Wednesday, April 18, 2018

A “Package Deal”

A “PACKAGE DEAL”
Fiction Short Story
By
VIKRAM KARVE

“We kept telling you. You should have gone to an “Immigration Adviser” – but you were adamant on doing everything yourself – so – you didn’t listen to our advice. At least now – you better consult some good Immigration Adviser…” all my friends said to me. 

So – the very next morning – I sat in front of an “Immigration Adviser” – she was a “Kiwi-Indian” woman.

As she went through my papers – I looked at her.

She was a beautiful woman and she looked very graceful and elegant in her formal dress.

I liked the way her hair fell over her shoulders.

I liked her nose, slightly turned up, slender and feminine – as if accustomed to smell nothing but perfumes.

I liked her mouth – small – but with juicy lips – and – I loved her rich, glowing complexion.

She looked very inviting and I was attracted to her.

Yes – she looked so tempting that I could not take my eyes off her.

Maybe – she sensed that I was ogling at her – so she suddenly looked up – and noticing my look of undisguised admiration – she smiled at me – a very sweet smile.

I saw that her eyes were extremely beautiful – velvety, mesmerizing eyes.

“You came to Auckland 5 years ago – on a Student Visa – a Pathway Student Visa. You wanted to settle down in New Zealand using the Student Pathway…?” she asked me.

“Yes…” I said.

“You studied for more than 3 years – you completed 3 courses – one after the other. Why…?”

“I wanted to clock time – and gain New Zealand Qualifications too – to make it easier for me to get Residency…”

“So – you came to New Zealand on a student visa – with the aim of moving to a work visa afterwards – and ultimately gaining permanent residency…?”

“Yes. My ultimate aim is to become a citizen of New Zealand…” I said.

“Yes – that is the aim of all immigrants…” the Immigration Adviser said.

Then – the Immigration Adviser looked at my documents – and she said:

“You were on a Post Study Work Visa for almost one year before you got an Employer Assisted Work Visa. Why did it take you so long…? Didn’t you get a job…?”

“I didn’t get a proper job – I had to do all sorts of work to survive – I had to do even menial jobs – I did cleaning jobs – worked as a petrol pump attendant – washed cars – drove taxis – worked as a pick-packer in warehouses and even in freezing cold storages…”

“But – why didn’t you get a job after all your qualifications…?”

“I realized that all these qualifications were of no use…”

“No use…?”

“Yes – Pakehas (New Zealanders of European Ancestry) – well – “Pakehas” wanted “New Zealand Experience” – and “Kiwi-Indians” wanted to exploit us…”

“I know. It is sad – but immigrant students are being exploited by employers in their own ethnic communities. I have heard of many cases where Indian Immigrants were exploited by “Kiwi-Indians” (Indians who have got New Zealand Citizenship)…”

“Yes. It is terrible. “Pakeha New Zealander Kiwis” don’t want us – and “Kiwi-Indians” exploit our vulnerability – because they know that we want to stay on here at any cost – in the hope of getting long term residency…”

“So – after a wait of one year you finally did get an Employer Assisted Work Visa – with a “Kiwi-Indian” Employer…?”

“Yes…”

“It says that you were employed as a “Manager”…”

“That’s only on paper – actually they treated us like “bonded labour” – they made us do all sorts of work – and they even did not pay us the minimum wages…”

“If things were so bad here – you could have gone back to India…”

“How can I go back to India…? It will be a total loss of face for me. I am determined to stay here in New Zealand – at any cost…”

“At any cost…?”

“Yes. I want permanent residency – and then – citizenship…”

“But there is a problem. You have spent 5 years in New Zealand – 3 Years as a student – 1 year on an open work visa – 2 years on an employer assisted work visa – and normally – you should have been given a skilled migrant visa – but sadly – it seems your skills are no longer on the “Skill Shortage List”…”

“So what do you advise…?”

