James was named so because of Arvind – the boot polishwala whose habit was to name all the strays that lived with him on the footpath outside Eros theatre after the movie that was running at the theatre when he acquired the stray. So James was named after the James Bond movie that was running there and this was sixteen years ago.
James was jet black and his aging grey hair showed prominently on his face. He was one of the lucky few that would have escaped the BMC dogcatchers as he was born much before the BMC stopped the inhumane practice of electrocuting stray dogs. James lived with his companion’s -Pretty, Tipu, S. Raj, Hritik, Amisha and the recent additions of the two Pomeranians. Though all these dogs came into Arvind (and thus James)’s life at different points of time, James was the second eldest in the group after Pretty.
James had a very docile temperament and if you happened to walk down near the Eros theatre at Churchgate, you would see him sleeping on the footpath or trotting back and forth between Eros and Satyam Collections or crouched between the cars parked on the road and the pavement or chasing the crows or following Arvind wherever he went.
James died last week. Though he was old, had lost weight and slowed down, he was still quite fit with good heamoglobin levels, a good kidney and a slightly bad liver. He died after being run over by a car. Arvind who brought him up as a puppy was devastated and still cries remembering him. Now he has only Tipu and the recently acquired Pomeranians left.
James, of course will be dearly missed by everyone including me as I knew him for the past ten years and saw him every Sunday at 9:30 am, as his home is the meeting point of the WSD South Mumbai on-site first aid team.