Julie The Ist


As I mentioned earlier, that in my childhood I had shifted to Mumbai for a period of 3 years, and how I met Madam Julie; it was during the period when I was in std. 3rd & 4th. Now, when Mam Julie had finally left the school, I too was soon promoted to std. 5th, but nothing was the same without her! All was routine. Fortunately/unfortunately, I too had to pack my bags, mid-way, as mom had decided to shift back to Calcutta. With this sudden decision of mom, all that I was excited about, was to return to Loreto.

Once back to Calcutta, I was re-admitted in Loreto! I had jumped to class 6, due to my good reports of the previous years. In Loreto…it was wonderful to sniff the same air as I was once used to…the same classy atmosphere, topped with the familiar environs!!!

Dramas & ups and downs have always been a part & parcel of my life ever since I was born in this ruthless world. I always feel that I do not belong here & was never cut for so! I was a person that if anyone called out for me lovingly, that person was almost worshipped by me… as I doted on my teacher Julie. Probably I was like this due to the lack factor of love from my family…but…Do not worry… I am no more that gullible… though… I now have built an invisible fortress around me…in case…!!! Anyway, I was in Loreto till class 8, and once again due to forced/destined circumstances, I sensibly decided to join my Dad forever…at last.Thank God for that…my life took an altogether different route.

I joined my Dad in Chandigarh, was totally enamoured by his presence, I had parted from him when I was a child & reunited in my adolescence. The beauty of the town was a further bliss. I was happy for a change & for the change.

I was admitted in a private school as the board of Punjab University was entirely different from that of Bengal. I was lucky to straight away prepare for the board exams, within 6 months, skipping class 9 & 10, this was possible because of the private school! I coped as the standard of studies was far simpler in comparison to the TOUGH boards of Bengal. The event of my much deserved coat of nail polish had finally occurred in Chandigarh!

Chandigarh was full of students from various countries. My neighbour was a Nigerian chap, too friendly to scare my sis and me out of our wits. He did not interest me even for a second look, but within days dad & sis found me gaping towards his annexe, every now and then. Yes it was my die hard obsession that made me do so…NO…not for him but for the cute cuddly Sherry, his new pet. Dad felt relieved as he got to know the fact, but I was restless, as I wanted to share my passion for animals with her. Also… as I missed my dog Zango, whom I had to leave behind with mom, along with several other things, when I finally left her forever…for the good… & joined Dad.

 

Luckily, Sherry soon got very fond of us since we used to feed her most of the time, as my neighbour was quite negligent towards her due to his college and studies. Poor Sherry always seemed famished. Soon, she met her hero, mated and was happily a mother to be! That was the time when I was preparing for my boards. On one such late night, while my sis & I were busy slogging for the exams, Sherry came to our door frantically and demanded to be let in, we complied. Within the next few hours we heard her squeals; my sis went to check on her & returned squealing as well. She broke the news that Sherry has delivered a pure white pup, I flung my books in the air and rushed to the room where she chose to stay put. She gave me a proud look, that’s when I realised her purpose to choose my house in the middle of the night, to deliver; obviously her wisdom prevented her from foolishly being with her no good master. I then shifted my focus on the pup lying there, the most beautiful face I ever saw! I named her then & there…JULIE. It was 3rd April…when this love of my life took birth!

I obviously forgot to study any further, kept watching every move of Julie, and Sherry kept delivering further. By morning there was a litter of 4. Besides Julie, one more pup was very striking; as he was the only black-white pup in the lot…he was named Sheru by my Dad. My neighbour gleefully gave me the custody of Julie & Sheru. Oh man! They looked awesome together. Whenever I took them for a walk, people stopped to look at them. They had a common leash with two neck cords adorned with chimes; the duo walked in such harmony, and thought no end of them selves.

Time flew by, I unfortunately lost Sheru to the bitter cold night of his 1st winter…yet..Julie survived! Ever since I have consciously named all my pets with the initials “J” or “C” {Jesus Christ}, and they have lived their full span on earth!

