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Love is in the air.

Those of you in places where spring is in the air might nod your head in affirmation and say,

“Oh yess!! Love is indeed in the air!”

That is not the case here in God’s own land of Kerala. We are in the throes of summer. It’s hot and humid. But what does seasons matter when love fills your heart, right? Has love ever been hindered by things so mundane?

Champ, as true a lover as any, has not let the season dampen his ardor for his lady. He is in love and seasons be damned. He hangs over the wall, rests his huge head on the cement wall and gazes soulfully at his lady-love.

“Woof!” he says gently in his deep voice, and once again, even more gently, “Woof!”

He does not want to frighten his precious lady-love with the real macho voice he uses to frighten off the crows, cats, the postman and also the milkman.

Meanwhile she, the queen of his heart, pretends not to have seen the love-sick suitor staring longingly at her over the boundary wall. She walks hither and thither, thither and hither, pretending to inspect the surroundings. There is an unmistakable spring in her steps. Whether it has escaped Champ’s notice I wouldn’t know. But it certainly hasn’t escaped mine. The girl is pretence personified. She sees the lovelorn suitor, hears his muffled addresses, but pretends ignorance. Instead she looks around as if for the elusive cat or the pesky bird and acts quite the busybody.

“Woof!” says the love-sick suitor once more.

Out of the corner of her eye she gives him a glance while running away in the opposite direction. She peeks over the wall, searching for the cat in the next-door neighbor’s yard. She could show him a thing or two if the cat appeared right now. Her agility for instance as also her shrill bark. Not that she has to. He has been hearing her shrill bark for days now. Probably that is something which attracted him to her in the first place.

Champ tries some little yelps to get her attention.

She walks on tiptoe and rummages among the dried leaves which are aplenty in the backyard. She looks around aimlessly giving him a brief stealthy glance before going back to her foraging in earnest. She finds the roti she has hidden the last night or was it the last week? With it held delicately in her mouth, she walks daintily to vantage point and sits down with paws stretched out. As if unconcerned, she chews on a day old (or perhaps a week old) roti, making a pretty picture for Champ to feast his eyes on. He looks at her adoringly and once again exclaims,

“Woof!”

Her eyes stray to him briefly once again, but she is back to her meal, chewing the muddy roti with absolute concentration. Having finished, she sits there contemplating things.

Ahh…. here comes that cat.

“Bow wow wow wow wow…!”

She runs after it barking in her shrillest voice, showing off. Champ sighs and watches her for some time. His hind legs are aching with standing up for so long at the wall. He reluctantly drops down and trots away with another sigh.

He will be back later to stare at her, after taking a round of his own house. After all he had his work to do too.

‘She’ is Goofy, the one I also call Cleopatra. Champ is the Labrador next door. Below is a picture of the beautiful Goofy who has captured Champ’s heart.


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