Volume 17 - Issue 08
August 2019
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Posted on: Aug 30, 2019

DOGMODOO, WHERE ARE YOU?

Mrs Radhika Brahmanandam

Part 1

Bhagawan often advised His students to never be bogged down with the tests and challenges one faces in their lives. He emphatically exhorted them to rise above these “passing clouds” and cultivate a fearless and cheerful attitude.

But how to do this? How not to get upset when something goes completely contrary to our expectations? How to smile when things around you are going haywire?

The author has shown us a lovely way by creatively presenting Bhagawan’s teaching in a manner that all of us can easily relate to.

 

A New Friend

As Anand ran the comb through his hair, he turned to the mirror to give a last quick glance before he could leave for school.  He froze in shock.

Looking back at him, from his perch on Anand’s shoulder, was a cheerful little elf.  Clad in a green suit and with a conical red hat pulled over pointed elf ears, the elf seemed to be quite cosy on his strange perch, even crossing one leg over the other.    

 

“Good morning, Anand!” the elf waved to him cheerily.  Startled, Anand quickly put out a hand to push him off: his hand went through the air, as the elf quickly leapt up and then settled back again on his shoulder, weightlessly.

“Haha, you missed, Anand!” the elf chuckled delightedly at Anand’s confusion.  Strangely, looking at the jovial little fellow, Anand felt no fear: just curiosity and wonder. 

“Hey, who… who… are you?” he asked, the words coming out as a squeak.

“Dogmodoo, your good mood elf”, replied the elf rather cheekily, his wide mouthed grin stretching from one little elf ear to the other.  “You wished last night to see your Good Mood – here I am!” he said simply.

Anand stared…. “I wished…?” he repeated, a little confused.  Then he remembered.

Snuggling into bed the previous night, he had pondered over his mother’s question at dinner: “What happened to your good mood, Anand? You were fine when you returned from school.  Why so grumpy now, darling?” 

He had wished he knew.  At twelve years of age, his mood of late seemed mercurial.  It could oscillate from chirpy to grumpy at a moment’s notice.  “How I wish I could see where my good mood goes”, he had thought drowsily as he had dropped off to sleep.

Dogmodoo was watching him, with a little smile on his face.

“Ah, now you remember!  You wished to see where I go – but for that you will have to see me first, isn’t it?  So here I am! Your very own Good Mood – Dogmodoo!  I am the one who puts the smile on your face and the sparkle in your eyes.  When I am with you, not just you, but everyone around you will know I am there, though none can actually see me.”

“You cause my good mood?  Wow!  That’s so cool!”  Anand was beginning to feel excited.

“I am your Good Mood, Anand!  I don’t cause it!”  replied the elf.

Anand’s eyes were round with amazement.  “And you have been there with me all the while?” he asked incredulously, his voice squeaking a little in excitement. 

“Since you were born, actually!” replied the elf seriously.  “I was around almost all the time when you were a baby, except when you were hungry, wet or had a tummy ache.  But you have been pushing me away more and more as you grew up over the years, especially the last year.”

“Oh dear!  I don’t remember doing that!  Is that why I am a bit grumpy these days?  I have been wondering about that”, said Anand as a little thought frown creased his brows.

“Hmm! Well, today you will be able to see me and find out when you push me away.  Just for today though, and only you will be able to see me.”  The tiny elf gave a delighted little chuckle.

“Dogmodoo, my secret elf friend!” Anand grinned.  Life had suddenly turned exciting. 

Just then, he heard the honk of the school bus, as it turned the corner into his street.

“Anand! Pramod! The bus is here.  Come on now”, his father called out.

Snatching his school satchel from his study table, Anand ran out of the house, giving his parents a quick hug on the way.  “Pramod, come on!” he called out to his younger brother as they raced to the school bus that had stopped just outside the gate.

The Maths Homework

Walking into his classroom with his best friend Jake, Anand was smiling as he shot secret looks at Dogmodoo, now seated on his lunch bag.  

Jake looked curiously at him.  “What’s up, Anand!  You certainly seem to be in such a good mood!  Did you get all your Maths homework sums right?” he asked.

Anand stopped short.

His Maths homework notebook!  Had he packed it?

With a rapidly beating heart, he opened his school bag to search feverishly. It was not there. He remembered that he had left it on his desk at home before dinner. He must have forgotten to pack it. His heart sank.

Pfffft!  With a near silent swoosh, Dogmodoo disappeared. 

Anand however, was too distraught to notice.  He turned to Jake, his face pale and lips quivering.  “Oh no!  I have left my Maths homework notebook at home!  What do I do?  Salim sir is so strict.” 

He pictured his Maths teacher looking coldly at him in the class while he stood, embarrassed and perspiring, amongst curious classmates. 

Maybe his teacher would send him out of the class.

Worse, maybe he would make him miss the Sports hour in the afternoon to redo his homework assignment.
 
Maybe he would even send in a note to his parents like he had done when Satish, the naughty boy of the class, had failed to bring in his homework the previous week. His parents would be very upset. He had never had any note over homework before this. 

Jake put a comforting hand on his friend’s shoulder. “Let me help you search for it again.  Cheer up, Anand! What happened to your good mood of the morning?”

His good mood.  Dogmodoo. 

Dogmodoo, where are you?” thought Anand fervently, looking around.  The little elf was nowhere to be seen.  Fighting back tears, Anand bent over his school bag. Jake patted his back supportively.

 

What Happened Next?

Read On...

Part 2 | Part 3

 

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