As I passed the boards, I was to be admitted to the G.C.G. for my Prep & bachelor’s degree. Soon Dad announced that I would have to live in a hostel, I kept brooding since the hostel meant…living without Julie. As she and me were inseparables! Yet, I had no choice in this course of life too, therefore meekly relented, to live in a hostel without her. Dad’s family friend offered to look after Julie, whenever I was away. On vacations, no sooner I got to my abode, I would demand to be united to her, as the fear lurked that she might forget me; but each time I met her, she proved my fears wrong, and smothered me with her unconditional love and put me to shame.

On one such vacation, I found her behaving a little odd, before I could get  down to sober observation, she started to gasp &howl, by the time I rushed to her aid,  her body was twisted and convulsing. My eyes widened in disbelief to what was witnessed. Julie was in a bad shape and I could do nothing to help. I waited for the morning and rushed her to a good vet. He detected Distemper, a fatal illness. Medication too proved fruitless, and soon she was in a Coma, and as per the vet’s alarm, she was further struck by paralysis.

My world turned upside-down to see her suffering and I was highly pained and hurt. I screamed out to Jesus…”again why me? Why Me?” I was watching my darling going bad to worse, she could not move, could not eat, would wet the bed, and daily I had to carry her to the vet to give her shots. Moreover, I did not have much money for her treatment, but as I had started earning the bread for the household in my early teens via… Professional Theatre…Jesus kept blessing me with shows, a couple of regional films and some Tele shows & her treatment was managed!

Ever since Julie had fallen ill, I was beside her, had not bothered to go back to the hostel, also… due to my professional commitments. Soon finals were ahead & it was time to be confined to the hostel. All these past months, I had hardly attended any lecture, did not know what was happening in class, my world was Julie and work. My principal and college/hostel authorities were lenient towards me as my work was speaking loud n clear, and I was famous… a matter of pride for them too…& to top, I was well behaved, charming & “Miss Fresher” of the college… soon after I had enrolled in it!

Now the issue was, if I go back to the hostel, then what about Julie? On my day to the hostel, I packed my stuff and also placed Julie in a bag. No amount of dad’s coaxing/warning could budge me. I did not trust anyone any longer to hand her over to them. I was emphatically prepared to face any drier consequences, put all to stake for the sake of my Julie, but refused to keep her out of my sight. Once Julie n I entered the hostel, its gates barred us from the outside world! Who cared…as long as Julie was sneaked in and slept in my arms!!! By then, she was out of her coma, but was paralyzed. It was very difficult to know whether she was sleeping, or awake, alive or dead as she could not emote at all; many a times I had to put my ears on her chest to check on her breathing n heartbeats. Yet she & I knew that we were better off  with each other, in spite of her critical condition & my awful situation.

On my outing days, which was just once a week, I would take her to the vet ; but for the rest of the days, I had arranged with a sweet Manipuri buddy Vikram Namierakpam, for so. We became experts in smuggling Julie in & out of the hostel premises. No one could ever imagine as to what was taking place right under their nose, via the blue bag. Julie kept going for the shots but did not improve in any way. On my regular questioning looks, the vet finally declared that nothing can bring her or her limbs back to normalcy. Before I could react bitterly, he added that henceforth only two things could save her, my prayers and my care. I stomped out of his clinic to never return. But his words kept ringing in my ears. Back in my hostel room, I knelt & prayed even more earnestly, cried to Lord that there is no way out, but Him! Praying, taking care of her and massaging her limbs became a daily feature. Henceforth… all that I further will share can be well fitted to my post ”Signs & Miracles”, I did not mention it over there as all of this I wanted to dedicate to Julie my child, on a post of her own.

One noon, while I was busy mugging up the text books, Julie was laid next to me, suddenly by the corner of my eye I sensed some vigorous movement, I turned towards her and was shocked to see that Julie was frantically cycling her limbs in the air, at first it scared me but soon I realised that my Jesus had answered my prayers…He had healed her… He definitely is the ultimate healer, as He is addressed in Hebrew…Yahowa Ropha. I gloriously thanked Him. The next second, I hugged Julie and we both could hear each other’s sobs, it was beautiful to hear her voice after a long time…even though she wept in anxiety & pain. She made me realise that she too desired to get well & shower her love on me, rather Live with me; it was an inexplicable moment for us.

