From my kitchen to yours

From my kitchen to yours

Thursday, January 28, 2016


It feels good when your heart is smiling from shore to shore ..
Wondering how deep it dived to connect with your soul..
That was hiding in the depths, of an inviting deep and neon blue,
A blue so sure, and yet not so worldly wise..

Filled with life...
Pretty, small , big and some, supposedly dangerous with all its might..
And in that depth , nervous as hell..
I found my calm..
Sitting in a little shell, all curled up and pretty as plankton, lost but happy, roaming free, in a beautiful blue..
Saying to me, I'm here, dont worry, I will stay with you..

My heart stopped all the talk it does..
It stopped wondering why and how..
And just flowed with the now..

It said to me..
This is the love ..
You have been searching for..
It's silent , it's deep, it has strong currents and filled with beautiful life..
It's filled with peace ..
Is that not how love should feel ..

And so I calmed down a bit and finned my way through the blue...
This was my me time, my perfect muse..
Filled with starfish, clown fish , sea anemones , eagle ray's and sharks too..
And every time I surfaced I knew..
This surface turbulence is just to be ..
To keep people from finding the true me ..
Those who want to , will dive through..

If you want to reach deep, into anyone's soul..
You have to be able to go past, the surface you behold ..
You need to be able to take that risk..
You need to trust..
What may exist..
You need to respect..
What's on the other side ..
Because that's where, true love lies..

And I met him under the roaring waves..
Under that feeling , that makes you sick to the deepest of your insides...
Under all the laughter..
And the madness..
I found that calm..
And I knew, this could do no harm..
It was gentle and kind and lovingly warm..
Yet filled with a madness, that moved so strong..

Love is funny..
Because it never announces its arrival ..
It's surprises you, like a jack in the box ..
That pounces on you when you least expect it too..
And really frightens your insides out ..
But then, isn't that what love is all about ..

So I looked him this time,very calmly, into his naughty eyes..
And said nothing, but smiled..
And let him do what he does best ..
Make a complete clown of himself ...
He presented me with beautiful coral of the daintiest kind, and fish so quaint, it would blow my mind.
Some that were not too pretty to look at , and some dangerous to touch...
I listened to him and followed him around , pretty damn much....
But if he wants me , then it has to be an equal kinda flow..
Where we dont have to hold each other too tight and yet we dont ever let go ..

Thats why I like his kingdom..
The seas..
It plays no games, roars what it feels, or can lull you with its calmness to sleep..

I'm not interested in games anymore ..
I'm here ..
I'm flesh ..
If you can't handle real ..
Don't come near ..

I feel like a mermaid ..
But not half complete ..
I can swim like a fish and can love like a tigress, in the jungle deep...
I can stay calm and laugh when waves hurl me up high ..
And I can walk on land , and know I have given my all and never wonder why ..

I feel that this....
What I feel ..
Is the beginning of a new me ..
And I'm happy that I'm able to feel so deeply ..
The scars of life have been washed away by the tide..
And I'm ok to not be , wanting to take sides..

I'm ok with all that I say and do ..
And I'm fine , if you just want to be you ..

Love I know is a feeling ..
Never a decision someone has to make ..

And yet I have decided to walk with love ..
No matter where he decides to trek ..

So I'm gonna leave you ..
With everything , I have not said ..
And hope you can fill in the gaps ..
And meet me on that mountain , up ahead ..
Where we can sit under the stars , in the arms of my favourite tree, and look at the moon, in the many phases it may be ..
Because its beautiful , even with its circle is incomplete..

And if truth be told..
No matter how much , I love you ..
I want you, to be you ..
And me..
Just be me ..

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


So let me tell you that I don't really have a bucket list, but as I live life, and do the things I do, I have begun to realise , that yes, this is part of the bucket list, that I don't yet have ha ha ha .
And its fun to live life like that, in the moment..

I have realised that some plans do not work out, and the life you live on the side , while making these grand plans, is what makes life absolutely interesting.
So I have never really been an athlete but , I fell in love with running when I was in the 6th standard..
I have been running ever since, mostly off than on, but run I do..
My mom always insisted that I have a glass of Bournvita before a ran, but I abhorred milk, so I used to have two tablespoons of yummy Bournvita and leave ha ha ha
Carter road was my space ..
And I ran ,  every morning during my summer holidays brown school tennis shoes..
Despite the fact that they were not the best running shoes,But I still did not know that ha ha ha ..

Every sports day , I used to really look forward  to standing on that podium to receive a medal ..
But I have never ever won a running race in school ever..
I was not the one who the house looked up to for points, when it came to sports day
I was more Hermione of Hogwarts..  and quizzes, elocution, dramatics, debates,singing..
That was my thing ..
So school and college passed and I forgot about sports medals.

Till I found myself standing at a starting line for my kids sports day..
And my school memories just came tumbling back ..
I used to mostly at least fall once .and I remember once , my teachers actually put up the red finish line again and were cheering "run Maria Run" I was last ..

So standing there in line in my kids school..
Something inside me was excited and the other half was really frightened..
Zeke and Zene were screaming , exactly what I say to them , "run like a cheetah is chasing you Mama"
At what point I realised, anything you tell your kids, will at one point of time, be used "for or against" you..
I wanted to do this well and show them that , when you do something you do sometjing with your whole heart and soul and put all your energy into it , it works..
I ran that day like I have never run before..

Ran like the whole forest was chasing me..

Like the whole forest was chasing me ..
All I could see was that finish line ..
It was a 400 meter race and I finished with a huge lead..

I hate competition if you ask me ..
But this was one race, I really wanted to win..
This run was for my kids and me ,for all the times I fell and all the times I never won..
But this was just the start of many things that I now do ..
To inspire my kids..
No I don't like waking up in the morning at 4.45am ..
But I do it, because, Zeke wants to go running with his Coach Firoze, and I want my kids to get hooked to running..

It is my life saver..
It's cheaper than therapy ..
And it's the best thing you can do for yourself ..
It's your me time..

I had never run a marathon..
Though it is something I always wanted to do , with my friend Shayamal..
He is an inspiration to me..

