The date is 19th November 2022, it’s a very special day, I woke up to two big black eyes staring at me, as if saying “mother good morning, you woke up late again” “ do you even sleep at night” I asked, kissing him on his forehead a daily ritual from past 18 years. “ Happy birthday Sikander, always rise and shine ” was followed by long hugs. I fixed him his favourite breakfast and it was time to go and celebrate.

 For his special day I have lined up a few activities around his energy levels. Celebrations at his Doctors clinic, an association which goes back 18 years. There after egg and chicken Langar for street babies, followed by a movie shoot, lastly a trip to a doggy cafe. A day full of pampering and giving him enough rest in between activities.

Doctor and his team were excited for the award and cake cutting ceremony, on a table decorated with balloons, Sikander looked like a little soft toy, he was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation for being a good boy for 18 years. And a Trophy by his doctor followed by cake cutting. An accolade which he rightly deserves, though as a mother I felt he deserves at least 18 awards one for each year of his life.

After taking ample rest Sikander and I fed around a dozen street babies in his honour and it was heavenly to watch them gulp down the food in seconds. Feeding street babies is always a satisfying experience and if you have fed them once you want to do it again and again.

This was followed by a movie shoot to store the memories of his 18th Birthday forever with me. Sikander cooperated like a pro despite his age and he enjoyed every moment of the shoot. I am glad that I made the movie.

As the day ended both of us headed to a posh doggy cafe, Sikander was pampered to the hilt by the cafe staff everyone got themselves clicked with him. Sikander& I sat outdoors watching the night skies. I whispered sweet nothings into his ears and the day ended on a happy note.

As a mother I wanted to have some more precious moments with him, so I decided to go for a nature walk with him the next evening. We both watched the sun go down, giving way to the stars to glitter like little lamps. It was a heartfelt moment, I could not help but get emotional wetting my eyes at the thought that this moment might not be repeated on his 19th birthday. God willing it will happen I shut my pathetic thoughts.

These days I have been reflecting on eighteen years of our pious relationship, these moments are imprinted on my heart forever,
We shared happiness and tears, sickness and health , joys and sorrows together, whether they be mine or his. He dedicated all his affection to me and vice versa. At times it seems that he is living for me, this urges me to pay my respect to my boy while he is still with me.

I felt the warmth of his tiny furry body in my arms on a cold January morning circa 2004. He was 40 days old, very scared & unsure, he instantly made eye contact with me, he decided to trust me and I promised never to break his trust.

Sikander became very fond of his walks where his curiosity was at its peak, he walked under the vigil of four to five Indian dogs, during car rides he could stand on the window for hours at end to watch the traffic pass by and refuse to get down for the sake of one more ride, while meeting people he was at his cutest behaviour , he could play with his soft toys for hours, generally a bundle of energy, he showed tremendous dislike for sweaters, rains, baths, loud sounds and food. We took yearly vacations on hills where he pranced around like a pro.

There was a major turning point in Sikander’s life when I had to adopt a beautiful Havanese baby from abusive owners, his name was Tango, he was 4 years old Sikander gave him a place in his heart and home instantly. Though he decided that he is the boss and it remained this way till my baby Tango breathed his last.

Days rolled into years very quickly Sikander’s eyesight and hearing started failing him, before I could realise his joints started giving up too, now he is bed ridden and is unable to move his limbs, but his eyes still meet mine, we still go for pram walks, and car rides. We watch as many sunsets together as possible. The time spent with him is much more precious now as none of us know when it will end.

My Sikander is the fulcrum of my life, he is sassy and curious, he has taught me many life lessons. My life with him is my pious space. He never left my side, and I will never leave his side.

Dear Sikander, I know the countdown has started for you to move on to your new journey, an era will end in my life, but the space which you and your brother Tango occupied will be kept Pious Always.

Your Loving Mummy

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