“Well – since you don’t have a resident visa – you will have to go back once your work visa expires…”

“I cannot go back to India – I told you – I want to stay here – at any cost…”

“At any cost…?”

“Yes. Please find some way…”

“There is one way…”

“Really…? Tell me. I am willing to do anything…”

“You can try for a “Partner of a New Zealander” Resident Visa…”

“What…? “Partner” Visa…?”

“If you are the “partner” of a New Zealand citizen or resident – you can apply to live in New Zealand permanently. If you are granted residence – you can live and work in New Zealand indefinitely….”

“Oh…?”

“So – you will have to find a “partner” who is a Citizen or Permanent Resident…”

“Partner…?”

“Well – here – they are quite liberal about the definition of “partnership” – but it is better if you are legally married to your partner…”

“Are you advising me to get married to a New Zealander…?”

“Well – you said you want to stay here “at any cost” – didn’t you…? If you try hard – you may find some “Kiwi-Indian” girl who is a citizen or resident. There are some other requirements and formalities – but you leave all that to me. You just find a nice “Kiwi-Indian” girl who is ready to marry you…”

“But – where do I search for such a girl…?”

“Actually – you don’t need to look very far…”

“What do you mean…?”

“I mean – there is no need for you to go in search of a suitable bride – maybe she is sitting right in front of you…” 

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved. 

Disclaimer:
1. This story is a fictional spoof, satire, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)
     
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Maharshi Dhondo Keshav Karve – His Life Story in His Own Words

MAHARSHI KARVE
His Life Story in His Own Words

LOOKING BACK By DK KARVE (1936)

The Autobiography of Bharat Ratna Maharshi Dhondo Keshav Karve

(Book Review by Vikram Waman Karve)

Tomorrow  18 April 2018 – is the 160th Birth Anniversary of Bharat Ratna Maharshi Dhondo Keshav Karve (18.04.1858  09.11.1962).

I feel that  on this occasion  it would be apt to tell you about his life and work as written by him in his autobiography titled LOOKING BACK published in 1936. 

Here is a picture of my copy of the book. 

Looking Back by Dhondo Keshav Karve 

Dear Reader – you must be wondering why I am reviewing an autobiography written in 1936.

Well 
 sometime back  for 6 years of my life  I stayed in a magnificent building called Empress Court on Maharshi Karve Road at Churchgate in Mumbai.

I share the same surname ( Karve ) as the author.

Also 
 I happen to be the great grandson of Maharshi Dhondo Keshav Karve

But  beyond that  compared to him  I am a nobody – not even a pygmy.
 
Maharshi Karve clearly knew his goal, persisted ceaselessly throughout his life with missionary zeal and transformed the destiny of the Indian Woman.

The first university for women in India 
– SNDT University  and educational institutions for women under the aegis of the Hingne Stree Shikshan Samstha Poona  later renamed Maharshi Karve Stree Shikshan Samstha (MKSSS) Pune – covering the entire spectrum ranging from pre-primary schools to post-graduate, engineering, vocational and professional colleges bear eloquent testimony to his indomitable spirit, untiring perseverance and determined efforts.
 
In his preface  Frederick J Gould, renowned rationalist and lecturer on Ethics, writes that “the narrative is a parable of his career” – a most apt description of the autobiography. 

The author tells his life-story in a simple straightforward manner, with remarkable candour and humility  resulting in a narrative which is friendly, interesting and readable.
 
Autobiographies are sometimes voluminous tomes  but this a small book  just 200 pages.  

It is a very easy comfortable enjoyable read  that makes it almost unputdownable.

Dr. Dhondo Keshav Karve writes a crisp, flowing narrative of his life, interspersed with his views and anecdotes 
 in simple, straightforward style  which facilitates the reader to visualize through the author’s eyes the places, period, people and events pertaining to his life and times and the trials and tribulations he faced and struggled to conquer.
 
Dr. Dhondo Keshav Karve was born on 18th of April 1858. 