No one believed what they heard, but I was witnessing it. In days she could roll on her sides, and then stand on her shaky limbs, and soon she was able to follow me with her staggering gait. I never took her to the vet out of fear that she might become a Guinea pig for him. I did inform him though, as He had urged me to pray earnestly. Yes, he too could not believe that Julie was walking. Sadly, after her recovery, two side effects of her illness remained lifelong with her, one: she never ate on her own, she had to be fed, & two: she became epileptic, often got horrid seizures, therefore all throughout I had to give her a daily dose of Mysoline & Valparin 200, which kept the fits at bay to quite a major extent. Nevertheless I was happy that Jesus gave her back to me.

Julie would be tugged everywhere with me, be it dates, restaurants, beauty parlour or work place, she was welcomed & pampered as all fell for her. Once I took her for a rehearsal of my play “Mirza-Sahiban”…a co worker of mine stated that I walked as a temptress as Sahiban. She stupidly insisted on knowing where/how I learnt to walk like that, I simply could have explained that I trained myself during the ramp walks I did, but since I was not in the right mood to explain & teach, I simply said, “from Julie”. Guess what? She believed it & for hours she kept practicing it following Julie everywhere; I never laughed so heartily! I guess it was believable as Julie actually had acquired a catwalk by her stagger, for once her stagger made me proud rather than brooding over it!

In college, along with the finals, the”Miss Graduate” event was also nearing, wherein we had to catwalk & pose on the ramp & the most beautiful, graceful, intelligent etc. etc. girl was to be selected for the title by the jury. Till then no one person had achieved to win both the titles of “Miss Fresher”, as well as, “Miss Graduate”. I of course wanted to win it, as I already was the “Miss Fresher”. It was winter then, yet I would be up at 5 am, wear a cardigan & go to the college ground & jog endlessly. I felt Julie did not approve of being left alone in the hostel room, so I took her also the following day; not caring for the risk factor & also took it for granted that who would be up at that hour, in that weather. My daring ebbed the moment I spotted the chief warden glaring at me from her window. I immediately U-turned for the hostel, for hours I kept waiting to be summoned by her, but it did not happen, finally I bumped into her in the eve. I could hear my heart pounding, but all she did was exchanged a knowing smile & left. U bet the next day onwards, Julie & me went audaciously beaming, for the rounds… rather most of the time she would wake me up with her whimpering & pawing.

Some of the inmates got jealous, put across a complaint to the hostel warden, demanding equal rights. The warden enquired of me, I denied with a red face, she darted a look on my clothes as they were full of Julie’s fur, as I had given her a shower just a little while ago. Yet to please the rest she announced that she would pay a visit to my room in half an hour, maybe it was so to alert me, I sped up the stairs and hid Julie in the cupboard, but my future was entirely dependent on Julie’s mood. When the warden arrived, Julie was cosily fast asleep on my clothes, the warden looked everywhere but forgot the cupboard, either she did not expect/imagine a silent dog there or it was intentional, but it was a blessing in disguise, & that became her first and last visit on us!

Yes, I soon became the “Miss Graduate”, was successful in making the record I aspired for, and also fared well in my finals!!! The greatest reward for  me was… Jesus, who made all possible for me in spite of Julie’s illness, recovery & presence…Praise The Lord!

 

Well this is not the end of the major miracle, but a beginning! Yet another trial befell upon us, I also experienced premonition! After the College phase got over for me, I was anxiously waiting to shift to Mumbai once again… to start my innings here… least was I aware that my life in Chandigarh yet had something in store.

