I put my beloved cat, Ditto, to sleep today. She was approximately 16.4 years old and lived a great life! In fact she probably lead a life more comfortable than most people in the world are able live. I have never been present when a pet has been put to sleep until today, and was amazed that is was just as sweet as it was sad. Why do I write about Ditto here on a Bollywood blog? Well of course I have to write about her zindagi, I mean life, because I loved her and she watched most of the Bollywood movies I’ve seen with me! OK, I admit she slept peacefully through most of the films, unless there was a song, fight scene, or animal sound that piqued her interest and perked up her ears. I think she especially liked Lata and Asha’s voices. I will be looking for this little cat to perhaps be reincarnated into the next Indian Film Industry star! She’d be like that pretty actress who won a pagent, starts out as an item girl in films, but it turns out she can really act! Or maybe she’ll be a playback singer, hai na?
Now Ditto’s life was like a lot of Bollywood films. She started out as an orphan that my brother found abandoned, crying out on a cold and rainy night. I think it must have been a lot like the baby left in the park in Amar Akbar Anthony. My bhai brought her home temporarily. Cat lovers, you all know what temporarily means. But there was a problem since my brother already had a cat, Bud, and she was a dacoit! Bud had made my brother her keeper when she found him walking around the block at night, while he would secretly smoke cigarettes. Dacoit Bud and my brother had clandestine meetings that turned into a permanent living arrangement. This is typical of the tricky ways cats work; they scout you out and make you think you found them. Yet bandit Bud had a heart of gold, and though she spent time smoking, drinking Johnnie Walker, gambling, murdering birds, and pretending to have no regard for the new orphan Ditto, she secretly did love the new kitten. Bud proved her love of Ditto by protecting her from a menacing dog. The kitten copied much of what Bud did, and earned her name: Ditto. Fast forward 16 years, Bud has been gone for years, and Ditto has now joined her in cat heaven. Ditto was fond of the beautiful things in life, like napping in the sun, sight seeing out the window, and sleeping to Bollywood movies. She especially loved salmon, pastries, shiny colorful beads, and all plants, particularly flowers. I didn’t have the luck of discovering the joy of having a pet cat until I was an adult. I had a great bulldog as a kid, but no cat. So many wasted years of my youth were lived cat-free! This gorgeous, sweet cat improved my quality of life about 80% to 90%, and since I’ve had a nice life so far, that’s saying a lot! Her sweet spirit and memory shall live on forever. Ditto’s movie watching career (in this lifetime) ended on a high note with Mere Mehboob (translation:My Beloved, how fitting!) and 4 of the 5.5 hours of Peter Brook’s The Mahabharata. On a side note, don’t you think when you take apart the name Barack Obama it sounds a lot like Mahabharata all mixed up? Ba-Rak-O-Ba-Ma. Ma-Ha-Bha-Ra-Ta.
Last night when I knew I’d be putting Ditto to sleep today, I was checking the blog stats page, which shows what search terms bring people to your blog and the highlighted stood out to me:
I must have at one time used the words, “night is always darkest before the dawn” in this blog and someone was led here that way. I am always on the look out for mystical coincidences, and took this to be a lovely one that revealed a message I needed to read last night. How sweet! Isn’t life grand?
At times artistic expression can convey the deepest of feelings and send a healing message. The wonderful film Jaane Tu … Ya Jaane Na (2008) has just such a message in a song that fits my situation today: Kabhi Kabhi Aditi Zindigi. In this tune Genelia D’Souza‘s character Aditi has a cat that has just died and her friend, played by Imran Khan, tries to cheer her up. The beautiful music is by the illustrious A. R. Rahman, with playback singer Rashid Ali, picturized on D’Souza, Khan, and a kitten!
One of my favorite bloggers, TheBollywoodFan, recently tranlated the lyrics to all the songs from JTYJN. You can read his full translation of Kabhi Kabhi Aditi Zindigi here. I’ve copied some of his translation to the song here to show you how it was just what I needed today and has a message that we all need:
Occasionally, Aditi, in life like this, it feels like someone belongs to us. Occasionally, Aditi, when he/she separates, it feels like it was a dream. In such a case how can on keep one’s tears from flowing? And how can someone think that everything’s gonna be OK?…Listen a little, the uncontrolled wind starts telling you, that Aditi, those who separate meet again, Aditi, whether or not you know the flowers blossom again.
Bollywood coming through for me in a tough spot! So I will continue to watch movies, missing my sweet little Ditto and being thankful for the great times we had. Maybe a new cat will find me when the time is right. There has been a cat hanging around the house a lot lately, looking like he or she would like to come in. I wonder if that billi would like Bollywood?