Love in Lockdown : Story
LOVE IN LOCKDOWN
LOCKDOWN LOVE STORY
LOVE IN LOCKDOWN
I was thrilled.
My father was getting married.
And — we were going to Switzerland.
It all happened during the COVID Lockdown.
My father and this woman called Monika — they met online on a webinar — and then — they got connected on LinkedIn — professionally.
Both of them were Software Engineers — involved in developing banking and financial software — and they participated quite often in online webinars, discussions etc. on the topic — and became members of various groups interested in the subject.
Also — they interacted on a one-to-one basis quite often.
At first — their interaction was mostly work related
Then — they became friends — on “Social Media” — on Facebook and Twitter.
And soon — they started interacting online at a more personal level — DMs — emails — private messages — chats — video calls — on Zoom — on WhatsApp — almost every day.
And — in due course — they took their relationship to the next level — and they became quite intimate with each other — virtual romance — online dating — call it what you like — it went on for 2 years — and finally — they decided to get married.
My father’s office colleague Nisha — she is taken aback — and baffled — at my father’s decision to get married to Monika.
“You haven’t even met her…!!!” Nisha says to my father, “how can you marry someone you haven’t even met…!!!”
“We are interacting online for over 2 years now — we know everything about each other — we are both Software Engineers — our interests are the same — financial and banking software — and we are so compatible — we are “made for each other” — I really feel she is an ideal wife for me…” my father says to Nisha.
“How can you decide that someone is “ideal” for you just by an online friendship…?” Nisha says.
“We have been quite intimate…” my father says to Nisha.
“Intimate…? Online…?” Nisha says, perplexed.
“I don’t want to discuss all this — she proposed marriage — and — I agreed…” my father says.
“I strongly feel you should meet her in person first — spend time with her — before taking such a big step — and directly getting married to her…” Nisha says.
“Please Nisha — we have taken the decision to get married — there is no going back now…” my father says.
“But you should have asked me before taking this decision…” Nisha says.
“I have told you everything about Monika — you have even “talked” to her once or twice when we were having a Video Call and you were here with me…” my father says to Nisha.
“But you never said that you were going to marry her…” Nisha says.
“I am telling you now — in fact — you are the first person I am telling…” my father says.
“I wish you would have asked me — we could have discussed…” Nisha says.
“It happened so fast — just a few minutes ago we had a Video Chat — she asked me to marry her — and — I said “YES” — and I called you over to tell you the news. Monika is a good person — we know each other for more than 2 years now…” my father says.
Nisha looks at my father and speaks.
“I am not saying that she is a bad person — she seems to be a good person — but how can you just marry someone based on a few Video Calls — shouldn’t you meet her in person — assess her — do due diligence — before taking the most important decision of your life…?” Nisha says to my father, trying to convince him.
“I am in love with her…” my father says.
“Are you crazy…? How can you fall in love with her by just interacting with her online…? Without even meeting her in real life…?” Nisha says, in assertive tone.
“Please Nisha — it is my personal matter — I don’t want you to discuss this any further…” my father says.
“It seems you have made up your mind to marry her…” Nisha says, looking a bit angry.
“Yes — it’s final — I am getting married to Monika…” my father says to Nisha.
“When are you planning to get married…?” Nisha asks my father.
“As soon as possible…” my father said, “maybe this month itself…”
Nisha looks at my father — she looks disconcerted and speaks in a flabbergasted tone.
“What…? Are you crazy…? What is the crashing hurry to get married…?” Nisha says, anxiously.
“I am in my 30’s — isn’t it high time I get married…?” my father says, emphatically.
“So — she is going to come and live with you over here in Pune…?” Nisha asked my father.
“No — I am going to migrate to Switzerland…” my father said.
“What…? You are going to Switzerland…? What about your job…?” Nisha asked my father, curious.
“There are plenty of jobs for me over there…” my father said, “Switzerland is one of the best countries to work in as a Software Engineer — especially for developers of financial and banking software, like me…”
“Oh — so you have thought about everything…” Nisha said, looking pensive.
“Yes — I have discussed all this in detail with Monika — she is in Switzerland for over 10 years now — she is a Swiss Citizen — as her husband — I can get a permanent residency — and eventually — I can become a Swiss Citizen too…” my father says.
“Oh — so she has everything well planned and worked out…” Nisha says, sarcastically.
For some time — there is silence.
Then — my father speaks.
