G Spot……

It was the Summer of 2000 and Captain Mohit was deployed in the Valley as a Ghatak Platoon Commander. His troops were deployed in small groups with frequent ambushes and patrols to surprise the infiltrating terrorists. Day after day, night after night, the troops tried all the variations and innovations under the guidance of their Tiger.

The nights are 36 hour long, or so it seems when you are out on an ambush. You are fighting to keep your eyelashes away from each other like Tom in a Tom and Jerry movie. One of those darker than dark nights turned out to be the lucky night for the bhullas. Vinod who was a silent soldier all his life was manning the Light Machine Gun and holding the night vision too when he spotted some movement. His trepidation grew when he realized that it was a group of nine gun totting terrorists and they were bypassing his location. He alerted the others silently which was followed by a brief exchange of fire between Vinod and the group. Premature opening of fire is one of the ‘Do Nots’ of counter insurgency, but this act of Vinod was the best possible response in such a scenario, as the events later would prove.

No further movement or sounds could be observed or heard and the next two hours were anxious moments as the group waited for the first rays of sun. Other ambush parties along the route also reported no further movement which set in a sense of despair amongst many. The search commenced at first light and one of the parties detected a blood trail leading away from the ambush site into dense maize fields. Vinod became a 🌟 immediately.

As multiple teams moved in, there was an increased frenzy of search activity in the few square kilometres around that spot. Nine was a big figure and excitement was rife in the air as search parties went around jungle bashing. The next contact with the terrorist group was established by 10 am. Maize bashing, lucky escapes and hot pursuit soon followed and towards noon the terrorist group was split into two, with a six-member group trapped in a Nala, surrounded by own troops. The other group of three were to be later eliminated by another team, after a week.

The gun battle raged and the nala became a dangerous funnel of ricocheting bullets and sharpnel. The CO’s Quick Reaction Team soon moved in to finish the operations before last light as the other parties firmed in their various cordon locations. From above the Nala, on a ledge was deployed the buddy pair of Captains Mohit and S, both course mates. Capt S was the company officer of Charlie whose company teams alongwith Ghatak platoon had painstakingly isolated the terrorists. They watched eagerly as the sub teams moved in, still praying for a chance to engage at least one terrorist.

The terrorists were firing sporadically, primarily to preserve ammunition and to extend the operations into night so that they could sneak out of the cordon in hours of darkness. Orders were given to everyone to prevent desperate escape attempts of terrorists and also to engage from own positions depending on inter visibility. The huge boulders within the Nala were aiding the terrorists in taking up concealed and covered positions.

The din of firing soon ebbed and it was clear that the terrorists were down to the last man. The last terrorist, realizing that he was down to the final belt of ammunition, made an attempt to charge at the Tiger’s QRT, with his AK 47 blazing. Of course he didn’t stand a chance with so many guns trained on him and was eliminated. As he fell backwards, his AK 47 kept firing and one of those bullets found its way onto the nose of Capt Mohit who was firing from above. He fell backwards with a bloody nose and mouth, and his buddy Capt S could just mutter on the radio set – “sir, I think he is gone!”

A charpoy was managed and the sturdy bhullas carried Mohit (who incidentally is a bhulla, or a pahadi/ Garhwali) all the way back up another hill, and another two hours to a heli landing site from where he was soon picked up and moved straight into the operation theatre in Udhampur hospital. He was unconscious and the blood was still flowing but the bullet was missing from the cranial region, which was worrisome for all. Capt M’s dad who was in the Army was informed and he was also moving towards Jammu in the fastest possible means, assuming the worst.

Just imagine…… a young officer, unconscious, bleeding from the nose and mouth and a bullet untraced somewhere in the head….moments of anxiousness for all and the task of the surgeon surely was an unenviable one.

