Monday, April 10, 2006

Tommy – I, II, III

If you misunderstood the title of this post to be the hierarchy of medieval monarchs from the 14th century who ruled their kingdom to glory and subsequently to debacle, then let me tell you, you have got it wrong. Tommy is the name of the dogs we had over the years and since we were too lazy to find new names for the successors of Tommy the First, we christened each of the dogs we had henceforth as Tommy itself. Well I was a history freak that time and since I didn’t want to give the names of mighty European/Asian emperors such as Kaiser, Caesar, Tippu etc. anymore to such silly (forgive me SPCA guys, mere pun intended when I call dogs silly) creatures as dogs, I thought that let Tommy alone handle the entire twinge. So there were three Tommy’s we had till date.

Tommy the First
He was the one who started the great Tommy Empire in my house. He was brought home when I was in second standard, as a puny little creature that perfectly fitted in my father’s palm. A true torch-bearer of his genre, Tommy the first used to assault me and my brother whenever we tried to pull his tail or knock his head or take away his meals. We used to find rescue by clambering up the window grill or climbing the shrubs outside our house or sometimes going near the tap and opening it to full throttle in less than 2 seconds. Tommy feared water. Whenever he was given a wash, he shrinks beyond imagination, difficult even to see, that we felt ourselves humiliated thinking that we ran for our lives panicked by this skinny skeletal figure.

My quest towards knowledge wouldn’t have materialized if it wasn’t for Tommy. I learned simple harmonic motion when I dangled a bread piece to a stick using a twine and swayed it in front of him. His head followed the same simple harmonic motion. I varied the length of the string and noticed the change of pace in Tommy’s head movements. Once I made an arrangement of a battery and a LED bulb and went near Tommy. I placed the two wires on Tommy’s cheeks and with a loud scream, turned the LED ON and right after that I heard the first ever cry from Tommy. It took him three complete days to come out from that shock. Later whenever I show him my two hands pretending that two wires are there in my grip, I find Tommy becoming restive.

But he was a great dog. No one dared to enter our house when he was there. On his last day I saw him going out the gate, talking to another dog, coming back to his kennel and then drowning silently towards the depths of death. What he probably told the other dog was, “Friend, I am going, take care of my masters!”

Tommy the Second
He was a master tunnel maker. The dream project of interconnecting all the coconut-tree pits in our house by an underground passageway was accomplished by him. During rainy seasons, when the soil is wet and I and my family members, who have the least idea about these tunnels, walk over them, we sometimes succumb to these subways. We feel like soil has eroded from under our feet. And we collide into these tunnels. Thus we were able to relate ourselves with the emotions of an elephant when it falls in an elephant trap.

Tommy – II served the added responsibility of an usher. He used to lead me and my family members when ever we go outside the house. It was on one such mission that Tommy surrendered himself to the front wheel of a truck.

Tommy the Third
He was a traveler par excellence. There is not even a single village in Southern India that he hasn’t paid a visit to. He disappears on one fine day and come back after a week or so with travel sores and bruises throughout his body. He was the kind of dog whom you call ‘here’ and he manipulates the word ‘here’ and prefixes a ‘t’ in front of the word ‘here’ and act accordingly. Yes, he had a strong command over the English language and literature. He was not as efficient as the other Tommys due to which the Tommy Empire came to an end at my house. He passed away suffering from the repercussions of one such journey, in which he was out-rightly battered.

We haven’t had a dog in our house after that. And we are planning to get one. Let me try for a new name this time. Since I changed to a corporate freak now, I won’t be giving it names such as Bill (Gates), Jack (Welsh) or even Henry (Ford) for that matter. So Kaiser, Caesar and Tippu; here I come...