Happy Birthday Chump!

I Want That Game
I Want That Game

And there they were! All his relatives in suits and ties – aunts, uncles, grandma. They weren’t supposed to be there but as luck would have it, the day coincided with a pretty important festival on a Hindu calendar. He hated it. It was all so crowded. When all that the little boy wants is a nice birthday cake and party, what he gets are old people, showering blessings who made him sit thru a prayer session.

He was pissed. He cried. And when he couldn’t take it anymore, his hands shivered through the cake cutting ceremony. He wanted – “The Game Of Life” for his present. Not only it was not there, there were no presents at all. How was this happening to him?

But then a spark illuminated his dark day. His dads sister offered him the gift he’d wanted. They went out, ate ice creams and bought that game and some. Nothing could have made him happier!

Let’s see how others celebrated their birthdays

  1. Care to Dare | Rima Hassan
  2. BFF | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
  3. Tinkerbell’s home | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
  4. Daily Prompt: Shake It Up- Family | Journeyman
  5. Brent’s Ten Dollar Idea And The Daily Prompt | The Jittery Goat
  6. Daily Prompt: Shake It Up | Incidents of a Dysfunctional Spraffer
  7. Daily Prompt: Shake it Up | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice
  8. Prayer for Faith | Daily Prompt: Shake it Up | likereadingontrains
  9. Happy Birthday to Me | Knowledge Addiction
  10. Daily Prompt: Ten Minutes of Nothing | Under the Monkey Tree
  11. Twelve | I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
  12. Twelve: Daily Prompt | alienorajt
  13. Daily Prompt – Reckless – Broken |
  14. My Day. | Crossroads
  15. [M.M.X.I.V. 55] Snowball fight (Fiction) | Never A Worry
  16. Daily Prompt: Shake it Up | seikaiha’s blah-blah-blah
  17. DP Daily Prompt: Shake it Up | Sabethville
  18. Birthdays | Sinister Pacifism
  19. Twelfth birthday | Sue’s Trifles
  20. Birthday cake | dandelionsinwind
  21. Daily Prompt: Shake it Up | littlegirlstory
  22. Childhood Birthday Bashes | Anecdotes | WANGSGARD.COM
  23. Reckless: Daily Post | Destino
  24. Shake It Up: Twelve | A Patchwork Life
  25. thoughtsofrkh
  26. Never having had a birthday party I worry about how to throw one for my son « psychologistmimi
  27. The amazing recollections of a nothing birthday for your reviewing pleasure. | thoughtsofrkh
  28. Wendy Karasin – Musings of a Boomer
  29. Daily Prompt: Shake It Up-Reckless | My Father’s Garden
  30. A Gloomy Birthday. | Asta’s Space
  31. Daily Prompt: Shake It Up! « Mama Bear Musings
  32. 54/365 reckless | @vannilla
  33. A blown-out candle | MC’s Whispers
  34. Daily Prompt: Shake It Up | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
  35. In my pink B’day dress | Tale of Two Tomatoes
  36. Swinging in the Air | Flowers and Breezes
  37. BIRTHDAYS AND OTHER DAYS OF JOY | SERENDIPITY
  38. Too Dull To ‘Shake It Up’ | Cats, Coffee, And Life At Random
  39. Daily Prompt: Shake it Up | Of Glass & Paper
  40. Shake It Up! My Brain Has No Memories Of My Twelve Birthday. | Lisa’s Kansa Muse
  41. Daily Prompt: Being Twelve! | All Things Cute and Beautiful
  42. Happy Birthday Chump! | Views Splash!
  43. Daily Prompt: Shake it Up | Sued51’s Blog
  44. I’m a Dull Boring Person… on a Good Day. | My Author-itis
  45. In which I know nothing at all | Infinitefreetime
  46. At home | Life is great
  47. I’m not 12 and it’s not my birthday, but thanks anyway! | Celebrating Time
  48. Bare in the Woods | Broken Light: A Photography Collective
  49. Happiness: Then and Now | snapshotsofawanderingheart
  50. Shake Yo’ Booby! | Beez Giftz
  51. A system of Awesomeness | thejimmieG
  52. Reckless | The Silver Leaf Journal
  53. Reckless | The Land Slide Photography
  54. Shake it up: practice kindness | Emotional Fitness
  55. The Careless Whisper of a Good Friend… | Rose Red Stories
  56. My World: My Eyes – Earth’s Candle | Dibbler Dabbler
  57. I think i have to lie | The Bohemian Rock Star’s “Untitled Project”
  58. Twelve year old | Emovere
  59. Birthday magic | A picture is worth 1000 words
  60. Daily Prompt: Shake it Up | Basically Beyond Basic
  61. I turned 12 and then 13 and then 16 and now I’m 43
  62. wrecked more or less | peacefulblessedstar
  63. No Thanks, I Don’t Celebrate My Birthday | Schizo Incognito
  64. The Big 1-2 | Making Life an Art
  65. A smile for a present: Daily prompt. | one hundred thousand beats per day
  66. Twelfth Birthday (Daily Prompt) | Ana Linden
  67. DP: Shake it up | Random Fool in Thought
  68. Are You There, God? It’s Me… | Kosher Adobo
  69. a moment in time | In The Moment
  70. You’re 12 years old. It’s your birthday. Write for ten minutes on that memory. GO. | askgrampa
  71. Daily Prompt: Shake it Up | Occasional Stuff
  72. Reckless | La Gatita Oscura
  73. shake it up | yi-ching lin photography
  74. Do you want a memory or a present? | The Book of Shayne
  75. Daily Prompt: Reckless | That Montreal Girl
  76. Reckless: Shake It Up…NOT | Yowza, Here We Go!
  77. Daily Prompt: Shake it Up | The Wandering Poet
  78. From Now On | Wiley’s Wisdom
  79. Transistor | Overcoming Bloglessness
  80. Daily Prompt: Shake it Up | Nola Roots, Texas Heart

