Thursday, June 29, 2006


There is this old house I pass by every morning on the way to the main road. From amidst the trees that grow in the house a lilting warble of a bird can be heard sometimes. I have strained to see the bird but have never got a glimpse through the dense canopy. One day, I opened the gate and went into the house. I thought I would take the owners permission to look around. Suddenly from nowhere a Neapolitan Mastiff (NM) appeared and came lopping towards me. I was terrified. A voice from inside the house called out “Appu..NO!!!!”. The dog stopped in his tracks and looked extremely disappointed with a “what will I sprinkle on her-pepper powder or tomato sauce before gobbling her down” look.

A small and wizened lady came out of the house. She would easily fit under the dog. But the dog clearly knew who the boss was, because he slinked to her side and gazed at me with another “maybe I will eat her with mayonnaise but mayo is so fattening" look.

Old Lady: Don’t worry Appu won’t do anything, he is just a baby!

‘Baby’ was still drooling and looking at me with a “maybe a dash of Paprika will be good but not too much as she is rather skinny” look.

Appu go and shake hands with her” ordered the diminutive 5 feet nothing Aunty. ‘Baby’ came rather reluctantly with a “oh so now I have to be friendly with my Lunch” kind of look. He refused to shake hands and we both faced off with each other..err it was more like me facing off with his knee caps. I was like a Lilliput in front of him. For the first time I felt sorry for the Lilliputians whom I had roundedly cursed for tying up Gulliver and making him a pin cushion, though why they wanted a pin cushion in those days beats me. But then I was 5 years old when I heard the story and didn’t know back then that people had not looked at the Spear and thought “why don’t we shrink it so that it may come of use when paper is invented?”

Shake hands!!!!!’ said aunty sternly and ‘baby’ proffered a paw the sight of which would make an elephant take anti depressants. ‘Baby’s paws were HUGE!!!! I gingerly took one nail and we shook hands solemnly. Was it a glint I saw on baby’s face? Because… before I could say “ Howdy dude” he kept his entire paw in my hand with an evil look on his face. Now an NM is born with an evil look. If you see one with a not so evil look you know where he is been….yes, you are right…to a plastic surgeon! (yes sadly there are some plastic surgeons doing work on the sly for dogs who wanna look good. Look out for doggy hair when you go to a clinic next).

My hands sagged under the weight while ‘Baby’ had this look which said “I would be enjoying this if I could only gobble her after the introductions”.

Removing my hands with a baleful look in his direction I turned to speak to aunty. Aunty had just moved into our neighborhood and was pleased to make friends with me. After the usual pleasantries I left for work. As I walked away from the house, I could almost feel Appu’s gaze, burning into my back trying to Tandoorify me.

From then on Appu would wait patiently for me behind the fence and jump up with a resounding “WOOF!!!!” just when I passed by, scaring the daylights out of me. Then he would slink away with a satisfied look. He always managed to startle me due to the sheer volume of the ‘WOOF’. A sort of unspoken war was declared between us and for every ‘woof' I stuck my tongue out at him and called him “Appukuttan Ungle” (the Radio City guy). This seemed to enrage him and he would whine in sheer frustration because the fence prevented him from a quick mid-day snack.

One day as usual I was trying to tip toe past his house when a pack of stray dogs came snarling at me. There were four or five of them. People living in my area are familiar with these packs of hounds that snarl at unsuspecting passersby. Before I could bend down to pick up a stone, Appu appeared from nowhere and gave the dogs a piece of his mind. Oh the language, the profanities he used against the dogs!!!! Makes me blush.!!!

The dogs realized they had met their match in cuss words and took to their heels. Talk about a dog’s bark being worse than his bite!!

To cut this rather long story short, Appu and me have become friends. I made it a point to be civil to him and get to know him. Appu has realized that he can tolerate me and nowadays, whenever I have the chance I take him for a walk…err I mean he takes me for a walk. He zips around the block with me hanging onto the leash for dear life. If you see a Brown Neapolitan Mastiff zipping past at 450 mph with a girl flapping in the wind behind him, please don’t call out “Appukuttam Ungle”. It might just be the excuse he is looking to sample some road side fare.