So last year, after I finished my book and the rains eased up, I started running again, and while I was running, I really thought that maybe this year, I should try and run, the Marathon, and not the dream run, but the Half Marathon, the 21k..
Ha ha ha ha , frankly at that point of time, even the thought of the sound of 21k was a joke in my head, but you never know if you can or cannot do something, unless you actually actively are a part of it.
And I really really wanted to run a marathon...
So I called my marathon man Shayamal and I signed up through Salaam Bombay a charity , and that was that.
So then in October , I just started running on the beach like I do , in between the time that Zeke was training
Till Shayamal one day , called and gave me the number of Brinsten (9869394969) and asked me to call him , he is the man I should be working with for the Marathon.
So I did, and I was to meet Brinsten on the beach.
And so as usual I took Zeke for his run and then ran to the spot to meet Brinsten.
He is a tall man , absolutely fit and has the kindest voice.
So we talked for a bit, and he asked me about my training, and I told him , that I just run, that's about it.
And we realised I could not quite train with him all through the week, except on Saturday and Sundays .
And so that's what we did.
We started with some long runs on the beach, interval running and rest , and then, runs I enjoyed the most, long runs in Bandra, from Bandstand to Carter road and back to those who are familiar with Bandra.
Then he made us do , what I mentally termed, {"What the $&(&*%#@!! am I doing ?} run, because it was just 45 minutes of us running up and down , Kane road, which is bloody vertical...
It was horrible , but what can I say , we all enjoyed the torture.
Then he would make us run, from Bandstand right to St Andrews Church, or then Salman Khan's house for all you Filmy's out there ha ha ha ..and from there to Mehboob Studio, then up to Mt.Mary's church , then down the slope, up the next slope that was vertical, then to the Bandra fort and continue from Bandstand again, this was one loop.
As we all ran, or huffed and puffed away,we would meet one another, in various stages of happiness, distress and undress ha ha ha ..
Now when I think of it, I find it all very funny, but practice was not a joke, it was tough, and because Brinsten and his coaches were so awesome, we were all able to run, as well as our bodies allowed us to.

We then started doing long runs, I had to do my 14k alone , as I missed that run, and I just wanted to not be lagging behind, so I did it, on the beach, and every time I ran, I would keep sending Brinsten , photos of all the runs I did and the speed I did it at.
We then did our final 17K on the 3rd of Jan, I had just come back from doing my PADI Certificate and was pretty up and about.
That was a great run, because we did part of the route.
This was not easy at all, and a precursor , to what we were all to be part of in the next two weeks.

But what I realised is that Brinsten from November onwards, very slowly, started changing our mindset to running a long distance.
And by the time we got closer to the Marathon, if he said , so we are going to do a 17 this Sunday, it just felt like normal conversation.
So much so , that when we went to pick up our bibs a week before the Marathon, Shaheen and me were picking of pamphlets from all the cities that are doing various Marathons, around India, from the mountains to sandy beaches ha ha ha
We have calmed down a bit now, and will take an informed call about where we really want to run.

I fell sick a week before the Marathon, Flu like symptoms, I think it was just nerves.
But I did not want to take a risk, so I willingly went and took an injection , so that my immunity gets a boost and I DONT FALL ILL.
What I loved the most was the carb loading, I have a really healthy appetite, and so Jaya took me out for Thali one day, when we were to actually supposed to go buy cool clothes to run in.

My uncool running gear..

Because everyone concerned said that my running gear sucks and I was not smartly dressed to run.
Well, so I did go shopping with Jaya, and came back with a tennis skirt ha ha ha and a stomach full of yummy vegetarian Thaali..

My carb loading week was fun..

Well since the skirt was bought, it had to be worn, and since as a rule, you don't wear new clothes to run in,and neither do you wear a tennis skirt,  the skirt went over my old and very often worn cycling shorts, I could not do any more, I could not be bothered.

So we continued with our carb loading, Shaheen sent me lip-smacking yummy  biryani one day , and I sent her vegetable pasta and baked chicken , on saturday, and we were really happy with all the food that we were eating.
Saturday morning, Zeke wanted to go for a run, and I decided to go for a long walk, on the beach barefoot, which now in hindsight , I feel was really foolish, because our beaches are not really devoid of glass sometimes.

Barefoot and calm..

Anyway, my feet were fine, but I lost my Glasses, and did not know, till I reached home and needed them for some work.
Then the whole drama, of going to the beach, searching, speaking to the police if you please ha ha ha ha , you should have seen their faces, they looked at me , like I was cuckoo..
But I needed my glasses, I had to run the next day, and so I prayed to the Saint of Lost things, St.Anthony and begged of him for a miracle, and I found them , with Zeke's, Running Coach if you please.
All's well that ends well.

Zeke . Zene and me, made a nice big pasta lunch and all was good.

Zeke and Zene helped cook lunch before the BIG day..

I really wanted to sleep early, and so by 8.30, after putting my clothes together, and keeping all the food I had to eat in the morning nicely arranged in the kitchen, I was getting ready to go to sleep, when I realised that Shaheen's kids were coming to watch her run.
Well I made the biggest mistake of mentioning this, and all hell broke loose, Zene sobbed like I was leaving the country for ever, and just wanted to be part of the Marathon.
After trying to figure how to take the kids there for quite some time, by 11 pm, my driver, thankfully agreed to come early morning home, to pick them up.
So my boy Vijay, the nanny Vinita , my driver and kids, would all be meeting Brinsten sir at Churni Road, and would wait there till I passed them and then go home.
I finally went to sleep.

3.05AM my alarm rang, I woke up dressed and then went down to eat, like Brinsten Sir had told us.
So there was raagi roti with Peanut butter, boiled sweet potato , bananas and dates.
I just could not eat a thing.
I packed it all, ate two dates, and drank some water, and carried my coffee with me.
Shaheen picked me up and the first thing we realised, is that we have dabbas of food with us like a picnic, we picked up Sheeba, and proceeded to the Worli, amidst lots of hilarious laughter.

