Sunday, August 7, 2011

It's complicated

I have a good friend but she just won't talk to me. That's almost sad. Because we understand each other perfectly, communicate with a fairly high level of accuracy, agree on certain matters of importance yet her steadfast refusal to speak in English, Hindi, Bengali or Gujarati disappoints. As for me, I don't speak Dog.
Yes, Chloe is my landlord's pet she-dog (See how I smoothly avoided stepping on those ultra sensitive feminist toes by avoiding the B-word) and we frequently spend quality time together. Mainly because she spends a lot of time flouncing around in the garden of the house I am a renter in and I happen to cross her path many times a day. A Basset hound can bark real loud and she does a great job of waking up the entire neighbourhood if by freak chance, I forget to stop by and say "Hello", ignoring her initial whines for attention.
Not that I mind. Dogs are very simplistic and straightforward creatures. If they like you, they'll respond by an enthusiastic wagging of the tail & happiness writ on their faces and if they don't, beware the ultra slow tail wag & deep seated growl. They are pretty clear about their 'Likes' and 'Dislikes', which makes them the kind of folk I prefer hanging around with. And they are quite simply the best companions for quiet introspection.
So I hop over to the garden, pat her on the back with the usual "Good girl [It'd be 'boy' if it were a he-dog]" compliments that every dog takes to be his/her birthright. Then I watch for a few minutes as she chomps on the occasional blade of grass, sniffs around the area as if it is her first day out [it is not, she knows this garden for more than 8 years now], barks after strangers in the neighbourhood, tries to chase a hare or pick a fight with another dog till the limits of her extra long leash allow her to and then look at me with me with those deep, brown soulful eyes. Generally speaking, be a dog and do dog things.
Then when it's time for me to leave, the downcast eyes clearly say "It was nice to have your company. Hope to see you again." without speaking the words. That's how it is between friends. That you don't have to jabber all the time to enjoy each other's company, becomes even more apparent in a friendship where talking isn't even a possibility. I know what some of you are thinking. "Come on! It's just a dog. Quit the over-analysis."
But the most human of human qualities is to seek a satisfactory answer. And there is none. What keeps a friend a friend or a makes a non-friend a friend or chucks a friend into a non-friend category are irresoluble questions. No one can define for sure what that intangible connection is which defines a friendship or the where, when and how of it. Revel in it like soaking in a cool breeze on a summer day or the luxury a warm blanket affords on a winter morning and appreciate it for its presence. As for the reasons, rest easy in this one theory. It's complicated.
P.S: Happy Friendship day to all readers/non-readers, dog-lovers/dog-haters alike.
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Unknown said...

Hey yo! This piece reminded me of this dog who rules the streets around my office. Goes by the name Rishikesh. The dog with the most 'personality' ever, sure you know what I mean. And yes, just about the best companion on a dead-end day at work.

Also, you should enjoy this:

And yes, happy frandship day to you too! :)

Roy said...

Rishikesh!!! That's a rather elaborate name for a dog, ain't it? Yeah, dogs rule! :D