The summer of 2009 was a season with the aroma of quarells and love. The smell of the dry grass, the sun in our faces, the loud chirps of annoyed birds on the huge cocunut tree in front of our house and the kites that used to fly in the air has made a home in one of the corners of my heart. It was one afternoon of summer '09 when I learned the bliss of rescuing a life, the sheer happiness of setting a living being free. I had just returned from the United States, and my cousin Hari, just a year younger than me had come to visit us all the way from Abu Dhabi with his parents. Like all little kids, we used to fight a lot. Even to the extent of us punching eachother in the guts, crying so loud but still rolling up with laughter moments. An afternoon of Summer'09 we were throwing such a huge tantrum that our mothers banished us from the house. Fed up with the loud screaming and the tears, they asked us to go out and resolve the matter for ourselves, and that decision was probably one of the finest they've ever taken. We walked out of the house, me in my floral frock with embroided puffy flowers that Hari had destroyed in the fight earlier and him in his khaki shorts and yellow T Shirt which had a pocket that was ripped out, dangling as if asking for help to stay afloat, thanks to little Archana. We didn't look eachother in the face but walked. " I'm not talking to you!" Hari announced. "Neither am I!" young Archana screamed in his face. "You're a donkey if you speak first" Hari declared and walked away with his nose high up in the air, a couple of steps ahead me, but never leaving my side. As we walked towards the canal that ran through our village like a long snake, we heard a very faint bark, barely audible. We looked at eachother and then rushed towards the mose filled canal. The dreadful heat of the summer had wiped every single drop of water from it, and it just looked like a huge wall with considerably deep floor. We found a puppy, barely a month old, with its legs caught up in what seemed to be a couple of twigs. I don't know what came over us but the two of us decided to become donkeys together. "We need to save him" we yelled and we ran towards the canal. The canal was probably six feet deep and we were children of 7 and 6 years of age. We exchanged glances not knowing what to do, suddenly Hari took my hand and ran to our neighbour's house, where Rosy Chechi lived. Even at 15, Rosy chechi was a very strong girl with determined eyes and strong hands. We told her what we'd just saw and dragged her to the canal. Her eyes immediately fixed upon the crying puppy and she looked around, to find something that would help, but to our dismay there was nothing there. "Okay I'm going to lower one of you down, but don't you dare tell any of your mother's I did this. Do you understand?" She asked, her face firm with concern. We both nodded. She knew just as much as us that if our mother found out that we had literally been inside a canal and had touched a stray, the events following that enlightenment would not be good. She took Hari by the waist and slowly lowered him into the canal, she asked me to hold on to her waist for a better grip. Hari, who was so used to the clean air of Abu Dhabi did not like the stench inside the canal, but he took of his yellow T Shirt and wrapped the puppy in it and removed each twig one by one. Rosy chechi lifted him up with an ease that I still admire to this day. Hari instantly put the puppy into my arms and took a step back examining himself. The faint cry of the puppy still echoed. While Hari stood there searching his body for scars, Rosy Chechi and I gave the puppy water and some left over bread from Rosy Chechi's house that she had to sneak away inside her kurti so her mom won't see. A smile spread through Rosy Chechi's face like a little upside down rainbow. Rare, yet full of colour and brightness. She threw her hands over my shoulders messing with my hair a bit and the two of us watched that puppy fill it's stomach which seemed like an act that was done for the first time. Hari came back half naked with only his khaki shorts, we would have to tell a story to our mothers later, when they would ask why he was missing a piece of cloth and why I look like I've jumped out of a sewer. "Tipu" Hari said abruptly. "What?" Rosy Chechi asked. "His name! Hari just named it Tipu" I answered for him. We exchanged a huge toothless smile. "Alright go to your houses kids, I don't want to be responsible if they find out where you two were." Rosy chechi said. We nodded at her, took eachothers hands and ran. "Wait, don't forget to bath, you two stink" Rosy Chechi called out, the rainbow of a smile still playing on her lips. The three of us, the arrogant old one, and the shabby young ones laughed. We continued to run back home, hand in hand, and laughter in the air. We couldn't adopt Tipu, our mothers wouldn't allow us, but we secretly fed him every day. Hari went back to Abu Dhabi the next month and me, who was left behind continued to watch Tipu grow. Eventually I found out that
was actually a
and some years later I watched her walk with a pregnant belly and later on breast feed her children in the middle of the road. The summer of 2020 just passed, and we don't know what happened to Tipu, but the memory of Saving Tipu is still fresh in our minds. The fight, the running, the saving and Rosy Chechi who grew up to become a doctor. The summer of 2009 was indeed filled with the aroma of quarells and love. ... Archana Kumar 1BA English Language and Literature St Teresa's College (Autonomous) Ernakulam
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