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All that Roba, young Chengappa's dog, wanted was to play with that strange-looking creature on a leash. Could that possibly be a dog, he wondered!
Roba didn't know that the creature's owner had a fierce temper. Or that his friendly sniffing would result in first, the police getting called in; then the District Commissioner dispatching stern messages; the local real-estate brokers and packers getting signed on ... and finally, even an international travel agent booking tickets to England!
Read on to learn more about this TRUE story that happened along the Pollibetta-Ammathi Road, about a hundred years ago!
'Indian Dog Sends British Major Packing’ first appeared in the Deccan Herald’s Open Sesame. Not only did the events play out at my maternal grandparents’ home (Lakshmi Estate) where I spent many lovely summers as a child, but later as an adult, Col K.M.Chengappa’s (my Boja Thatha’s) open home in Bangalore was where I stayed when I first began working in Bangalore.
I realized just how ‘open’ that family home was when this story appeared in the paper. People I didn’t know would call me up to tell me about their special connection to the old man, or to his three sons – Jai, Prakash and Narain (all Maamas to me).
The drawing room shelves held Boja Thatha’s trophies from a youth spent in athletics. The garden of fruit trees reminded me of the Pollibetta house. And there were always a bunch of dogs floating around – all adopted from the road, and ALL super well fed!
Love for animals runs deep in Boja Thatha’s family. His three sons, their wives – Vilina, Sunitha and Sudha Maami, his grandkids AND two great grandchildren, LOVE animals.
Growing up in Kodagu can be idyllic – climbing fruit trees, running wild across acres, animals to care for and hours to enjoy outdoors. Boja Thatha managed to recreate a little bit of that at his home in Bangalore.