“I need your help, Nisha…” my father says to Nisha.
“My help…?” Nisha says, looking confused.
My father looks at me lovingly — and then — he speaks to Nisha.
“I will be taking “Tiger” with me to Switzerland — I want you to help me out…” my father says to her.
“Of course — I’ll find out the procedure and we’ll talk tomorrow — on our way to work…” Nisha says.
“I am depending on you…” my father says to Nisha.
“Come on, Amit — you can always depend on me — you know that…” Nisha says, with a loving look in her eye.
Then — Nisha looks at me and smiles.
I run up to her.
She lovingly cuddles me.
My name is “Tiger”.
But — I am not a Tiger.
I am Dog.
Dear Reader — let me tell you my story.
After reading the story I have told you so far — you must be wondering if I understand human language — when human people speak to each other.
Most humans think that dogs cannot understand “human language”.
But — I can understand what humans are speaking — at least — I can clearly understand what my father says to me — and also — when humans speak to each other.
Maybe — this is because I have lived with a human (my father) ever since I was born — around two years ago.
And — I have met only human beings so far in my life — mostly Nisha — and some of my father’s friends who visit occasionally.
I live in a bungalow in a posh residential society in Pune — it is a society of spacious bungalows — no multistorey buildings — no flats — no apartments.
Our bungalow — has a huge garden — a lovely lawn — plenty of place for me to play.
I live in the bungalow with my father — yes — my human father — he is around 30 years old — his name is Amit — he is single — yes — he doesn’t have a human wife — and — he is a Software Engineer — an “IT Techie” — who works in a prestigious IT Company in Hinjewadi IT Park.
My father doesn’t own the bungalow — the owners live in the US with their children — and they come to live here once or twice in a year — to spend their holidays.
The bungalow has an “outhouse” — a small cottage — where my father lives as a “paying guest” — or a “tenant” — and — though the bungalow is locked — we have the entire compound to ourselves — which is really great for me — to play around in the garden whole day.
One evening — around 2 years ago — my father came home from work in the evening — and — he found a small puppy outside the gate of the bungalow.
The small puppy was me.
I don’t know how I landed up outside the gate of the bungalow.
My father (Amit) — he picked up the small puppy (Me) — and — he carried me inside his house — and — he put me on a sofa.
Then — my father called Nisha — his office colleague — and he told her about me — the small puppy he had found abandoned outside his bungalow gate.
Nisha is an animal lover — an animal rights activist — she rescues animals — especially dogs.
Yes — she is a true dog lover.
Nisha and my father, Amit, — they were classmates in college where they studied Computer Science — and later — they joined the same Software Company — and now — they are work colleagues too.
Nisha lives nearby — and both of them — my father and Nisha — they catch the company bus at 8 AM in the morning to go to work to the IT Park in Hinjewadi — and — they return in the evening by the same bus.
They have been good friends for many years now — though my father is not much of an animal lover — and he doesn’t share the same “love of animals” passion as Nisha — who spends her weekends at the animal rescue shelter — and tending to stray dogs and getting them neutered — she always rushes to rescue abandoned cats and dogs — and animals in distress — and tries to find them homes where they can be adopted.
My father knows all about Nisha’s love for animals — especially dogs — and her animal rights activities.
So — after picking me up from roadside outside his bungalow gate and bringing me home — the first thing my father did — was to call Nisha — and tell her to take me away with her to the rescue shelter.
“He is very small…” Nisha said, taking me in her hand and looking at me, “he’ll have to be kept home for some days till I can find someone to adopt him…”
“You take him to your home…” my father said, “You know that I don’t like dogs…”
“You say that you don’t like dogs — but you rescued him — didn’t you…?” Nisha says to my father.
“He is so small — and he looked helpless — he seemed so scared and I think he was crying — so — I felt pity on him and I brought him home — now — you take him…” my father says.
“He must be the runt of the litter — he must have got separated from his mother — anyway — he is very small — he is an orphaned puppy — just a few days old — I’ll go out and try to find his mother and the litter of puppies — meanwhile — you feed him some baby dog milk…” Nisha says.
“Baby Dog Milk…?” my father asks Nisha.
My father looks at Nisha, clueless.
Nisha laughs and she picks up her bag and gives it to my father.
“Don’t worry — I have got everything with me — you’ll find the feeding bottle with nipple inside — I will show you everything — how to feed and look after a baby puppy…” Nisha says to my father.
