Something old, something new

Today is my husband’s birthday. We have been married for over eight years now. As is with any long-term relationship, you know each other too well and sometimes (in a good way) there are no surprises. When I say ‘surprises’ it means that you know your partner or spouse in most ways – their views on politics, their pet peeves, what makes them happy, what makes them sad, their favourite colour…

There are a couple of things about my husband that are fairly obvious to anyone who meets him. One, he is passionate about cooking and that, almost 80 per cent of all the lovely food that is made at our home – from biryanis, pies, pastries, curries, salads, stir-fry noodles, sandwiches, desserts, and even pickles, is courtesy him.

The second is his love for cats and dogs.

When I first got to know him, I knew that he loved dogs. He had grown up with dogs and after moving away from home, he had always longed for, but could never have a dog of his own.

One of my fondest memories is from the time we were newly married and living in Bangalore. My husband’s best friend had rescued a dog and brought her back to good health. They had named her Tess. My husband absolutely adored Tess; it was almost like they shared a special connection.

There were days when he would place a call as soon as he would finish work and was about to get into the car.

“Prerna,” he would say, “Can you pack our dinner in a tiffin and be ready in 30 minutes?”

“Why yes,” I would say, “but where do we want to go?”

“I am aching to see Tess and I cannot wait for the weekend. We will drive down to Sahil’s and if we carry our dinner, we can just have it there.”

There were so many days like that when we would just drive down his friend’s place and bless them, they would welcome us without any reservations, no matter what time of the day it was. They knew that the husband had come to see Tess.

Then when we moved to Reading, UK, a Ginger cat adopted us.

My husband fell in love with Ginger. It did not matter that Ginger wasn’t a dog.

The way he looked at Ginger and loved him – it was like watching a person fall in love, completely surrender to the other soul. The husband, with the help of our neighbour built Ginger a house, he would put him to sleep, cuddle him after he came home from work…

So I thought it was basically dogs and cats.

Then a couple of years later we took a trip to Swindon (a town in South West of England and known among other things for the designer-outlet stores ) on a Bank holiday weekend. The husband suggested that we make a visit to a butterfly park and a (children’s) zoo in Swindon before heading for the designer outlets. The husband had no interest in shopping but a friend had come along with us and he thought that the friend and I would enjoy a day at the outlets.

Once we reached the butterfly park and the zoo, my husband immediately made a beeline towards a window that was selling little packets of food that was meant for the goats at one of the enclosures.

“It’s for you and D,” he said. “You girls would like feeding the goats.”

However when we reached the enclosure that housed the goats, the husband got so excited that he forgot all about us and started feeding the goats with the enthusiasm of a child. I had to go back to the entrance to buy another packet of goat feed (I am not sure if that’s the right term for it, but can’t remember now what it was called) because the husband wanted to feed the goats some more!

I remember the friend and I standing at a distance, with smiles taking over our faces as we watched the husband getting absolutely thrilled with the goats eating out of his hand.

It was a good surprise. On his birthday today, I am hoping that as we grow old together, we keep surprising each other in ways like these. There are so many parts to us as people, parts that remain hidden, parts that need discovering and flourishing, parts that spouses will be so happy to chance upon and nurture.

And I wish for the husband – when life wills it – a pet dog, cat or a goat of his own!

At the goats enclosure
With Keiya – my sister-in-law’ dog
With Ginger – the cat who adopted us
With a cat in Turkey; we spent half a day in Göreme, Cappadocia feeding all the lovely stray cats we found in the streets

12 thoughts on “Something old, something new

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely wishes. ‘The husband’ is the opposite of me when it comes to social media. He has no account on Facebook, Instagram or anywhere else and had once got off WhatsApp as well. This is the only space where his photographs are uploaded and I guess it is because I just go ahead and do it! 😉

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      1. I sympathize, I don’t like social media either. Except WP and Whatsapp.

        Btw, after 38 years of marriage, my husband still occasionally surprises me with a story from his past that I haven’t heard before. There’s hope yet!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Lovely post. We have always been surrounded by dogs for the 35 years we’ve been together and in our younger days too. We had a break of 3 years after our last dog died but so glad we’ve had Merlin over lock-down. We too have fallen in love again with our new pet. X

    Liked by 1 person

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