Mission Delhi – Robin, Shiksha Apartment, Ghaziabad
One of the one percent in 13 million.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Usha Choudhary is 61. Her husband, Ram Kumar, a retired veterinary scientist, is 72. They live in their two-room apartment with son Robin. He is 12.
He is a black dog.
Robin is so popular in Shiksha Apartment, a multi-tower residential complex in Ghaziabad, that everyone there knows Mr Kumar in M-block as “Kaale kutte wale uncle (the uncle with the black dog).”
Robin moved into the couple’s family while still a pup. Their two human sons had left the nest long before the dog popped into their lives though Mr Kumar was still working at the Indian Veterinary Research Institute in Bareilly. “He makes sure we’re never lonely,” says Ms Choudhary, showing Robin’s many pictures in her mobile phone.
The good lady confesses that she and her husband are often obliged to skip family functions and late-night parties “because Robin can’t be left alone.” When they do take long vacations to visit their children in London and Bengaluru, they hire attendants to look after the Himalayan mixed-breed.
Turning to the “joy of her life”, Ms Choudhary says, “Robin tum bahut acche hon!” (“Robin, you’re a very good guy!”) The tail immediately does a cabaret.
Soon afterwards Mr Kumar flings aside his Hindi newspaper and speaks up. “Robin is a living reminder of my days as a veterinary scientist.” When people ask why they spend so much time and resources on a dog, he explains that “our Robin has given us something precious, and now we’re merely trying to return the favour.”
The couple now settles down for morning tea—and biskuts for their son.
[This is the 175th portrait of Mission Delhi project]
Robin and his Mummy Papa