It is said that some hearts are a desert you can die wandering in; you thirst for love, but all you find is a mirage!
As a teenager, hooked on to Bollywood movies, my world centred on a complete romantic bliss with the inevitable and happy union, of the hero and heroine. As I look back on my life, never had I imagined that reality was so remarkably different than the handsome hero not only sweeping the petite pretty heroine off her feet, but also living happily ever after.
Just a couple of years into marriage and we were literally living indifferent lives. We didn’t even know if a term existed for relationships like these. Our marriage could be midway; neither loving and romantic, nor acrimonious and bitter. Apparently, a majority of people I have come across are married, but not happily married! Over the years their marriage had been reduced to a compromise. Couples stay together because they follow an unwritten code to be with each other, either for the sake of their children, or their families, or social reasons. Each has their own reason; but in most cases, the reason to stay together is definitely not love. I guess, I too was following the same footsteps. Casper’s illness, and, recovery from the jaws of death, had given birth to a mother in me. Under no circumstances, I wanted to lose him again. My husband was also extremely attached to Casper and he used to keep saying “come what may, Casper will always stay with me.” This fear of losing Casper gave me even more reasons to hold on to my marriage.
At a young age, I realised that so many people are living a life of sham. I had understood that marriage does not have a guarantee of happily ever after. It’s a process which needs constant nurturing from both sides. The fairytale world was a mirage and realty was shockingly different! I had left my blooming career back in Mumbai and settled down with my husband abroad. To stand by him like a pillar as he made his career in Dubai. I was not only a well-educated and an ambitious woman, but I had dreams of my own which I had given up for my marriage. My husband never stopped me from doing anything or restricted me in any manner. But, ironically, whatever I wanted to do, he wouldn’t stand by me either. We were a married couple living our single lives. As time passed, we became even more distant. We had no fights, no loud arguments, but we kept drifting apart and silently followed the mantra of “to each their own”. In fact, what remained was just SILENCE. I used to wonder, where does the initial euphoria vanish? Now I realize that as we age, both parties evolve and develop their independent thoughts. It led to overt or covert clashes and eventually living as partners was simply because it was a matter of convenience. Whatever activities we enjoyed together earlier like watching a movie, visiting a mall or even travelling was no longer an enjoyable pursuit. Yet, for Casper, we didn’t breakup.
One day, after weeks of pondering, I suggested to my husband that we should consider moving back to Mumbai. I told him that we both were extremely attached to Casper and it made no sense to live in Dubai and see him only once every couple of months or so. While my husband liked the idea, he wasn’t exactly supportive about it in term of timelines. So, we decided that I would return to Mumbai and Casper and I would live with my parents till we bought our own house. While in Mumbai, I kept searching for houses so that my husband also would move back as soon as possible. Somewhere, in the corner of my heart, there was always a little hope that our marriage would be back on track. I had heard that Love is an unconditional commitment to an imperfect person. While imperfection is a matter of perception, all I knew was that I wanted my life and marriage to be the one I had dreamt off, and, I wanted to ensure I gave it my best shot. Soon enough, I found the right place for us. The apartment building had three other dogs. I spoke to my husband, told him about the place and literally begged for him to come down and see the place for himself. My luck hit the right cord; he too liked the place, and, soon he shifted to Mumbai, bought the house, and, after four months of renovation, we moved into our home sweet home.
What a lovely family, I would think to myself. Husband, wife and a dog. Casper was an Angel who ACCIDENTALY came into our lives and was bridging the gap between two lost lovers. The bond was getting stronger and it was Casper’s love that pulled my husband back to Mumbai and once again live like a happy family. We started building memories. Took Casper on holidays, to various destinations, which also gave us the time to trust and build a connection with each other again. Apart from that, Caspu (as we lovingly called him) needed consistent boundaries to feel safe. I and my husband started to mend our ways to ensure he felt safe and secure. We didn’t argue as much as before, we spent more time together and even started doing small activities together. Any activity that your dog enjoys is a good place to start in building a bond within ourselves first so that he has fun and feels secured. With all these developments, Caspu bonded more strongly to us and us with each other. My husband and I both were invested in giving Caspu the love and affection he needed, and, I was secretly hoping this would re-build our love and marriage too!
Dogs are sentient and feel joy, sadness, pain, fear and many more feelings. When they bond with their humans, they feel joy and happiness and only want to be with their human. Dogs respond to our feelings. If we are feeling upset or sad, they tune into those feelings. Dogs especially feel pain, both physical and emotional. When we embrace this fact about Dogs and their emotions, a level of respect naturally falls in place. This respect is a trait dogs build on and it’s a consistent process. Your dog needs to trust you; we were doing just that by keeping our differences at bay.
As life continued and continues with its ups and downs, Junior is relishing over Hunger Fills Carrot and Milk Treats. As a dog mom, I am very cautious as to what I feed my baby. A highly recommended treat made from superior quality ingredients and very palatable. If everything is going well, what’s the need to stop and dwell. Life is not always a matter of holding good cards, but sometimes, playing a poor hand well. I forgot what’s gone, appreciate what still remains and looking forward to what is going to come next. My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humour, and always with Junior. As Carl Henegan has rightly said, “Adversity is a mirage. People, situations, and relationships sometimes change for the worst but inevitably clear a path for far better replacements. The continued journey will always find bliss.”