Life Myself and Rocky
Back in 1993, I was a shy little 6th grader trying to understand the big things of life in little ways of my own. Since I was always on a regular school, my parents thought it would be great if I can be sent to a distant boarding school where I can learn what it is to live and learn of art of independency. At first listening to it was easy, but as I neared the school which I was to join, every meter near was an extra thought on how I am going to sustain myself in this far off land, so far away from home and the warmth of my family. Yet, it was all said for my good, and finally I was there. I still remember that culmination of moments, as I held the hand of my mother and sobbed because I knew she was leaving. In a few moments as I saw our car pass by the main gate, I sat there wiping off my tears and looked behind at the mighty campus of St. Montfort International School – Yercaud. For all the little me, I was; an epic journey of my life began right there.
It was May 19th 1994, a cloudy summer morning in the hills of Yercaud, all the boys were packing their belongings for the upcoming summer vacations and I too had packed all that I could and was waiting eagerly for that one call. And minutes later the warden called my name and said, “Vasanth, there is a call for you from your dad”… I ran across the corridor to the warden’s room and picked the black telephone and my dad spoke from the other side “Hey dear, we’re here!” I smiled out so much, kept the phone down and ran down the stairs to the gate, and I saw our car packed and dad and mom were waiting by the side. I ran across and hugged them both tight. A few hours later, all was packed and ready to leave.
Rocky came into my life when I was a little boy, he taught me to be myself, to show what it is to truly love someone, he didn’t want to find, if I had a car, or a house. He just stuck to me with his heart and his love and loyalty was all what was his to offered, and that; he offered with all his heart. Every day when I entered the house, and even before my mom could say a ‘hi’, he’s be there waiting by the door, with his nose stuffed out by the gate, and I just don’t know how he used to know that I was the one who was coming. Meters away from home, I used to hear his barks; signaling my home that I was coming home. And when the gates open, he’d just run and fall upon me and I just used to throw my bags and sit there by the corridor and play with, pull his ears and kiss him hard. We just loved each other so much. Every day was a new one. A new journey together of knowing and growing.
It was the year 1998, and I had just appeared for my first public exam and was awaiting the results, my whole family was tensed, and since I was a very poor student in math, my dad was very much convinced that my math paper is going to pull me down to hell. He always kept scaring me that I was either going to get a very less mark or else going to flunk in math. I was so disturbed to be inside home listening to all that; so just walked out and went and sat near the garden of our house. From a distance I saw rocky sleeping under our car, it’s where he always used to sleep. While I was sitting and thinking of what was going to happen, I had this warm feeling next to me. It was Rocky, he had come from there and he sat next to me and moved a bit and placed his head on my lap. I just hugged him tight and felt so happy that he was there next to me, without complaints, without expectation. All he wanted was just me, the way I was and the way I’ve been. We kept cuddling each other and I had even fallen asleep with him on my lap, when suddenly I heard a knock on my back door, it was my friend Marty, he broke out and showed me the newspaper which unfortunately had all our fates printed on it. My face shrunk as I got up, and Rocky followed me while I went and opened the door. There were few more friends who waited by the door. When I came out from my door, we 4 boys looked at each other, and without an extra word, we opened the newspaper right in the middle of the road facing the temple on the other side, and ran through the numbers, and in the finally one of friends noted my number and cried out “Vasanth, damn it dude, you’ve passed in first class” when I heard that, I saw where his fingers pointed and shouted out in joy, my happiness knew no bounds. We all jumped in joy and Rocky was there, happy and jumping. Though he never understood what was happening in my life, he was there to support and be a part of my life and to me that meant the world. I was just was so happy that years were passing off fast, and happy enough that schooling too will be soon over and done with, just to realize that ‘Why in childhood and youth do we wish time to pass so quickly - we want to grow up so fast - yet as adults we wish just the opposite?’
The following week, dad got my first scooter, a 50cc bajaj sunny, and Rocky was small enough to fit into the little space in the front of the scooter. We both used to go for long rides and he when I go fast, he used to put his head out and feel the breeze flowing by, and every time I stood in a red light, he used to bark and make so much fun while he ran in the middle, and exactly when the light turned green, he used jump back into the bike. From running behind bubbles, to running with me in the rain, from chasing butterflies to catching mice in the garden. Rocky was there; every single moment of my happy lived life and beyond.
Over the years life was changing a lot for me; I had finally finished school and was entering my life into the shoes of a young man. I was talking more of studies, work and life. There were newer people who played vital parts of my life, girls who wanted to be more special and my family who wanted me to choose the best in education so that I can settle for the best in life. Rocky was now 9yrs old, and didn’t jump and play much, every time I used to sit next to him, he would come and place his lap over me and keep looking at me like the first day. In the mornings, he used to come to my bed, and lick my hands, which are fallen over the bed, and gently wake me up for the day. One day, when I was driving outside I got a call from mom, she was freaking out on the other side. She yelled ‘Vasanth, where ever you are come back, Rocky has fallen down from the terrace’…. I was terrified, I rushed back home and saw Rocky in a bad state, his front feet were fractured and he was crying in pain. I heard from mom, that someone had jumped onto our terrace and Rocky had chased them till the other side of the terrace and when he tried catching them, he slipped and fell down. I didn’t care about the rest of the story; I just picked up Rocky, and placed him inside the car and rushed him to the Veterinary Hospital.
They placed him on the table and began operating on him. I sat by the door clutching to both my hands and with tears in my eyes. I almost lost old Rocky that day. Even as he was sleeping on the operating table, he was still teaching me. He taught me that you live a life by surrendering yourself into the hands of someone you love; you look through their eyes, and live through their heart. You do not expect what you get out of them, you do not look forward for gains, you never have secret motive. You just live every single second of your lives for them and with them. You clutch to their soul and grow with them. He didn’t care what he ate, didn’t care who my friends are, didn’t bother how much I earned or where I kept my money, didn’t want to know what I shopped or what I bought. All he wanted was to be there with me by my side at all times of my life. A life for me; where two souls will eventually become to grow as one. A magnanimity of dog’s heart is one of the most greatest examples to me when I spell the word ‘LOVE’ to be loved, shared, greeted, honored, truthful and guarded till the expiration of thy last breath. Old Rocky slept there on that bed and taught me all this without a single word. This was home, and I was his world, and that’s all he ever knew and that’s all he ever wanted. Rocky was discharged in a week, and with all the bandages and good will, I brought him home. I was so happy he was back with me, and life was back all over again. Rocky was there when I was a small boy, he was there when I wrote my first public exam, he was there when I kissed a girl for the first time, he was there when got my first scooter, he was there when I finished school. Most of all he was there when I needed him the most.
"I took up the picture of him and me, and I still remember that day, a cloudy summer morning in the hills of Yercaud , they gave him to me, in a brown cardboard box and when I opened it, I saw his little face for the first time; touched his forehead and slipped my hands through his tender neck, looked at him through his eyes and there on he’d kept his words, "old Rocky has just kept me 'happy and smiling'; Forever...."