The Man with Stray Pets


Do they have names?
The wife had asked a valid question. When you care for some animals and treat them different from the rest of the animal kingdom, it is inferred that they have developed their own identities with you.

That’s when he said it: “This one is Sheru, that one’s Laali.” I looked at them again. Their names have nothing to do with their appearances. Sheru is more like a lamb than a lion. Always in a slumber until he hears the familiar rumble of biscuit wrappers.

Sheru in a slumber
Sheru in a slumber

Laali is quite white – milky white colour unusual for a street dog – though her name indicates a red shade. And she is active and smarter than Sheru.

Laali: The name itself is a misnomer. She’s white and spotless.
Laali: The name itself is a misnomer. She’s white and spotless.

We met Surinder who runs this roadside stall a few weeks back and are his loyal customers since then. Our visits have sparked conversations with people from different walks of life, which I shall blog in the coming days.

The man himself
The man himself

Our little family uses our weekly cycling trip as a window of opportunity to reach out to wonderful strangers out there. I personally feel that such visits should support the local community and should be looked upon as a bridge- building effort between the two Indias.

Do you have stories of wonderful strangers in your location? Have you experienced the bliss of having a ‘stray’ pet? Share your stories.


6 Comments Add yours

  1. I’m intrigued by this story, Manu. How would you translate the words Sheru and Laali?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. manuchettan says:

      I’m so happy to see our comment, Mary. I shall try to translate the names. In Hindi language, the word “Sher” refers to lion. So Sheru is an affectionate way of mentioning a pet (it is like naming a pet dog “Tiger”). The word “Laal” in Hindi indicates the red color – revered by religious reasons, like the color of the holy vermilion that married women wear on their foreheads. So Laali is an affectionate way of calling someone (to indicate ‘that red one’). Hope this helps.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, Manu, that’s helpful. I like thinking up names for cats, even though I only have one cat. Her name is Ginsberg, Ginzy for short. She was named by a previous owner after the poet Allen Ginsberg.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. manuchettan says:

        Hi Mary! I’m happy to meet another cat-lover. Ginzy is a beautiful name.

        Liked by 1 person

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