Photobucket had recently changed their policy and now all the images from my 650+ blog posts are disabled. I am slowly editing them by moving my images to my own server at AWS, but it will take time. In case there is a particular old post you want to see the images of, kindly drop me a mail at and I'll keep that at a high priority. Thank you.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Chp 875. Encounter with a Snake!

I've had my fair share of encounters with different species of snakes, from the tiny garden variety of non-venomous snakes to the extremely venomous politicians who create communal or racial discord for the sake of gaining votes.

But I really wasn't prepared at all when I came face to face with a 6 feet long cobra last week!

I've been staying at our farm for more than a year now. And for the past 1 month, I've had the delightful companionship of our adorable dog Dobby. Some of you may have read his guest articles on my blog - "Goodbye Dehradun" and "Hello Mizoram".

I won't write much about Dobby's experience here at our farm as he wants to write those posts himself, so do visit again to read his upcoming updates.

Everything became merrier and happier at our farm with Dobby by my side, except last week when we encountered a cobra! I almost got a heart attack, not because I'm fearful of snakes but because I feared for Dobby's life as the cobra was in full attack mode, ready to strike him!

So here's what happened.

Dobby and I wake up every day at 5:30 AM. That's farm life for you. I let him out of the farmhouse after that so he can pee and poop and do any other business required, while I start getting ready for the day. I make my bed, freshen up, make coffee, cook breakfast, wash the dishes, sweep the farmhouse etc etc.

He eats breakfast at around 8, and once he's full, he usually lies down on the lawn in front of our farmhouse basking in the warm sunlight, while I prepare to eat my breakfast.

That fateful day, while I was eating my breakfast, I heard Dobby bark from the lawn. He barks at anybody entering our farm, like bawngchawphur (cowherds looking for fodder) or farmers from neighbouring farms who use our farm as a shortcut to go to their farm.

But this time, his bark was unusually longer and more aggressive. I started having a bad feeling about it so I went to the window to look at him. He was actually barking in the opposite direction, towards our barn!

I was like, "What the hell?" and ran outside immediately.

None of those bawngchawphur or neighbouring farmers come near our barn so I was thinking it could be drug addicts looking for items to steal, or probably some wild boar who ventured too far away from the forest area.

As Dobby saw me run out from our farmhouse, he ran towards the back of our barn and continued barking. It was only when I reached there that I was completely shocked. He was barking at this big ass cobra!!!

In all my time of living at the farm the past one year (or the many times I used to visit the past 20 years), I had never seen a cobra. I've seen those small scrawny snakes many times and they didn't bother me as they just slithered away. But a freaking cobra? Hells no! I never for once thought there could even be a cobra at our farm.

I grabbed Dobby by his collar immediately and pulled him back inside our farmhouse and locked the gate.

Once inside the safe enclosure of our farmhouse, I called up Pi Thuami immediately. She's one of our neighbouring farmers. Luckily for me, she was already working at her farm and she said she's sending Pu Huma down right away.

As all our farms are connected with little or no boundary walls, a cobra in our farm is as dangerous to me as it is to them too.

When I saw Pu Huma running towards our farmhouse with a stick, I opened the gate again as I wanted to take him to the back of our barn where we spotted the cobra.

But bloody hell, the moment I ran outside the gate, the freaking cobra was right next to me IN FRONT of our farmhouse. It must have slithered all the way around our barn towards our farmhouse while I was speaking to Pi Thuami on the phone.

I completely didn't see it. It would have definitely bitten me had it not been for Dobby's warning! I jumped away just in time and Dobby threw himself between the cobra and me as I regained my composure.

I panicked and hurled whatever I could find around me towards the cobra - empty water bottles, twigs, YMA cups and even a tualhmunphiah (Mizo version of a besom broom). None of them hit the snake of course and it only made it more aggressive.

It was already standing as tall as me, head completely spread flat and hissing loudly at the two of us, ready to strike. My biggest fear was that Dobby would lunge at the cobra so I was screaming at him the entire time not to attack.

I think the snake was distracted or confused with the mixture of Dobby's vicious bark and my shrill scream because it didn't notice Pu Huma who was running towards our farmhouse the entire time. As soon as he reached our spot, he whacked the snake right on its head with his long bamboo stick.

Whack, whack, whack.

I grabbed Dobby by his collar again and held him tight, while Pu Huma continued beating the snake. Finally, the snake was motionless and then Pu Huma took out his sharp chempui and chopped off its head.

Everything felt so unreal. My heart was beating faster than Pu Himanta Biswa making up yet another lie on why Mizoram retaliated against Assam.

