The Monster and Me

The Monster and Me

“WAKE UP SLEEPYHEAD!!!!” I pull Arhaan’s blanket.

“Get off me!” Arhaan pulls the blanket back and covers himself.

“Come on man! You promised we would go for a run today. Remember your New Year’s resolution?” I pull his blanket yet again.

“Arrggh! You are impossible!” Arhaan fumes but gets up nonetheless. He rubs his eyes and walks to the restroom.

After what feels like forever, he is finally ready and we head outside. I have a sense of foreboding the moment we step out and there he is – the neighbourhood dog. Gosh! how much I hate him. He scares the shit out of me. Sensing my fear, he begins growling. I hide timidly behind Arhaan.

We get onto the elevator. Luckily he doesn’t join us. Close save! That bulldog gets on my nerves. The elevator door opens on the fifth floor and she enters. I have never seen a beauty like her. Her blonde silky hair, her gait, and her dress all give her a princessy look. She smells divine. It makes me go weak in my knees. My heartbeat grows faster and I gawk at her unabashedly. Is this what you call love? She has an air of superiority. She knows the effect she is having on me. It hurts me to see how she has turned a blind eye to it. I look at Arhaan who seems the least interested in her. That is a relief, I want no competition. We finally reach the ground floor. Like a true gentleman, I wait for the lady to leave first, and then I follow suit. Just for a second, she turns around and smiles at me, an angelic smile. I am on cloud nine.

“Someone seems to be elated,” Arhaan teases me, making me blush. We finally reach our spot, he lights his cigarette and I have a good leak. Nothing like an early morning leak. Wait! Did I introduce myself? God! I am so forgetful. I am Dobby, a Shih Tzu and Arhaan is my dad!

I sniff around, checking for new dogs in my area. “Yummy!” I lick the fresh poop that I just got a whiff of. It has to be hers. I imagine how it would feel like to lick her, to roll on the ground with her, me and her, her and me. I am lost in these thoughts when I see her again. My face drops the moment I see that bulldog with her. He smells me from a distance and begins growling, trying to show off. It’s ok, every dog has its day. It breaks my heart when she looks at me and chuckles. What a bitch! I hide my tail between my legs and walk home dejected. I feel like my life is over. I feel miserable, like nothing good will ever happen again. I lie down on the floor, wallowing in self-pity.

Arhaan throws a few treats at me, “Here”.

“Woah! I love them.” My tail begins wagging on its own accord. I have never been happier in my life! I pick them up one by one and eat to my heart’s content. I feel bliss, like nothing can ever go wrong. I lie down on the floor, leaving a few treats that I decide to eat later. Ohh! how tiring eating can get. I guess I need sleep. I close my eyes and once again dream of her. She is licking my face, my belly. That’s when I hear the bell.

“Uh oh!” I run to the door. I wag my tail and call out to Arhaan. How long does it take to move his bum and get to the door? I am glad that Priya is here but that little monster Rishi is no good!

“I have missed you, baby,” Priya scoops me in her arms and kisses me, handing Rishi to his dad. I smug. Rishi gives me a menacing look. Before I could react, he has the nerve to grab me by my tail and pull it. I howl in pain. Arhaan immediately frees me and scolds the little monster. Priya too shouts at him and pets me. These two are angels.

Priya carefully puts me on the floor and they head to their room to freshen up. That was a lot of excitement. I nurse my tail and close my eyes preparing to sleep. I dream of Priya and Arhan kissing and hugging me. I have never been so happy. I am the luckiest dog on this planet. We are playing and that’s when I hear HIM! I open my eyes, fully alert. He stops mid-way. Both of us notice it at the same time. We eye each other and charge towards it. He gets it faster than me and I look at him in horror as he puts “my bone” in his mouth! Nobody else could even think of attempting such a thing; I would bite them and grab it but I feel helpless in front of this monster. I eye him nervously.

“What are you doing?” Priya runs to Rishi the moment she notices him enjoying my bone. She pulls it out and throws it towards me. “You aren’t supposed to eat Dobby’s food, baby.”

I pick my treat, keep it safely between my paws and lie down. A four-legged toddler is really tiring, senseless, and heartless. Why can’t they take birth as the loving two-legged ones?

