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My family has always been warm-hearted towards animals. As I grew up, I witnessed my Grandfather’s passion for dogs, my father’s interest in deers and my elder brother’s love for peacocks. We have lived with them all! Truly it’s all about my family and other animals! 😉

In fact, one of my cherished memories is that every time the female peacock laid eggs, we would get a hen to sit on them, till they hatched. Baby peacocks, similar to chicks in their initial phases would follow the female hen all around the back garden, thinking that she was their mother. For some odd reason this always makes me smile. Amazes me and makes me wonder if the hen was also as alienated from truth as were baby peacocks and thought she actually was their mother.

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Days, months and years passed. We moved to a different city and I was finally old enough to set my feet in London as a post graduate student. Living away from home and family is never easy. You are like a child who’s growing up and learning something new every day. This was the time in my life when I met my first pet, a goldfish.

I happened to attend a family friend’s son’s birthday where they had a placed a fish bowl on every guest table. At the end of the party, these were given away to the guests and I was lucky enough to be a proud owner of a goldfish.

As typical as it might sound, my first worry was what would I call her and it took me less than an hour to figure that out. I decided to call her Shahzadi which literally translates to Princess in Urdu. My late aunty used to affectionately call me that so there was definitely an emotional connection with the name.

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In an Asian family, when you are new to something, expect advises and suggestions to pour in from everywhere.

Don’t feed her too much, she might die! Don’t feed her too less, she could die! Clean her bowl often or she could die! Don’t put her in the windowsill or she might die! Don’t put her away from Sunlight or she could die!

You get how I felt?

My motherly instincts took over me. My day started with feeding her and cleaning her water and it ended with feeding her and cleaning her water. In between, I would just sit and talk to her. Almost every day! Watching her swim through the bowl, sometimes calmly, sometimes ferociously was a great therapy. There was a connection, it seemed like she was understanding my stories and reacting with her swimming speed.

It was a different feeling, something I had not experienced before and it made me happy. Very Happy.

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Image Courtesy: worldof90iqblogspot.com

It was all perfect until one miserable sunny afternoon when the entire London was celebrating 29 degrees temperature. I turned on the tap to change her water and my eyes caught her floating on top of the water surface in the bowl. I knew it. Instantly.

I shut the tap and dipped my finger in water. It was hot because of the weather and even till date I believe she died because of that. Losing her, like getting her was a different experience altogether. It pained a lot. Shahzadi was gone…

I cried a lot for her that day. It made me think of all my friends who had lost their dogs, cats and parrots. I felt the agony, it stung like a bruise from a deep injury that pierces through. Associations with first pets are very different. As mad as it might sound but she was in my life at a time when I need that affection and sense of ownership the most. I was really sad when she left and even though my family got me another goldfish after this, it was never the same. That feeling was gone with Shahzadi.

May my Shahzadi rest in peace in her big kingdom – blue waters of the mighty ocean.

xxx

Note: Shahzadi died in 2011

14 comments on “Shahzadi – My First Pet”

  1. Nice reading about you

    Thanks for visiting my blog. Be in touch. Browse through the category sections, I feel you may find something of your interest.

    • Thanks so much Ajay! But just so you remember, i have been reading your blog for over a year now. I was just revisited after a while yesterday and so glad I did. Stay in touch 🙂

      • yes i know dear

        the first time you checked my awards page and commented wow so many awards, do you remember dear Chini, I also know you belong to Pakistan

        thank you there will be a surprise for you dear 🙂

  2. Sweet article cheeni thanks for the follow-i too will follow your blog your writing is cool. My boyfriend is Indian but grew up in Pakistan and I am English. Hobo hippie

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