In the first few chapters he writes about Murud, his native place in Konkan, Maharashtra  his ancestry and his early life – the description is so vivid that you can clearly “see” through the author’s eye.
 
His struggle to appear in the public service examination (walking 110 miles in torrential rain and difficult terrain to Satara) – and his shattering disappointment at not being allowed to appear for the examination (because “he looked too young”) – all this make poignant reading.
 
“Many undreamt of things have happened in my life and given a different turn to my career” he writes  and then he goes on to describe his high school – and later  his college education at The Wilson College Bombay (Mumbai) – narrating various incidents that convinced him of the role of destiny – and the role of serendipity in shaping his life and career as a teacher and then Professor of Mathematics.
 
He married at the age of 14  but began his marital life at the age of 20...!!! 

This was the custom of those days. 

Let’s read the author’s own words on his domestic life:

 “… I was married at the age of fourteen and my wife was then eight. Her family lived very near to ours and we knew each other very well and had often played together. However after marriage we had to forget our old relation as playmates and to behave as strangers, often looking toward each other but never standing together to exchange words ... We had to communicate with each other through my sister ... My marital life began under the parental roof at Murud when I was twenty …” 

Their domestic bliss was short lived – as his wife died after a few years leaving behind a son.

“Thus ended the first part of my domestic life”… he concludes in crisp witty style.
 
An incident highlighting the plight of a widow left an indelible impression on him and germinated in him the idea of widow remarriage.

He married Godubai 
 who was widowed when she was only 8 years old – she was a sister of his friend Mr. Joshi  and now – she was a 23 years old widow  and she was studying at Pandita Ramabai’s Sharada Sadan as its first widow student.
 
Let’s read in the author’s own words how he asked for her hand in marriage to her father: 

“I told him…..I had made up my mind to marry a widow. He sat silent for a minute and then hinted that there was no need to go in search of such a bride...”
 
He describes in detail the ostracism he faced from some orthodox quarters and systematically enunciates his life work - his organization of the Widow Marriage Association, Hindu Widows Home, Mahila Vidyalaya, Nishkama Karma Math, and other institutions, culminating in the birth of the first Indian Women’s University (SNDT University).
 
The trials and tribulations he faced in his life-work of emancipation of education of women (widows in particular) and how he overcame them by his persistent steadfast endeavours and indomitable spirit makes illuminating reading and underlines the fact that Dr. DK Karve was no arm-chair social reformer but a person devoted to achieve his dreams on the ground in reality.
 
These chapters form the meat of the book and make compelling reading. 

His dedication and meticulousness is evident in the appendices where he has given date-wise details of his engagements and subscriptions down to the paisa for his educational institutions from various places he visited around the world to propagate their cause.
 
He then describes his world tour, at the ripe age of 71, to meet eminent educationists to propagate the cause of the Women’s University, his later domestic life and ends with a few of his views and ideas for posterity. 

At the end of the book, concluding his autobiography, he writes:

“Here ends the story of my life. I hope this simple story will serve some useful purpose”.
 
Maharshi Dhondo Keshav Karve wrote this book in 1936. 

He lived on till the 9th of November 1962 – achieving so much more on the way  and was conferred the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters ( D.Litt.) by the famous and prestigious Banaras Hindu University (BHU) Varanasi in 1942, followed by University of Poona [Pune] in 1951, SNDT Women’s University in 1955, and the LL.D. by Bombay [Mumbai] University in 1957.
 
Maharshi Dhondo Keshav Karve received the Padma Vibhushan in 1955 and the India’s highest honour the “Bharat Ratna” in 1958  a fitting tribute on his centenary at the glorious age of 100.
 
“LOOKING BACK” is an engrossing and illuminating autobiography, written in simple witty readable storytelling style, and it clearly brings out the mammoth contribution of Maharshi Karve and the trials and tribulations he faced.
 

