Kannan: “You like dog?”
Me: “Nai? (Tamil for dog)
Me: “Sure… ”
We walked over to the van where he reached under the seat and pulled out a San Remo lasagna box. Please don’t have a dead dog in there, I thought. Wait, it’s not big enough to fit a dog. Please don’t have a part of a dead dog in there. He opened the lid, I held my breath. Lying in the bottom of the box, fast asleep was a tiny puppy barely a month old. Deep breath out. “Ohhhhhh Pupppppppyyyyyyy.”
Kannan: “Gift for boys”
Me: “Ohhhhhhhh thats awesome. Where did you get him?”
Kannan: “Dog at driver quarters”
Me: “Right…who owned him, how much did you pay?”
Kannan: “Nothing just take, all drivers have one.”
Me: “How many were there?”
Me: “What? There were thirteen puppies at the hotel’s drivers’ quarters and all the drivers took puppies home, are you serious?”
Kannan (as if this was the most natural thing in the world): “Yes”
Lasagna was to be our travelling partner for the 5 hour journey from Nuwara Eliya to Colombo and what a rude shock he was in for (this shock was probably shared by his 12 brothers and sisters in other cars). Squashed in a box that barely contained him, Lasagna would be going from the coldest place in Sri Lanka to one of the most humid, along the windiest road in the country.
It took about an hour before the motion sickness hit him and he began to spew in his little box. A spewy dog for 4 hours is the only way to truly experience Sri Lanka. Every 30 mins we would stop, wash him down, and give him a bit of water. Poor little battler. After about 3 hours he had nothing left and fell asleep dreaming about big meaty bones and solid ground. He needed the rest; he was about to be smothered with hugs by Kannan’s 3 little boys when he arrived at his new home.
Postscript: I asked Kannan the next time I saw him what the boys thought of Lasagne and he said they loved him. I asked if they kept the name Lasagna and he said he could not pronounce it so they called him Shadow.
Post postscript: It’s a pity Lasagna was ill, I think he would have liked the view along the road back to Colombo.