Faithful companion

Written By

Sanjukta Deb

Faithful companion Loading
  1. I was in class 7 when I went to my maternal grandmother’s place for winter holidays (which also happened to have 19 cats at that point in time). Didu (my grandmother) brought out this hand puppet (the closest known thing it resembles) that looked part Koala bear, part mouse, part grey towel. She found it behind the bed on the floor covered with cat fur. No one till date knows where it appeared from or who got it. My immediate reaction was to give it a name – Tedsi Bear. To this day, I don’t know how that particular name came to me.
  2. I am soon turning 30. My usual habit is to go home after work and pull out Tedsi from somewhere. She likes yelling ‘BANG’ every time that the Big Bang Theory opening credits play. By now she has a family background (she is a half Koala/half Panda bear kidnapped from California), a birthday that she keeps reminding us about and her list of favorite songs (“I Like to Move It” being on the top). Speaks Bangla and what-sounds-like English.

Somewhere, in these 16 years, she has become my alter ego. She is everything I could never be: an extrovert, opinionated, loves herself first and food second, loves neckpieces and doesn’t consider paper money as money. Surprisingly, my mother responds to all that she says. My sister loves her to no end and is the one member of my family she loves. Me – she calls ‘Ewwie’. She has travelled with us to Rajasthan, Haridwar, Badrinath, Sikkim, Puri and everywhere else we can possibly think of.

She has seen me through all my heartbreaks and has snorted at me, while sitting on my hand, while I secretly cried. She has faithfully listened and stayed and judged me – whatever crappy decision I take, however a crappy day I have had, there has been no pity. She has spoken of things I never thought I would have the courage to speak. She used to sit with my aunt while my aunt was alive, and they had worldly wise conversations. She was heartbroken when she passed away. I did not cry. She did.

Why I say ‘she’ and not ‘it’? Because she has been what kept me going those awful nights when I couldn’t sleep and had no one to talk to. Not because I don’t have supportive people, but because I don’t want to be pitied. She didn’t pity me, she derided me. She is the fun, free loving spirit who is not afraid to speak her mind, who doesn’t try hard to please people & who loves herself. She is all those things that I wasn’t at 14. She is all those things I am not at 30. She is a content, peaceful version of me, happy with what she has, happy with what she gets and happy with who she is. In my heart, I am a little envious of her also, maybe.

I look deranged in front of my friends when I treat her as a live being. My sister keeps on saying I should have been a ventriloquist/a hand puppeteer. Whoever calls her a hand puppet/toy/towel is going to get beat up pretty bad. Live with it.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

I have completed my post graduation in English Literature from Bethune College, under Calcutta University, following which I worked as an administrator and production manager in Theatrecian, a theatre production company. Currrently I am working as Operations & Tech Development Manager with Tribeca Care, a health care company based in Calcutta.

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