All roads lead to the Marathon 2016

The energy there at Worli at 5 am in the morning, was simply electrical.
Everyone was all geared to run, and so excited
It took us sometime to navigate to where we had to start the Marathon..
But we were soon in line..
Brinsten came to meet us and stretched with us..
I was a bundle of nerves..

And as I had never done this before, I was waiting for a gun to go off, or someone to say ..
On your marks, Get set ....GOOOO..
But nothing like that happened, everyone started setting their watches, and I heard a roar of 5...4...3...2...1...
And everyone just started running..
Exactly at 5-40 am...
So so did I tell you, that my Radio tunes did not start , because network near the Sea link is not the greatest, I just about managed to put my Puma trac on..and I just began to run..
Of course I felt like a tortoise in the middle of a track of galloping horses, who were all whizzing past me.
The deep desire to just try and run fast with them for a bit, was soon slapped into place by, the sensible part of me, where the voice of Brinsten, was giving us instructions on how , we should run at our own pace.
A day before that I spoke to David who is involved in the Marathon, and he said, just listen to your heart, don't stress it, let it feel comfortable..
Well, I really want to apply this theory to my life..(but that is a whole new story)

And so I started running, it was simply bloody alive, that whole strip, with athletes, people who just love to run and first timers..
And as we got onto the bridge..
I realised that I needed music no more..
Everyone's feet running became a beat, and as everyone was running at their own pace, it felt like a Percussion concert
It was fantastic..
So many thousands of feet running together, some in unison, some off-beat but in a beat of their own, and some in harmony..
I had finally found my beat, while I ran on the beautiful Sea link..
My feet , my heart-beat and my breath..
They had started to finally sync..
Though I have run before, this kind of synergy had never happened before, it was dark..
And yet it was the most alive I have felt in a long time...

That Sea Link took forever, I'm so used to drive over it , and so when you get onto it, you just know that this is going to be quick..
But it just took forever, and as we turned on the bridge,there was a full on bhangra dhol playing, that really does lift your spirit..
I just kept on running, I was no longer bothered about the music, I had my beat going on in my  heart and my breath..
By the time, we did the whole sea link and turned back to Worli sea face, there were already people on the streets cheering all the runners on, there were so many stations on the bridge and all over the route, for water and Enerzal, and people clapping ..

This was a party , but only if you could run through it, At the 10 KM marker, my RadioTunes kicked in and I heard my tracker saying you have just finished 10 k in..
And before I heard the timing, I just pulled my ear phones off..
I did not want to know in how much time and at what pace..
I was going to enjoy my run, run according to my heart , not over do anything and finish my 21k without stopping, giving up or collapsing, because David had told me, to be careful of pushing yourself as a first timer, because you get caught up in the whole energy around you, I had that in my head.
Running on the road to HajiAli , someone called out my name and pushed me on, thank you , whoever that was.
Thank you Mumbai for cheering us all on..

Then was that slope to Jaslok Hospital and then the Kemp's corner bridge was coming up next..
I just kept myself hydrated, That's all I did, I had dates in my pouch and sugar, and from time to time, I popped that into my mouth at pre-decided location markers in my head..
I don't know whether this helped me go on, or the energy of everyone running helped me..
But I just went on..
I was like Dory in "Finding Nemo" ..'keep on swimmimg, keep on swimming" ..
But in my case it was 'Keep on running, keeep on running'..
I just did not want to stop, because I was too scared that I would not be able to start again if I did..
And so everytime I came across someone, walking with their head down, I would call out and say , 'c'mon don't stop run, c'mon run"..
It felt good, because it was also like ,I telling myself that..
I did not stop , on the slope to Jaslok , neither on the Kemps corner bridge..
I just remembered what Brinsten Sir had told me, just look to the highest point and keep on running, that's where you need to be..
I finished the slope, and on my way down called Vijay , who was standing on Churni road, with my kid's Zeke and Zene..
I just wanted to know if they had reached, because I really wanted to meet them , if they woke up so early to come cheer their Mama, if they had not yet reached, I would have slowed down, (its not that I was running like a cheetah, I was ok) I was really happy, though I was tired, I still had enough energy to go on, approaching Churni rd station and seeing them there, was just so so awesome,
Vinita didi, Zene, Vijay Bhaiya , Zeke and Ashok Uncle.. all came to cheer me..
 I hugged them tight, took photos of them, Brinsten Sir took a photo of us together, I showed Zene, that I had worn the socks, she gifted me for Christmas, 

The Lucky socks...

they were the lucky socks with lots of love from her for the Marathon, Zeke had given me tips about how I should run on curves and posture, so I told him I followed all his instructions, and in true Mama style, told them to now go home , eat their Breakfast and go on with whatever they had to do for the day,

I had my fill of good energy and continued, this stretch was a bit tough for me, since I took a small break, but I was happy, I did not have much more, I continued running , there were people lining the streets, offering you water, peeled oranges , dates , biscuits and just cheering you on, there was music in some places, and it was just such an energy filled place, as I turned left from Jazz by the Bay, I saw the sun shining up in the sky, not fully out and yet threatening to go ablaze really soon, I knew I needed to finish soon, because I did not want to run with the sun blazing, when my body was anyway heated up, But I also remembered that I should not push it at the end, like Brinsten Sir said, because the Finish line is still a distance off.

I continued at the same pace, listening to my breathing and the beat of all the marathoners feet, When I turned left at Flora fountain..
I could hear the festivity and the cheering of people, I knew I had now come to the end, when I saw the ' 500 meters more to finish" marker, I then started running a wee bit faster ,like Zeke had told me, "Just charge' , he had said, well I could not charge ahead in full steam, but I was really ecstatic and quickened my pace a bit,


Crossing the finishing line , felt like I had just won an all expenses paid trip around the world.

Its the most exhilarating feeling in the world, I met some of the runners I trained with and everyone was asking everyone about their timing, I finished my marathon in 02-12-56...

I was ecstatic...

Ha ha ha ha I was bloody happy, I finished it, without , stopping , or falling or giving up.
But I'm not the giving up kind..
I don't do that easily..
And when I started the marathon at 5.40 am , I knew in my head, that I was finishing this without stopping..

