Weekly fun

A colourful picture gallery of what Junior and me did in the last week.

I made Khichdi with Gatte ki Sabzi. A combination of Gujarati and Marwadi Cuisine. Extremely healthy and delicious.
Cooker Bread Rolls with Potato and Mayonnaise stuffing.
Painted this for my brother his birthday which was on the 28th.
Junior was super sleepy but still wanted to admire Mumma 😍
Mumma was annoying, but Junior still posed 😆
My Mom made tasty Brownie/Cake for my brother’s birthday.

Dreams and Tears

Appreciate what you have, before it turns into what you had. We all have heard this before. But we still do not implement this in our lives. We keep on abusing the zeal given to us, until it is too late to realise what we had was way too precious to us, and is there no more. When you take things for granted, the things you are granted get taken.

I had always dreamt to marry a guy who would love me, encourage me, protect me, stand by me, etc. And I was even fairly lucky enough to find that person. But somewhere, I believe, I took my oomph life for granted. And somewhere, even my husband acted with decorum. We would have our differences, but that’s a part of any marriage or relationship. But what I personally didn’t realise was, we had some faults which instead of addressing to each other and talking to each other like matured adults, we would fight and scream on top of our voices. Eventually, get tired of fighting and then forget the topic without bringing a solution. All this resulted in separation, and eventually breaking the marriage.

Life was reasonably beautiful back then; but immature us just took each other for granted. It clearly takes 2 hands to clap, and while I do not know if my husband ever realised his mistakes, but by the time I realised mine, it was too late. I couldn’t do anything but watch him go to someone else. Maybe the love was still there, but sometimes the situation becomes so unbearable, that even the silence starts haunting you. You have become so tired of holding on to a marriage or relationship, hoping in the dead air for things to not only turn around but also become as exciting as before; only to realize that one day the bubble bursts, and you just have to let go. And even though you love your partner, deep within you know you are no more in love with them!

Taylor Swift has said “It’s hard to fight when the fight isn’t fair.” The same holds true for life also. Just when I realised my mistakes and started improvising on them, I came across guys who showed me an altogether new meaning of taking things for granted. At the beginning of the relationship, they show you rainbows, and once they are confident that you are completely theirs, they start showing you thunderstorms. Once they know you are madly in love with them, they assume you won’t leave. And you are constantly hoping, rather illusive that they will change. You even signal it out to them that the changed behaviour is unbearable and you may leave. So for a short amount of time they change completely and become all loving and caring, but go back to being ignorant in no time. With time, the hurt is so bad that it loses its meaning. You start becoming distant and stop caring. You stop satisfying their ego to give them a taste of their own medicine. But by doing this, I learnt one thing; recklessness is almost a man’s revenge on his woman. He feels he is not valued so he will risk destroying himself to deprive her altogether. The best revenge is, TO MOVE ON. If they cared, they would have showed you. There are no ifs and buts to this. Actions always speak louder than words. We keep lying to ourselves in the name of love by giving excuses to unacceptable behaviour.

Love is said to be a journey, not a destination. If you commit, you promise to love that person even when it is difficult to talk to them. The one man that I met didn’t even think once before playing with my emotions and broke me so bad, that I stopped feeling anything. He used me to forget someone and forgot me like I was just some object when she came back in his life. And the other man that I met became so reckless that I started to feel that only I was in a relationship. He fed me breadcrumbs and expected me behave like he was the whole treat. What was common in both these men? They were so good and loving in the first few months, committed, sweet talkers, promised to be with you in the good and the bad, seemed matured and actually looked genuine. But once they gained your confidence, suddenly all the promises were broken, the once matured men became someone who seemingly “didn’t know” what they wanted. If I addressed their changed behaviour, I was labelled to be sulking and nagging. ‘I Love You’ was just another statement used to trap you and then eventually to abandon you for an ex or next. While I was clearly naive and rather stupid to trust words; a more severe effect of this is that even though I still believe in love, I cannot trust a soul now. Many of us these days feel, “I will get anyone. There are a lot of fishes in the sea.” They sabotage and destroy the person they are with to search for something better outside. When they realise the grass wasn’t greener on the other side, or, when karma hits them back with the same thing of how they treated their partner, they come running back realising they had the best; obviously it is too late then. It’s said, “Women fall in love in the man’s presence and men fall in love in the woman’s absence.” Many men probably know this, but what they don’t know is women take longer to leave, but once they leave, they never come back!