Pu Huma then took the dead snake (and detached head) with him to discard at a nearby cliff.

Man, that was such a harrowing experience for me. More than my life and well-being, I was worried about Dobby's. The little idiot had never encountered a venomous snake before. One bite from the cobra and that would be it for him. :(

Had he just barked at the cobra from a safe distance, I would be okay with that, but watching him just inches away from the cobra ready to pounce, man, my heart stopped beating right then!

Dogs very rarely survive a fight with a venomous snake. That's a fact. Yes, they end up killing the snake eventually, but because of the snakebites inflicted on them during the fight, they too eventually start frothing in the mouth and die too.

With no anti-venom with me or clinics nearby (the nearest is Vety college at Selesih), that would have been Dobby's last day in Neihbawih. I thanked God profusely for keeping Dobby safe.

I was still shaken up after Pu Huma left. I called up another farm neighbour Pi Zuii and hired her for a half-day chore. I spent the rest of the day locking up Dobby inside the farmhouse while Pi Zuii and I sprayed FIRE (Paraquat Dichloride 24% SL) herbicide all around our farmhouse, barn and yard.

The logic was that the herbicide won't kill snakes but it will kill all the grasses and plants, thus making snakes more visible next time. Pi Zuii and I also cleared all the garbage around our farmhouse because they attract rats, which in turn attract snakes.

Lalani also told me to make a compost pit for leftover waste disposal far away from the farmhouse as that would also pull away the rats from our farmhouse, ergo, the snakes too. 

But I still can't fathom why that cobra came towards us. Even Pi Zuii and Pi Thuami were surprised. According to their vast experiences with snakes in Neihbawih, they said the snake always slithers away from humans as it is their survival instinct. So why did this particular cobra behave unnaturally? That was so scary.

Trust me, I really didn't want to kill the snake. I only wanted Pu Huma to help me scare the snake away, but unfortunately, it resulted in the loss of its life. Apart from the needless violence, we could end up disrupting the ecology too. The increase in the rat population in Mizoram is already attributed to the demise of the snake population.

Likewise, Lalani told me that currently in Mizoram, the population of cobras has increased exponentially because people killed a lot of King cobras, the main predator of cobras. Could that be the reason why we just saw a cobra so brazenly approach human settlement in broad daylight?

All our actions have consequences, especially when it comes to the balance of nature.

As of now, I'm extremely careful whenever I venture out from our farmhouse. I always carry this long bamboo stick with me now and I look everywhere first before taking any step, lolz.

When I trekked downhill to buy my weekly supplies from Pi Biki's shop (the nearest shop from our secluded farm), I narrated the incident to her and the number of times I must have cleared our thick overgrown terraces cutting weed and tilling the soil without being aware of a cobra nearby, and how I don't think I can do those ever again.

She laughed and said, "Snakes are so funny, right? When it is alive, we aren't scared of it because we're unaware, but once it is dead, we are so scared of it".

True indeed! :D

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Chp 874. Dobby's journal: Hello Mizoram!

Woof woof and welcome back to my blog.

Ok fine, pappa Kima's blog. But my update.

Let's pick up from where we left off last week.

As I mentioned in my previous post, mommy Lalani had decided to send me home to Mizoram so that I could live a happy life at pappa Kima's farm.

Mommy Lalani and pappa Kima spent a lot of time looking for a service to send me to Mizoram from Dehradun. They called up many people.

One of the services Pappa Kima found was "Carry My Pet" based in Delhi. Pappa Kima spoke to this person called Shariq (8929919756) and he was a really nice guy. He gave pappa Kima a good discount too, costing a total of INR 66,592 to deliver me from Dehradun to Guwahati (inclusive of air freight, road transit, documentations, pickup, food, service charges and other applicable taxes) with INR 18,600 refundable upon returning the cage.

However, the problem was that "Carry My Pet" could transport me only up to Guwahati airport. Mommy and pappa had to make their own arrangement to ship me from there to Aizawl, which was not possible for them.

Finally, mommy Lalani found another service called "Global Petcab" based in Bangalore. They were not only able to deliver across the Northeastern states but had many experiences in doing so. Their active facebook page also had a lot of testimonies.

Mommy Lalani spoke to this sweet lady called Jaspreet Kaur (8050653543) from "Global Petcab" and the total cost of doing a complete door-to-door delivery service from Dehradun to Aizawl came to INR 70,000.

And so, "Global Petcab" was hired to take me to my new home.

I was really going to miss everything about Dehradun.