The best ting about it, is .it really tests you, makes you do your best, your body and your heart tell you what you can or cannot do, while you are running, and all you have to do is listen.
And that's why I love running, it gets your head, heart, pulse and body in sync..
It felt like a meditation and a party simultaneously.

Yes it was tough, but because I knew I'm not giving in to anything , I just went on..
From the finish line, everyone walks to Azad Maidaan, to get their medals, there are recovery centers there, music and just marathoners of all ages, size and gender sitting, stretching, talking and laughing.
This is my first ever official hard earned medal..
And I went to collect it, as there were still few women as compared to men, the helpers clapped as I went to pick up my medal..

So tickled pink..

I bloody felt on top of the world..
I walked around like that for some time, in a tired daze , with a big smile on my face, then went and had a huge breakfast.
Medu Vadas, Masala dosa, eggs, and slices of cake.
And then went in search of Shaheen who had also finished.

The sparkly one..Shaheeniiiiiiieeeeee.....

We screamed hugged each others sweaty bodies and sat on the floor and shared excited notes on how we did it..
And then waited for Sheeba, we then went picked up Sheba's medal, put it around her and were just happy.

Sheeba the rock-star..

I now know why people run Marathons..
Its a personal thing, more than running for a charity or an organisation.
its just you and yourself all the way.
Much respect to everyone that runs, and the ones that do the 42..
I just bowed to all of you ..

Its also a great equaliser, it does not matter who you are or what you do, whether you reached the venue in a train, bus , walking or a chauffer driven limosine, once your time starts, its just what you put in , that you get back..
That's as simple as it is...
And the only reason I could run is because you feed off the energy of the runners, its so inspiring.
I ran with thousands technically, but I still ran completely alone.
And I loved each and every moment.

I must say the next day, My thigh muscles were killing me, and sending secret messages to my brain saying, "You have done enough, rest now for the next 6 months, and eat more carbs , you need it " ha ha ha ..
But my heart knows, it needs to run, and so run I will.

The whole "BE FIT" Group, after our last 17k..Thank you Brinsten Sir

Thank you Brinsten Sir, for being such an amazing coach, for so positively reinforcing our insides to believe that we could go this, for building our stamina from strength to strength, for pushing us to do better with each run .

Brinsten sir and moi...

And helping us to find "our happy" as we ran.

Sheeba, Shaheen and me..

Thank you my Shaheenieeeee for all the early morning laughs and banter, and Sheeba for your smiling face and happy positive disposition..

Thaaaaaank Yooooou.....
To all the marathoners on the road, who called out to everyone, and kept the energy high..
To all the volunteers, who stood on the streets giving us water and Enerzal,
To all the people and kids who came out and cheered us, and offered us food and pushed us to go on..
Thank you David and Umang, from the bottom of my heart .
Nikhil Chinnappa ..You are a doll, that's all I want to say , yup a very macho muscular guy, but a doll.

Thank you my Zeke and Zene, thank you for coming to cheer me , so early in the morning, for my lucky socks  and for all the running tips.
And Arshad...For being you ..

At the moment I'm on a high, inspite of all the soreness, and yes I don't want to stop running..
Its the one thing that actually realigns all my chakras and calms my insides ha ha ha ha , makes music and feeds my soul.
I'm just so happy That I was able to start my 2016 with this truly amazing, exhilarating, humbling experience.

Happy New Year 2016 to all .

Thursday, January 7, 2016


Ninja and Betty-Boo..

And so on the 27th of November 2000, he came bounding into our lives.
A little black shiny pup ,born in my bathroom , to my beautiful golden Retriever Betty Boo and my boxer Ninja who was actually a poet .


Betty-Boo. Bing.Warsi
We were out having dinner,when Betty Boo began giving birth and as soon as my help called and said, "Shhhhabji Beeeti ki Bacha hua, kala hain"
We quickly wrapped up my friend Chopie's birthday dinner and drove home like Schumi..
By the time we did reach , the third pup was on its way.
Meanwhile Betty Boo, sat in my bathroom , and wagged her tail as she saw me, and I sat with her as she gave birth to 7 beautiful pups. They were in my palms as soon as she ate up the birth sack.
She was absolutely comfortable with me holding her new born pups.
And looking at all seven of them , sleeping in a little basket eyes closed and cuddled , 4 black and 3 fawn coloured was my greatest joy.
7   Sagittarius puppies, you can just imagine the mayhem..

The most crazy fun time..

It was so difficult to let go..

And so started the madness, 7 puppies and two full grown dogs at home ..
Of course all the pups had to be given away, I could not be keeping 7 of them , and I chose the one I wanted to keep, she was a light fawn and a ball of fat and was sooooo cute , I was In love with her.
And Arshad chose the one he wanted,
Arshad and Taz..

He was black, very very naughty, was big, yipped a lot and had an "A" on his chest.
After about a month of the pups being with us , it was now time for them to go .
And I wanted none of them to actually go.
But as we could not keep 9 canines, I decided that I would pick a particular day and time and all my friends who had made their choice of pups, had to come and collect them , because giving one everyday was just too heart breaking.
And so between 11-1pm on a Sunday , all the pups finally left.
Arshad was adamant that the black pup stays, and I was totally heartbroken.

The Monsti puppy ..

The one I wanted went to a family with 4 kids, infact they took 2 pups, that I visited for quite some time.
Arshad's black fellow with the "A" on his chest stayed with us.

I did not like him ,and wanted nothing to do with him, and just stayed away from him for a bit.
But he was really naughty and charming simultaneously and after sometime, he just followed me and Betty-Boo around , depending on who is feeding him or cuddling him.
He loved to be loved and was crazily fiesty.

And soon the trio of Betty-boo, Ninja and Taz was what my day was made off..
I took them everywhere I could, they went swimming at Juhu beach every time I was not shooting, and went with me sometimes to my MTV sets when I was.
They have travelled with me to my home in Vasai by trains and jumped into rickshaws with me too.