Rumi, the 13th century poet had said, “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself” With all these happenings in my life, I have only learnt. Learnt to be patient, learnt the value of the present moment than getting anxious about the future, and, learnt to trust actions and not just words. I also learnt to never beg anyone to stay in my life; for where you are not celebrated and respected, leave. The moment after being let go, when we can finally let it go, is the moment when love once again has hope. And I want to keep falling in love even if I have already hit the ground. To young hearts; keep beating, keep breaking and keep falling in love. But never take anyone or any moment for granted. Because what you have today, tomorrow it just might not be there. And that will hit you like a bullet in the heart. By the time you realise what you have lost, it will be gone forever. If you love something, love it completely, cherish it, say it, but most importantly – show it. Life is finite and fragile, and just because something is there one day, it might not be the next. Never take anyone or anything granted. I had read an article about a man’s last words on his death bed. He said, “Wish I had paid more attention to the relationships I had in my life.” Value them when they are still there other than adjusting to their absence in the future. My intention is not to gain any sympathy, but only to help people to not repeat the mistakes I have made.

Having said that, there are times that I too feel guilty of not spending enough time with Casper and he was gone too soon. So this lockdown has given me an opportunity to take a break from the grind and spend a lot of time with Junior, take care of his health and wellbeing, laugh at his funny sleeping positions, talk to him random stuff and see him tilting his head, hug him tight where he tries his best to free himself and love him a lot more. My dogs have been the biggest blessings in my life. Having such short lives, they still fill yours with so much meaning, faithfulness and loyalty. And under no circumstances, I would take even a single moment with Junior for granted. For this time, will never come again – Spend your time with those who love you unconditionally, not with those who only love you under certain conditions!

You are a whole lot of lovely!

It takes a strong person to remain single in a world that is accustomed to settling with anything just to say they have someone. Several women, at times, force themselves into romance, only because they are apprehensive of being single forever. The end result is usually misery, as in the process they start making compromises, and invariable end up losing their identity. The truth is, a woman who is unapologetically herself, comfortable in her perfect imperfection, doesn’t play the victim, never afraid to be on her own, vibrant and goal-oriented is so much more attractive, than a woman who waits around for a man to validate her existence!

Being in my late 30’s, its natural for my family and friends to be concerned about me being single – to the extent few consider it to be a taboo! I am accustomed to be at the receiving end of various advices; “your biological clock is ticking” / “life cannot be spent alone” / “right now you will still get a guy, later it will be too late”, and, as ridiculous as some of these reasons are; believe me the list is endless. While it is extremely easy to advice, what people, who I know only mean good, fail to understand is as we age, it gets more and more difficult for us to find the ‘right one’. It’s not the age which does that, for age is just a number. What happens is with age we mature, we learn to understand what truly makes us happy, and we are less susceptible to just settle for someone who really doesn’t understand or care for us.  With the booming trend of social media, it is not difficult to find someone. But the question is; how genuine are they? And even if they are genuine, how compatible are we?

Personally, I have never been the one who would do a random hook-up, or anything even remotely similar to it. With age, and of course my past experiences, I have become so scared to get my heart broken again that I fortified myself with a wall of scepticism.  It has become extremely difficult for me to immediately trust someone. It’s not that that I do not want to date or eventually get married, but I do not want to be the only one falling in love. I want to be loved equally as well, and I strongly believe this isn’t much to ask! The problem is you will come across people who will express their love, but it is fairly impossible to immediately judge who actually loves you, and who is pretending to do so. Most men I have spoken to, choose to conveniently assume I am available and desperate immediately upon learning that I am separated and live alone. To be brutally honest, I have learnt that only 3 types of men approach me, and this is the harsh reality of today’s world:

  1. Type 1: The married ones, who generally just are looking for a little extra spice
  2. Type 2: The confused souls who say they care, but honestly only want a physical relationship with pretty much No Strings Attached
  3. Type 3: The truly genuine ones who end up being some of the best friends I have made. But believe me, these are the rarest of the rare ones and extremely hard to find

