The most obedient Labrador of Purbachal’s Cluster XI answers to the name of Fotik Chand. “He was named after the Satyajit Ray film of the same name,” smiles Aritra Dutta, a first year B.Com student of South City College.
Like his namesake, the four-legged Fotik has shifted home a couple of times early in his life. “He actually belonged to my cousin Amrita, in Bangalore. But didi got too busy with work and so her parents — my pishun and pishi — brought Fotik to Salt Lake,” says Aritra.
Aritra lives in the Purbachal flat with his uncle and aunt — Amitabha and Indira Raha — and the year-old Fotik, who has taken to his new surroundings seamlessly. “It’s just the heat that would bother him initially. After Bangalore’s pleasant climate, poor Fotik would escape to the bathroom and lie there. We never used an AC in the house back then but got one for Fotik’s comfort,” says Aritra.
The Lab has now become a favourite of not just his family members but everyone in the neighbourhood. “When we take him for walks, there are people who come to pat him every 100 meters. One gentleman pulls his car over to the kerb every morning so he can come play with Fotik,” laughs Aritra.
Children of the cluster come every weekend and take Fotik to play ball with them. “And in high summer, when he’s taken for an ice cream to IA Block’s Sweet and Sour, word spreads before he arrives and the vendors run out to offer him his favourite vanilla cup.”
So fond is Fotik of ice cream that he once leapt out of the car window and ran to his grandpa — Amitabha Raha — when he was buying him one from the footpath. “His other favourite food is boiled egg. If Fotik hears my pishi cracking the egg shell in the kitchen, he will jump over my head and run to her,” laughs Aritra.
Fotik is a well-behaved dog, never known to display aggression or irritability and always eager to please. In his passtime he chases frogs and admires his reflection in the mirror. “He’ll look at himself from different angles, over several minutes, and then bark in approval,” smiles Aritra. “And so well-mannered is he that our neighbour is convinced he is not a dog but a god, who’s got banished from the heavens for some minor mistake!”
If you have a pet you have brought up at home as a family member and which has its eyes only for you, do write to us with your contact number at The Telegraph Salt Lake, 6, Prafulla Sarkar Street, Calcutta 700001 or call 22600115 after 3pm or email to firstname.lastname@example.org