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Unveiling Mumbai’s pet paradise: A journey of discovery and delight



By: Aadrija Mitra

I’ve had a profound love for animals for a very long time. Though I have some aquatic pets—three fish and two turtles—I have always wanted a more interactive one. Several times I pleaded with my parents to let me have one, but they always said that it would be impossible to keep one comfortably in small apartments like the ones in Mumbai. Moreover, they believed the animal would not be happy. They assured me that I could keep any pet I wanted when I’m older and able to manage my ownself. Nevertheless, my very helpful neighbour, who shared the same interest, decided to accompany us to a pet store. Of course, I was thrilled.

The next day, we set off for Powai, Mumbai, where the pet shop was located. After a while, I found myself standing in front of a
three-storey pet shop. It was HUGE! We walked in and saw a room full of different types of fish in big and small aquariums. There were about 40 aquariums housing everything from the most colourful to the most dangerous fish! We also saw a Bichir fish. The owner told us that these fish haven’t evolved since the dinosaur age!

My favourite room was the one after that. The pet shop had three dogs, eight cats, four iguanas, and even a python! I was in awe. It felt like a zoo where you were allowed to pet and play with the animals. It was amazing! I never knew that people also kept tarantulas and spiders as pets. Three of the eight cats were Persian, and the remaining four were Bengal cats. As for the dogs, two of them were Shih Tzus and one was a Great Dane. After playing with them, we went to the topmost floor. When we opened the door, we were greeted by the sounds of chirping and squeaking, and we saw parrots and hamsters. There were around 12 different types of birds and 21 hamsters. We saw all of them and liked the Cockatoo the most. It could talk! When asked its name, it would respond, “Sweetie, my name is Kaka,” and when asked how it was, it would say, “Oh, very well, thank you.”

After some time, we thanked everyone at the store and headed home. On my way back, I thought about how well the shop had taken care of all the animals. It was so clean and spacious. Each animal seemed to be enjoying itself. They all had their own feeding and drinking bowls, the aquariums were sparkling clean, and each animal had enough space to roam around. They were all very happy.

In the end, I realised that my parents were right. All living beings have the right to happiness and comfort. So if we have a pet, we can only enjoy their company if they are happy.