Smitten

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It was a really dull evening, another Sunday with nothing done. I wasn’t so zealous back then and had grown incredibly fond of my credit cards! It was just another walk to the temple back in the days when I worshipped. It was yet another stroll to “The Forum” mall in Bangalore, Karnataka. My best friends girlfriend joined me for he was then in Mississippi. We were getting bored even in mall after our dinner when an idea struck my head. I had always been curious about the BOSE shop on the second floor. What was it that interested those surely wealthy people? We dived in.

They made us sit in a rather small auditorium (it was just a room full of speakers and woofers). We sat at the center and the sales guy started directing us – “Sir, I’m going to let you watch clips from some movies. Please tell us about the sound that you hear”. I can’t recall all the movies but “The Incredibles” was one. It was scene where the smallest child is running through the jungle and trying to save his elder sister and incidentally meets his parents. It was the HD print of the movie, a rather rare commodity back then. We listened and the sound came from all around us. Now remember the movies in your theaters. In an average sized theater, you have at least 8 large JBL speakers right besides your ears from both the sides giving you all the effects and the slightest of sounds. That was the only scene I could remember back then.

I was thrilled to say the least. The best part was yet to come though – “How was the sound Sir?” He was taking particular interest in me for some reason.

“Amazing” – The smile just wouldn’t leave my face.

“Which side did you hear the sound from, the most?”

“All around but primarily from behind us”.

“Just guess how many speakers were turned on for your listening?”

I pointed at a few from the front and the back and smartly included a sub-woofer as well to cover the bass.

He smiled sheepishly and spoke softly – “Sir, only the 2 in the front along with the sub-woofer were turned on”.

How the hell could I be proved wrong?? I demanded to watch the trailers again. The result was the same.

I was shell-shocked! Conceding, I left the room and started browsing other smaller equipments that they had placed for trials. The sales guy came to me again. Why the hell doesn’t he leave me alone? How much mockery and embarrassment more?

He said – “Wouldn’t you like to hear these?” pointing at the a set with rather small set of speakers.

I acted smart again and said – “No show me those” pointing at the ones with larger speakers.