“After you feed him — please take the puppy with you to your home — I don’t want to keep the dog here…” my father says, anxiously.
“Okay — Okay — Amit — Relax…” Nisha says, “I’ll feed the puppy — take him with me and look for his mother if she is nearby — and — if I find her — I will leave the puppy with his mother…”
After some time — Nisha thrusts a baby milk bottle nipple into my mouth — but — I can’t drink much of the baby dog milk.
Then — Nisha wraps me in a towel — and takes me outside — and my father Amit follows her.
They search for my mother — but can’t find her — so — we return to my father’s home.
“I am hungry…” Nisha says to my father, “you order some food — then — I’ll go home…”
“You take the puppy with you…” my father says to Nisha.
“Yes — Yes — I am taking the puppy with me…” Nisha says to my father, “I am feeling hungry — you quickly order some good food now — even a pizza will do…”
The pizza arrives and they start eating the pizza.
Then — suddenly — Nisha’s mobile phone rings.
Nisha looks at the screen and says: “It’s my mother…”
Then she takes the call and says to her mother: “Hello, Ma…”
Nisha listens for some time — there is a look of confusion on her face — as she speaks to my father, Amit.
“Hey, Amit — just switch on the TV — my mother says that they have announced a “lockdown” for COVID — she is calling me to her home…” Nisha says to my father, Amit.
My father switches on the TV.
They have announced a nationwide lockdown from midnight — for a period of 21 days.
I still remember that date — the 24th of March 2020 — the day my father found me abandoned outside his bungalow gate — rescued me — and gave me a new life.
“My mother is all alone — it’s already 9 o’clock — just 3 hours to lockdown — I’ll go and get her over here to my house…” Nisha says.
“Okay…” my father says, “what about the puppy…?”
“Let me go and get my mother first…” Nisha says to my father, “I’ll take the puppy with me in the morning — I think we will be allowed to move around within our society…”
“Okay — but — what should I do…?” my father asks Nisha.
“You just keep him warm — let him sleep in the bed with you — let him feel you — he must be missing his mother…” Nisha says.
Nisha goes away.
I sleep comfortably in my father’s arms — he feeds me “Baby Dog Milk” in the morning.
Nisha doesn’t come next morning.
So — my father calls up Nisha.
“I am sorry, Amit — I am stuck at my mother’s place — she refused to leave her house — so — I have no option but to stay with her in her house till lockdown is relaxed…” Nisha says to my father.
“But what about the puppy…? I can’t look after it myself…” my father says, anxious.
“You don’t worry, Amit — you can call me whenever you like — also — I will keep sending you instructions by WhatsApp — and — I will have a few cans of “Baby Dog Milk” delivered to you at your house — I know some influential Vets and Animal Rights Activists — they will manage a lockdown pass and have the items delivered to you — I will see if one of my Vet friends can visit you and have a look at the puppy — you don’t worry — I will come and take the puppy the moment lockdown is relaxed…” Nisha says to my father, trying to assure him.
True to her words — Nisha sends a Vet to visit us the next day — he checks me up — and he gives my father some medicines — and some Baby Dog Milk, Puppy Milk Replacer etc — and he tells my father what to do.
My father looks after me with love and care.
He is home all day — and he starts working from home — sitting in bed in front of his laptop — while is nestle and cosy up next to him.
Nisha and my father — they keep talking and exchanging messages about me.
Nisha has to stay at her old mother’s place since her mother’s servants and caretaker can’t come because of strict lockdown.
The lockdown keeps getting extended — and — by the time Nisha comes back to her house — almost two months have passed.
Nisha looks at me — and seems very happy.
“I must say that you have looked after the puppy very well…” she tells my father.
“By the way — the puppy is 2 months old now — ready for adoption — I asked around and have found a nice home for him — a family who wants an Indie puppy…” Nisha says to my father.
“No…” my father says, “let him stay with me — anyway — I am working from home — and — he is good company…”
“Why the sudden change of heart…?” Nisha asks, curious, “You didn’t even want to keep him for one night…”
My father smiles at Nisha — he picks me up — and cuddles me.
“I have started loving him — maybe because he is an orphan — just like me…” my father says.
“Please don’t say such things, Amit — don’t keep saying you are an “orphan” — I have told you so many times…” Nisha scolds my father.
“Okay — Okay — but I want to keep the puppy with me — I am home 24/7 — I can look after the puppy — and — you can help me out too…”
“Of course — I’ll help you out in looking after your puppy — I am so happy you have started loving animals…” Nisha says.