Personal Epilogue 
 
– Vikram Waman Karve – I was born in September 1956  and I have fleeting memories of my great grandfather Maharshi Karve – when I was a small boy  during our visits  till 1962  to the Hingne Stree Shikshan Samstha (now called Maharshi Karve Stree Shikshan Samstha).

My mother tells me that I featured in a Films Division Documentary on him during his centenary celebrations in 1958.

Here is a picture of me with my great grandfather Maharshi Karve taken in the year 1958 when he was 100 years old.



Vikram Waman Karve with Maharshi Karve (1958)

It is from some old timers, a few relatives, and mainly from books  that I learn of his pioneering work in transforming the destiny of the Indian Woman  and  I thought I should share this.
 
I have written this book review with the hope that some of us  particularly the students and alumni of SNDT University, Cummins College of Engineering for Women, SOFT, Karve Institute of Social Sciences and other Educational Institutions who owe their very genesis and existence to Maharshi Karve  are motivated to read about his stellar pioneering work – and draw inspiration from his autobiography.

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
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© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Sherry – A Nostalgic Remembrance of a Pet Parent

Today  the 9th of April  is Sherrys birthday.

Had she been alive  Sherry would have been 12 years old today. 

Sadly  Sherry passed away to her heavenly abode around one and a half years ago on the 17th of December 2014.

I miss Sherry  she brought so much happiness and joy in my life  and she kept me physically fit.

Yes – when Sherry was alive – I never fell ill even for a single day – since – every morning and evening – I had to take her out for long walks and had to play with her – first – when she was a puppy and in her growing up years in Aundh Camp on the grounds on the banks of the Mula where we would chase birds – later – up the hills of Girinagar overlooking Khadakwasla lake – and – finally – all over Wakad – especially on the verdant spacious lawns on the Mula Riverside Park. 

Now – I have become lazy – and – this has affected my fitness – so – I must revitalize myself – and – start my super-long walks again – at least – as a remembrance to Sherry.

Sherry kept me emotionally fit too – especially in my lonely retirement days – and – even before that – when I lived all alone in a desolate Bhoot Bangla in hills of Girinagar – since – Sherry was always ready to “talk” to me  and she was always eager to listen to what I had to say.

I have two human children – but both of them love their mother (my wife) much more than they love me.

But  Sherry made her loyalties crystal clear – and to her – I was both mother and father.

Sherry was always by my side  trying to protect me  and many (including my wife) – have been at the receiving end of her displeasure  when they tried to approach me in a menacing manner  or if came too close for comfort. 

One thing is sure – my wife may be better at parenting human children – but I am unsurpassed at “pet parenting”. 

I am a short tempered person – and – whenever I scolded my human children – they would sulk for days – but – if I shouted at Sherry – she would immediately come to me in a loving manner to be cuddled. 

I could see – and – everyone could see – that Sherry truly loved me – and – I dearly loved her too.

As a remembrance  I am reposting a story about Sherry which I had posted  exactly two years ago  on April 9, 2014  Sherrys 8th birthday. 

(I wrote this on Sherry’s 8th Birthday – her last Birthday on Earth – she crossed the Rainbow Bridge on 17 December 2014)

Dear Sherry: You may not be physically with me  but you will always have the most special place in my heart.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHERRY KARVE
(A loving accolade from Sherry’s human father Vikram Karve)


Sherry on guard outside her grandfather's home

(NB: This story was written in the year 2014  on the 9th of April 2014  to be precise)

Today  the 9th of April 2014  is Sherry’s Birthday.

She is 8 years old.

Sherry was born on 09 April 2006.

And  since they say that one dog year is equal to eight human years  8 dog years is 56 human years (8x7= 56).

So  Sherry is 56 human years old today.

Ever since she fortuitously  and most unexpectedly  came into my life  Sherry has occupied the prime place in my heart  and she has become my favourite child (my human children are envious about this)  and even my wife says that I love Sherry more than her (which may be true).

As I said  Sherry suddenly came into my life out of the blue  most unexpectedly.

