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It was a typical Monday morning at the office and I was trying my best to keep cool when the Secretary informed me I had a call from India.
‘Head office’ I thought and gingerly said “Hello”
“Hi dad;” it was my daughter Arti.
There was a pause after which she continued, “Dad I am adding a new member to our family”
My heart literally jumped out of my chest. There was a deafening silence for something like ages and my mind was whirling. Strangely a dialogue from a parody of Hindi movies that I had written in my college days rang through my ears, ‘Beti ye tumne kya kiya …apni khandaan ki izzat mitti mein mila diya.’ (Daughter, what have you done… you have disgraced the family name)
Imagine a twenty year old, fiercely independent girl living alone just because she does not want parental interference and you can understand my thought process. Not that I am a distrustful father, but I am no fool either and my advice to my kids has always been ‘Lead your own life but do it safely.’
I was trying to find all sorts of options to what she meant and finally asked her in as calm a voice as I could muster, “And what does that mean?”
There was an explosion of laughter at the other end.
“Dad, Come on! I am adopting a puppy” More laughter.
My God! What a weird sense of humor. But then some of you who know me will understand where that comes from. I must say I was the most relieved person at that moment. I mean, I don’t mind being a grandfather, but I would like the baby to have a set of regular parents first.
“Wow, Puppy!” I cried delightedly.
“So, you don’t mind Dad?”
“Of course I don’t. What breed are you adopting?”
“Hmm, that is a costly breed”
“That’s why I am calling you Dad”
“Well Dad, you will have to find a good name for my puppy”
“How about naming it after your ex boy friend?” I interjected, but she had signed off by then.
When I was a kid it was easy to name a dog. If male we called him “Tommy” and if female it was either ‘Daisy’ or ‘Lucy’. But times have changed and children want better and more imaginative names. So, I went online and looked for a link given by a friend. I learnt there that Sammy is the most common name for dogs, followed by Max. Next day I got a call telling me that the puppy was home. I even got to hear him yelping on the phone. Our whole family which consists of four people living in four different places had come together online for an exciting one hour and discussed all about dog names, dog food…habits. Finally Arti’s friend suggested a name she liked, ‘Coco.’ So now Coco is the latest and cutest member of our crazy family. Here is a picture of him. Don’t they look cute together?