Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Onyx of Bombay

Last time I met Onyx was in May.

During my first trip to India in 21 years.

That was also the first time I met him.

Since I was quite jet-lagged I don't quite recall our initial greetings, but I think I gave him a pat, he wagged his tail, and that was it. The lack of exuberance was evident, maybe because I was getting between Nidhi and him. Though the 'I'm not impressed" and "I've seen it all before" was rather evident - the typical disdain and the nose in the air of a South Bombayite.

Then I got busy getting married and all, so the second long meeting I had with Onyx was at bed time, a few days later. Turns out that this time he and I were both going to be sharing the bed, and for whatever reason Nidhi instead of sleeping between the two of us let me be in the middle, with Onyx's face right next to mine. He just lay there, no lick, no warmth, just accepting the fact that I was there. So to conduct any carnal business was sort of difficult since he looked at Nidhi and me, unblinking, unemotional, just looking. Nidhi said turn the light off. I did. I still felt he was looking. She said ignore him. I did. Then I could not, as irrespective whether the bed moved or not Onyx did not move from the bed. So we (Mrs. & I) slept without sleeping with each other, and Onyx slept with me, snoring.

The next morning I woke up to find Onyx thumping his right paw emphatically as he looked and growled at Nidhi's dad who was eating a biscuit with his tea. The paw kept thumping, the growls kept growing more insistent till he got a biscuit. Then he left after giving me an indifferent look to land in Nidhi's lap, who promptly smothered him with all these kisses and cooed to him sweetly. As she did that he seemed to be saying to me, "who's the king here".

Then I went for a shower and found Onyx in the room when I came out. The A/C was on, he was sitting, philosophically, in the corner. He did lift an eye to look at me, but just. So I said hello. He looked at some point above my head. I dressed and sat down to pray. Nidhi's temple/ alter is on the other end of the room from where Onyx was sitting. I felt something, someone as I started chanting Hanuman Chalisa. I opened my eyes and Onyx was sitting next to me, calmly.

I felt he was praying with me, and it did not matter that we were different species since there was some oneness between us.

After the prayer we both got up and did our own thing. That night was no different than the night before. Nidhi slept on her side of the bed, because she has to, Onyx slept on his side, because he has to, I slept in the middle because that was the only place left on the bed.For the few days I stayed at Onyx's place the routine was the same - prayer and sleep arrangement. Otherwise we had zero interface.

If I see him again I hope it'll be the same because it won't be the same any other way.

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