Mission Delhi – Fatima Khan, Ghaffar Manzil
One of the one percent in 13 million.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Fatima Khan loves her pomeranian dog, truly does.
But she simply can’t get over the sudden death of her other dog—a two-year-old toy breed named Chuski who deserved a far longer life.
Ms Khan, just 15, vividly recalls that fateful afternoon back in April when she was offering the Friday jumma namaz in the family drawing room in South Delhi’s Ghaffar Manzil—when suddenly her father exclaimed: “Chuski has passed away!”
The rattled girl somehow completed her prayers, and then asked her parents if they were joking. “How could this have happened?”
Well, it just… did. A life-searing event for Ms Khan who regarded Chuski as her closest ally. Every time there was a family tiff she’d shut herself away in her bedroom with Chuski and pour out her heart to this shih tzu breed.
“I was very close to her…I would tell her that nobody loves me. And she would cuddle to me!”
She knows that Chuski is now watching her, from wherever the beloved pet now is. She, too, often watches Chuski on the old pictures and videos she has of the dog on the mobile phone. But Ms Khan also finds consolation with her pomeranian named Bijli: He was purchased from the same pet shop as Chuski.
“He can never really take Chuski’s place, but I do love him,” she declares fondly, petting Bijli nestled in her lap. “But sometimes when I cradle Bijli, I imagine Chuski watching me from above and wondering if I have forgotten her.”
[This is the 166th portrait of Mission Delhi project]
Coping with loss