Now comes the twist in the tale. Despite all the bleeding, Capt M seemed stable which set the doctors thinking. An X ray of the entire face and skull area was again done and voila, the bullet was found. Not where everyone was looking for, but at the base of his wisdom tooth. To know how it reached there, you have to recall the shape of a skull…the nasal cavity is a triangle and the upper portion of the triangle deflected the AK 47 bullet downward and pushed it towards the jaw bone – the jaw bone being the strongest bone in the body was not to be intimidated and sent the bullet back upwards thereby resulting in the bullet resting next to the wisdom tooth facing upwards! One can say, Capt Mohit’s fate was given a grave challenge and his combined grit (firm jaw) and wisdom (tooth) overcame the challenge.

Picture Courtesy @Mohit

With the bullet having been found, the mood lightened a bit and sure enough Mohit soon recuperated and was given the shining piece of metal to be kept as a talisman. The spot of entry of the bullet is still visible as a starred scar at the tip of his nose. The spot changes colours when he exerts (like running Marathons, which is his passion) and we have classified it as his G spot, in jest.

The Hero …

Badri Vishal Lal ki Jai

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Poodle Doodles…

Before I start…some trivia… what’s a Goldendoodle.. 🧐…………………..cmon make a guess….you are almost right…its a crossbreed of a golden retriever with a poodle….let us not explore the antecedents of other crossbreeds like Maltipoo and Cockapoo as that is another subject by itself….

Chicken bucket time…parin with Mishty n Scooby

A 🐕 or Canis Lupus Familiaris is a simple being but the categorisation of dog lovers is as complicated as the types of dogs itself. At times it is like trying to establish how black is Gray colour.

Still, let me give it a try…

There are hard core dog lovers who say “so cute” on seeing a benign Indie (stray 🐕) and starts off with a 🐕 story of their own at the drop of a hat. The dogs can sense them. You need to read “the dogs purpose” if you want to learn more from a dogs perspective. Can we call them the compassionate dog lovers?

Then there are partial lovers with varying grades of partiality. Some sponsor food for strays; some are ready to get a pet for their sons/ daughters despite being a no-pet type; some despite not having a pet go all out to report about any animal in distress; and some are ok with the hard core dog lovers continuing with their work irrespective of local protests. And then there are those who are afraid of 🐕 s…for no known reason at all. A friend of mine is ok with a live crab but climbs the sofa on seeing our cute Indie!

Then there are the Haters who even go to the extent of stone pelting or shooting the poor souls, for reasons well known to them. These are the vociferous ones in society meetings who try to enact local laws to ban pets in the society or from lifts and elevators. If there is an afterlife, it would be worthwhile to wish them the life of a dog in the next?

Almost everyone nods in agreement when you say that a dog is symbolic of unconditional love. The list of reasons given by non dog owners for not keeping a pet dog is interesting.

Reason 1. No one at home during working hours to look after the 🐕 since both are working. Ok. A valid reason. However, there are people in this world who still keep a pet despite such challenges.

Reason 2. The drooly and fur dropping dog dirties the house and surroundings. Buy a less drooly less furry dog? Such an environment is known to raise your immunity levels too…

Reason 3. Have some bad childhood memory of a dog attacking you. You are not the same you, dude. People change!

Reason 4. Have been raised by dog hating parents or seen dogs being treated like dogs. You don’t have to be mirror images of your parents. Why not add on to that emotional spectrum of your life which was missing!

Reason 5. Hate the sadness once a dog is no more after having given you umpteen moments of happiness. That’s a very valid reason, but just because an ice cream will finish, do you avoid buying it or enjoy cherishing it? Why miss that heavenly feel of unconditional love and devotion and beautiful memories to cherish just to avoid those pangs of loss…their loss make you emotionally strong after all. And many resort to getting another pet to fill the gap…

Reason 6. Not ready to clean up after the 🐕. How can I pick up the poop of a four legged! Cmon, there will come a stage in life wherein you will take care of someone or will have to be taken care of by someone. Why not gain some experience tending to a being which speaks less but can express tons!?

Reason 7. You like a pet but your better half doesn’t or vice versa…well, it’s like a veg and non veg combo of husband and wife. Solutions are available and it’s for you to explore. I am blessed to have married an empathetic pet lover.

Well, your reasons for not keeping a pet may or may not be listed above..but a dog is a wonderful gift which you can give your child or your best friend or anyone whom you feel is in need of love or companionship. A dog teaches many practical lessons in life which no one else can.

