“Let’s go play outside Pasha,” I shout out to my extremely energetic Labrador. He bounces through the house, skidding at my feet, nearly knocking me over while I fumble with the door handle. As he trots alongside me and I mutter words of endearment to him, Pasha glances up at me and says, “Please call me ‘Baba Pasha’ henceforth.” Huh!! I stare back at him with arched eyebrows and a queer expression. What was that all about I wonder!

So while he pees on every tree and shrub in the garden, he brings me update on his fan following during his long early morning and evening walks. Apparently he has been doling out advice and emotional support to all those he encounters on the way. He has a knack of solving problems he proudly boasts. In fact he says to me that he has a gift...an extremely sharp sixth sense and rare intuitive powers. “Don’t roll your eyes,” he barks at me. Meanwhile Pepper, our Cocker-Spaniel joins us and proceeds to pee all over Pasha’s work of art and then grunts sideways to me that Pasha has delusions of grandeur as he been reading the newspapers on the sly when the paper man flings them into the porch and the only news pieces that keep popping up are the ones relating to the frenzy created ‘God Men/Women. “So now he thinks he is one,” declares Pepper very intelligently. My guffaw doesn’t go down well with Pasha and so he throws me off-balance with one big lunge on my shoulders with his huge paws. “I am Baba Pasha – The powerful one,” he growls and then gives me one of his drool-filled kisses.

Pepper brings me up to date... “Baba Pasha apparently told Mopsy the scruffy Pomeranian that she should rebel against being tied up and so she barks all day long till she is let into the house. It has worked very well as she now sits in the cool confines of her Mistress’s AC room. Also Rani and Kaluram who live near the garbage bin were producing too many babies so ‘Baba’ has told them to behave.”

“Right,” I mutter very eloquently and do my best to control the laughter building up within. Meanwhile Pepper and Pasha continue with their daily competition to see who can pee more!! As I saunter on the drive-way I notice a few pooches hanging around the gate. They suddenly spot Pasha and the wagging tails and happy barks get very effusive. I am quite flummoxed to say the least and wonder if indeed these are his ardent fans.

What baloney!” I say to myself but then Pepper delicately puts his paws on my hand to say that I should continue to watch the shenanigans. I am amazed by the happenings in front of my eyes and the fact that Pasha is able to mesmerize and captivate his audience with whatever goodly advice or rantings he is delivering. After many ‘woofs’ and ‘bow wows’ and much tail wagging Pasha sits next to me with a rather pleased expression. I also see appearances of a heady cocktail of ‘new-found power’ and ‘self-glorification’. I swat his behind and tell him to get inside.

As he shares my breakfast and munches on a few pieces of bacon and sausages, he tells me not to swat his behind in public again as he has a reputation to keep. I tell him to keep shut and that if he acts too smart he will be banished to the store-room with boiled pumpkin as a snack. His goofy expressions and doleful eyes have no effect on me and Pepper loudly snores and farts to show his disgust at Pasha’s antics. Pasha and I have a tête-à-tête where I explain to him very crisply that he is on the wrong path as the ones mentioned in the newspapers are not someone to idolise but to keep at bay as they are only out to cheat. I end it with a “You are a big, fat bear with a mushy heart that can’t even hurt a fly,” which seems to have a positive effect as he stretches out for a tummy rub.

One fine day, Pepper whispers to me that Pasha has many followers including ‘Maa Brandy’ and that we need to get him out of her clutches. Good heavens... “Who is Maa Brandy?” I bark... Yes, I have started barking now you see. Pepper tells me Maa Brandy is also a fairly well-known God... I mean ‘Dog Woman’ who is known to take care of all the abandoned puppies. Now I’ve heard it all and I march off to pull Pasha’s ears which are a task by itself. Later in the afternoon I see a brown terrier with a garland around her neck hanging around the gate. The marigold flowers bounce brightly while she trots around fervently waiting for Pasha. My “shoo’s” go in vain. “You have such bad manners,” snarls Pasha as he bounces past me and screeches inches in front of the gate. While my mind thinks of ways of putting all this rubbish to an end Pepper decides to add his own two bits by galloping down the drive-way with his fiercest bark and wildest glint in his eyes thus ensuring that the followers scram. Pasha charges at Pepper and there is mayhem till the call of ‘Food’ has them charging indoors. The powers of short-term memory!

So now I am left with no option but to paint a very graphic picture to Pasha that shows him in very explicit detail what his ‘holy dalliances’ will lead to and that very soon Maa Brandy would be trotting down the lane with lil’ things that may resemble something like ‘LabraRiers’!! He is horrified by my reprimand and sheepishly trots off to Pepper for a morale boost. The next few weeks pass by without any further episodes and things go back to being normal and calm with Baba Pasha cooling his heels for now.