I yawn and look as Priya struggles to put Rishi to sleep and get Arhaan’s tiffin ready. I am despondent since he has to go. I can feel the pain in his eyes.

“You just came and I have to leave you,” Arhaan hugs Priya.

“You could have taken the day off,” Priya sneers.

Arhaan hates going to work, there’s this bad man there called ‘Idiot manager’, who gets on Arhaan’s nerves. I would bite him if he ever comes near me, I have long made up my mind.

“Please don’t go,” I tell Arhaan.

“Aww.. I’ll be back soon. Be a good boy. Take care of Priya and Rishi,” Arhaan pets me and leaves.

Arhaan called me a good boy. I am overjoyed. We barely close the door when the bell rings.

“Sorry, I was the only one downstairs so it took time to get your luggage.” The guard drops some bags and leaves.

Arhaan has left me in charge while he is away. I sniff the bags. “All safe!” I assure Priya. I take my job very seriously. I walk around haughtily having done my task.

Priya lies down on the couch in the living room. I lie down on her feet, and close my eyes, even a guard needs some sleep. I sleep peacefully for hours, I think. I get up, stretch a little and then go check on Rishi.

Still alive. Accomplished, I walk back, have some water and lie down again. I get up when Priya calls me for my meals. I eat the yummy food and give out a small burp. One gets a really good sleep after a nice heavy meal. I curl up on the couch.

Rishi’s wailing alerts me immediately. I run to him. What happened? Is he in pain? Is he dying? Where is Priya? “Someone save him please!!!”

Priya takes hours to come and take him in her arms. “Baby, mumma is here. Shhh..” she plants wet kisses. After being assured that Rishi is fine, I walk out of the room, giving them some privacy. That kid nearly gave me an attack!

I watch the drama as Priya struggles to feed Rishi, making crazy faces and voices. He keeps spitting out most of what is fed to him. He poops and then pees. Priya is changing him and he pees on her again. Can’t control his bladder, that one! I shake my head and prepare to sleep. The rest of the day goes uneventfully until the doorbell rings. I run to the door, Rishi takes the shortcut and is almost there. I pick up pace wanting to overtake him. He notices me and crawls even faster. We both reach the door and wait for Priya to open it. I maintain a safe distance, not wanting to give Rishi any chance to cause trouble. I see Arhaan and I feel the happiest I have ever been. He takes Rishi in his arms. “It’s okay, I am the bigger person here, let the kid first meet his dad, then I can have him all to myself.” I patiently wait for my turn, pouncing at Arhaan every few minutes(or is it seconds? I don’t know what you humans call it).

“Yes baby, I love you too,” he pets me.

“Did you hear? He just confessed his love for me!” I am elated. I run to have some water, all the jumping has drained me.

Priya prepares tea for Arhaan while he freshens up. They sit to have tea and biscuits. I patiently wait for my share, pouncing on Arhaan and asking for it till he gives it to me. Rishi has no manners, he just grabs a bunch from his plate. Priya has to grab them back. Who’s a good boy? Of course, I am!

“Look what I got you,” Arhaan takes out a toy and hands it over to Rishi. I am crestfallen. Earlier he would get toys only for me and now he has forgotten me. Rishi shows me his toy. He beckons me to take it. I jump for it but the monster immediately moves his hand away and giggles. I look dejectedly at Arhaan and as if by magic, he takes one out for me too. I have never been happier. I take the toy from him and play with it in a corner. I don’t realize when Rishi gets down from Arhaan’s arms and charges at me. He just comes and grabs my toy from me.

“Umm, excuse me, that’s mine,” I point out.

Rishi eyes me evilly and begins playing with my toy. I complain about it to Priya, who immediately comes to my rescue. She tries to reason with Rishi but he doesn’t listen. She gets all his toys but he is least interested in them. He just wants my toy. Arhaan tries snatching it from Rishi’s hands and he begins wailing.

“This guy is an amazing actor, not a drop of tear is coming out!” I point out to Arhaan but he doesn’t seem to understand me.

“Fine, keep it,” Arhaan sighs. Rishi gives me a triumphant look. “I’ll get you another one Dobby, sorry,” Arhaan apologizes to me.

