Au Revoir, my Mogu

July 11, 2009



Our girls

Mohini, our pet dog for over 11 years passed away last morning in an unfortunate road accident.

Her entry into our life was serendipitous, to say the least. We were in Chennai those days and Beni happened to see a small article tucked away in back pages of The Hindu which mentioned the good work being done by the PFA in taking care of stray animals. The article also went on to mention that there were a few rescued pups available for adoption by samaritans. Given that both of us were pursuing full time jobs, it was inconceivable that we could take on the responsibility of bringing up a dog, but a collective momentary lapse of reason saw us making a visit to the PFA. We were given to understand that Mohini was one of 4 siblings and the brood had been christened, most imaginatively, by the volunteers at the PFA after the fabled Travancore sisters of yesteryears. The small matter of the fact that the original Travancore sisters numbered only 3 was conveniently ignored by them and when it was Mohini’s turn to be named, without missing a beat, they chose Mohini which at least rhymes with the other three, Lalli, Pappi and Ragi. We decided to choose the pup which had the least chance of surviving in the given circumstances and so Mohini it was who as a frightened, traumatized, ill and shriveled bundle of fur, anywhere between 4-6 months, old came home on 4th April 1998.

It was only afterwards did we realize the full import of the responsibility that this entailed. We were severely restricted in terms of our travels, goings out, partying etc. But she was worth every bit of the sacrifices that we had to make. She also adapted very well to life with a DINK couple. So much so that very soon she started accompanying us to friends’ places, staying alone at home for a couple of hours, traveling with us in the car and train on trips to Pondicherry, Bangalore, etc. Once on a trip to Pondicherry she actually stayed with us in a tree house on the Chunambar lake front. I guess that was literally the high point of her traveling adventures. Also, the fact that virtually none of our friends, at that time, had a pet dog, bestowed on Mogu dollops of novelty quotient. She grew up fast, as dogs do I guess and she bore an uncanny resemblance to the African Basenji breed. The similarity was not just skin deep. She was swift and frisky. She was not very gregarious or out going, but after initial trepidations she would get along with virtually everyone. The only blot in her otherwise unblemished history was the love hate relationship that she had with my dear friend Vicky. Even with him, towards the end she seemed to have found her peace. The fact that she had not bitten once in her life is proof that she uncompromisingly subscribed to non violence as a dharma in her life.

She was as excited as us (and perhaps a trifle amused) when Trusha was born. And when Trusha started crawling on her knees she took it upon herself to escort her on her peregrinations around the house. She was also fiercely protective of both Trusha and Trikaya and possibly considered herself to be their surrogate mom. By this time she was becoming almost unobtrusive in the house. She hardly sought any attention and my interactions with her were limited to patting her post her furious tail-wagging (it was almost as if her entire body was involved in this act and one feared for the safety of any object in the vicinity of the whirring tail) routine which was such an integral part of the welcome she would give anyone in the family upon their return to the house. The fact that the absence from the house may have been only for a few minutes hardly diluted her welcoming ritual. Her life had fallen into a comfortable and predictable pattern which at times tended to border on the luxuriant thanks to my ma in law’s insistence on treating her as a human being. This included wrapping her in warm woolen blankets at the slightest sign of a chill and serving her hot tea with biscuits. Considering the trauma that she had endured in the early part of her life, we presumed, she was enjoying all this.

She had a reasonably nomadic life having been with us during our 6 house shiftings in Chennai and Bangalore. Given Beni’s frequent visits to Goa over the last couple of years, she started spending more and more time in my in-laws’ place in Bangalore . During this period she became my father-in-law’s close companion and there is no denying that he will feel the void caused by her tragic demise as much as any of us. We were also quite looking forward to taking her with us and settling her in Arco Iris when on our next trip there. Given her proclivity for sprints, leaps and jumps (she was a very elegant runner and really came into her own after a few full speed dashes), we were confident that she would appreciate the availability of wide open spaces. Sadly, that was not to be.

Thank you for brightening up our lives. RIP, dear Mogu.

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11 Responses to “Au Revoir, my Mogu”

  1. Bennita Ganesh Says:

    Good bye dear Mogu…….Thank you for sharing your life with us. I miss your unobtrusive presence. I know you enjoyed being an integral part of our family. I was so so looking forward to seeing you frisking around in Arco and regaining your youth for one last but glorious spell. It is my biggest regret that it was not to be. Be happy wherever you are. Love you………..

  2. durva Says:

    hey sorry to hear that guys….

  3. Aniruddha Sen Gupta Says:

    Though I never knew Mohini, I know Dog and I know what a terrible time this must be for you all. I’m so sorry — but glad that Mohini, who could well have lived a miserable life on the streets, had 11 good years to spend with people who loved her.

    Aniruddha

  4. Siva Says:

    Sorry to hear that, Gunny & Beni. I have heard much about her in our conversations and I believe I had met her once in Chennai also when I had come down in 99.

  5. Sridhar Says:

    Very Sorry about your Loss- I remember my absolute panick when Mo used to do her break neck speed chakkars around us when Kishore, vodka and cards (31) were on in full flow…RIP

  6. Bennita Ganesh Says:

    Thanks Sridhar. The mad high speed chakkars with a frenzied look in her eyes with all of us doubling up in laughter at her antics was her trademark. Another one of her idiosyncrasy was trying to cover up her bowl of milk with the rug etc and then proceeding to “discover” it and then lap it up in glee. I think she must have been sharpening her lost hunting instincts.

  7. Sumathi Ramesh Says:

    Hey Gani & Bennita,

    It’s really sad to hear about Mogu. She was indeed a very loving dog who never forgot people. I remember the few days that she spent at our place when you guys were travelling someplace. She was most adjusting to the new place and it was a pleasure to have her around. After that everytime I visited your place, she behaved as if we were family to her. I remember her gentle ways especially when Trusha was born – so fiercely protective !

    This will be a really sad phase for you – but just thank God for all the good times with dear old Mogu – and for the opportunity for having her in your lives and touching all our lives in a special way – RIP Dear Mogu ! Mithu is especially saddened by the loss of dear old Mogu !!!

  8. Bennita Ganesh Says:

    Thanks Sum. I remember the time she stayed with you distinctly. She had in fact usurped Ramesh from his own bedroom and had him staying in the spare bedroom for the duration of her visit. Mithu had enjoyed having her around then and it probably paved the way for Choco to make his entrance into your lives. Its so comforting to hear all our friends remembering Mogu so fondly. Thank you.

  9. Senthil Says:

    I feel sad. She will want my hands softening her head and body gently whenver she meets me.

    She used to this touch when i stayed with her in chennai house for 2 days when you had to travel..from then she always remember this.

  10. chiqutam Says:

    I love you mogu. come back… please…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 😦 😦


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