DD said...

The profanities he used...Appu was also mellu? :p
Wonder how many dialects and languages and castes and religions dogs must be having...

Anonymous said...

Gurly you write so well!!!
Appu and you are quite a pair...:-))


Lalit Singh said...

Appu chala chappu!!

funny name Appu for a dog..sounds like a kids name

Dhanush | ധനുഷ് said...

Appu is the name for every boy Back Home. What makes it more memorable is that name has been given to a lot of characters in many a novels.

But funny thing I am hereing this for the first time for a dog. May be the Appukuttan's wont agree it.

Well if I see you both, I can call Appukuttan and his Aundy rt ?

Anonymous said...

he he he, that was one funny tale, you write really well!

zimblymallu said...

This is a coverup. What happened to the bird?

Dreamy Denimnooo said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dreamy Denimnooo said...

Nice...i love dog's had a german sheep dog but it passed away leaving me crying for nearly a week ; Dogs really do make very good frnds with us , tht when thy leave thy sure earn a tear from the depth of our heart ; I think all those who have dog's will surely understand the bond

silverine said...

DD: Then all dogs must be mallu :p

Anon: We are quite a pair!!

Lalit:I think it is a sweet name, I know a Lhasa Apso named 'Ammu'.

Dhaush: His owners are Malayalis.

Indu: Thank you girl :)

Zimblymallu: The bird is still there.

Deniminoo: I have three so I know what you are talking about. I have sobbed for all my doggies who are gambolling in heaven now :)

Maverick said...

my brother was so concerned about me and mom that he introduced a doggie in the house when he moved to blore :O (maybe he didnt want us to miss him in anyways :)))

its fun to have a dog around if u can forgive her for mutilating all ur favourite jeans, well as for eating into ur share of snacks at tea time ervyday :(
as for terrifying others with her woof,snarl and forget it shes too sweet for all that

Anonymous said...

Nice Love story . :))


Paresh Palicha said...

When I saw the title of this post in Kerala blog roll I thought that you must written something about the mascot of Asiad '82 or a fictitious name for a sample in your office. But this was a pleasant surprise. The way you discribed him LOL.

A Suggestion: Take him to the IT Co. which stole your work & demand compensation

Inder said...

Ha ha...
I understand. I have loads of experience with attacks by dogs. They keep fighting among themselves. But when they see me, they all become friends and ambush me. Appu seems to be quite a character...

Jiby said...

lol..if i was in ur place...caught between apu and the pack of dogs, i wud have fallen to the ground and prayed to both "teams" to spare me!!!

whenever they see me scurrying for my life the joke among my friends is that i must have spotted a dog somehwere in the vicinity.

Matter of Choice said...

Tell appu that marinated, grilled (well done) silverine taste "ok"!!! :)

been babysitting my friend's dog while mom-in-law is visiting (she has asthma or so she claims!) for a week. friend's wife is not so sure abt my dog sitting skills!!!...but the dog prefers my place (choice of biriyani/kebab everyday and no kids to disturb him!)

Mind Curry said...

awesomeee stufff!!! this is one of the best posts from you in recent times! laughed my way through it! what stylish writing!

From amidst the trees that grow in the house a lilting warble of a bird can be heard sometimes.
i thought it was one of your blogger fans again..really! i swear!

you have captured doggy thoughts so well. those were the best!!!tandoorify ROFL!!

To cut this rather long story short, Appu and me have become friends.
soooo sweet!

i can picture your walk, like a sea-skier at the end of a boat :)

Sarah said...

I gingerly took one nail and we shook hands solemnly....I ma trying to picture that..

silverine said...

Alexis: Appu is a sweet name for such a giant dog :)

Maverick: Another dog lover I see :) I can forgive my doggies anything but then I train them too.

Shan: He is a lovable munchkin :) Nice to see you around!