“But that’s not fair. It’s mine…“ I begin but then I see the helplessness in Arhaan’s eyes and give up. Anything for him.

After dinner, we all head to our bedroom. I sleep with Arhaan and Priya on their bed because I am their favourite and Rishi sleeps in his cot.

I get comfortable next to Arhaan while Priya struggles to put Rishi to sleep. He is making my ears bleed.

“Why isn’t this kid sleeping? I have had a hectic day at work and really want to relax and watch something with you,” Arhaan yawns.

“I can feel you. I have had an equally hectic day,” I lick Arhaan.

Arhaan pets me absentmindedly.

“Why do you have to go to that shitty workplace? We can all stay home, play, eat and sleep. What fun it would be! What’s the use of all the stress and trouble? What will you do with the money?” I ask him. “I won’t stop till I have an answer.”

Arhaan doesn’t reply, he just scratches my ear. “Ah! a little to the right, a little left, please? Ya just there.” It feels so good. I roll on my back and he gives me a belly rub. I enjoy this, completely forgetting about the conversation we were having a while back.

“He doesn’t want to sleep.” Priya gives up and puts Rishi between her and Arhaan.

I quickly move aside. “That’s my place,” I look accusingly at Arhaan who mouths an apology. 

“Alright.” I settle on his feet. Rishi hugs his dad, winks at me, and then sleeps immediately. That guy surely knows how to have his way.

*****

The next morning all of us go for a walk. They have to take Rishi along. Unlike me, they can’t trust him alone in the house. How I wish I could spend some personal time with Priya and Arhaan!

We meet the fifth-floor bitch again. Rishi calls out to her.

“Stay away from him. He is a monster. I am strong so I am able to tolerate his cruelty. But you are too delicate.” I try flirting.

Rishi stretches from his pram and begins petting her. I look in horror as she licks him back!

I am too stunned to speak. I walk down with my head bowed, my life is over.

“Wait! What is this smell?” I sniff around, intoxicated by it. “Isn’t this the love of my life? My mangoes!” I begin pawing Arhaan, not stopping until he buys some. I can’t wait to reach home and enjoy them. “What better purpose does one need in life than to eat mangoes?”

I can’t wait till Priya chops them and gives them to me. The wait is so tiring that I doze off. I dream that I am out on a date. I am licking her, she smells like mangoes making me super excited. I want to have her, I can’t wait…

WAIT!! I smell mangoes. I open my eyes and spot them on a plate next to Priya. I forget my stretches and run to have my share. I pounce on Priya to grab her attention. Priya has been trying to feed a few to Rishi who seems to be the least interested in them. The moment he sees I want them, he grabs a slice from Priya’s hand and gobbles it down.

Greedy monster!!

Priya throws a few pieces and a whole big seed at me. I relish it. I run around trying to have the seed but it acts pricey and keeps slipping from my grip. I am a strong man, I manage to grab it every single time. I make it sparkling clean. Not a drop of mango juice is left when I am finally done. My tiny belly finds it difficult to digest and I begin farting. Wow, what a smell.

“Eww, Dobby!” Priya pinches her nose.

“Not me. It’s Rishi!” I quickly avert my eyes.

“Oh no Dobby!” she groans on seeing me.

She leaves Rishi, scoops me up, and takes me to the basin. I look at myself, I look handsome. My fur glows in hues of brown, white and yellow. But why has she gotten me here?

“Leave me, woman.” I try to wriggle out of her grip but she holds me firmly.

“Look at yourself. You have dyed your white fur with mango.” Mercilessly, she starts scrubbing me.

“What are you doing? Why are you trying to kill me? Someone save me!!” She finally gives up, puts me on the floor, and goes to her bedroom.

I shake the excess water from me and try to lick the remnants of the mango on me.

I am sulking in a corner when Rishi suddenly charges at me. I shout for help.

Priya immediately comes and chides him, “Why do you trouble Dobby so much?”

She gets his pram, makes him sit in it, and ties him. She then leaves him on the balcony under the sun.

I hold my belly and roll on the floor laughing. “You deserve it.”

Priya lifts me up. I gloat. We enter her room and I hear it.

