But Simba is to be remembered for all the lovely times he left us with enriching our lives with his hugs and his nuzzles. Full of energy, playfulness and love he was everywhere, wherever he went. In this house in Hyderabad he made each corner of the huge compound and the house his very own territory. He would be with us, with the men working in the gardens, with those taking care of the house inside, with all the visitors who would come, with the trees, with the flowers, the ducks and whatever was left. He loved company and would feel mighty offended and even sulk if we did not introduce him to the guests at a party. A friendly bark here, a step back and a lifting of the head to give a long howl to say this my house and I am the boss here but never a low growl at the guests.And soon he would make himself comfortable in some corner or right in the centre where everyone was sitting.He says I could not help you in preparing the food or doing up the house but surely I can be of help in the conversation!
I look at the corner, empty today,where he would have his food.There was a food corner for him in every house that we lived in and he would not take any titbits from the dining table.You don't serve a gentleman by giving him food under the table! Oh no sir,I will dine in a proper way at the right time and please ensure good clean water.When he was a pup I recall giving him an omelette each day once the kids had left for school.He would be sitting by the kitchen door at 8 am everyday waiting patiently for me to give him his morning breakfast.But never a bark out of him.Not demanding just patience unlimited. That was the way he was.Patient, knowing that his meal would eventually be served. And this was true for everything all the time. And the faith in us that we would not fail to serve him.A faith so immense that he never barked for his food. When he was hungry he would just go stand near his eating bowls and if they were empty at the kitchen door.No barks just patience and trust.A trust I agonise to think we would have been forced to break to save him from suffering.
His huge body and large size ensured that his presence could not be ignored. Sprawled in the corridor,near the bed,I n the garden, just outside the front door,often outside in the garden, no home was too big for him.In his younger days he would be sitting by the gate at a vantage point to look at the traffic outside Now in his 11th year he was not bothered. But he waited for all the family members to come and meet him. He waited for Christmas vacations for my daughter to see him,he waited for my son who was to be back in India from Germany in January and he waited for their grandparents who had looked after him when he was a pup. And then after seeing everyone the grand old member of our family made a graceful exit.
I just planted a tree by your grave Simba and I hope you wagged your tail when I did that.