The Zennish Panda

The Dog-ooder


My doubts are beginning to take concrete shapes; my dog is a do-gooder. Do you remember Radio Mama (played by Visu) from Penmani Aval Kanmani?

My dog is the Visu of my neighbourhood.

Anu Boo assumes this position — Isn’t this image reminiscent of Hachiko, the loyal dog from Japan? — several hours a day. When I began to observe her, I turned many theories in my head:

She must be looking at those squirrels, who constantly worry over their nuts and who make noises which are bigger than their bodies.

She must be enchanted by the foliage. Oh! My dog is such a Zen-master.

She must be following that lizard which goes pst pst pst when I say things like, “Fuck! Is my bank account going to be this empty for 893 years?”

She must be thinking of her previous life. She could have been a great actress. Maybe, She was Silk Smitha and she now wants to show the world how she died. Ah! The agony! I should help her.

She must be following the clouds, spotting cirrus and cumulus. My dog can name clouds. I am a proud pet-parent.

She must be predicting catastrophes. I must give her that space and peace to receive the prophecy.

I tried playing EB White. Quite vainly. I wrote a few theories to support my belief that my dog is above and beyond this realm.

My dear reader, her heart is not after any of my said theories.

She watches my neighbours. Who are men. Who are single. Who are semi-naked. Thank you for the sympathies. I needed it.

She is often perched on the divan with her intense gaze fixed on their house and activities. For I am unemployed, I wore my fedora, carried my cane, and quietly followed Anu Boo.

Here are my observations:

The men listen to songs like Saththam Illadha Thanimai Keten, Kadhalenum Thervezhudhu… They seem to have bought their speakers from those guys who donate their equipment for festivals celebrated during the month of Aadi.

Their terrace is their garbage yard.

They are the brand ambassadors of Ramraj. (Yes. You are right. Some images scar me for life. Please offer more sympathies. Thank you!)

None of them have girlfriends/boyfriends. (I haven’t seen them yelling into their phones. So.)

They don’t bring girls home. I don’t know if they bring boys. Anu Boo might know.

They grind coconuts every day. Every. Day. Every. Fucking. Day. Their grinder is louder than their speakers.

Their trimmers are noisier than their grinders.


Kodam — Image from here.

They kept a kodam in their terrace, when the monsoon set in last month, to collect rainwater and all. (Jayalalithaa is not turning in her grave.) The poor kodam is still there. Beside the kodam, there is a tiny aluminium vessel which Kamal Haasan might have used in Varumayin Niram Sivappu. Remember that scene in which S Ve. Shekar, Dilip, and Kamal Haasan pretended to relish a grand meal when Sridevi visited? I am talking about that.

And, on Saturday nights, they listen to gentle songs like Jingunamani Jingunamani, En Peru Meenaa Kumaari…

Sundays are quiet in their household. Because you know why.

So, that is the story. The part that my do-gooder of a dog plays is Radio Mama, according to my new theory.

Image from Wikipedia

For she spends significant amount of her waking hours watching them — sometimes secretly, sometime way too obviously — I believe that she is scheming to refine their lives quite like Visu.

What I think my dog would possibly do is:

She might crowdsource to buy earphones, sweatpants, and t-shirts for the boys. She might write to our neighbourhood association about a particular landlord’s negligence in providing water for his tenants. She might write fancy codes, crack the men’s playlists, and include songs composed by Shankar Ganesh. She might invite Trisha to exercise her Swachh Bharat vows in their terrace. When a pup summons, Trisha won’t deny. I know. Anu Boo might play Seeman’s speech to spoil their Saturday fun and she would recruit Baba Ramdev to teach them yoga on Sundays. Perfect! Also, when she is not too busy, she would upload their profiles in Bharat Matrimony.

In about six months, I would have new neighbours. And the story would go on and on…

What is my part in this elaborate drama? Pratap Pothen. *removes her glasses and tosses them on her laptop*