Paresh: He is only 9 months old but huge and so sweet. His owners are two retired people and they dote on him. He is like their son who is in the US. Nowadays my brother takes him for walks :)

Inder: Appu is a cute character :) So much like a naughty boy! I have my share of stray doggie friends but then we have packs coming in from outside from time to time.

Jiby: LOL you seem terrified of dogs. They are harmless actually. Don't run if you see one charging at you. Stand your ground, they will sniff you and go away :)

Aashik: All big dogs do that. There is an Alsatian too in my neighbourhood who does that, but his 'woof' cannot hold a candle to Appu's 'WOOF" :) I knew a dog called 'narayanan' lol

MoC: He prefers marinated and grilled Nasranis specially the one who is trying for the past one year to grill his very good friend Raja :| Hey have fun with the doggie, I am cracking up here just thinking of the two of you together lol

Mind Curry: You know doc, you got the essence of the post :)
The doggie thoughts is what I enjoyed writing about because you just have to look at the expression on his face and you can almost guess what he is thinking lol He even furrows his brows and listens with his head tilted to one side when you talk to him. He is so adorable! Once I ticked him off for something and he actualy looked hurt rofl My walks were exactly like what you described he he Nowadays by brother takes him for walks.
Thank you doc for that great comment :)

Sarah: I was trying to say that his paws are huge :)

verbaltorture said...

I gingerly took one nail and we shook hands solemnly.


Suji said...

Such a sweet post. I could imagine the look on Appu's face the way you described it. Great skill with words you have. Lucky you.

Anonymous said...

Have a relative who's named his dogs as Karunakaran and Muralidharan (both are females). I thought that was wierd. Guess Appu will now fall into the same list.

Dr. Pissed said...

your a riot man!
Never fail to crack me up.
Damm good post.

And awww..

Movie Mazaa said...

first time here. i loved the 'empathise, if u do, or else move on' tag!! shall come back for more!


Anonymous said...

Awesome write. Too good!!!

NM ;-)

pophabhi said...

I actually saw a tangled pack of 'humanocryo4escapausaurus' tied behind a running mad cow. So that was Appukuttan and you :).
I have called Maneka Gandhi 911. Be cautious!

Kusum Rohra said...

Very very PG woodhouse like stuff here, enjoyed it throughly :)

The dogs thoughts had me ROTFL.

*Applause* for yet another brilliant post :)

BTW Appuis a very common name for elephants at our end.

Anand K said...

Ahhhh, such a b.e.a.u.tiful, different and refreshing "dog meets girl" story. Gruff, uncouth (but hiding a heart of gold) "hero" (who had a bitter past) intensely dislikes ze heroine at first sight but soon develops a lavv.... Fine so far.... lemme improvise some action, drama, songs, violence and a bitter-sweet climax. Voila, we have a viable screenplay!

I'm goin to send this to ishtory-shkreenplay to T.Rajendran rightaway! You better pray I won't insist Tamil Mega(ton)-Star Mumtaz to play you. NJAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA...

PS: On a more gory note;
Did you read Stephen King's Gerald's Game which has a chilling account of the heroine and a (not the most lovable) dog? Or his classic, Cujo where a rabid St.Bernard tries to devour the heroine and her child.... right after killing his own master and the sheriff?

PPS: Hope I have scared you enough! ;)

Patty said...

Whenever I need a pick-me-up, I know right where to head....Your blog! Thank you.

Your writing is so perfectly discriptive, that I felt I was right there with you, viewing the scene for myself. I thought I was the only one to stick my tounge out at a scary dog, (Now to be fair to me, it was only after he scared my precious Ben.) but I waited until his back was turned to me since his leash didn't look strong enough to do much good should he decide to charge.

Bless you for all the laughter you give to others!

mathew said...

uh..poor Appu..only if it knew to read your blogs!!!
Had a funny incident long time back..

My mom's bro's name is Jimmy..
Unfortunately the dog at my Dad's place happened to have the same name..

and any family function at Dad's place created lot of confusions!!!!!!poor Jimmy chachan!!!

silverine said...

