10 years with Dash, Bolt & Sox April 03 2020

Dash, Bolt and Sox with Tina and Pratheek

Dash, Bolt & Sox - back when they were an inseparable trio

These pictures brings back so many memories of a time that never came back - when Dash (on the left, with Tina) and Sox (fawn coloured, lying on the floor and looking up) were still friends and played together. Back then, we didn’t have collars on them, or have to separate them all the time. For the past 8 years and more, they can't stand the presence of each other.

Growing up, I’ve always had dogs in my home, right from my 2nd class or so. Goofy, who ran away one day, Snooker - who never adjusted with us had to be given away, and Simba, who was my best friend… until the distances of engineering college, NID and then Bangalore slowly erased me until I was only a faint memory. I carried the pain of losing Simba for the longest time, knowing that I could have done better, to have reconnected with him whenever I came home for a few days…

After moving to Bangalore in 2006, I’d yearned to bring a dog home. For the longest time, I wanted to get a Lab, a big dog… until I met Phooey - my friend Sachin’s indie - who changed everything.

Dash came into my life on a July morning in 2010. A few months later, in September, I saw an infant Bolt on our street - he had dislocated his hips and dragging his rear legs behind him. I couldn’t bear that sight, so I took him in. Later that night, his sister Sox - who’d been picked up a few days back by a boy and his mother - was abandoned at that same spot, right in front of our house; so my brother Vivek and I took her in too. We thought we'd let them back on to the street when they'd grown a little, but they just stayed.

Jasjyot Singh Hans with Dash, Bolt & Sox

When Jasjyot stayed with us and drew the pages of Love Like A Sunset

I always knew that whoever came into my life as my partner would have to love dogs, and when Tina came home the first time, they just took to each other so peacefully, especially Dash who since then has always had a special place in her heart.

Back then, people were surprised when we tell them that we have three dogs (with Surumi, we have four now), all of whom we adopted.

Sometimes I wonder how it would have been if we didn’t bring them home, would they have been happier, roaming freely on the streets? Would our lives have been easier?

It’s a lot of responsibility, for starters, we’d have been able to pack our bags and just take off wherever we wanted to without thinking twice about it. Some of the things they do frustrate us to no end. Sometimes I get so angry with them too… but, there’s the flip side to all of this.

The joy, the tremendous, unimaginable joy I have when I see them when I come back from the studio or a walk, when I wish them good night, when we play together, when they come to us, demanding to be petted and talked to and loved… when they sleep in with Tina and me…

Our lives would have been so, so incomplete without them. Every single day is blessed with them in our lives, I know that they’ve helped me become a better person in many ways. 

They’re my darlings and I can’t imagine a day without them in my life.

- Pratheek

Dash, Bolt and Sox, sleeping