Being in the Navy  I had no intention of keeping a pet dog.

If you are in the Army  it is easy to keep a pet dog.

The Army is a dog-friendly service and encourages officers to keep pet dogs.

They even provide a “sahayak” who can look after your dog  if you don’t have the time or energy.

Even bachelors can keep dogs  because pet dogs are allowed in army officers’ messes  and there is always the ubiquitous “sahayak”.

I have seen that when Army Officers go on leave  they leave their pet dog behind with the “sahayak”.

In contrast  in the Navy  it is difficult to keep a dog.

Firstly  you or your wife will have to look after your dog yourself – there is no “sahayak” in the Navy.

Secondly  in the Navy  married accommodation is scarce  and even when you get accommodation  you will get a flat in a multi-storey high-rise building  and this accommodation is not very convenient for keeping pet dogs.

Thirdly – Navy Bachelors cannot keep dogs  since dogs are not allowed onboard ships – in fact  pet dogs are not allowed in most shore based Officers’ Messes too, like the Command Messes at Mumbai and Vizag.

So  as a bachelor  I could not keep a pet dog.

Then  I got married to a nice girl and we had babies.

All our babies entered our lives unplanned.

We got our first baby a few days after our wedding.

Now please don’t let your imagination run wild.

Our first baby was a canine daughter  a cute little cuddly snow-white “ball-of-wool” Lhasa Apso puppy girl gifted to us during our honeymoon in the hills.

We promptly named her Sherry  meaning Beloved.

Everyone was aghast that we had got a pet dog immediately after our marriage  and  that too into our tiny one-room flat at Curzon Road Apartments in New Delhi.

Most of our friends and relatives did not recommend having a pet when we were just starting our new married life together  especially since it was an arranged marriage  and husband and wife needed time together to get to know each other better.

“Wouldn’t the pet dog ruin all the fun and romance you newlyweds are supposed to enjoy during the blossoming days of our marriage?” my mother-in-law asked.

“A pet dog is a big encumbrance,” my mother said, “You’ll be tied down to the house and won’t be able to go anywhere.”

All these fears were totally unfounded.

Far from being an encumbrance  Sherry filled our lives with fun, delightful joy and happiness  and she enlivened those early days of our marital relationship. 

My newlywed wife and I were like strangers  quite incompatible  with differing tastes and lifestyles  and it was Sherry who was the cementing bond of our marital relationship.

In fact the only thing my wife and I had in common was that we were both ardent dog lovers.

In due course  with nature taking its own course  we had our two human babies  a son and a daughter  but Sherry still remained the apple of our eyes till in the year 1987 – she passed away one sad evening  dying at my feet after her evening walk.

We were so distraught and heartbroken at the loss of our pet that we vowed to never have a pet dog again.

Towards the end of my naval career  I was lucky to be posted to an inter-service organization located in an army style “cantonment” near Pune  and was allotted “bungalow” type accommodation with plenty of space around – a spacious garden in front and lots of space behind too.

However  as I said  we had no intention of keeping a pet dog.

Sherry came into my life by sheer coincidence, or shall I say serendipity.

In April 2006, my much-married darling wife, at the spur of the moment, accompanied her sister to the bungalow of an acquaintance in Pune.

There she chanced upon a majestic Doberman mother who had given birth to a large litter of eleven pups just a few days ago. 

Most of the pups were healthy, handsome and smart and were already sold or booked by discerning dog lovers.

Suddenly my wife noticed a sickly, ugly, emaciated, weakling puppy lying distraught and hapless.

The small baby puppy was being pushed away by her strong aggressive siblings whenever she tried get close to her mother’s nipple, trying to feed herself.

“She is the last of the litter  the eleventh pup  the runt of the litter”  and it looks like she will die as she can’t feed herself from her mother. Even if she lives  we will have to get rid of her  dispose her off  we will leave her somewhere to fend for herself  because no one will take her,” the owner said.