Like I mentioned in my previous post, a sweet gentleman came to mommy Lalani's house at 4 in the morning and picked up me in a nice car.

I bid a sad farewell to mommy Lalani and Dehradun. Goodbye macaques, goodbye princess, goodbye Anjali aunty, thank you all for the wonderful time.

From Dehradun, my handler drove me straight to Delhi airport. I puked quite a lot on the way as I get motion-sickness on long-distance drives.

Mommy Lalani said it's because I almost died when I was a baby and that my tummy was very bad, hence the reason why I still cannot travel long-distance without puking.

"Global Petcab" was in continuous touch with mommy Lalani throughout the journey. They even created this WhatsApp group which consisted of mommy Lalani, Jaspreet aunty and the different handlers who were in charge of me. Our locations and activities were updated to the group in real-time.

I mean, I really didn't think it was necessary for the handler to take a photo of me every time I peed or pooed on the way, but if that makes mommy Lalani worry less, I am happy about it.

At Delhi airport, my handler did all the necessary paperwork like processing my tickets, documents, certificates etc, and after that, this nice doctor who was stationed at the airport appeared and examined me for some time. Finally, he said everything was in order and then gave me an injection. I was starting to feel sleepy.

They put me in a large cage with water and food after that.

To be honest, I was a bit scared to be put inside that cage, but somehow I didn't protest much as I was already feeling very drowsy and tired.

I remember people carrying me across a very large stretch of road and putting me inside this very large vehicle. I saw people getting inside the vehicle from a different entrance but it wasn't like any other vehicle I had seen before in Dehradun. It had wheels but it also had wings like the ducks I used to chase near WII lake. So weird.

They carefully placed me inside that long cylindrical vehicle and that was all I could remember. I fell into a deep and peaceful sleep after that.

When I woke up, I felt this bitter taste inside my mouth and my tummy felt strange. I was still feeling groggy and light-headed. A bunch of people were carrying my cage away from that long cylindrical vehicle.

I was thinking, "Make up your damn minds, hoomans, you've just put me inside that thing, and now you're taking me outside again? What's wrong with y'all?"

Suddenly, this nice man appeared in front of my cage and said, "Hello Dobby, my name is Prince. Welcome to Guwahati!"

Guwahati? Whoaah, that was fast! How long was I asleep?

It was another long drive from Guwahati airport to the city. I was starting to feel better after drinking some water and eating a few biscuits Prince gave me.

We spent the rest of the day applying for ILP and other required documentation. Mommy Lalani was continuously checking my progress on the WhatsApp group.

There was a slight problem with my transportation because apparently there was this issue between Assam and Mizoram where lives were unfortunately lost, and so the border check-gates and inter-state travel were extremely scrutinized.

Mommy Lalani called up many of her contacts and finally, we were able to enter Mizoram by nightfall. A big thanks to the LO of Guwahati Mizoram House, the DC of Kolasib district and the Vetenirary officer of Vairengte for assuring us a seamless passage into Mizoram.

It was around 15 hours of travel from Guwahati to Aizawl by road, and I ended up puking a lot on the way too. But Prince understood my situation and we would occasionally stop along the way so that I could take a breather and also relieve myself.

The fact that the roads in Mizoram were super winding made it worse for me. I kept puking until there was nothing left to puke out. It was also raining heavily in Mizoram, and so with the windows rolled up, Prince and our driver had to bear the smell of my vomit the entire way. I really feel sorry for them.

Finally, we reached mommy Lalani's house in Aizawl by afternoon! Hello Mizoram!

It was really nice to meet uncle Tesawma and uncle Ruata. They already had another dog called Maggie, who didn't really like me at first. And so they kept me on leash at the veranda. I felt sad, but at the same time I knew mommy Lalani was reaching home the next day too, so I was happy.

Overall, I was extremely tired from the journey but in the end, it was all worth it. Mizoram is so beautiful!

A big thanks to "Global Petcab" for taking such good care of me. If you want to send your doggos or cattos to a different location, please do use their service.

Pappa Kima would also like to add this information he recently learnt too that apparently in India, layover for pet transportation is extremely expensive. That was the only reason why mommy Lalani could transport me to Guwahati because there's a direct flight from Delhi to Guwahati.

Otherwise, if I were to take a connecting flight from Kolkata to Guwahati, it would have been double the cost, because all processes like fitness certificates, freight charges, medication etc had to be done again!

To keep it simple in dog-mathematic, it costs 100 chewy bones for me to travel from Delhi to Guwahati via direct flight, but it will cost 200 chewy bones for me to travel from Delhi to Guwahati via Kolkata layover!