My father looks at me — comfortable in his arms — and then — he looks at Nisha — who speaks.
“Now that you have decided to keep him — have you decided a name for him…?” Nisha asks my father.
“Tiger…” my father says, “I have decided to call him “Tiger” — it’s a good name — isn’t it…?”
“Yes — but why “Tiger”…?” Nisha asks my father.
“Because of the way he growls…” my father says.
“Really…? He is so small…!!!” Nisha says.
“Yes — but I know when he is angry — he makes an internal sound — like a growl…” my father says.
“He is just like you — “Angry Young Man” — like Father — like Son…” Nisha says, and she laughs.
WORK FROM HOME
For 2 years — from the 24th of March 2020 — the day my father rescued me from outside his bungalow gate — till March 2022 — me and my father — we live together 24/7 — as my father works from home.
I enjoy playing in the spacious compound of our bungalow — and sometimes — my father joins me outside — sitting with his laptop — working — while he watches me play in the garden.
As I had told you earlier — the bungalow has an “outhouse” — a small cottage — where my father lives as a “paying guest” — or a “tenant” — and — though the bungalow is locked — we have the entire compound to ourselves — which is really great for me — to play around in the garden whole day.
The owners are still in the US with their children — they haven’t visited even once since I have come due to COVID — and it seems they are in no hurry to come back.
Nisha visits us almost every evening — and — once in a while — some friends of my father come to visit — but due to the fear of COVID — visitors are very few.
The only time I go out is when we go to the Vet in Nisha’s car — for my vaccinations and check-ups.
Two years pass happily — and suddenly — my father decides to get married to Monika — and we are all set to go to Switzerland — where Monika lives.
As I told you earlier — at first — Nisha is not very happy about my father marrying Monika — his online love — who he has not even met personally.
But seeing how much my father loves Monika and is desperate to marry her — Nisha reconciles and happily accepts my father’s decision to marry Monika.
Of course — I am going with my father to Switzerland.
Nisha promises my father that she will help out in arranging my relocation to Switzerland.
Just like humans need passport and visa to travel to another country — we dogs need travel and relocation documents to relocate to another country — for which many formalities and procedures have to be done.
Through her contacts — Nisha gets the best pet relocation agency to arrange my relocation to Switzerland as fast as possible.
Everyone says that Switzerland is one of the most pet-friendly countries and a lovely place for pets — especially dogs — in natural beautiful surroundings.
My Father’s Visa comes quite quickly — but my relocation formalities are going to take some time — as the procedures are quite lengthy and elaborate.
My father has already quit his job in India — Monika has arranged a nice job for him in Switzerland — in the same company where she works — and the online interview and selection process is over.
Now — the moment my “pet passport” is ready — we will fly to Switzerland.
“We will have to postpone our wedding…” my father says to his fiancée Monika.
“Why…?” Monika asks him.
“The Pet Relocation Agency says it will take around 3 months to complete all formalities…” my father says.
“Pet Relocation Agency…?” she asks, curious.
“Yes — Tiger has to be microchipped, vaccinated, rabies titer test and waiting period for a month or so — before I can apply for an import permit to bring him to Switzerland with me and get a “pet passport” — all this may take around 3 months or so…” my father says to his fiancée Monika.
“Don’t tell me you are getting your dog with you…?” Monika asks my father.
“Of course…” my father says.
“But you didn’t tell me…” Monika protests.
“What is there to tell…?” my father says.
“But why didn’t you ask me…?” Monika says to my father.
“I presumed…” my father says — when Monika interrupts him.
“You presumed…? How can you take me for granted…?” Monika says to my father.
“You know I have a pet dog called “Tiger” — you have seen his pictures with me…” my father says to his fiancée Monika.
“Yes — I know you have a dog — I have seen his pictures — but — I don’t want you to get your dog over here — I am uncomfortable with dogs…” she says.
“How can you suddenly say all this…? Don’t you remember — when I showed you Tiger’s pictures and videos — you said he is so lovable and smart…” my father says to Monika.
“That’s all fine — but — I don’t want you to get the dog here…” Monika says to my father.
“What do you mean: “you don’t want me to get my dog”…? How can I leave him behind…? Tiger has been with me for more than 2 years now. We have been living together 24/7 — “Tiger” is much more than a mere dog — he is like a child to me. I have to get him with me to Switzerland. I can’t abandon him…” my father says.
