Two days ago, i suffered the biggest loss of my life. I had lost someone to me that was a protector, a friend and a part of the family. I still remember the glee with which 13 summers ago i saw her, a mere puppy of 5 months, as black as soot and quivering with fear at her new surroundings. Never once will I forget the words of my mother, "Look under the sofa.". And so it began, a closeness that will never ever be lost. At first sight, i fell in love, with those big brown expressive eyes of hers. The way she used to express her love for all us, and a love as unconditional as any mother can give her child, a love untainted by the impurities of the outside world, one free from corruption and evil. She simultaneously in one life-time acted as my sister and mother. In her early years, combatting for my mom's attention with me, it was almost like a kind of sibling rivalry. Slowly, as dogs always do, she started to age much quicker than me and eventually considered me like a son. She used to actually try to protect me from the servant when she used to sweep the room when i was sleeping in. The family itself went through many changes. One change that affected her the most was the arrival of the car. Her special treat used to be a ride in the car. The way her eyes used to light up at the mention of the word "Chengala" (malayalam word for leash), and following which she used to run after my dad to work her magic with those expecting eyes. She had her share of mischief in her as well, while earlier, she took a particular liking to shoes, plastic covers and enjoyed "marking her territory" in places she knew I'd step on. Later on, she took to turning the dustbing over and eating chicken bones, which were actually bad for her. It's funny how on my last trip home, she started living out a second childhood because i remember at least 2 instances where I stepped into..... Never mind. One of the biggest regrets, i think, of her life was that she could never have any pups. She used to sometimes climb into dark corners as though pretending that she was going to give birth. She would have made a fantastic mother i'm sure, the way she used to try to take care of me was enough proof of that. She died two days ago, from an un-known sickness after 3 hours of excruciating pain. Because i'm in hostel right now, I don't think the enormity of her death, nor the void that it has created in my home can be understood quite fully yet, but it has affected me deeply enough to write this blog post, the only one that really means something to me. This is to you Tinku, farewell.