Little pretty Betto-Boo..
I lost Betty Boo in 2005, she had a large heart, not good I believe in a canine's world, I knew when she fell ill in Dec that she did not have long to live, on the 25th when I went for mass, I looked at her and asked her to not leave before Christmas dinner, she loved roasted chicken, and I fed her all she wanted on the day , on the 28th , she breathed her last in my arms, I saw the light go out of her brown eyes...
Not a good place to be..

2 years later in 2007, I lost Ninja..

On 15th December again on a December morning ..
He too had a large heart ..

Pouting with the pout himself..Ninja..

And since then every December, I used to get a bit paranoid, I used to scrutinise every move of Taz and a visit to his vet was mandatory, all his blood tests etc and saw to it that he was fine.

He was a mad , big, scoundrel and I loved him.
My love..
His coat shone a black blue and he just looked like a panther sometimes to me, with that shining black coat, and those cute eyes that I loved so completely.
He was very clear that my hair should never be tied and so every time I wore a pony Tail, he would have no peace till he pulled the band out, and ran around with it , with me chasing him.
Garlic used to drive him nuts and he would pounce on it and bark at it ..
He grew up with Betty-Boo and Ninja, and so learned the ropes of eating and where to do what really fast .
He did not like people who were dressed shabbily and barked at them .
He just ran with Betty-Boo and Ninja everywhere.
And would cuddle up with me and sleep, and then in the middle of the night, would jump off and cuddle with Betty-Boo his mum, between the two of us, he was a much loved and spoilt brat .
Ninja used to bark at him when he behaved badly , and he would quietly sit down and hang his head, and then Betty-Boo would come and get in the middle and lick Ninjas face and take the prancing brat away, I think he almost always had a naughty smirk on his face, and those eyes, they were the cutest, just like his mom and dad.

And then one day in 2002 , when I got back from hosting the ICC Champions Trophy in Sri Lanka after a month, these three came to greet me at the door , and while they were all on me,and I was holding them and petting them, Taz and Ninja got into their first fight.
So they were fighting about who is going to be the Alpha male of the pack.

And so started a series of fights so horrible, that it came to a point that I had to give Taz away.
Because he was a beast full of muscle and used it, and Ninja my loving docile Boxer, was always left a mess, with me screaming and crying in the middle and Arshad trying to break them up.
It's horrible watching two souls you love, fighting in this horrific manner. Taz always left Ninja mauled and badly injured.
Taz was fighting over me, he would not allow Ninja to come near me, and would get into a fight with him, every time Ninja walked to me.
I was advised to give him away, he was very young and would get used to a new family , also he never ever harmed humans .
So we found a place for him in Pune, and he was scheduled to go .

The boy I could not let go off, until I had no option, but let him go..

But I just could not let him go , so I built a door between my two floors and kept them all together upstairs when I was down , and they were fine together, or then separated the boys and spent time with them separately.

The boys being scolded...
After Betty-Boo went away , then Taz and Ninja spent a lot more time together, and calmed down a bit, but then my Ninja too left and it was just Taz and me.

We went for many walks together, and he would growl at any dog that wagged their tail at me , or that wanted to be petted by me, even if this was his friend otherwise.
This is exactly what triggered the fights at home.
He was terribly possessive and just wanted me to himself.
And so I just walked with my Taz Tigi alone , and stuck to him , talked to him, played ball and hide and seek and we were the happiest.
He was my running partner and was a beautiful big strong fella, I always felt safe with him, he was my angel and my love all rolled into one.

After Ninja passed away, he took up permanent residence by my side and under the dining table where I fed the kids, infact it was almost funny, every time I called Zeke for lunch , dinner or snack , and carried Zene to her seat that was attached to the coffee table in my kitchen.
Taz would run into the kitchen and sit under it, facing Zene.
Zene was about eight months, and wanted to sit in her own seat and feed herself and was just about eating everything, and so as she fed herself and dropped a lot of food, Taz just gobbled everything that fell off from her hands , from her lap and under the table,
It was a beautiful synergy , I had the cutest vacuum cleaner and everyone was happy.

Taz was playful and has never ever harmed any person ever, but I think he used to get the most fiendish delight in scaring people.
I remember this one time, there was a journalist interviewing Warsi, and he just came right next to her and started growling a low growl , and every time I shouted at him , he would look at me twitch his eyes in that Tazzy way and wag his tail.

I never ever grew up a dog person, I was that kid who was most petrified of dogs, I was the kid that got bitten by one.
So they were just not my thing
But Betty-Boo , Ninja and Taz changed my life for the better.
They say that till you have loved a dog, a part of your soul lies unawakened and that is the truest thing I have experienced.

I love Taz, I will always be more partial to him .
He is my baby, my boy, my protector and guardian angel .
And there is a place in my heart that will always stay his, no matter what, just like I know I occupied his whole heart

His kisses were the best..

He loved me to bits.
I was his person, and he was my love.

I remember him sleeping out side my room at night and barking if the lift even passed my floor, the kids and me were never worried with him around us.
I felt safe with him around me.
He was not the kind of animal you wanted to mess with , if you did not know him.
He looked bloody ferocious to everyone, and when people would say , please tie him up, I just understood .

But I never tied Taz up, he mostly just always sat right next to me.
He was my mad , crazy, loving, Tazzy puppy.
He was full of love and was always trying to fit into my lap along with Zeke and Zene, because he never really knew how big he was, and he would look at me with a sad look, hang his head and make sad eyes, and till he did not shove his big face into my lap with the kids, he just grumbled and kept trying.

We used to sit watching cartoons like this and eat pop-corn together.
Zeke and Zene , knew him as their older doggy brother, and that's how they introduced him as to everyone till Zeke turned about 8.
He was my shadow, my lamb , my love and my hug.
He was the pup who was as hungry as me always and was always up and about for anything at anytime, my Sagittarius companion ready for any adventure .

Two years ago , on my birthday, he fell terribly ill.
So ill, that I thought I was losing him .(So the blog before this was written at that time)
But I guess he was not yet ready to leave and we nursed him back to health.
He had severe Arthritis and because he was a big burly fellow , his legs giving way was not the nicest thing to happen.
Sometimes I just lay him on a mat and carried him down , sometimes he walked.
But he miraculously got better , with a whole lot of medicines and steroids.
I don't think he was ready to leave yet and I was definitely not willing to let him go.
I really wanted him to get better and just live normally, eat, walk, bark and sleep, that's all.
And he slowly got better.
I began to understand his frail body better and every time there was a change in weather , I knew we had to just take extra care of Taz .

