Mission Delhi – Momo, Hazrat Nizamuddin East
One of the one percent in 13 million.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
A moonbeam lent too briefly. Momo, who was born just a few months ago, died recently.
The Delhi Walla first saw the kitten in an artsy apartment in a well-heeled central Delhi’s Hazrat Nizamuddin East. I could tell even her mother knew all was not well with the newborn.
Sheeba, usually a rather reserved cat, was licking Momo all over her tiny body. For the last few days, the infant Momo had been unable to walk on all fours. When she tried, her hind legs dragged behind as if they were paralysed. Momo looked so small and fragile that one feared she might dissolve to the touch.
It wasn’t clear how Momo’s hind legs lost movement — the vet had ruled out a fracture. It could have been a more serious nerve problem, according to him.
Both mother and daughter shared the flat with dhrupad singer Arman Ali Raza.
Once I saw Mr Raza preparing to take Momo to the vet. Sheeba refused to let go of her kitten.
Mr Raza gently took away the baby from the mother, putting her in a basket. Mum jumped into it. The young man took her out, and softly said in Hindi, “We are taking your child to the doctor. He will give her medicines so that she recovers quickly. We will come back soon.”
I can’t forget the sight of Sheeba sitting quietly in front of the door, waiting for her daughter to return. A few days later, as Momo partially recovered, Mr Raza’s friend took them to her house.
Now I learn that the little Momo fell off the balcony the other day. “She couldn’t land on all fours like other cats,” the friend told us. We asked about the mother. “Sheeba was sad but has recovered… she’s doing okay.”
[This is the 138th portrait of Mission Delhi project]
A moonbeam lent too briefly