I wanted to listen to decent sound. He asked me to plug my phone in the socket of the remote and I played a song at medium volume testing it’s range. I started to slowly raise it’s volume getting really serious at seeing these speakers beside my laptop. They were really impressive, would be an understatement. They blew my mind out. I was smitten!!

I immediately went out and leaned against the railings of the balcony. I couldn’t make up my mind if it was wise to max out my credit card buying this set. It would cost me a fortune and I wasn’t sure if I was ready for such an expense. She came to me and said – “Just gift yourself on your birthday!”.

That was just the reason I was looking for. I went home, got my credit card, swiped it, got the set packed and there it was – right beside my laptop!

I’ve never since rued my decision.

Happy Birthday Shrek – Love You!!!

My wife loves pets!

If I allow her, she may even turn our home into a zoo, quite literally! From birds to mice to cats to dogs to anything even remotely tamable, she would own each one of them if my salary ever permitted. Thank God, it doesn’t! As I just don’t quite share the same penchant for pets as she does.

But I love her and so a gift on her first birthday after our marriage was always on and to celebrate it, I decided to gift her a new pet. Now what would it be? A dog, a cat and a lot other species came to my mind but I stuck to dogs. Reason – they are easily controllable. I’d rather not have an animal around me that doesn’t listen to me if I call out its name and dogs were the best bet against them. Once tamed, they won’t bite or so I was told. Also, my wife hates the attitude thrown by some cats which I quickly learned when one of our friends got himself 2 cats. I also had to take care of the fact that life as a software engineer can be very busy and hence, not every pet will be able to survive with us.

I just casually asked her once, which dog would she like to own and she quietly replied – a Labrador. I thought – a good choice. They are the friendliest creatures on this planet and understand humans way better than most other species. They are good to kids, elders, are very playful and don’t bark much. I loved all these qualities and hence a Labrador, it would be. The color thankfully was up to me to decide and hence, I went for a peaceful faun. One rainy day I took a day off from my work (lied to my boss) and took my wife for a ride on my bike. Reached a market that I had found after a thorough research and got to the sought pet-shop. Sent my wife in who saw two ultra cute labrador brothers in a basket. Sleeping – one on top of another. Took both of them in our hands and looked at them and we got ourselves one that had the kindest face. I still say that he has the kindest face ever among all living beings but that’s just my view. We were on our way back with him in her hands, when she casually asked,”What should we name him?”. We discussed for about a kilometer or so when we came upon “Shrek” and there it was decided, for his ears were packed filled with dirt.

Being untrained and only 30 days old, he had to learn a lot about living with humans. So dirty he was, that we had to take him for bath to a close but very homely dog parlour. They had their own 2 dogs that they took care of and Shrek even though, was very scared to interact with both of them, would come to love them both after 3 visits. And he was so tired and sleepy after that hefty bath that he couldn’t even open his eyes with all his effort. Here are some pics from that day after his bath –

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Thankfully my wife those days wasn’t working and hence it proved easy for us to teach the little guy. No wonder, he was getting all the colors of my wife as he spent all of his days with her. There were also some dark times in the fellows starting days with us. Even though I loved him in my home, I hated him for shitting anywhere in the house as he took some time to get potty trained, eating anything, from anyone’s hands and tearing things apart – he even ate my laptop’s charger once while it was plugged in. And I will never forget the first time I hit him. The bugger just won’t stop crying. One right hand right below his neck and he slammed into the cupboard. That was the first time I cried for him too for I will never forgive myself for that dastardly act.

The only problem we have never faced from him was barking or howling unnecessarily. He is as quite as a whisper and sometimes it’s easy to lose him in the silence. He never barked. He played like hell but never barked. There was one time, which my wife would forever be jealous about – he was very small and was watching other kids play outside of our home all the while peeking from below our main iron gate and a football came flying towards him and hit the gate right above his head, we heard the loud thud – he was so scared, he ran and ran so fast and although he was forbidden to jump up onto our bed, he jumped and came and sat on my lap all the while looking back as if the ball would still be chasing him. I saw fear in his eyes and I then knew, how dependent he really was upon us and why he shall forever seek our shelter.