The window of my abode had a broad parapet, Julie somehow loved sitting on it, maybe a span of being restricted to the hostel room made her develop this liking for an open space. However I would scold her for so, she lend me a deaf ear on this issue. One night I woke up perspiring as I saw a dreadful dream that I was covered with blisters & wounds of sorts, my face half charred, I was screaming in pain, crying to Dad that “I am finished, my career is over, who would work with me in this state of mine, etc”. Once out of the nightmare, I saw Dad staring at me. He was woken up by my screams, I ran to the mirror to check on me, all seemed well. I wondered…then why such a dream which caused Dad & me to wake up in the middle of the night? Ohhh!!! realisation dawned upon me & I shuddered. I saw Julie was nowhere around, called out for her but to no avail, I frantically started searching for her, she was nowhere to be found, even checked the parapet, no not there too, and then I knew, why the dream & why was I woken up by the super natural power. I went towards the parapet & looked down the three floors…YES… she was lying on the ground without any movement, soaked in a pool of blood, her urine & stool out of her bowels…I yelled & yelled non-stop like a mad person. There were nail marks all over the parapet proving that during her fall she clung to it expecting to be rescued by a person who was fast asleep & fell… as she could not sustain it, neither had that level of strength to balance herself due to the stage of her post-illness. I HATED MYSELF.

I  was like a zombie, could not move an inch, as I thought she was no more. Dad darted down the endless steps and brought her up to me, her blood dripping all over, she too was absolutely still, till we came face to face, I looked at her with blurry eyes & said “Julie”…she wagged her tail at me in that state, we were bewildered to witness that. I rushed her to the vet and pleaded him to attend to her, at that hour of the night, he relented. Julie was diagnosed of multiple fractures, organ ruptures & head injury! But hold your breath… Within weeks of her treatment she sprung back…RECOUPED!… HALLELUYA!

Oh yes, another facet of the dream got true, within some days, some horrid blisters burst forth on my back, inter related to chicken-pox, Julie & I were being treated/recovered simultaneously. Ever since then, my dreams mostly alert me on good/bad tidings. I also knew for sure that Julie was truly my soul-mate…remember the song…Do jism magar ik jaan hai hum… yes my “Jaan”… Julie… indeed! This child of mine is addressed as JULIE THE 1ST! With her…I too was addressed mostly as… “ the girl with the dog”, as we were inseparable!

 

To be continued…….!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 Comments

  1. hello seema kapoor ji,
    reading your articles once more made me have tears once more. i just love reading your posts :-). it is great to see that you are an animal lover. i too would have done the same thng you did to julie. when i was young we had too many dogs too. at a time we had like 14 dogs because the females had pups :-). but as time passed by we had to give them away which made me sad too. it’s hard to part from things you love but i was a happy they had new owners.
    as time past by, at that time i was working and also studying too. but i would make a point to go visit my dogs. at the end we only had three dogs in the end. two were alsations and one is a dachaund. i was like you, as our family was travelling too and being educated but i too hated parting from my dogs. one day i got to know that one of our alsations had died from a snake bite which made me so upset for awhile but i got over it. i was so excited to go back for the holidays to sri lanka as the first thing i wanted to do was hug my other two dogs and see too them.
    my three dogs were nero, liza and coby. but nero died, which was sad. liza was with us when i was really young and she was old. i remember we use to call her rabbit ears because both her ears were like that and when she saw us both coby and liza would be so excited. time passed by and liza died of old age and coby was the boss of the house :-). at first coby and liza were very close and they were like mum and son but he got used to it. he was utterly spoiled by our family and still is. the story behind coby the dachaund is very interesting and also became a family member in our family.
    how we found coby was a few years ago i was in africa with my family. we went to a dog show and there was a lady selling pups. that’s when i saw coby that is how we made our parents to get him for us. he was still a pup at that time and was wondering what was going on but he became part of us. i remember he used to sense every time if something was going on and would look at us all the time. he would too be in my room most of the time when i am studying or doing my art work or something. one thing he hated was the vet but eventually got over it. he is very smart so if there is a suitcase near my bed, he would first step on it and then jump on my bed and curl next to me. holidays passed by and he would wait till i come. very protective. today he is the boss of the house and well cared by my family until i come. there are so many stories about my dogs which i cannot mention here as there are many.
    seema kapoor jji you have always been my idol,my inspiration and my hero. i have watched all your shows and love your acting in bidaai. and wish i could get to meet you someday. that’s my greatest wish. take care and be in touch. i absolutely admire you and the whole bidaai team. and reading your articles reminds me of myself. well done seema kapoor ji. a big round applause to you.

    your greatest fan
    lassie

    ps: keep up the great articles. it does teach us all something.

    • hi seema ji nice articles

  2. […] Julie The Ist […]


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