After Casper crossed the rainbow bridge, my husband told me that very same day that he wanted to rework the marriage. I was content, but it was only an eyewash. Apparently, my husband had approached the divorce lawyer the very same evening. I was shocked, deceived, and realized it was better to end this legally once and for all. It made no sense to keep watering a dead plant, and more than a dead relation it was the trust which was totally shattered.  I gathered myself together post getting off the depression medicines, and got back on routine and finally became open to dating. But it wasn’t easy at all. The dating scenarios had completely changed. There were so many new words and actions that I had never experienced in the past or even heard of, like ghosting, gas lighting, rebounding, etc. Unfortunately, I experienced all these the hard way when I finally had prepared myself to give love another chance. I had met a guy in my worst phase and told him everything about my past and he shared his. In spite of him being a dog lover, I thought he would understand of what I went through when Caspu passed. We never really dated but had become pretty close, and I had started thinking about him a lot more than I had planned to. Just 20 days after meeting him, I was ghosted. Yes, that’s when I learnt this word. And after some months I realised I would have just been a rebound to him. His ex came back in his life and he forgot me just at the drop of a hat like I was just someone to divert his mind off a break up he had recently had when we met. Ironically, that’s when I learnt the second trending word “rebound”. It was so hard for me to believe that when you share your personal life with someone and they promise to hold your hand through thick and thin, but end up being the same person they claim to never have been. I was extremely heartbroken. But once again, my baby, my dog, my Junior came to my rescue and never let me sink in. I realized I was actually stronger than before. I chose to give a piece of my mind to that guy, blocked him and never looked back. The following year, as I continued with my work and actually experimented with social media, I came across a lot of people. And as mentioned before, some became my very good friends, and other; I realised their intentions way too early and didn’t even bother entertaining them.

Life went on, and without me even realising, I kept getting mentally stronger, and being alone with Junior had just become the best way to live. I was so much happier, and, so was Junior. We enjoyed our time playing and dancing for no reason. If nothing, then I would take Junior out for a drive. Some of the best moments of my life are spent alone with Junior, and definitely, they are precious. Apart from that, my cousins and friends also made sure that I was not left alone. I started travelling, having so many girls’ trips, also my Mom and me travelled overseas just for shopping, family trips; all in all – life was beautiful!  

Then, a friend of mine introduced me to a guy. As they say, you meet the most unexpected person at the most unexpected time. It was a long distance relationship. But this time, I didn’t give my heart away immediately. I took my time and being long distance, after months, we met in person. It is amazing how different a person can be over phones and in person. After a while, I started to sense that we were not for each other.  I began to curse myself for a very brief period that none of my relationships are working out, and, probably, I am the toxic one, or I have some problem in me. Self-doubt can be a troubling and persuasive voice that holds you back. My thoughts literally made me beg this guy to stay with me, which he did too, but his behaviour towards me changed dramatically. He took me for granted thinking that I begged him to stay, so I will never leave him. He chose to call or text me at his convenience only, not reply to my texts for days, not tell me about his whereabouts and literally made me an object of convenience. I hoped and thought he would change for good but things only got worse. Finally, I opened my eyes, kept my heart aside, and called it off.

You have what it takes, don’t ever doubt yourself. Whenever you feel weak, remember the things that made you strong. Whenever you start to doubt yourself, remember those who believe in you. And remember this, when you start to doubt yourself, the real world will eat you alive. Victor E. Frankl (Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist as well as a Holocaust survivor,) has said, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” Once again, living alone, failed relationships, a lot of baggage, a fur baby who is no more; but here I am. Still cheerful and hopeful. I still believe in love. I have not given up on meeting the right one for me. Even in this world of divorces and breakups and hook ups, I believe somewhere the one meant for me will find me in the right time. Remember this, it is better to wait long than to marry wrong. Learn to be whole all by yourself. Be kind enough to let someone in, but wise enough to even let them go. Not everyone who enters your life is meant to stay. And it is ok! Learn from it, and move on.