“I am not telling you to abandon him — you can give him for adoption — or — put him in a shelter…” Monika says.
“No. No. Tiger is not going anywhere. He is coming with me — and — he will stay with us in our house…” my father says to Monika.
“I don’t want your dog over here — not in my house — that’s final…” Monika says, in a firm voice.
“What do you mean by saying: “that’s final”…?” my father asks Monika.
“You have to choose between me and your dog…” Monika says to my father, sounding adamant.
“Are you giving me an ultimatum…?” my father asks her.
“Yes — if you want to marry me — you will have to come alone — you can’t get that dog with you…” Monika says, in a categorical tone.
“Okay — if that’s what you want — I’m not coming…” my father says, irked at her obstinate stance.
“What…? Have you gone crazy…? Are you dumping me for the sake of a dog…? You want to call off our marriage…?” Monika asks my father, in disbelief.
“I didn’t say that — I just said that I will be bringing Tiger along with me — come on — be a little accommodating — I am sure we will be able to live together happily…” my father says, in a conciliatory tone.
“No. I don’t want a dog in the house…” Monika says, uncompromising and obdurate.
“But why…? I clearly remember you saying that you like “Tiger”…” my father says, trying to placate her.
“Well — “liking” a dog — “liking” a picture of a dog — it is different from living with a dog in your house 24/7 — I can’t do it — sorry — but — I can’t live with a dog in my house…” Monika says.
“Please try — I am sure you will like having Tiger in the house — he will love you too…” my father says to his fiancée Monika, trying to convince her.
“I think we are going round in circles — saying the same thing again and again — you just give me a
“YES” or “NO”…?” Monika says, with irritation in her voice.
“What do you mean “Yes” or “No”…?” my father asks her, “there is no need to be so abrupt — we can talk about this…”
There is silence for some time.
Then Monika speaks to my father — in a persuasive voice.
“Please be reasonable — I am sure you can find a good home for your dog — ask your friend Nisha — she can keep him — or find him a good home…” Monika says to my father, trying to convince him to keep me behind in Pune — while he goes alone to her in Switzerland.
“You are not getting the point…! I love Tiger like my own child. I can’t live without him…” my father says, unequivocally.
“Oh — but you can live without me…?” Monika says, incredulously.
“I have been living without you till now — we haven’t even met so far…” my father says to Monika, matter-of-factly.
“I have got my answer — Thank You…!!!” Monika says, angrily.
Before my father can say anything — Monika starts talking again.
“I don’t want to have anything to do with you — I am deleting you from my life — so — goodbye — forever — please don’t try to contact me — I want to cut-off all ties with you — I am “unfriending” you and blocking you everywhere…” Monika says angrily — and she disconnects the phone.
My father keeps his smartphone in his shirt pocket.
He closes his eyes — he has a pensive look on his face.
After some time — he pulls out the smartphone from his pocket — and he calls up Nisha.
My father calls up Nisha — he tells Nisha that he is feeling low — and — he asks her to come over.
Nisha comes to our home after a few minutes.
My father tells Nisha about the phone conversation with Monika.
Nisha looks at my father and she tries to console him.
“If you really want to marry her — you go alone to Switzerland — you don’t worry about Tiger — I will look after him…” Nisha says to my father.
I feel a tremor of anxiety — a sense of unease and apprehension.
Will my father leave me behind and go alone to Switzerland…?
What would happen to me…?
Would Nisha keep me with her…?
Or — would she give me to someone else to adopt me…?
Or worse — would I have to live the rest of my life in a horrible dog shelter…?
I feel distraught and frightened.
I desperately want to be with my father — I love him so much — I can’t imagine living without him.
I feel scared and worried as I wonder about my uncertain future.
Suddenly — I hear my father’s voice.
“No…” my father says to Nisha, “if Monika wants to marry me — she will have to accept Tiger — he is my child — my son — he comes with me wherever I go…”
Nisha looks at my father and speaks to him in a loving voice.
“Amit — you are a gem of a person — if I wasn’t already married — I would have married you…” Nisha says to my father — and then — she walks up to him and she hugs him tightly.
Copyright © Vikram Karve
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© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
1. This story is a spoof, satire, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
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Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)
Link to my source blog post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.com/2022/06/lockdown-love-story.html
Link to my source blog post in my writing blog: https://karve.wordpress.com/2022/06/15/love-in-lockdown/
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.