My four legged teacher

August 2017

By Megha Bajaj

Inspired by the beauty of her unconditionally loving relationship with her pet, Megha Bajaj draws a few important realisations

There is so much about love that we truly learn from our children. Mine is a little different though. He is small and furry. He barks, instead of speaking. Has a tail that refuses to stay still. Walks, nay, hops on all fours. But this is probably where the difference ends. In no way is having a pet any lesser than having a child. And the learnings of motherhood are precious indeed.

I often wonder why is it so easy to love Zen? It’s so effortless to be unconditional with him. I don’t feel the same about other human relationships in my life. As I mulled over this question last evening, the answer came – I have no expectations from Zen. I am quite clear about this in my head and this clarity itself eases so many complications that accompany relationships. If only we could see other relationships too in this light – how many more relationships would become more beautiful? Most of us, especially in India, feel this for our parents and certainly for our children. But rest of the relationships are clouded with ambiguity, be they with friends, in-laws, spouse or siblings. We often allow the burden of expectations to take a toll on our best relationships. I ask myself today, “Can I build a few relationships in my life similar to the one that  I share with Zen, that are free of expectations and in which we can just enjoy pure love?”

Another beautiful thing I realised with my son is that he lives in the present moment; and along with him, I too. Our relationship is neither ensnared by clutches of the past nor defined by the uncertainty of  future. We are where we are. When we run together, we run together. There are no thoughts, no worries: We, mother and son, side by side, running along. When we eat, we eat. Me, my food; he, his potatoes and carrots. Happily we chomp along. When we sleep, we sleep. Me, cozied up in my quilt, him cuddled up on the floor beside me. We are in the moment together which allows us to be ourselves and this makes our relationship quite beautiful. I ask myself today, “Can I build a few relationships in my life similar to the one I share with Zen, which are free of the past and future and can simply be enjoyed in the moment?”

Lastly, I concluded that I cherish Zen so much because his presence brings unbound joy to me. From the way he twitches his nose to the way he scratches his ears. From the bounce in his steps to the twinkle in his eyes. From the pink, curious tongue to the soft paws – all that he is, makes me blissful. I can watch him for hours, without him even realising it, and feel so intimate with this baby of mine. This made me realise that we all yearn for joy in our lives. No one wants a nag, no one wants someone who is always depressed, no one wants to be around dull,
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