Till then, Junior and I are living it playfully in this lockdown. He is a kitchen king (hahahaha). He is always in the kitchen when I am cooking keeping his hopes high that anytime some food might fall on the floor from the platform and he will eat it. Regarding his skin infection, he is doing absolutely great. The Saffron Oil did wonders and he is off antibiotics now. Apart from this, a very good friend of mine had to put his senior dog down due to complications from old age. It caused overwhelming distress to him to take this call and implement his decision, but that was the right thing to do. Seeing him like this is very upsetting. No matter how much time we get with our fur babies, it is never enough. Whether they lived for 5 years or 10 years or 15 years with us, their passing always takes away a part of us with them. It is never easy!

Change begins at the end of your comfort zone!

Whether you’re grieving the loss of a loved one or adjusting to move to a new place, life is full of uncertainty. Navigating previously unexplored terrain is difficult, exhausting, and even scary. The worst feeling isn’t being lonely; it’s being forgotten by someone you know you will never completely forget. You never realise how lonely you are, until it’s the end of the day, and, you got a bunch of things to talk about, but no one to talk to! While Loneliness makes living difficult, from my experience I can say, nobody is really alone. Lonely, in its true sense, is not about being alone; it’s the feeling that no one cares, and trust me when I say this, there is always someone who cares! You will find company, if you really want to, and I found it in my dogs, Casper and Junior.

William Arthur Ward’s had said, “The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.”

In life, when things don’t work out, as humans, it is a very normal tendency for us to blame things on the other person. We, at times, even vent out to others about how bad our partner was or how he/she ill-treated us. While, the same is a matter of perspective, and ill treatment does not necessarily have any set parameters to it; as a thumb rule, any kind of a physical abuse is generally the tipping point for many. But who is to blame, when there is no physical abuse also, and two individuals are just drifting apart? During my separation stage, I got a lot of time to reflect on my entire relationship, and where we went wrong. To begin with, I realized I got married for the wrong reasons. I was probably a young, immature girl who got married out of the sheer excitement of the term marriage, while still living in the fairy-tale world that now, this is forever! Without realising, that my juvenile shoulders STILL didn’t have the strength to carry the responsibility of a steady, understanding and a patient relationship.  Sometimes, things don’t work out.  You can be with someone for years and believe that they are the one. But, in reality, it was built on the everlasting fear of loneliness and insecurity. Perhaps it wasn’t that you didn’t love them, but it was more just a relationship that was to teach you that not all things last forever, despite how much you want them to. And you cannot hold on to someone who wants to go. They let go of you, so you learn that, although you both once believed you were each other’s forever, or that you both still love each other – it’s time to go in separate ways.

In her novel ‘Frankenstein’, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley wrote, “Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.” I too never got a closure from my husband; we never sat and spoke to each other about our issues. We were already sailing in different boats and the separation was like a sudden blow of the wind to our ships which drifted apart so quickly that we could no longer even reach out to each other.  The biggest lesson I learnt was, in a relationship, when the communication starts to fade, everything else follows.

It’s funny how things don’t work out (and funny how they always do). In this testing time, in this time of doubt and fear, my only constant were my dogs. Those dogs, whom I had given up for adoption. Those dogs, who accidentally came into my life, only for me to later realise were God sent; to save me. And as I always say, “Everything happens for a reason”. Sometimes good things fall apart so better things come together. Now I had a responsibility as a single mom to look after my two dogs. My mindset had completely changed. I was a completely new person. Once an arrogant and rude girl, I had turned to a more docile and matured woman. The change was good. We all fear change, we all get so used to our comfort zone that we start believing that “this is life”. Or we accept our fate that “it is what it is.” But I will say this, “if it scares you, it might be a good thing to try”. As at the other side of fear, is freedom.

It wasn’t easy at all! With limited income, pressure from family to once again give up the dogs for adoption so that I could start my life afresh with a new partner, emotional blackmailing, suicidal thoughts, struggling to find a job, lonely and depressed; life was a living hell at that time. But I was determined; I was head strong, that no matter what, I will never ever give Casper and Junior up for adoption. For they taught me how to remain strong! They were the main reason where I had the guts to let go off my dead and stagnant marriage, and realise that change is messy in the beginning, chaotic in the middle, and beautiful in the end. I was fighting against all odds to keep them with me.

