"Puh paaaaaaaa! Mia says I'm adopted...that I was picked out of the dustbin", I whined, most upset with this revelation. Sid hugged me amiably and stroked my head, "But it's true, Mollsy...you are". Aghast, I whirled towards Mia who was licking her paws like a villain, a smirk spread across her face as if to say "Told you so!". How could this be? I was adopted...that too from a dustbin, I turned back to Sid for explanations, this was preposterous! "Still true Molly, quite literally from a dustbin. Well, the girl who found you, found you by a dustbin, so I suppose the saving grace was that you weren't in the dustbin but just by it." My whole world spun around when he said this, quite literally - since he twirled me upside down and dangled me there. Generally this would send me into a frenzy of excitement, the start of a violent game of wrestling and jumping on Sid that would usually end in much noise, loss of hair (mine, not Sid's obviously!) and Reem having to break everyone up because Sid's shrieking was getting on her nerves. But today, I was unmoved as he head butted me and threw me around the bed. I thought I was a princess (Mia is queen and she makes sure we all know it!), but this news changes everything. Ohhhh to have that Mia rub it in my face that she had been right all along! My robust appetite, absolute disregard for discipline, penchant for sharpening my teeth on wooden surfaces and love of toilet brushes and trash cans would continue to be attributed to my "dustbin dog" status. Mia had already told half the neighbours, that beagle downstairs always barks at me as if it knows something, and I've seen him hob nob with her. Even that burly labrador we pass by often, who looks like he has enjoyed a few toilet brushes and chair legs in his day, sniffs at me disdainfully. It all makes sense now!
"Just file and shape them, and push the cuticles back"
I wandered around morosely, not even finding a pair of flies buzzing past me amusing. Reem had been baking frantically for a few days and usually I would be firmly ensconced in the kitchen, getting in the way deliberately to retrieve any fallen bits and pieces that would come tumbling down each time she tripped over me. But today I wasn't in the mood. Mia was seated regally on the living room sofa watching Downton Abbey and sipping a cup of tea. "What's up glummy bear? Why so morose? Tis' the time to be jolly - it's Di-wolly!". I lay down at the foot of the sofa, sulky and thinking about Diwali, which Mia called "Di-wolly" - she always sounded so stylish when she said things, always classy. Not like me - I had to be told what Diwali was, And Christmas. And well just about everything. Mia was just so much more worldly - she was older and wiser and always looked at me in amusement when I didn't know something. "Di-wolly is a loud and raucous affair when Reem and Sid dress up a bit and disappear every few evenings and come back complaining about eating and drinking too much and something about needing Eno (Sid loves ENO!). Then they decorate the house and you're not meant to eat the flowers or drink the oil out of those little clay diyas (too late, I had already downed two by then!) or chew the playing cards (too late, the Ace of Spades was dangling from my lips as she spoke). Don't you know anything Molly? Well, I suppose it can't be helped...dustbins aren't a place to pick up much information.". She sashayed away stylishly with her satin coat on (called it her smoking jacket) to bully someone else, with one final dig as she departed "Holi would be more your style...hooligans rushing around with gay abandon!"
I moped around the rest of the day and at night, crawled in quietly to my bed. I glanced up to see Reem looking at me, her hair tumbling down and tickling the top of my head. "Oye, what are you doing on your bed? Why so glum, chum?" I allowed myself to be dragged on to their bed and settled in by her side, licking all the cream off her face. "This dog", she said to Sid, "is the most loving doggy ever, never seen one as affectionate as her". Hah! What was affection when you had no class, no noble lineage like Mia, no proper background. "Puh-paa and Mia said I'm adopted and that's why I am junglee and I don't know what Di-wolly is and I'm not classy like her and I know nothing about anything". She stared at me a bit shocked for a second and then said, "But Mollsy, what does that have to do with anything? Mia is adopted too - she was found in a park in Lajpat Nagar, and she's hardly classy. Look at her right now, she has her evening dinner stuck all over her paws because she put her feet into her bowl and if I told you some of the stories of the trouble she got into when she was your age, you'd be shocked! And what makes you think that lab and beagle are any different - I'm sure they've had their share of water from the toilet bowl as well"
Mia came rushing in at this moment, curlers in her hair and little ribboned booties on to keep her paws soft, (Mia thought it uncivilized to not wear clothes and always had something on, looking at my nakedness in disgust) and barked at Reem, "Don't say another word or I'll sit on you. Molly don't believe a word she says". I was ecstatic, "Haha, you're adopted too Mia. We're the same". She snorted at me, "No, we're not and anyhow Lajpat Nagar is South Delhi ok...still posh!". Sid patted Mia "Oh it's sweet you think Lajpat Nagar is posh! What silly stories have you been filling Molly's head with". She jumped off the bed with a "Whatever!" and settled down at the window seat with her back to all of us. "Anyhow, I'm a Rhodesian dog!" she yelped at me from her elevated seat, "I have pedigree and you're just a mongrel"!. Sid threw his sock at Mia, "You twit, there is no such thing as a Rhodesian - we made that up...Road-asian- as in Asian dogs from the road!". She jumped off in irritation, "I'm going to pour myself a brandy, you lied to me about my pedigree. Come on Molly, we're not hanging out with them". I jumped off the bed, always up for a midnight jaunt. "Make sure you don't open a new bottle", said Sid as we tootled off, "The open one is for the adopted ones, we keep the good stuff for the pedigrees!" Mia snorted derisively, "What cheek...not like he's from an aristocratic line. No Molly, not an aristo-cat, stupid, an aristocrat. Come I'll show you...a re-run of Downton Abbey is on, It's delightful... I'll class you up in no time, so what if we were not to the manor born"!