Fortunately for me, last year on the 3rd of Jan 2015, he moved with us into our new home, 10 Casa Zen.
He was always with me while I shot..
Here he had a ground to run and a big place to walk around, but he never ran, but he did get better here, because he walked a lot on his own, he would follow me wherever I went , and would bark if he did not see me and would call out till I said, "Stop it, Tiggi you know I'm here"
He would basically hang everywhere I hung , even while I shot , the camera men and the entire crew knew that he would find his way somewhere really close to me to hang, he loved my kitchen, he loved good food and so we fed him , baked chicken , till he went away.

He could not climb up stairs anymore and so knew that at the end of the day , when I went upstairs , he would sit on his carpet and sleep.

So Zeke and me wake up early for a run, and always eat a banana, before we leave, and so Taz was fed a banana every morning too.
He then had a French toast , followed by his Chicken for lunch and dinner and in-between everything that he ate.
10, Casa Zen misses you my Taazu...

In November last year, he again fell very ill.
His arthritis had kicked in again and he was not able to get up.
But he had a fighting spirit of a samurai warrior and as long as he did not give up on himself , there is no way I was going to let him go without a fight.
He also had a growth on his back an abscess that was bacterial, that in the past two years had grown four times its size, but I would keep getting it tested and that was that.
Taz turned 15 on the 27th of November 2015, I was not sure if he would make it till then.

Our vet had spoken to me on and off about euthanasia , but how do you take a pet that is eating, barking, sits up and looks at you , all other bodily functions working .
I could not.
So I walked with him when I could and carried him in a carpet in times he could not, he also stayed for my birthday that is on the 8th of December, I gave him all he would have liked to eat.
His abscess had started giving him trouble and I think the weight of it, stopped him from being able to walk.
And we could do nothing about it, we could not take it out two years ago either, because, Dr.Karkare said that he may not be able to make it back from anaesthesia, and so I had no choice but let him live without taking it out and watch it grow.

And in the midst of all this chaos of taking him for his morphine patch and keeping him pain free , I meet Aarti a dog whisperer, because of my friend Sambo, and that was really the most beautiful experience.
I don't know if you have heard of animal whisperers, but they can communicate with animals and if you even for a second think that animals have no feeling or do not understand what is going on , let me tell you, they are far more evolved than you and me and definitely far far nicer.
Getting Aarti to communicate with him and the stuff he shared and felt, is something I will cherish with me forever, I'm blessed to have met her when I did, so along with his daily medicines, he was also on a Bach flower rescue remedy.

I loved sitting with him, I used to just talk to him and he would just look at me and at times , when I went quiet, he would bark as if to say , why have you stopped, talk some more.
So I did.
Some times, the kids and me would just make our beds around him and sleep around him.
I knew he was going.
I just did not know when.
It was very sad to see Taz not being able to run around, but he was happy , he ate food with great Gusto till the very end.

On the 24th, his abscess was not good at all, l took him to the vet, Dr.Karkare looked at it and said,"It's not going to get better Maria, you have to let him go".
I knew that, but I was just not being able to , because Taz would still sit up and look at me or lie down and bark for me to sit next to him.
So the bacteria in his absccess has gotten really bad , and the doctor said, that it was now festering and he would be in pain.
So I asked Dr. Karkare, if I could take him home and get him on the 26th at 9 am..
I gave him his painkillers, and we were home, he did not walk on the24th at all.
But walked with me on the 23rd, that was the last time he walked.

So on the 24th , I continued baking my meringue and kept talking to Taz who was sitting in the hall.
The kids and me went for mass, and after we got back, we cut our brownie cake and all wished each other Merry Christmas.
Taz was up and about, so he got a bite too.
I was just happy to see him eat .
We slept by 1 probably, the next morning I was up and had some more Meringue to bake and a red velvet to cut and cream, so I got busy with that .
So the whole home got busy , and Taz being Taz was barking for someone to come sit and talk to him as he was completely unable to get up.
Once the food was done and the kitchen was cleared, all the gifts went under the tree, I just wanted Taz to have a nice bath.
So that's what I did, completely showered and shampooed him till he smelt like a little pup and his fur was all soft and shiny black and grey.
He looked so sweet, though frail.

Post his Christmas bath..

Christmas lunch as usual was a lot of fun, and everyone petted Taz and talked to him .
By 8 pm, lunch finally wound up.
I had a 9 am appointment with Taz's vet, the next day , that I had no intention of keeping.
The whole house slept.
The next day we went about with our chores and the cleaning of our home as usual.
The dreaded 9 am had passed, and Taz and the home continued with our day.
I just behaved like I had never made that appointment.
I cleaned Taz , applied medication on him and tried to feed him , he did not really eat the whole day.
He drank a bit of water and I just hung with him on his carpet.
Vijay (my house help who has looked after Taz for about 10 years ) and me were figuring what we should make for Taz for dinner and how to keep him fine.
I told him I'm not being able to take Taz to put him down.

At around 6 pm, I went to change Taz's dressing, and realised that the place where the abscess had burst, was not closing up , and there were 2 other  places that were not looking good at all.
I cleaned him put his medicine and the finality of his situation just hit me like a ton of bricks.

We were both hanging on to each other for dear life.
And nothing else mattered.
I was completely torn, I knew that if I did not take him to Dr.Karkare, his abscess would give way a little bit everyday , till he is gone, and he would go slowly in a miserable way.
And no, I did not want him to be in any pain.

I called Dr. Karkare , I told him I'm bringing Taz in.
We all just sat around Taz and petted him , spoke to him , said our good-byes, and sobbed.

I think , the thought of a part of him going a bit everyday , till he completely gave into his suffering, is something that I did not want for my beautiful, black, brave, loving , possessive Taz.

