A love no less
Priyanka Singh

Running up the Hill
by Anita Krishan.

Prakash Books.
Pages 152. Price not stated.

people with pets will instantly relate to the incidents in the book, but for others, it may seem like a whole lot of experiences hastily strung together. Anita Krishan wants to tell her story, and fast.

The narration will delight pre-adolescents, but hardly holds anything for an adult, non-pet person, except perhaps the morbid reminder that all things pleasant must come to an end. Relationships will die and the anguish of parting is certain in the face of time.

A little girl gets a pup that fills most of her empty days. Along come the joys of freewheeling days well-spent in the resplendent valley of Himachal and the glorious meadows of the Himalayas.

The book is evocative of the kind of happiness that only a pet can bring in the life of a lonesome child.

There are episodes where the little pup emerges as a little protector—a fire is checked from spreading, a fake sadhu is exposed and a burglary is foiled—and at other times, Fluffy is a source of much chaos and nuisance.

Years roll and the dog makes his very own special place in the household. By and by, the sisters get married and Fluffy ages, losing his vision and much of his feisty spirit, until one day he dies.

The girl, now a mother of two, is grateful to God for making it possible for her to revel in such a selfless friendship. "Each dawn had ushered in a unique day and each sunset had glowed with warmth," she writes. She had been taught the true meaning of friendship.

She is indebted to the life force that the dog had died at a time "when I was mature and old enough to accept it, as I well understand the inescapable mortality of life."

The dog is buried under an old oak tree near the house, where the journey of the little girl’s growth had begun.