He is resilient but not brave like other dogs who can fight with other dogs. He is brave as in he can really sustain himself for a long time in adverse conditions and hence, he has survived our bitter times with us. There were days when he was a sole light in our dark days, always happy running around the house like not a thing in the world could bother him. And then there were bad days. There was one such instance of his bravery that highlights what I’m talking about. If anyone has ever owned a dog, they would know how difficult it is for dogs to control their potty behaviour. They have to take a shit if they feel the urge or they will do it anywhere. We had to travel from Bangalore to Delhi as we were relocating after some hard times. This guy had turned around six months old by then and had gotten big. Thankfully, it was only his size that had grown and not the weight else we would have had to go well beyond our budget and make him travel by air than by a train. Now to tell you guys the truth, Indian railways sucks with facilities for humans so we can totally understand how good it would be for pets. For pets these guys have a 2×4 cage, a dark one where the animal is supposed to be tied by a chain with his food, in the ticket inspectors room. The cage is never cleaned and while I was tying him in it, I felt a sudden urge to abandon all plans of travel itself as I couldn’t myself bear the smell emanating from it. He went in, stood there and barked. I think he knew whatever was going on wasn’t good. Now before going into the details of the travel, let me tell you he had been at the receiving end of an absolute horror of a day which was unbearably hot and he had been tied to a tree for around 3 hours with no food and no shit or piss as we were moving out of our house. We straight up carried him in our AC taxi where for the first time during his day, he slept. Coming back to the journey, the journey was supposed to take 27 hours to our home town Bhopal from where we would carry on to Delhi while Shrek would stay with mom and dad. The journey only had 6 stops on the way where at each stop I was supposed to feed him, each stop being 2-3 minutes each. That meant that he would be fed alright but won’t get to shit as he was taught very early not to shit where he sat. And he didn’t. He ate but didn’t poop. At Bhopal when his turn came to come out of the cage, the guy was sitting all frightened in the cage but jumped on me with so much love as soon as his chains came off. He was dirty but it didn’t matter to us then. I took him and he couldn’t have been any happier. We never anticipated such behaviour from him but learnt soon enough that he wouldn’t leave me. Thankfully, he was to be taken home then and given a bath and relieve himself to all ends. Mom and dad were so happy with the love they received from him, it didn’t take him any time to mingle with them. We were proud of him.

The same thing repeated again when we brought him to Delhi with us. The same train journey although very short 10 hour one and he was welcomed by a brand new home that was burning our human feet as if an oven in the Delhi summer. We were proud of him again when he learnt the very first day that he was not to spread dirt anywhere other than the roof. This was an untrained dog but he could converse with us almost akin to humans. This is our buddy when he was 6 months old –

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Another one of his most brilliant qualities is he loves water. He can bathe for several hours together and swim for another countless ones right after that. He swam the very first day he caught the sight of a pool. Thankfully the pool was made for pets and he showed us all his panache while pumping himself forward, rolling in the water. While all his friends only roamed around the pool looking at him, we could sense the jealousy in them. We were made proud again. Not something that happens to us very often.

We lovingly call him “Shreka” and he has so many other names and he somehow responds to all of them, something rather rare as I have heard most dogs only respond to names that either make a sound like their own or by their own name itself. But he can respond to us anytime.

He is happy with us. I can tell. My wife – she can tell. The way he jumps on our chests when we return home after our day of work is such a lovely adorable welcome, the tail wagging, a happy face, asking us to feed him so he can gain energy again to run up and down the house. He is amazingly fast for a labrador and loves skidding on our marble floor. Loves jumping and as soon as you touch the top of his head, he is bound to leap up to your chest to get a hug. The way he always peeks from the side of the stairs when we call him from the roof right at the start of his descent, all of it makes him so lovingly cute and we can never ever get tired of him. He does get me angry sometimes but that’s ok. As long as he is fine with me being angry at him, I can make do with the status of his master.

You are such a sweetheart Shrek. May you live with us for at least 20 years more!!!

Happy Birthday to you!

Here are his latest pictures – He is all grown up now to be 3 years old. And weighs a nice 36 kgs.

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