I looked past the green grass filled with dew drops as I grinned at what lay before me. I didn't know which way to look - right, left...they were everywhere - small, cute, and cuddly golden retriever puppies. I squatted down on the grass and put out my arms. None of them seemed to respond to this gesture but one . Across the lawn she came running to me, stumbling over a toy on the way which made me smile instantaneously. Spritely looking about, she dived into my lap and twisted herself so that her belly was facing up. She had the most beautiful eyes I had ever seen - huge, brown and very expressive (full of excitement and awe). As I touched her, I could feel the warm fluffy golden coat that shimmered in the sun. Her ears flapped on either side as she played with the stuffed animal in my hand. The first day I saw her and every second we spent together after that, no one could love as much as her. I could have sworn that she was smiling back at me the whole time. "She is the one" I thought to myself as I kissed her soft cheek for the very first time.
What was I going to call this little angel that was going to come into my life in the next week? The name listing began and suggestions. My mother suggested Athena or Sandy and me being the youngest dork suggested the most peculiar name - Muffin. But we wanted something that would show how much love and affection she had to offer. We finally decided on "Maansi" which means CLOSE TO THE HEART in Sanskrit. I agreed without any argument. This would be the perfect name for my sweetheart. My heart was already racing and the night before, I did not sleep at all because what lay ahead the next day was going to be my most cherished memory in my life. I got super early and woke up both my parents as we headed down to VA to pick maansi up and bring her home. She was bigger already and she wagged her tail. I was surprised that she recognized all of us. We brought her home in a laundry basket and I kept my hand in, petting her the whole drive back. She licked my face as we started playing in the car. Finally we were home and Maansi was allowed to explore the house. Sindhu and I were fighting for one of the rooms for the longest time and Maansi left her mark (you know what i mean) in that room before she was potty trained :P. The room became Sindhu's (I still think it was a conspiracy between the two of them).
The first few months with Maansi turned out to be the best in my life. She would accompany me everywhere - follow me and even at times chewed up my shoes and my favorite stuffed animals. But that didn't matter. It was Maansi - my maansi. Every day, she would wait for me to come home from school. Till this day, I don't know how but she would know that at I came home at 3:30 from the bus. She would get on top of her couch and eagerly wait for my arrival. We spent every moment together - we taught her to sit, down, play hide and seek, beg standing on her hind legs, go place, and kiss. I would come into the house and play with her for countless hours. Whenever the doorbell would ring, she would be the first to greet the newcomer either with a sock or something lying around the house in her mouth; wagging her tail with that lovable smile. When I'd watch a movie, I'd curl around her. I would bring her to my room upstairs and even though my parents hated it and I would let her jump on my bed. She loved treats and would do anything for food. Whenever she heard thunder or balloons or vaccum cleaners, she would take refuge either behind the couch or in the bathtub. She hated baths but those moments were the best spent with her - although that job was given to my dad.
Even with other animals and people Maansi was the best. She transformed dog haters to animal lovers and loved everyone. She was never mischievous....even if you deliberately placed your hand in her mouth, she would try to take it out using her paw in a fear of hurting you. She didn't know how to hate or even bite! She just loved. I still recall one incident when I left my pizza before her and told her "NO Maansi." She didn't move an inch and was waiting for my return which was after 5 hours. I would spend endless hours on her couch doing homework with her curled up next to me or her face on my lap. Maansi has probably come across every subject I have studied - Biology, Chemistry, and even some math. =]
These are just a FEW of the experiences we shared and I don't think I'll be able to type anymore without crying my heart out. Maansi Alexandria Chandramouleeswaran taught us how to love, live and before she died of cancer, she taught everyone how to leave the universe. She waited for my father's return from a trip and didn't let us see her pain. She was indeed an angel.
When they brought her in the stretcher, my heart sank. I gazed at her hoping she would wake up from the table - and I would wake up from this madness. NOTHING could happen to my Maansi. They had her blankey around her and her paws were on either side of the stretcher and her head resting against it, her eyes closed like she was sleeping. I still remember how much a CRIED. I called out to her and begged her to come back. I kissed her but instead of the usual warm furry face I was used to, she was ice cold. I put my face on hers and cried my heart out, tears trailing all the way down. I never got a chance to see those eyes - she left before I could say goodbye. She was my best friend. How could she leave me alone in this world? Who would greet me every day when I came back? Who would occasionally pause on long walks for breathers with me? Who would fetch tennis balls for me? Who would cuddle next to me when i did my homework? Who would get their hair all over my black pants? Who would spend every second of every minute with me - loving me?
Maansi - a loving friend and companion that would make anyone smile.
My friends. Without them, these times would be the worst. Calls came from all over the world - every person Maansi ever knew. She left her mark on people, always remembered as the sweetest. Burying her was painful and I got through it because of my friends and spending countless hours on phone calls and text messages. I don't know how I will ever repay them for their support. Each of you have had a special moment with maansi and she will remain in all of our thoughts and will be missed greatly.
Life can be painfully ironic at times. There is so much love when you look for it but time and death take everything away before a blink of the eye. What do you do when you realize how much you love someone when they are no more? RIP maansi. Always thinking about you Maansi and I spend at least 20 minutes a day by your grave. Please come back to me in some shape or form. You will always be MY AMULU, my SWEETY, my CHICKOO, MY LIFE. You were my first friend and I will NEVER forget you.