The Arrival of Ringo Starr.

My mother was clearing out my grandparents' desk the other day, and found this story I'd written soon after Ringo Starr entered our lives. I was fifteen years old.

Ever since I can remember, I've wanted a dog.

Unfortunately, being blessed with a mother who has a heart of granite, I've never been successful in getting one. Last year however, she softened somewhat (must be because of age...I hear people get sentimental when they reach their mid forties) and on March 24th, 2006, Ringo Starr arrived.

He's a pug puppy, with big beady eyes and a squashed black face ad velvety soft ears and a curled up little tail. He's also slightly mad, which is why he fits in so well with out family.

The first time I saw him was when his owner brought him up to our flat in a tiny little basket. I glanced casually at the basket (you couldn't really see what was inside) but didn't really register anything. I was disappointed because the owner, Mr Sinha (a nondescript man but possessor of the largest mole I have ever seen till date...right on his nose!) hadn't seemed to bring the puppy with him.

Finally (my brain always does work exceptionally slow on Sundays) I realised what was in the basket. I deducted this, not from Mr Sinha whose English I couldn't really understand (not because I am retarded, but because it was so terrible), but from little scrabbly noises coming from inside it.

I tiptoed over to the basket, and opened it, and this little, tiny...thing (for want of a better word) scrambled out of it. He kept slipping and sliding all over our floor, looking absolutely proud of his horrendous sense of balance. My mother and I didn't exclaim over him. Not at first. We just stood there and stared.

We stared as he slid over to the wall and inspected it. Then he tried to walk through it. Having discovered that he couldn't, he snorted at it, and having told the wall exactly what he thought of it, he moved on to explore greener pastures...such as our carpet, which he promptly started chewing. He shredded up the carpet edge in under one minute, and then started on our dining table leg.

Mr Sinha, noticing our shell shocked expressions, said a hasty, "bhery good, bhery good...eggcellent, eggcellent...I am go-eeng, bye bye, bye bye."

He went.

The puppy (he hadn't been christened yet) now decided that my shoelace would be a good thing to chew on. So he chewed on it, his beady eyes looking up at my face suspiciously all the while. I bent down and gingerly patted him. He obligingly chewed my finger. I glanced up at my mother. She had a huge soppy smile plastered on her face.

She held out her arms, and the puppy tumbled into them.

He had come to stay.

The first time we fed him was an experience. I had to hold him down, while Mum gave him his dinner (milk mixed with some other bizarre yet apparently nourishing substance). It was obvious, as we watched him eat (or more appropriately, swim in) his dinner, that this was a dog, whose stomach would always take precedence over his heart. He ate so enthusiastically that milk kept going up his nose (pugs have a very squashed face) and after he was done, he started banging his paws on the floor, which was his (very ineffective) way of getting the milk of his nose.

Almost as if he was playing the drums.

Hence the name, Ringo Starr. Ringo Starr was the name of the Beatles' drummer. (If you don't know who the Beatles are, I advise you to go soak your head).

Of course, we didn't come up with it right away. We went through Sumo (because he looked a bit like a wrestler. Sumo wrestler, get it? Ha ha. No one else did either), Jughead (an obvious choice because of his appetite) and even King Kong (my mother's suggestion. I would never do that to a dog.)

Ringo Starr is now nine months old and thriving. So far he's chewed up every single carpet in the house, a couple of table legs, my grandmother's silver cabinet, all my socks, sixty six fingers, and forty toes. Not to mention a dozen ears. He has also boosted the sale of biscuit companies all over India. He's terrified of milk cans and cats and babies infuriate him. If he ever sees a lady in a salwaar kameez, he will promptly put his head up it, regardless of whether he knows her or not. When I take him down for a walk, he barks furiously at everything in sight, but if something dares to retaliate he hides behind my legs. He's not very graceful...he can walk without sliding all over the floor now, but unfortunately he has not been able to achieve that when he runs.

As I write this, he's sitting at my feet looking hopefully up at me.

It's 11:00 am right now.

Time for a biscuit as usual.

Funny, but when I read this, I sort of remembered what the fifteen year old me was like. Thought I'd forgotten, but in essentials, not much has changed. 


Anonymous said...

I wish i were what i was, when i wished i was what i am.

joey said...

What irritatingly good writing for a fifteen year old.