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Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Merry Adventures of Hector Narayanan

Disclaimer:  This is the 3rd post in the Cinthol Alive is Awesome Campaign series.

“Adventure bathing?” asked Nishi.

“Adventure bathing” nodded I, to my sister.   And Hector, well, he just raised a leg and sprayed the bush just the way all well brought up dogs do whenever they spot, well, anything.

“It’s not quite like the rivers and oceans they show in that Cinthol Alive is Awesome ad, is it?” she opined. And I looked at the water, and looked at it deeply.

Unlike the AIA ads, them that made us gasp with their stunning visuals of oceans, lagoons and largely roaring waters, our pond wasn’t quite feeling the same emotions.  In all probability, the depth of my stare was deeper than the depth of the water.  While I would have wanted it to bristle and stampede and hiss, here it was lying cool as a cucumber, not as much as breaking into a ripple. It was in character, like one of those old English gentlemen, those who sit in the stadium watching a four day country cricket game. So much the divine picture of lethargy are they, that even the sun would feel embarrassed to tan them lest they feel compelled to move a muscle to frown.

“It’s perfect for this lazy bum” Nishi said, looking at our yawning pooch.

Lets go in flashback now.

Hector has never been one to care too much for baths, be it the adventurous kind that our friends at Cinthol are talking of, or any other kind for the matter. Not that he can’t like a bath, he could I suppose, as long as there is no water involved in the entire procedure. You see, the fellow has always been the regal sort, quite the Brit, trotting about everywhere stiff upper lip et al, looking down upon the rest of the world as if we were all germs.  So, it really does not do much for his pride when mother, Nishi  or father  pour mugs of water on him and laughingly insist that he now looks more like a shrivelled up mongoose than the hot cocker spaniel he believes he is.  It does even less for his pride when the above mentioned are soaping his underneaths and all the street doggies are rolling on the earth near the outside gate, their laughter ringing loud in his droopy ears for long.

Back to the story.

So a few weeks back, the three of us walked from our home, through the farms and those coconut trees that curve, to the canal that runs behind our house.  It looked quite inviting, glistening as it did in the afternoon light.

The water was cold and both Nish and I yelped on entering it. Hector lingered about near the stones,  skipping on his toes and not at all interested in joining us. We went in a little further, gingerly testing the stones on the sandy bed with our toes, and soon we were in till our necks. The water was now feeling delicious to the skin.

It is at this point of time that Layla made her entry and changed the course of events completely.  Layla was, as you should know, our neighbour’s Labrador but her being thrice Hector’s size had never stopped him for being all gooey and mushy in her presence.  But as to what she felt for our chappy is not very clear. It’s a difficult business, to understand women.

Anyway so Layla had come with her master, an old man we all liked.  And on seeing Hector, she behaved as all girls should,  ignore him and stand afar. Think Hector barked to call her over to his own stone, but she preferred to be where she was. 

Taking out a bone from a bag, the old man threw it at her, but lo, the throw went long and the bone flew over Layla’s head, right into the stream. The bone that was meant to be her snack was now all wet and flowing down the stream as briskly as it could.

Commeth the hour, commeth the man. Or dog.  Seeing his lover so forlorn, Hector suddenly decided to do something that we or he would never have thought he would do, readily. To put it precisely, a young spaniel rocketed like a bullet, feet hardly touching the ground, long ears flying in the wind, and when he reached the edge, he sailed right over and landed and I quote, splash. The next few moments saw a flurry of events. Brother and sister swam towards pooch worried that if he would not be able to overcome the current, pooch swam behind bone sure it wouldn’t overcome the current, and Layla, well we don’t know what she was doing.  We yelled at him to stop, but there is no point telling a dog not to chase a bone when he is in love. Or maybe, he just wanted the bone all for himself.

Finally, he managed to  get the bone and turned back towards the bank.  The scene was one that National Geographic should have captured, a dimpled man coming out the water, chiseled arms and all; a girl who was err trying to remove water from her ears, and a dog with a wet bone in his mouth. And when he came out, he went right upto Layla, laid the bone at her feet and walked off as if helping damsels in distress was his every day past time. Attaboy Hector, tell them who’s your daddy! 

A week later, Layla moved onto Dennis, a huge Doberman that had just shifted into the neighborhood.  My sister, well she’s married for quite some time now. So, it just leaves Hector and I, both single. Saving damsels in distress is still our every day past time though.

You can read the earlier posts of the "Cinthol Alive is Awesome" series here,

A Night Adventure with a Croatian Backpacker

An Andamanese Affair