We thought there wasn’t a better name for her than Her Majesty Begum Pathumma (paa-tum-ma) alias Pathu. There were a couple of reasons behind choosing this name.
The first memory of our meeting stood out like a goat in a raintree. Pathu used her spindly legs not only to jump but also to kick with an unwarranted vengeance. Like an olympian goat Pathu jumped over the coffee table onto the couch as I tried in vain to catch her. In doing that, she made our white and blue ceramic lamp shade quite dizzy with her agility. She pinched our laidback couch with her sharp nails and made him wince.
Her action sequence reminded me of Basheer’s novel Pathummayude Aadu, about his sister’s goat that had a free reign in his house, eating anything in sight including his noted works. Pathu too ate anything that her mouth encountered. Many articles that we considered uneatable fell prey to her sly snacky appetite. Among these newly discovered eatables, she preferred snacks priced over Rs 2000 and in pairs. We were no match for her skill when she found and devoured a pair of spectacles, a pair of earphones and a pair of back covers of Unni R’s stories. As a legally bound pair of humans, we shuddered at the thought of Begum’s snacktime ending our lives.
Her displeasure would curl her lips downwards, making a tunnel of her snout.
Another reason for calling her Pathumma was that she reminded us of a grumpy old woman. Pathu was a feisty one. If she did not get what she wanted, or felt wronged, which was most of the time, she would pace around you in a semicircle, staring you down with judging eyes making accusatory noises that were unlike any dog we had previously met. Her displeasure would curl her lips downwards, making a tunnel of her snout. Her one foot high body would then produce a long, high-pitched yodel to the tune of, ‘How dare you disobey me? Who made you my minion? Minister, burn this one at the stake and get me a new one’.
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Next Episode | E5: Pathu Has A Brother