I gave in.
I was taking him to be euthanised .
I don't think I have ever come to a place , where I have actually let go of someone, because I loved him so deeply, that the only way to continue loving , is to let him go.
I have often read about letting go of someone you love .
But this, this was the real fucking thing.
And I hated it.
I talked to Aarti and told her I'm taking him to the clinic.

Vijay and I took Taz, we wrapped him in a soft blanket , I sat with him in the boot and just softly cried.
He just pushed and shoved his way around, till he had his head in my lap.
My cousin Penny Ann was spending the day with me and she accompanied me to the clinic.
In retrospect I'm glad she was there.
She was like a little calm pillar of silent strength.

Taz was very calm, I think he knew, his eyes looked beautiful and he looked at me with great love.
I just kept talking to him in my happiest voice, Dr.Amrita who was going to administer his injection, gave me a few papers to sign, that I did very calmly .
She told me to take my time.
Which I did.

I then just sat with Taz.
Yes,God did give me two extra years with him, he did not take him when he was terribly ill two years ago , and now it was time for me to return him back to his keeper, without him suffering.

Taz.Tigi.Warsi chose me , I did not choose him.
He chose me to love him, and unknowingly I slowly did,with my whole heart and soul.
He is definitely my soul mate.
He completed me and made me braver and more loving than I am.
He taught me , that when you really and truly love someone , you will let them go one day, not because you want them to, but because they deserve a better place.

And Taz did deserve to be able to run, bark, chase birds, run through flowers, swim in the sea, chase waves and be pain free.
I wanted all this for him and more.
I held him and he just put his head in the nape of my neck , I hugged him tight .
And I just sobbed internally and then talked to him happily , I said ."Bye my Poppy , you are my little Tiggi, I love you the most and I always will".

 I kissed him a lot, he smelt like the puppy, I held in my bathroom fifteen years ago, black as night, my Betty-Boo and Ninja's baby, I hugged him and told Dr.Amrita , she could go ahead.He just kept sleeping in my arms, and softly passed away.
I miss these eyes looking at me and this wet nose..

Barking at the crows, was his favourite pass-time..
 I felt calm, relieved, happy and totally heart-broken simultaneously.
My little Monster-Puppy..
My Love,Taz.Tigi.Warsi.
Left to run free and happy 26th December 2015, 7.51pm..
He is now a little Shiny Ebony Angel, and I'm sure he is running amuck through daisy fields and chasing butterflies and jumping into rivers..
And that is what makes us both happy..


With me at every step..


Written Decenber 2013..

And as I sit with my Taz..
I know he is going..
To a kingdom..
Where he will run amuck with his other four legged family and friends..
His beautiful mum Betty-Boo..
His poet dad Ninja..
His neighbour Bozo..
And many others..
He met on his walks through paths and plains..
Where he chased leaves and fire flies..

He was born 13 years ago..

The naughty little ones...

To my beautiful golden retriever  and my Boxer Ninja, about whom I'm going to tell you more..

They fell in love ..
Betty-Boo & Ninja...

This fellow was the first of the litter of 7..
He came out shiny and totally chubby..
Panther black was his coat..
And a big A on his chest..


As if to say..
You belong to me "Mr.Warsi"..

 I loved another..
A beautiful fawn chubby girl..
That I played with everyday..
Because Taz was always meant to go away..
In the mean time I pranced with this motley litter that nibbled on my toes..

I could have kept them all..

Taz was never the one I wanted to keep..
He would be going to another home like the rest of the pups ..

But one day, Warsi looked at him,and decided he was the one that's to stay ..
I held my chubby little fawn and just wept ..

Heartbreak is an old friend, my little chubby, who I gave away..

I let them all go one day..
In a span of two hours..
4 fawns , 2 blacks..
They were all gone ..

That little Black mound to the extreme right, my love "Taz"...

To homes of ones who will cherish them to their dying day ..

Taz stayed..
And pranced around the house..
I was pretty upset..
With this pup who sat like an elephant in a lodge ..
He walked around..
Played with his mum and dad..
And just went around, behaving like the puppy , that we just had to have ..

He had the naughtiest little black shiny eyes..
That would light up every time,the door bell rang..
And he would bark with all his might ..
And wag his tail like mad..
So confusing this little Sagittarius puppy running around my hand..

And slowly, but absolutely very surely ..
He just got inside my  heart..
His bark..
His wag..
His black eyes that looked at me with that spark..
He followed Betty-Boo and me ..
Everywhere we went ..

Father and son time..

While his dad Ninja sat at the window ..
Where many a sunshine time he spent ..

I loved these three and they loved me..
A more magical love I have not had the privilege to have felt ..
To be included in this pack...
Was the best thing in the world ..

We ran early mornings..
In and around my building ..
While Ninja walked and ran amuck like boxers do..
And Betty-Boo hid in bushes, and wagged her tail so hard..
I never knew if she was hiding or playing with Taz ..
Taz my little panther pup..
Ran with me with all his might ..

The three of us have run at Juhu beach ..
And swum in waters salty and clean..
Have picked up fights with other packs..
Got bitten ..
And also scared to smithereens ..
But nothing ever put down their spirit ..
Even if I shouted at them in fright..

I was their princess..
Their girl..
And they looked after me..

No one and I mean no one was even allowed on my floor..

They just sat , in front of my door..

They snarled ..
And pricked up their ears at the tiniest sounds at night ..
The kids and me all lay snuggled asleep ..
Happy in the knowledge..
That even if I was alone..
I was in the most awesome company a girl could keep ..

Life went on for really long this way..

And then one day after 9 years,in 2005
My Betty-Boo went away..
It was December ..
And I just knew ..
She had very little time ..
And that she knew too..

One bright morning..
I heard her bark..
It was as if to say..
Come say bye..
I'm going away..
She had not been well..
I ran up with Zeke in my arms..
And broke down ..
As she lay her head in my lap and slowly very slowly ..
Those brown eyes,that I so loved ..
The light in them went out..

She was my first baby.
Warsi gave her to me..

I had never had a puppy ever of my own ..
And she was my little Maddy ..
A glutton to the bone..
She had the sweetest disposition..
I have ever had known..
She came to me a Vegetarian
Till she met a lamb bone ..
Sprightly,beautiful and completely hungry
That was my Betty-Boo to me ..
Paris Brest was the most favorite of her vices..
Then there were chicken legs and tomatoes cold as ice ..

