Lucky life and its beginning...

My father had given his car for repairs at a garage in Worli, not too far away.

Published: 26th July 2022 06:57 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th July 2022 06:57 AM   |  A+A-

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Express News Service

BENGALURU: It was December 14, 1979. It was a Friday, and for some reason, a holiday. That was the day when there was a sudden andunexpected addition to my family. This is how it happened.
We were in Bombay (now Mumbai) then, living in Prabhadevi, the central part of the city, hugging Mahim Bay.

My father had given his car for repairs at a garage in Worli, not too far away. It had been two weeks. The delay had made my father very angry.

“I want to go and check what is taking them so long,” he said. “I want to come with you,” I said.
Although there was initial reluctance on his part, finally I had my way.
We reached the garage, owned by a middle-aged man named Ullalkar, at noon. Just as expected, there was a heated argument between my father and Ullalkar uncle over the delay. Finally, Ullalkar uncle promised that the car would be ready by 3 pm.

My father, the ultimate disciplinarian that he was, insisted: “I will not leave until then! I will drive my car back home...and by 3 pm!”
Anticipating the effects of a three-hour wait in a garage on a 13-year-old, Ullalkar uncle took me to another car in the corner of the compound, and said, “I will introduce you to someone you will like meeting.”

He opened the right rear door of the car and said: “Meet her!” I peered from under his elbow to see a cute little black puppy curled up on the seat - a two-month-old Dachshund-Spitz cross, I was told.
On seeing me, the pup started wagging her tail. After a few guarded pats on her head, she leapt at me, launching a series of licks on my face. We won each other’s hearts instantly!

Ullalkar uncle then asked, “You want to take her home?”
I screamed, “Yes!” But I had to convince my father. As expected, he said, “No way! Who will take care of her?”
But he relented under pressure from me and Ullalkar uncle - the latter rightly expecting the gesture of “gifting” a dog to me to have a calming effect on my father, who was still seething over the delay in getting the car ready.

Two of us had gone to fetch the car, but three of us returned home. I named her “Lucky”, because of the circumstances under which I got her in my life.
A British Airways pilot had brought Lucky to Bombay from London as a gift for his children. But his kids developed an allergy. He was forced to give her away. The pilot had given his car for repairs at the same garage where my father had. He had instructed Ullalkar uncle that the pup be given to someone who would take good care of her. That’s how she came into our life. Being lucky has its ways!
Lucky’s entry into our home was dramatic. My grandmother was living with us then.

She, my mother and my little sister were waiting for us to reach home, but without knowing that we had an addition to the family.
On reaching home, Lucky darted inside as if by right. I heard my grandmother scream first: “Someone, do something!! There is a stray dog that has entered the house! Call the watchman...and be careful....it may bite...!” My mother was screaming in fear too, while my sister - also screaming - climbed the highest possible point of the cupboard, to stay out of harm’s way.
From the mayhem that day, Lucky went on to become my grandmother’s favourite ‘grandchild’. Lucky wouldn’t leave her side whenever they met. Lucky won everybody’s hearts...friends, relatives, and even complete strangers who later became friends, thanks to her.
Lucky died in Bangalore (now Bengaluru) on March 12, 1995, at the ripe old age of 15-and-a-half years (105 in human years).



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