarkos)