Suchitra’s Weaknesses – Cupcake & Muffin
The actress/singer and her teenage daughter Kaveri swear that their Cocker Spaniel pair is the cutest canine couple ever. Farzana Contractor captures the real love the four share between one another There is no real routine in Suchitra Krisnamoorthi’s life. Activity depends on what she may be doing at a particular phase of her life. Whether she is painting, singing, going off on a trek or writing yet another book. But if there is a daily routine of sorts, then it is looking after her two dogs. That is one role she plays to perfection.
“Of course, how can I not do that,” she asserts, “dogs are so dependent on us. That’s the responsibility that goes with the premise. I make sure even when I am travelling that there are no compromises there. Besides, I have Kaveri, my teenaged daughter, who plays mom, or at least an elder sister to Cupcake and Muffin.”
True, the two Cocker Spaniels have as much of a mistress in Kaveri as Suchitra. Well, Cupcake was brought home as a gift for Kaveri when she turned seven and the child considers the both of them as her siblings.
Suchitra who lives in Oshiwara grew up in South Bombay and has always had dogs enriching her life. She fondly remembers Bosky the Dachshund she had when she was nine years old. “I feel so nostalgic when I think of the neighbourhood of Nepean Sea Road where I grew up, where I used to walk my dog. We also had Leika, a St. Bernard, but that’s not a breed for our city. It’s cruel to keep such big dogs in apartments, in our kind of climate. But then, those days my sister was always bringing strays home, rescuing dogs and what not.”
Tootsie a Dalmatian, another of Suchitra’s dogs suffered a great deal of angst when the singer/actor/painter was travelling to and fro London and was therefore given away to a friend for better caring…” Yes, and when I did settle down once again in Bombay, I could not just go and snatch Tootsie from my friend, so I let him be there until he died at age 12,” reminisces Suchitra.
It was a mother’s concern for her seven-year-old daughter that made Suchitra bring a puppy gift home, seven years ago – a time when she became a single parent, having separated from the talented and much-celebrated filmmaker, Shekhar Kapur. Cupcake brought the much-needed and desired warmth into their house and their lives. Things looked rosy for the child that Kaveri was.
But then Cupcake needed a partner and so soon after, room was created for another Cocker, Muffin. The new man in the house proved to be a saviour and Cupcake found great companionship in Muffin. They mated, pups came along, homes were found for them and now after all these years, the love and sex- an experienced couple have settled down to a happy routine life. “Honestly, this is the best canine couple I have ever seen. Better than most human couples. Certainly, the happiest couple!”, laughs Suchitra.
Food for the two Cockers is always dry. Meaning dog food. “I am told that is the best,” says Suchitra. I don’t agree, I tell her and she says she will consider the gyaan I gave her, regarding dogs and all the things that contribute to their happy state of mind, for nothing is more important than to have blessed out dogs at home!
And how happy is the mistress? I question. “As happy as I can be,” she replies. And adds, “I am in a gestation period right now. I am like, ‘Main Kaun, Kaha hoon…’, but I am singularly focussed on Kaveri. My priority number one.”And what about acting? Kabhi Haan, Kabhi Na was a long time ago, no plans to get back there?”, I ask. “Noooo, that was a long time ago. I quit acting to get married and have since moved ahead. That feels like another lifetime, there is a total disconnect,” says the woman who indulges in every creative pursuit that seems to strike her. Her apartment has much evidence of that fact in terms
of paintings, mosaic works, unusual candles.
She also treks. Going away to mountains both near and far. She has been to Kuari Pass in Himachal, went to Machu Picchu in Peru. She has rafted down the river Futaleufu in Chile, scuba-dived in the waters off Zanzibar. Right now she is preparing to climb Kilimanjaro in South Africa.
Young Kaveri, who both Cupcake and Muffin follow around all day, adds that her mom got her sporty side active when she turned 11 and could handle staying without her mom for more than just a few days. A student of Ambani School, Kaveri is the one who offers more physical demonstrations of love to the two canines. She pats them, hugs them, even cuddles up with them. They sleep in her room,
on her bed, but have to stay out during exam days. These days she is learning to play the guitar and hopes someday to become a singer and rock the world.
What can I say? Like mother, like daughter! Talent runs in the genes.