This is a story about a stuffed toy. A dog. That has been part of my home for 25 years now. We visited a friend one evening along with the elder one who was then about two years old. The friend's 7 year old daughter was playing with this huge yellow stuffed dog. She was asked to share the toy with the elder one and it helped keep her occupied. She called it Biyo ( she could not pronounce Bingo - which was a dog in her aunt's house). When we were leaving later on in the night, the elder one refused to leave the dog behind, and the host's daughter was so very nice ( amazing for a 7 year old) that she allowed her to take it home. And thus began the long association with Biyo.
Biyo was really lifelike and soon was known to all those who visited home as if it was a real live pup. One would think that the toy would have been forgotten as the elder one grew up. Maybe she stopped playing with it after a while but it had to be in her room! The bright yellow colour of the dog soon turned into a dull yellow brown as he (she?) got obviously soiled. I was sure the dog was a source of germs and one fine day put it into the washing machine. Who ever knew that the inside of the yellow dog was stuffed with pieces of red sponge. The water caused the colour of the sponge to seep and even though we had a clean toy, it was all a blotchy yellow red doggy. But the love for the dog (of the now close to teens daughter) did not wane. And the doggy moved with us from house to house ( six to be precise). I have attempted so many times to throw it out but each time there were protests. The dog was left behind when she got married and moved home, but we were sternly told not to throw it out. It now lies in a plastic bag with its head and limbs almost apart in the topmost storage unit.
I realise now, that it probably is a part of the junk that has over years accumulated in the house - the three steel cupboards, the old sofa set, the poster bed, an old radio.... the list could go on. I will attempt to get rid of some of these the next time I shift home. Atleast that is what I have promised myself. But Biyo? I think he will remain with us, maybe out of sight, but nevertheless with us for the rest of our lives.