Whenever a new person was engaged in any work in the house, Cheri moved around him. He kept a watch on the new person, while he or she worked, but whenever Cheri felt that the person has taken anything from the house, he would bark at him and rush to bite him.
If we went out for a day leaving Cheri with a maid at our residence, he used to get angry. Whenever we came back, Cheri was making a very peculiar sound as if he was complaining about leaving him. He forced everybody to stroke his body only then. He will become calm and forgave me when I would give him a message and play for a while with him.
Our maid used to bathe him. Cheri used to sleep on his bed in his room. Once we went to our hometown for a fortnight, Cheri kept sitting in the drawing room for three days, where I used to sit. He remained hungry for three days. Whenever maid took him into his room, he would come out running at that place in the drawing room. Maid took him to a veterinary doctor. The doctor put him on his table, offered him food. He ate food and drank water. When Cheri came back, he slept on his bed in his room after three days.
When we came back, Cheri came out of his room. He spoke in different sound to us and went back to his room to show his displeasure. Everybody held him in their hands and played with him. He went back to his room. When I brought him out of his room and put him on the floor, he ran back to his room. On the fourth occasion I kept him in my lap, massaged his body and remain stroking his throat for a while then he became normal with me. I played with him for some time. Only then he forgave me.
Cheri had an uncanny sense of recognizing the sound of my car from a distance. He used to come out on the veranda for me, while my vehicle was nowhere near the security guard posted at my gate but, it was information to everyone that I am coming.
His room was on the right side next to the drawing room. There was another room attached to the drawing room. It connected my room to this room. Once I was not well. My wife and my daughter were sleeping in the room next to my room. It was summer season. The air conditioner of cherry’s room and my wife’s room was on. It was around two o’clock in the night. I started coughing continuously. My wife and daughter were fast as sleep. Cheri barked in his room and scratched at the door. The maid opened his door. Cheri rushed to my wife’s room and barked and scratched at the door. Maid also knocked on the door. My wife opened the door. Cheri rushed to my door. He started barking and scratching at the door. I opened my door, was coughing vigorously. I lied down on my bed. My coughing was going on. Cheri started running around my bed. He started barking in a different tone. When my coughing stopped, he came near me and looked at me. I extended my hand. Cheri sniffed my hand. I said, “Cheri, I am ok now.” Then he sat on the floor near my hand. With much difficulties, the maid took him into his room.
I have often wondered, does love inculcates such properties in human beings. Whenever I used to see Cheri, I used to think true love must have been doing the similar thing with human beings. This feeling of love binds the very existence of human beings. That is why we always have an immense urge for life. That is why a river of life keeps flowing.
Cheri was small, but in courage and show of guts, he was unparallel. Once a hunting dog sneaked into my compound. When Cheri saw that dog, he went to fight with him. That hunting dog started crying. Our security guard and maid ran towards the dog, Cheri was on a hunting dog, and that dog was screaming for his life. Somehow, Cheri was removed from that dog. The moment that dog was out of cherry’s grip, he jumped the boundary wall and ran away.
Courage has no relation with size. It is nothing but a strong determination to face the odd in every circumstance. Courage is nothing but a frame of mind. One can overcome the biggest odds with courage and determination. This is what we learnt from our little lion Cheri.
After some time, our little lion stopped taking food. We gave Cheri medicine. After a few hours, he drank milk and slept on his bed. We were happy that our little toy took food after three days.
Next day in the morning when I went to see our little lion, I was astonished to find he left us. It is still an uncontrollable pain. I always hope that my little Cheri will come running from somewhere knowing it well that no one ever comes from the place where he has gone.
Even then, we dream and wish for the miracle. We can do nothing other than that.
It is very difficult to predict the moves of life. Life plays the game in its own way, unpredictable, uncertain, and abrupt ways with surprising, unsummoned moves. Why so, no one knows.