My wife was overcome by a flood of compassion.

She picked up the feeble baby puppy in her soft hands, and said: “I’ll take her.”

“Are you crazy? How can you just pick up a puppy dog and take her home?” my wife’s sister asked her, “Have you asked your husband?”

“I don’t have to ask my husband  I don’t need to,” my wife said with confidence.

Then  my wife brought the scrawny little creature straight home  and deposited her in my hands.

“Sherry!” I said holding the frail, terrified, shivering puppy dog  and my wife nodded in agreement.

I rushed to the market  and bought a feeding bottle.

Soon  Sherry was drinking warm milk cuddled up in my hands.

With the nourishment of love  Sherry blossomed  and soon became the apple of our eye”  and – Sherry added a new zest and joy in our lives.

When our children grew up and flew away from the “nest” – and are busy with their careers and lives  it was our canine daughter Sherry who brightened up our lives and filled up our empty nest.

Oh, Yes  as my kids say  Sherry is my favourite child.

My wife was quite busy with her job  so I have become the de-facto mother and father to Sherry  since my office was nearby  and we had easy working hours.

Yes  I became both father and mother to Sherry.

In fact  I have invested more love, time and effort in “pet parenting Sherry  than have I spent in parenting my own children  which was my wife’s province  as then  I was quite busy with my career.

I wanted to tell you all about my life with Sherry  about her naughty pranks and fun and frolic  and the trials and tribulations in our lives. 

I told Sherry about it.

But  Sherry insisted that she would like to tell the story herself.

So  I shall now let Sherry tell you her life story.

I am sure you will enjoy it. 

The title of her story is “RUNT OF THE LITTER” – and Sherry intends publishing her life story the moment she completes writing it.

RUNT OF THE LITTER
(Sherry’s Story – as told to her father VIKRAM KARVE)

PROLOGUE


Sherry with Me (Her Dad) - Girinagar 01 Jan 2009








































This morning I did the unthinkable.

I was in deep sleep in my den when my father lovingly tried to tuck me up with a blanket since it was cold.

Out of reflex I snapped at him.

He did not say anything, he did not scold me, and he just behaved as if nothing had happened.

But I could sense that he was very upset for while you can hide your emotions from another human, you cannot hide them from a dog.

I felt very bad and so I tried my best to make up.

I gave him a shake hand, raised myself on my hind legs and begged for forgiveness.

And like always he melted and smiled and fondled me.

My father has been so good to me.

He is the only thing I have in the world.

And for him too, I am the only thing he has, out here in the forests of Girinagar, where both of live in this huge “bhoot bangla”.

He could have gone to Mumbai, he could have lived with his family in Pune, but he gave me priority over his career and his family life – he did all this just for me.

While we were on our evening walk in the hills of Girinagar, my father told me that he was going to write a book about our life.

I told him that I wanted to write the story myself.

He said yes  so here I am penning my story, our story, a love story – yes, this is a love story, a unique love story of a different kind, the story of agape unconditional pure love between a man and a dog.


RUNT OF THE LITTER
Sherry’s Story

CHAPTER 1
MY NAME IS SHERRY

Aundh Camp November 2006




















My name is Sherry.

I am a naughty young girl and I live with my family in a lovely spacious bungalow surrounded by plenty of greenery.  

I wake up early in the morning, jump off my sofa, go to my father’s bed, rub my cold wet nose against his hand and give him a loving lick with my warm soft tongue. 

He grunts and growls and opens his sleepy eyes, and the moment he sees me his face lights up and he lovingly caresses me and says, “Good Morning, Sherry.”

The he gets up from bed and opens the main door to let me jump out into the garden.

First I do my ‘little job’ at my favourite place near the mango tree.

Then I generally dig with my paws in the soft morning mud and sniff around with my keen beautiful black nose to find out if there are any new morning smells, not forgetting to run and welcome the milkman the moment he comes on his cycle.  