I put her ashes into the sea..
Where we swam and ran ..
And played so freely ..

Now I was left with the boys..
Who had a history of fights that were not so nice ..

After a big fight, they never understood , why I had to keep them separated from me..

Fighting to be the head of the gang..
To be Alpha male ...
They fought tooth and nail
These stupid male canines ...

But after Betty-Boo left ...
They both sat together and spent a lot of time ..
Ironing their differences out, on a window with sunshine ..
A little quieter and a little mature they seemed to be my 9yr old boxer Ninja and my 5 yr old Taz puppy ..

This continued for quite a while
And it frankly looked fine ..
They went everywhere together..
To eat, to bathe, to sleep in stormy weather..
Specially when crackers burst..
I saw Ninja always sitting calm and Taz going berserk..

I never knew what was going on in Ninjas mind ..
He was a poet ..

Ninja always thought of himself as a tiny pup...

That much I know..
Because he sat at the window ..
With that far away look in his eyes ..
And was never bothered with all the noise.
He looked like he was, writing of wonderful things..
About love and other beings..

How could anyone not love Ninja..

But when he wagged his tail, it was definitely not like the rest of the doggy guys..
Ninja was different..
And loving in every way..
He picked up fights , with anyone who dared to look my way ..
But he was a lover , not a fighter..
He never fought a single fight he started, but he fought, for the ones he loved..
He kissed you , like he has never seen you in years..
But when he farted, it could singe the hair in your ears.
That was my Ninja, the puppy that never grew beyond the mental age of two...

Thank you Amit.Ashar for this picture..

Till a December in 2007
Ninja fell very ill..
They said like Betty-boo
He had a large heart too ..
I was in pain to see him deteriorate ..
Not walking and shaking his adorable bum and wagging his tail any more..
He just lay down on his mat near my bed room door ..
Taz jumped around him..
And licked his face ..
And spoke to him in his own little doggy way ..
But nothing worked..

One December morning, I heard Ninja, whimper outside my door..
Zeke and Zene were fast asleep...
I went to sit with him ..
And whispered in his ear..
"No no Migi don't go , don't go "..
But my little Ninja was already walking away..
Wagging his tail and scampering on a beach, where Betty-boo was joining him anyway...
He looked lovely as he slept , no pain no worries anymore...

And then Taz, my little 7 year old was left alone..
He took up residence in my kitchen, under the table to to precise ..
And got fed by Zene..with all her rice...
It was really funny, if you can picture this scene..
So I call the kids for dinner..
And Taz proceeds to take his place under the table, my black puppy, totally camouflaged and unseen..
He was my cute vacuum cleaner, just like his mummy and Daddy..

Zene and Zeke became his friends..
And he just followed us everywhere we went..
In the park, down for a walk and even the loo..
He was just always everywhere to say helloooo..
He became one of the kids..

He was Zeke and Zene's doggy brother..
And that's what they told their friends..
And I was happy because, he really was my baby..

The kitchen was his favorite place..
And while I cooked, he sat and looked at my face..
His favorite pass time, wpold be sitting with Zene's crocs..
And wagged his tail in approval of the aromas, that wafted in the air..
Then of course, he wanted his share ...

I could never take him for a walk on my own..
Because he would pick up fights ..
With any other animal that came towards our way..

But to run with him was a complete delight..
Strong , big and muscular..with his tail wagging freely..
Ears flopping in abandon, and a tongue hanging out free..
Ha ha ha my partner in flight
My little Tazzy..

While I trained to climb Mt.Kilimanjaro..
He ran with me every day..
And while I ran up and down the stairs , he stood near my door and crooned away ..

He looked very frightening..
To those who never did know, he has the soul of a kid..
So I kept up the pretense, about how ferocious and ill tempered he is..

Zene with her doggy brother..
He used to grrr sometimes, at the ones he knew were frightened of him..
I think he took great pleasure in feeling like a king..

He and me would have conversations of the voooooow...voooow kind..
That had a certain tune when he was happy ..
Or then a complain in his voice ..

He has sat with me while I fed him chocolate and also while I cried..
Been with me at my happiest and also trying times..

How do I let go of a part of my soul...
While he breathes slowly..
His muscles suddenly hanging on his bones..
He cannot sit , he cannot stand..
Cannot wag his tail..
He just looks at me , twitches his ears and cocks his eyes up and down, and acts so brave ..

This Taz , my pup from the ones I will always love..
Is going away..
My black mad Taz ..
I will love you forever and a Day..

You have given me your all and everything ..
And loved me the most in your life..
I want God to be kind to you ..
And help you be fine..
I will miss your beautiful, innocent, hungry, bounding, funny presence in my life..
But I'm letting you go ..

Is that not what you are supposed to do , to the ones connected to your soul..
They may but only physically go away...

But in my heart you will always stay..
My little panther pup..
The one that was not given away..
You are mine..
At least for this life time...

And I will be there for you, till the universe takes your breath away ...

I'm going to stop now..
Because I actually can go on ..
About my three puppies, whose pet names were Tigi ( Taz )  , Migi ( Ninja ) and Bing (Betty -boo)..
And all the fun , they sent my way..
It is true, if you ever want to feel real love..
Love an animal..
And see what it does to you ..

Yes I will cry, when my Taz goes, because he will take with him selfless love of the highest kind..
Will cry for all the love I lost ..
All the love that went away..

But  thank-you dear God , for sending these three my way ..

This is my love story..
Of the most beautiful kind..
Where it was just love exchanged with nothing else in mind..

To all who have lost a pet ..
I know it's not just that..
It's much much more..
It's a piece of your soul ...

But the thought of them running wild..
Is the most beautiful scene to keep for all time..

Dedicated to Tigi (Taz) , Migi (Ninja)  and Bing (Betty-Boo)..

P.S.I wrote this 2 years ago, when my Taz was really ill, but he recovered and I had two more lovely years with him, this is a dedication, to all three, who are together now and the love I found through them.