[fr] Ma grand-mère m'a dit plusieurs fois que je devrais écrire un livre pour enfants basé sur l'histoire de vie de Bagha. Cet été, j'ai enfin commencé à écrire. C'est incomplet et c'est surtout un point de départ, mais je le publie ici pour que vous puissiez déjà le lire!
My grandma has told me many times that I should make a children’s book out of Bagha‘s life-story. Sometime this summer, I actually started writing. I’ve not told the end of the story yet (maybe there is more than one book to write?) and it’s a very rough first draft, but I thought I might as well publish it here for you to check out. Feedback is welcome, as well as leads to interested illustrators!
The adventures of Bagha Byne the lucky Indian cat
Once upon a time, far far away in India, there lived a little kitten.
He was tabby and white, like a little tiger.
He was still very small, so he lived with his mother and brother on
the balcony of an abandoned house in the astrophysics campus. He
didn’t have a name yet.
One day, a tall lady caught the little kitten and took it into her
home. He was very frightened, so he hissed and spat and made his fur
stand on end.
But the lady gave him warm milk in a bottle and petted him gently.
“This is a nice lady,” he thought.
Day after day, she fed him milk and took care of him. Soon he forgot
about his mother and brother and was very happy with the lady. The
lady had a husband and a three-legged dog.
They called him Bagha.
Bagha quickly grew up to be a strong healthy young cat. He hunted
geckos and mice. He got into fights with the older tomcats living
around the house, and chased away the other young cats who tried to
settle down too near.
One day, Bagha got into a big fight with his dad, who was a fierce
tomcat. They fought and fought on the balcony. All of a sudden, Bagha
took a big whack on the nose and fell from the balcony! The lady saw
him and was very frightened. His nose was bleeding a lot. She put
Bagha in a box and took him for a noisy ride across town to see the
vet. Luckily, he wasn’t hurt very badly, and his nose had almost
stopped bleeding by the time they arrived. He did keep a bumpy rib and
bent nose for the rest of his life after the fight, though.
When Bagha was about one year old, the lady had a baby. Bagha too had
had children, and he shared the big house with his daughter, who
looked just like him. She liked hiding in the gutters and sleeping on
top of the mosquito nets. Bagha liked sleeping next to the baby or
behind somebody’s knees.
Bagha was a very happy pampered cat. He could go wherever he pleased,
had a nice cosy home full of silk saris he could sleep on, friendly
humans to pet him and rub his belly, and minced beef for supper.
When the baby was one year old, the family grew bigger again: another
tall lady came to live in the house. She liked Bagha a lot. Though the
first tall lady took care of Bagha well, she was now very busy with
the baby. Bagha’s daughter had disappeared and the lady’s husband had
gone to England for a few months. So, Bagha was very happy to have
another human to fuss over him and quite soon, he started sleeping on
the new lady’s bed every night.
Many months later, the new lady came back home with a rather large
wicker basket. The basket had a lid. The baby played with it and hid
inside. The lady started preparing big boxes and emptying the room she
and Bagha slept in.
Then one morning, she put Bagha into the wicker basket and they got
into a big Jeep with all her things. They drove for hours and hours
until they reached the big city. Bagha was hot and a bit worried, but
the lady was with him and kept him company. In the big city, he was
allowed out of the basket, but he was so tired and hot that he just
lay down in the bedroom until it was time to leave again.
- IUCAA News [en] (2001)
- The Bittersweet Freedom of Catlessness [en] (2011)
- Double Life [en] (2001)
- Of Grief and Travel [en] (2011)
- I'm Home [en] (2011)
- Kitty Story [en] (2000)
- A Day in my Life [en] (2000)
- On Grief and Losing Bagha [en] (2010)
- What Made Bagha Such a Special Cat For Me [en] (2011)
- They Chose Tears [en] (2017)