When I return I find that my father is back in his bed and my mother is up and about.

She pats and cuddles me and goes about her business making tea in the kitchen while I loiter around the house. 

She surreptitiously sneaks to the bedroom and slyly hands over a tidbit to my half-sleeping father under the blanket when she thinks I am not looking.

I pretend not to notice, as I do not want to spoil their fun.

Earlier, when I was small and impatient, I used to snuffle out the tidbit from my father’s hand, but this spoilt his fun and he became grumpy.

Now that I am a mature young girl well experienced in the ways of the human world and I have realized that it is better to act dumb and let these humans think they are smarter than me.

So I go outside, sit down and put on a look of anticipation towards the gate and pretend not to notice my mother hiding and peeping through the corner of the window and giggling to herself. 

The moment the newspaperman comes on his cycle and shouts “paper, paper”, I rush to the gate and fetch the newspaper in my mouth, gripping it just right between my teeth.

I run back with the newspaper held firmly in my mouth and hold it up to my horizontal father.


Fetching the Newspaper - Sherry's Morning Duty








































My father gets up, takes the paper from me and gives me the dog-biscuit he’s been hiding in his hand, and my mother, who has rushed behind me, watches me with loving pride in her eyes.

My brother and my sister, who till now were fast asleep in the other room, call out my name – “Sherry! Sherry!”

And as I dart between their beds wagging my tail, they both hug and cuddle me all over saying, “Good Morning, Sherry. Sherry is a good girl!”  

Everyone is cheerful and happy and my day has begun! 

I love my family, even though they are humans!

And I love my house, my surroundings, the place I stay, the life I live.

But – before I tell you all that  let me tell you where I came from.


CHAPTER 2
THE “X” FACTOR

Posing with my Dad (in our Aundh Camp Bungalow)




















My ‘birth-mother’ is a ferocious Doberman who lives in a bungalow in Kothrud in Pune and my ‘dog-father’ is unknown, though they suspect it may be the Caravan (Mudhol)Hound who lurks in the neighbourhood.

For making my registration papers the vet wanted proof of my paternity.

And since nobody could say with certainty, the vet looked at the form, and in the column against Breed he wrote ‘Doberman X’

I was a sickly weakling, just a few days old, the only girl, last-born of the litter of 11 puppies, and the owners were wondering what to do with me.

Most of my handsome brothers had already been selected and taken away, and the owners wanted to keep the most beautiful and healthy of them all.

They had kept me all alone separated from my ferocious Doberman mother who was growling menacingly in a cage nearby.

No one wanted me and I could hear people whispering how ugly and weak I was and I wondered what fate lay in store for me.

It hurt me to feel unwanted.

Then I heard people talking about sending me away to a farmhouse, and some said it was best to get rid of me and “dispose” me off.

I felt terrified and shivered with fright as I wondered what was going to be my destiny.  

One evening a few people came over and a gentle woman with kindness in her eyes looked at me.

Then, suddenly, on the spur of the moment the lady lovingly picked me up, and the way she tenderly snuggled me I felt true love for the first time.

This was my new mother.

She took me securely and lovingly in her soft hands, got into a car and they all drove across Pune, past Aundh, crossed the river, till we reached a bungalow.

The kind woman was wondering what her husband’s reaction would be.

It was dark.

I was scared and I cuddled up snugly my mother’s arms to feel safer.  

Suddenly I found a tough-looking bearded man staring at me.

Shivering with fear I looked back at him in terror as he extended his hands towards me.

But the moment he held me in his large cozy hands, caressed me lovingly, and put his finger tenderly in my mouth, I felt protected, loved, safe and secure. 

This was my new father and he had already decided my name – Sherry – the same name of his earlier canine “daughter”.

(By the way “Sherry” means “beloved” – not the wine drink you are thinking about!). 

“She was destined to come here,” my mother said. 

“Yes,” my father said feeding me warm milk. 

They made a nice warm bed for me in a basket and put it below theirs.

