My little puppy Ajay turned 1 last Saturday! I can’t believe (or won’t believe) that my newborn is no longer new. To mark the occasion, Grandma and Grandpa Gujarathi threw an epic party at their home near Charlotte. At first, I felt like a bad Indian trying to resist the festivities because when Indian grandparents use the term “just a small party” it usually means no less than a 100 people. But then, the good Indian kicked-in and reminded me that life is nothing without family and friends, and that there are so many people right at this moment who would give anything to be close to theirs. And since I will be an Indian grandparent too one day trying to throw my grandkids “a small party”, I needed to get my kids used to the idea.
Lucky for Ajay he shares his special day with his uncle G whom I have known since I was 17, which is exactly 11 years before I would marry his older brother. Small world! ;) Uncle G jumped through hoops and made it a point to travel all the way from Chicago with auntie Komal and their two beautiful kids to celebrate his 36th birthday along with Ajay’s 1st. I think Grandma Ila was probably the happiest she has ever been seeing her whole family together like this.
Ajay loved his special day being held by uncles, aunties, cousins, and friends from all over town. I missed Chicago a little more than usual that day too knowing that our extended family and friends would have loved to join the celebration if teleporting was a thing. Then we would have had 200 people for sure!
Ajay loves his big didi Asha with whom I think he already has inside jokes because she can cheer him up like no one else. Arjun loves his “dowy baby” a term he invented out of affection for Ajay but has yet to define it for us.
Ajay is a cat-lady in the making seeing his love for all the neighborhood cats. In fact, he can already say “cat” which I am glad came after “mama” because otherwise I might have cried. He brings our little family so much joy. He doesn’t care that I always forget his socks and shoes. Or that I sometimes dress him in his sister’s hand-me-downs when running behind on laundry. Or that he gets dragged to my work meetings. Or that he has to hear NPR all day. My heart is so full because of him. Ajay puppy, I love you so much. May happiness and kindness always follow where you go.
And now, for a lot of pictures …
and some more from the other 364 days …