“Danger Alert!” I struggle to get out of her arm, even biting her in the process but she quickly ties a leash and takes me to the torture chamber!! She closes the door once we are inside.

I look around in horror. There is no way out. The noise here is deafening. I begin shivering as the boiling liquid begins overflowing from the container. What has gotten into Priya? She is trying to burn me alive by pouring it on me. She seems to be possessed, pulling my legs, my tail, and my face. I close my eyes knowing well that this is the end of life. “I have had a good life,” I sigh. There seems to be no end to the torture. Priya keeps muttering ‘I love yous’ and laughing. I never knew she was such a sadist. Just as I feel there’s no hope left, she transforms back to my loving Priya. She closes the tap and starts wiping me. I quickly shake off the excess water and free myself from her.

“Dobby is a free bird, Dobby is still alive!” I run around the house wiping myself dry against anything and everything. I climb on the couch and roll on it. I jump down and wipe my face on the carpet. I run to the room and rub my body against the bags that are waiting to be unpacked.

Priya comes out, grabs my leash, and ties me to the chair next to Rishi. She then proceeds to wipe the house which is slippery. Not my fault, she shouldn’t have given me a bath in the first place. Rishi and I look at each other and grin. I lie down in the sun. I guess we are friends now.

*****

Arhaan comes home and hugs me.

I immediately begin complaining about Priya. I have forgiven her but Arhaan needs to know.

“Aww… Priya is so bad. She gave my baby a bath,” Arhaan kisses me.

They sit for the evening tea and as was the custom, I patiently ask Arhaan for my share.

“Don’t give Dobby anything. He is having stomach issues. It was torturous in the afternoon,” Priya shakes her head.

I give my best puppy dog face to Arhaan but he doesn’t melt. Finally, I lie down at his feet, still giving him puppy eyes. Rishi and my eyes meet for a minute and then he does the unexpected, he begins grabbing biscuits and throwing them at me. I do a happy dance and catch as it is raining biscuits.

“Priya look! Rishi and Dobby are becoming friends.” Arhaan seems overjoyed.

Of course, I am lovable. Everyone loves me.

Rishi isn’t a monster after all. I am beginning to feel that he is the biological son of Priya and Rishi just like me. I have never felt so relaxed. I smile and close my eyes, sleep immediately engulfs me. I dream of Rishi and me eating pedigree from my bowl. We go on a walk, no two-legged human in supervision. Like a big brother, I responsibly take him for the early morning leak. Life seems perfect.

I slowly open my eyes. There he is, Rishi, his hands in alarming proximity to my tail. I panic as he makes a grab for it.

“Rishi no!” Arhaan picks him up and takes him to their room. I try calming my heartbeat which has dangerously shot up. This guy isn’t very trustworthy.

*****

I maintain my distance from him for the next few days. He also seems to be avoiding me, at times crawling past me and not making an attempt to grab my food or me. But I don’t let my guard down, better safe than sorry.

One day, the unexpected happens. Priya and Arhaan begin shouting at each other in dog frequency. I immediately become alert and run to their door. Rishi was playing unattended with his favourite toys in the kitchen. He too heard it and ran to me. We both look at each other and nod in agreement. Rishi bangs the plate and the ladle that he had been playing with on the floor and then starts howling. I encourage him to cry louder and I begin pounding on the door, hoping to grab Arhaan and Priya’s attention.

The door quickly opens. Priya runs to Rishi, wipes his tears, and kisses him. That kid is becoming a pro now. I run inside and spot Arhaan lying on the bed with a sullen face. I jump on top of him and begin licking him.

“Go away Dobby,” he pushes me away.

“I know that’s your anger speaking. Don’t worry.”

I jump back at him with renewed vigour and lick all his sorrow away. He finally relents and hugs me tight. I hate hugs but at the moment Arhaan’s happiness is my priority so I let him do as he pleases.

Rishi meanwhile has managed to calm Priya down. I hear them laughing.

Priya comes to the room after a while and we have a group hug. I lick Priya while Rishi kisses Arhaan. Finally, the two apologize to each other and kiss.

Rishi and I look at each other and smile – “Mission accomplished!”

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