And as I drifted into sleep, they both fondled me with their hands.

I felt so wonderful and happy for the first time in my life.

I had found my true home and my family.

I am feeling quite sleepy now.

So, I will end here now and have a nap.

But don’t worry, the moment I get up from my nap, I am going to tell more about me, my delightfully mischievous life, and the naughty things I do.


CHAPTER 3
FUN AND FROLIC – The “Bone-Game”

Sherry as a Baby in Aundh Camp - Bone Game

“Sherry… Sherry… Bone… Bone…”

My father is calling me for playing the “bone-game” but before that let me tell you about my home.

In front there is a huge garden, or rather an orchard, with all types of trees and bushes, and a lush green lawn on which I love to frolic, prance and roll upside down, and lots of flower beds which I love digging up to my mother’s horror.

I love digging up the mud – it’s so tasty – and there is plenty of it in the spacious kitchen garden behind the house where I create havoc digging up to my heart’s content, and the only thing I have spared are the tomatoes and some horrible tasting leaves called Alu because they itch.

I’m lucky – they don’t tie me up but leave me free to roam and play around as I please.

And there is so much to explore and investigate, in the nooks and corners of our verdant garden with plenty of trees, bushes and hedges.

There is so much to sniff, so much to dig, and so much to chase - squirrels, mongooses and birds to chase.

The cats have disappeared though; ever since the day I almost caught one.

When I was small, and my gums itched, and my milk teeth began to break through, I could not resist chewing up anything I could lay my teeth upon – like shoes, slippers, clothes, toothbrushes, furniture.

I especially loved my father’s favourite Kolhapuri kapshi chappals which were so soft and yummy.

So my father bought me a chewy bone which, it said on the wrapper, was guaranteed to save everything else.

I don’t know why, but I secretly buried the bone in a hole I dug below the Mango tree, and I used to dig it out when I thought no one was looking, chew it a bit, and bury it in some other secret place.

One day my inquisitive mother found out, and she dug up the bone when I was sleeping and hid the bone under the pomegranate tree.

When I didn’t find my bone, at first I was confused, maybe it was my neighbour Bruno, but then he was too old for chewy toy bones.

Then I tracked the bone down with my nose, and when I spied my mother giggling and grinning like a Cheshire cat, I knew who the culprit was, it was my mother who had mischievously hidden my bone.

This started the “bone-game”.

First they (the humans – my mother and father) would give me the bone, and after
I hid it they would rush out into the garden and dig it out.

Then they would hide the bone (after locking me in the house so I could not see) and if was my turn to find the bone, which I did using my nose and keen sense of smell.

I wondered how they found the bone so fast; till one day I caught them, both my mother and my father, spying crouching behind the hedge when they thought I wasn’t looking and the mystery was solved.

So now I first let them see where I am hiding the bone, and when they complacently and confidently go inside thinking they know everything, I dig out the bone and hide it some other place which they do not know and then watch the fun as they search in vain.

Then when they give up searching and go inside and my father asks me to get the bone, I run out and get it, for which I earn a tidbit.

The way these humans act sometimes, I really wonder who is more intelligent – they or I?

Apart from my mother and father, who I have told you about, there are some more humans who live in my house – my sister, my brother, sometimes my grandmother – and I’ll tell you all about them next time.

I hear my father’s voice again: “Sherry… Sherry… Bone… Bone…”

So there I go  I speed off to find the hidden bone.


Sherry on the Lawns of our Bungalow in Girinagar 






















RUNT OF THE LITTER
(Sherry’s Story – as told to her father VIKRAM KARVE)

To be continued…


VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved. 

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This is a collation of my various blog posts on Sherry written by me Vikram Karve since 2006 and posted online a number of times on my various blogs since 2006 onwards at various urls like https://karve.wordpress.com/2006/12/31/my-name-is-sherry-karve-part-2-by-vikram-karve/  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/04/remembering-sherry.html etc