So complicated naw? No wonder hoomans don't seem to advance much. :)

Anyway, pappa Kima hopes that you'll find this information useful next time you want to transport a beloved pet.

I'll update this blog again about my experiences in Mizoram next, so please do visit soon again. Until then everyone, woof woof.

Wednesday, November 03, 2021

Chp 873. Dobby's journal: Leaving Dehradun.

Hello and woof woof. My name is Dobby and I will be taking over my pappa Kima's blog occasionally from now on, so I hope you visit this blog regularly for my exclusive updates.

Trust me, my posts will be much more interesting than pappa's updates.

So, where do I start?

This is so exciting!

Well, for starters, I am a 1-year-old "local" breed. Some of you may also refer to me as an "Indian" or "Desi" dog, while others use more distasteful words like "stray" dog, but the correct term is actually an "Indian pariah dog".

Yup, that's what I am. A proud Indian pariah dog. :)

I never knew my real mommy and daddy, all I remember was coming into this world with a lot of pain. There were just dirt, hunger and diseases all around me, and I thought I would not survive my first week of existence, until mommy Lalani saw me dying at a roadside and rescued me!

She took me home from the streets of Dehradun and slowly nursed me back to health. She inserted all sorts of pointy pins into my body and made me eat many bitter tablets. She painstakingly cleaned me up completely and for the first time in my life, I realized those worms and other creatures attached to my body were actually not supposed to be there at all!

It took around a month for me to completely recover and mommy Lalani was always there by my side to take care of me. Soon I was able to sit up on my own and even start running around.

It was then that I learnt mommy Lalani had named me "Dobby" after this House Elf character from Harry Potter. But I think I look much better than him. What do you think?

Mommy Lalani treated me like a royal prince. She said something about "Covid-19" and that the reason she could give me all her time at home was because of the ongoing lockdown. I didn't understand what that was but I was so glad she could give me all her attention.

Sometimes she would scold me when I was naughty, but in my defence, all I wanted to do was play with things, and is it my fault that they get destroyed so easily? Humans should make things more durable, I swear.

She also scolded me when I played in my favourite mud. Such a killjoy right?

But most of the time mommy Lalani loved me, and I love her so much in return.

However, the "Covid-19 lockdown" that mommy Lalani had talked about was soon over. It was time for her to start travelling for work again and that was sad.

As she had to regularly travel for a week or two, she left me with aunty Anjali whenever she was away. Even though I love spending time with all the other doggos there, I miss mommy Lalani the most.

There was this one time mommy Lalani came back home from one of her long trips, and when she came to pick me up from aunty Anjali's place as usual, there was something different about her. She was happy and excited to see me, just as I was, but there was this new sadness inside her.

It was then that I learned mommy Lalani's own mommy had gone to a better place. I cuddled with her as much as I could, hoping to return the love that she had given me when I was almost dead.

Soon it was decided that mommy Lalani would send me home to Mizoram to live with pappa Kima because of her continuous work trips, as it was also getting expensive to put me in other people's care.

I hadn't met pappa Kima yet but mommy Lalalni was always on the phone with him every day, morning, noon and night, so I guessed he must be a good guy.

Pappa Kima would regularly order nice chewey bones for me all the way from Mizoram. He even gifted me a lovely cake on my birthday (although I only got to eat one small piece and mommy Lalani ate the rest).

I was really looking forward to meeting him. But I was going to miss all the time I spent with mommy Lalani, including all the daily evening walks she took me around the WII campus.

Mommy Lalani assured me that at Pappa Kima's farm, I wouldn't even need to be harnessed and that I could run around free as a bird everywhere. That sounded very nice.

However, mommy Lalani told me that there are no macaques to chase around and tease back in Mizoram. I was ok with that. I was actually starting to get bored with them.

Before sending me to my new home, mommy Lalani did the final steps of preparing me for the journey, like giving me my second dose of vaccinations and also snipping my balls off. :(

I miss my balls.

Finally, once I was healed (ball-less but still with a lot of balls), the dreaded day arrived.

Time to say goodbye to my dear mommy Lalani. We both didn't sleep properly that night. I could hear mommy Lalani crying in the dark. Thankfully, because of her cry, she couldn't hear me crying either.

The next morning before dawn, a sweet gentleman arrived at her doorstep and he whisked me away.

And just like that, it was goodbye Dehradun, goodbye mommy Lalani.

I'll end this post for now, as pappa Kima is giving me the looks because I'm taking over his computer for too long. Be sure to visit again to read about my long journey home and my experience with Mizoram.

Until then, everyone, woof woof.