Verbal Torture: :p

Suji: Thank you :)

Browser: 'Appu' is one of the cutest name for a dog I have heard :) But the names you mentioned are soooo funny LOL

dr pissed: Thanks da, dog lovers..same same we are :))

velu: Thank you and you are welcome to drop by :)

NM(?): Thanks :)

Pophabhi: Any "Society for prevention of cruelties to people who volunteer to walk dogs"? :p

Kusum: Thank you dear. I read your post on Appu, so cute!!!!

Anand: Thank god for Stepehen begin to appreciate the ordinariness of your life :)) Imagine if incidents like what he writes about were everyday normal occurences? brrr
" "dog meets girl" ROFL Go ahead and write the story, but direct it yourself, I am sure it will be a laugh riot..and since Appu is a Mega(ton) dog why not Tamil Mega(ton)-Star Mumtaz??? :)

Patty: Thank you so much dear. Really appreciate your kind words. We have a common factor.."Ben". And you did well by sticking your tongue out at that bully for scaring poor Ben.

Mathew: Jimmy Chachan? LOL And I though people kept weird names for dogs :p

anup.777 said...

lolz ... thanks Silverline ... for da smile thats on ma face right now ... :)

aks said...

hey sil...bow wowwww...nice posts... dogs...i luv them

hope and love said...

great post.. i simply loved the 'looks' appu gave you..

Johnny said...

"woof", I am comming after you, not to eat you but to read more of your blogs!
I am afraid of big dogs. I have a small Dash hunt. He is very cute. I sometimes bark at him and he will retreat to some corner. Hmm kinda sadistic pleasure ..

silverine said...

Anup.777: Thank you dear :)

Aks: Dog lovers unite!! :)

HnL: Thank you, he is a cutie :)

Johny: Thanks buddy. Nice of you to drop by and pliz give your Daschund a hug from my side. They are such loving dogs :)

Unknown said...

I liked the notion twrds the end that Appu has become rather passessive abt u! :)

Unknown said...

Dogs can be unpredictable @ times...
And I have 36 ka aankda with th edogs on my street... Its always we end up fighting... for the ultimate emperorship on the streets!

Enjoyed reading the post...

Rushes' Anomaly said...

:-)) you are too good!

"a paw the sight of which would make an elephant take anti depressants "

hahhaha !

silverine said...

Espiritnoir: Now that comment made my Monday too :)

Lazy Strokes: Long time no see. Appu is possesive about his owner Mrs Nair and no one else...:)

Kautilya: Read your funny post. Dogs..some people can never get along with them :p

rushes anomaly: Thank you dear :)

shruti said...

very well written and vividly put ... alas am too afraid of dogs ( and not of horses..its the way ur made I guess) to venture near one ...or dare to!! I hav had a alsatian chase me down a road in Pune ... and tht was the end of any loving feelings towards the lot ...
Neways the way u have described the dog makes me want to know it or atleast see it ...
No idea how a NM looks like ?? have ane snpa ht u cna put up ...

Arti Honrao said...

"He zips around the block with me hanging onto the leash for dear life."
I tried imagining this and the next thing I knew was I was on the floor rolling with laughter!!

Note - It is ok if Appu takes u for a walk but let him do the rest of the activities of "dog walk" :p


Ashish said...

DaYm !

Miss my dogs back home after reading this......"Whisky" n "Gin" :)

Oi , I'm only partly responsible for baptizing them ;)

silverine said...

Shruthi: They are harmless actualy, just big bullies :) I cant put up a snap without permission or I would have :)

Arti: many dog walkers have you seen lifting their legs at lamp posts gurl??? :))

Ashish: I have a dog called Brandy and had a friend who had a Pom called Whiskey :)

Anonymous said...

Terrific use of language. Havent seen many, who put language to such good use. Great that you have reached a centum of blogs. Anyways its not a number game, but the quality that matters. Either way you score. Way to go.

silverine said...

Anon: Thank you so much :)

Anonymous said...

Lady, must say you write well... really well.. :)

Anonymous said...

And felt good to read a post by a fellow-doggie-lover!

രാജ് said...

The title confused me, when I started reading it was all the same silverine. Loved this one too.