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The bitter sweet journey of how I, an introvert forged bonds in unfamiliar times, with unlikely people.
When we think of connections, many things come to mind. Connection with people, connections with things, connection to a place, connection to a thought, a movie, anything at all. We connect to things we like or that has some basic quality that we find pleasing. The thing is these connections are what keep us moving. The most important connection that we quite often overlook is connection to oneself.
Yes, as far as I have experienced, connection to oneself is most important. To be connected to one’s inner being, one’s own thoughts, one’s own feeling is as important. Because when we are not connected to our own self it becomes difficult to connect to other things as well, as we are unsure that do we really like the other thing or its just a momentarily liking.
But then again being connected to the outer world gives a base, a ground, a gravity to hold us. We all require people in our life to love us, be with us and to build a life. Our first connection becomes our family who are always with us in whatever situation and who love us unconditionally. But when we move out of the comfort of our homes we leave our connections behind and need to build new connections to survive in a new place or even in a new situation. So, I am about to write about two such connections that I never thought were possible for a person like me who is always inward and least concerned about the outer world.
It was in 2017 that I moved to a new city in search of new and better opportunities and for a better life. The city that’s said to ‘never sleep’. At first I was startled, excited, surprised because the city takes you in as if you belonged there all the time. Everything seems easy and yes it is a good place to be and I was more than happy to be there. I rented a place and started searching for opportunities that would help me grow professionally. Everywhere I went there was an issue of not being used to the local language and also I didn’t have many contacts so it seemed to land a job that would be of my liking.
During these hard times I used to miss my parents so much as if they would’ve been there, they would have consoled me. It was one of those days and my morale was getting lower and lower. ‘Knock, Knock’, I heard the door knock. I opened it and there was this lady with a smiling face looking at me. I asked her to come in and she introduced herself and I got to know that she lives next door to my neighbor. She was a very pleasant lady, with a warmth and pleasantly smiling all the time. She had this beautiful love story.
Turns out she and uncle got married 3-4 years ago only, although they were in their fifties from the look of it. She told me her parents were not ready to marry her to uncle, so after her parents were gone she married uncle. Uncle and aunty started caring for me like my own parents would. Always looking out for me. We used to have chai together most evenings and their stories were so funny. She fed me so much sea food that I had never tasted in my life.
It was all going very pleasant and then my parents came to visit me. I was so excited to introduce my parents to uncle and aunty but to my surprise, when my parents visited she was very hostile towards them. She was pleasant with me as usual but something turned her off towards my parents. I thought maybe she didn’t want to be friends anymore so I also limited my interactions to courteous ‘hi-hello.’
Days passed and our interaction minimized. After months of being there I still wasn’t able to find a suitable work opportunity for me. Some opportunities that came paid so less that I couldn’t even pay my rent and had to be dependent on my parents for my survival. I was getting sadder by the day, so I decided it was better to move back as being alone in a big place was getting on my nerves. My parents also agreed to it and I got a plane ticket and packed.
Then the day arrived when I had to leave for good. I was a bit sad as I liked the place so much, but you need money to survive there. So I consoled myself and called a cab. As I was walking down the stairs I felt a little heartache and when I reached my cab I looked up once again and I saw aunty smiling at me from the balcony. I couldn’t do anything but smile back at her and we waved goodbye and onward I went. A tear ran to my cheek but the decision was made. That was it and I thought to myself maybe I should have cleared my differences with aunty but then I lost her number. I always used to think, if I ever went back to the city , I would definitely meet her.
Coming to the present, its the lock-down time, corona virus has spread its terror all over. Its useless to go anywhere,so we all came to our hometown for this lock-down period. It’s mundane and kind of boring as there’s nowhere to go and little to do. It’s after a long-time that I am spending so much time at my hometown. One day I was standing outside my gate and there appeared six little puppies and my heart brightened in that moment. Their cuteness, their little paws, their innocent faces, Oh my God, they stole my heart. They were pups of a stray and I fed them when I saw them and since then a bond was made between them and me.
The thing is due to my allergies and fear of dogs I was never very fond of them but these little babies just made me theirs in a single look. From then a friendship grew. They would sleep by my gate, I would feed them and they would play with me, to our owners discontent. Many times they tried to shoo the pups away but they wouldn’t leave and from under the gate they would sneak inside, sleep and stay in the porch. It all was going blissfully until one day the only female pup was killed by our owner’s SUV.
It was sad and I never thought I could cry for them but I did. It was painful but I thought at least other pups were OK. After that whenever they saw my owner they would bark and he would get scared of little puppies so much that he wouldn’t even get to the car until they were shoo-ed away.
In this lock-down they were my guardian angels and every morning after I woke up, I would come to my front door and just looking at them being there made my day. I never knew I was a dog-person. I decided that whenever lock-down opens I would adopt them and get them vaccinated. This being my first interaction with puppies, I was unaware to most of their ailments. So when they started falling sick one by one, I didn’t know what to do. I thought it because of the summer heat. But then they started dying one by one and it came to the situation where only one puppy was left alive.
I felt sad and felt like being a human I should help him. It was not easy as its lock-down time and corona is not to be taken lightly but I finally got to take him to vet. Turns out there is a virus as deadly and fatal as corona virus is for human in puppies. Parvovirus – turns out if a puppy is not vaccinated chances are pretty low for them to survive. It became my daily routine to take him to the vet and vet was so co-operative and he did all the treatment for free.
After eleven days the virus was out of him but he wouldn’t move, wouldn’t eat or react and people suggested that I should leave him with his mother. I thought maybe he will recover so I left him for a night with his mother. Next day I went to see where he is and thought to bring him back but I found out he was no more. He died in the night. It was so hard to accept it and cried so much. I blamed myself for leaving him but then even doctor has said there was no hope of his survival. It was really hard on me.
The connection I shared with the puppies is so important for me as for the first time someone loved me so unconditionally and I loved them the same. I wish I knew better to get them vaccinated but I take relief in thinking they are in a better place now and are together. They taught me so much about loving, caring. Their mother still lives at our gate and I feed her the same. This connection I will always keep close to my heart. I will always remember them.
After few weeks pass, I receive a call on my phone but didn’t attend it as no one calls these days or thinking it might be spam. After sometime when I looked into my phone there were three missed calls from the same number and it didn’t seem like spam so I called back. I heard this familiar voice from the other end and recognized it. It was aunty. She saved my numbers after all these years and she told me , she thought if she called me , I wouldn’t receive it. Turns out she thought I was angry with her and I kept thinking she doesn’t want to talk to me. We cleared our differences and it was so nice talking to her, knowing that she loves me still. She talked to mummy too and they became friendly.
Just when I was losing myself and thinking there are no substantial connections that I have with someone she called me out of the blue. My faith was restored in humans.
Seems as much as we distant ourselves from others or make ourselves loners, there comes a time when we need to know we got people to whom we can look up to for comfort, love and maybe just to talk to. These connections even with a pet or in my case stray puppies, could make you sail through the hardest times. And yes, its always good to know you have got friends who really care and love you.
Have you got such connections in your life? Call them, tell them you love them and may your connections stay strong throughout life.
Image source: Unsplash
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