Saturday, July 16, 2016

BEWARE OF DOG




Pic.: Chetna Shetty

Years ago, when I had decided to do something about my poor English, one of the things I did – and found very effective – was telling a nice story in two tenses… the Present and the Past. Over the years, I have helped hundreds of people, who were earnest about improving their English, with the same method… Yes, write a nice story down in both the tenses… and, then, tell it to someone…

I had first heard this story from an elderly Christian couple, some twenty-five years ago, in a Marriage Encounters programme my wife and I had attended…The story happily pops up every time my panic button goes up!



BEWARE OF DOG 

PAST:

Once, a Christian couple, Mr. and Mrs. Fernandes, came to live in a new housing society. Their flat was on the ground floor. Everyday, Mr. Fernandes  left for work early in the morning and came home late in the evening. His wife began to get bored being alone at home. There was another Christian family, D’Souza’s, which lived on the third floor, and, when Mr. Fernandes learnt about it, he suggested to his wife to meet them and be friends with them.

The next day, after, her husband left for work, Mrs. Fernandes went up to meet the D’Souza family. But, the moment she landed on the third floor, she was frozen with fear… ‘BEWARE OF DOG’, the board on the door warned!

The next moment, Mrs. Fernandes was inside her home!

At night, Mrs. Fernandes described what had happened during the day… Her husband encouraged her to try again the next day…

Mrs. Fernandes ventured for a couple of days… But, the moment she read the board, “BEWARE OF DOG’, she got frozen and ran back to her place!

Finally, fed up with his wife’s drama, one evening, Mr. Fernandes held his wife by her hand and took her up to the D’Souzas’ flat. But, the moment they landed on the third floor, the  panic struck the lady, once again… and, they were back on the ground floor, the very next moment!

The husband was simply frustrated!

Then, one Sunday morning, the two families bumped into each other in the church compound. After introducing his wife to the D’Souzas, Mr. Fernandese narrated his wife’s adventures…

The D’Souzas started laughing loudly…

“Why, what happened?” asked Mr. Fernandes, all puzzled.

“My dear friends, it is two years since our dog died,” explained Mr. D’Souza, “We only haven’t removed the board!”


PRESENT:

Once, a Christian couple, Mr. and Mrs. Fernandes, come to live in a new housing society. Their flat is on the ground floor. Everyday Mr. Fernandes  leaves for work early in the morning and comes home late in the evening. His wife begins to get bored being alone at home. There is another Christian family, D’Souzas, which lives on the third floor, and, when Mr. Fernandes learns about it, he suggests to his wife to meet them and be friends with them.

The next day, after, her husband leaves for work, Mrs. Fernandes goes up to meet the D’Souza family. But, the moment she lands on the third floor, she is frozen with fear… ‘BEWARE OF DOG’, the board on the door warns!

The next moment, Mrs. Fernandes is inside her home!

At night, Mrs. Fernandes describes what has happened during the day… Her husband encourages her to try again the next day…

Mrs. Fernandes ventures for a couple of days… But, the moment she reads the board, “BEWARE OF DOG’, she gets frozen and runs back to her place!

Finally, fed up with his wife’s drama, one evening, Mr. Fernandes holds his wife by her hand and takes her up to the D’Souzas’ flat. But, the moment they land on the third floor, the panic strikes the lady, once again… and, they are back on the ground floor, the very next moment!

The husband is simply frustrated!

Then, one Sunday morning, the two families bump into each other in the church compound. After introducing his wife to the D’Souzas, Mr. Fernandese narrates his wife’s adventures…

The D’Souzas start laughing loudly…

“Why, what happened?” asks Mr. Fernandes, all puzzled.

“My dear friends, it is two years since our dog died,” explains Mr. D’Souza, “We only haven’t removed the board!”


GERALD D’CUNHA

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