And it’s not necessary that the dog be one of those special breeds…our own Indies or Roadesians (picked up from roadside) are more sturdy and adaptive. Inhumane breeding habits with no compassion towards the animal is propelled by demand for special breeds…

A friendly tug of war…end state is torn pocha!

Will it not be better if we all were happy with the Indies…our own homegrown roadesian ones…who are sturdy and super lovable…even if you cannot adopt one of them, at least ensure that they are spayed or neutered so that there are no more of those poor pups looking around for love in a world which is becoming increasingly materialistic..

Well, enough of doodling…the fact is that we are missing our Mishty and Scooby who are in Kota under lockdown as we are stuck in the Twin Cities. What else to do than give company to the Roadesians out here, who go by the name of Hobbit or Hoppit (because he is hopping around), Foxie because of her looks, BNW because she is black and white, Chitkabri because of her unique design and a next door Labrador Fogo who tags along whenever he gets a break…they have all adopted my better half Reena as their Foster mom and son Parin as a buddy…I am sure the Indies of Kota (Chalako, Diver who dived into a frozen pool and had to be rescued with hairdrier, Motu who is no more a motu, Bhenga and Loopie) will not mind this temporary sharing business…afterall it’s lockdown and they don’t read wordpress!

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Shadow….my first love

undefinedWhat was the first one called… how can I forget. He was Shadow and he was there even before my younger sister (Paru) came into my life. An Alsatian, he was ferocious for the rest but a partner in crime for me the naughty boy. He was smart, hairy, long nosed and very possessive of his house and master. One of those days, we left him alone at home and he displayed his annoyance by eating away dad’s scooter cushion. Oh dear, dad was mad and Shadow had to endure some starving sessions which of course wasn’t effective as he had a friend in the form of a 7 year old! I could sit on him and imagine I was riding a horse and he never seemed to have minded that role-playing for me.

Our house was on an elevated piece of land and the road was at least 5 meters below. That did not desist my furry friend from fighting with unwanted elements seen on the road. He used to take a leap across to argue his case and expected me to get him back through the main gate without dad’s knowledge. That was our secret deal. Very soon, hearing of his exploits, he had a huge fan following and he had to make those trips to establish his superiority over the mongrels and honour the admiring lasses. Very committed to the cause of expanding his genealogy, his trips at times became difficult for even me to suppress. So, as days passed, our mom had to be co-opted in his secret out-pass plans.

The sad chapter started when my dad passed away and we had to shift base to an apartment in the capital city of Thiruvananthapuram. Shadow could not stay with us as I was in Sainik School and mom had to attend full day office. I did not realize such bigger administrative issues as I was just told that a relative would take care of Shadow. During the first term break, I hurried to that relative’s place to realize that Shadow had moved houses to her friends place. Desperate to meet my only childhood friend, I went to their house only to be told that he had run away from there.  What a sad day it was for me. Not even my dad’s loss had made me feel so lonely and isolated. In my heart I believed that he would turn up at our house in Thiruvananthapuram but little did I know that I was not told the whole story.

Shadow was with that aunt’s friend only but not wanting to lose him or his loyalty they kept it as a secret and fed me the story of his having run away. Poor me. A 10 year old was never to realize the realities of life and kept praying for umpteen nights to restore me my friend. I am sure Shadow also would have had a similar prayer till the last breath of his life wondering about his being orphaned and his friend abandoning him.

My eyes grow misty as I think of him and maybe yours too will. Since past is past, only thing you and me can ensure is that such a fate never befalls a dog and his friend.

We shall meet again dear friend. Maybe we have met again but the ignoramuses we humans are we never know. Miss your wet nose and the furry snuggle. Miss those sharp eyes and pointed ears. Miss your barks and lovely whines.

Maybe in another life we will meet. Love you.

Gather ye together with the utmost joy and fellowship and recite the verses revealed by the merciful God. By so doing the doors to knowledge will be opened to your inner beings, and ye will then feel your souls endowed with steadfastness and your heart filled with radiant joy. Baha’u’llah

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