As time passed, everything started to sort out. My family stopped pressurising me to give them up, I found a good job and earnt a decent income to live a comfortable life. But that was just the beginning. It was just getting better day by day. If you are determined, and, have the courage, anything is possible. Just believe in yourself! I started getting confident in taking Casper and Junior out in public all by myself. Handling two Labrador Retrievers all alone by a petite girl was not a piece of cake. But I was gaining confidence. I got better at managing time and money. I got comfortable at living alone. Having Casper and Junior by my side, I didn’t need anyone else. Suddenly, life became a party. One day I woke up, and everything was fine; in fact, better than before. That day, I thanked my husband (legally we were still married) for leaving me. Because my alone time, and my dogs had turned me from a Caterpillar to a beautiful Butterfly. Not just mentally, but playing around with my dogs, their walks and exercise, the laughter I got from seeing them act funny, the feeling of living in paradise I got from seeing them sleep peacefully, made me physically attractive as well. I lost 20 kgs of weight. I was happy and at peace; I was glowing!

I wished I had come to terms sooner that my marriage was dead long time ago. I was holding on to nothing. My fear was actually holding me back. But it’s better to be late than never. If that time my husband didn’t have the courage to end it, we both would have been living a stagnant life, holding each other back with unknown fears, not realising that the end of a marriage doesn’t mean end of life. I was completely unaware of what my husband was up to; but that did not bother me at all. He would get in touch with me sometimes through text, just to know how Casper and Junior were doing. I was still not open to dating anyone new that time. I was just enjoying the time of my life with my dogs and my freedom. Had it not been for Casper and Junior, I would have gone back to live with my parents, and they would have got me married immediately to someone else after divorce. Me becoming the accidental dog mom was the biggest blessing of my life; and believe me when I say this, being separated and single isn’t exactly a taboo or the end of the world!

Today, as we are sitting in isolation, or let’s say, avoiding going to public places and interacting with people due to the Corona (COVID-19) Virus, Junior and me are having a ball of a time. His naughtiness still keeps me entertained. His walks and exercise still keep me mentally and physically active, and not even once lets me slip into depression. He is soon to be eight years old, but he is still like a one-year old puppy. Everyone around loves him a lot. And my parents who had once told me to give up my dogs for adoption, now cannot live a day without him. As Steve Maraboli put it, “The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.”

Limitations are self-imposed!

You know what’s the worse feeling in the world? The worse feeling in the world is when you are with someone, but, you still feel alone! You feel you don’t belong anywhere. Sleeping right next to the person you love every night but those few inches in realty are more than a million miles. The life, the home, and, the family you had made, were falling apart like a crushed dream. Have you ever had that feeling where deep down inside you know this marriage is not going to make it through, but, you aimlessly wait for a miracle? You wish, pray, to the extent desperately hope, for your partner to change. You have endless conversations and efforts only to realize that everything is fine for 2 months and then you are back to the same old situation. I have realized It happens to everyone as they grow up. You find out who you are and what you want, and then you realize that people you’ve known forever don’t see things the way you do. So, the best thing to do is keep the wonderful memories, and move on!

Casper coming back into our lives was a big ray of hope; as for once, me and my husband both wanted something together and would spend time together discussing him. I am sure all of you are probably baffled by the idea that how can a girl who is petrified of dogs, not only decide to adopt and raise him, but eventually turns out to be a dog mom. Honestly speaking, I am perplexed myself till date about how the events of life have unfolded and carved me into what I am today.   

Whenever we got Casper home, my husband would go for his work for couple of hours and then come back and work from home. In those 2 or 3 hours, when I was home alone with Casper, I used to be terrified and keep Casper confined inside his crate. Then one day, my husband got annoyed and gave me an ultimatum that either I work on removing my fear of dogs or he would have no choice but to give Casper up. I was super happy not touching Casper and only seeing his little paws dance around the house, but giving him away was not an option I could accept. So, with great courage, and a task which was no less than bravery on a battlefield for me, one day, when my husband went to work, I sat down in the centre of the living room and told my maid to remove Casper from the crate and leave him free. Casper came running towards me and started licking and biting me with his small teeth. For the Initial few minutes I literally froze to death; almost like I was a helpless goat in a field, faced with a tiger and inevitable defeat. But after the initial few excruciating moments, slowly my fear started to evaporate from my body. All I could feel was love and the feel of a tiny gentle soul trying his best to get all the attention from me that he could.  For the first time in days I took Casper in my hands and hugged him and there was no feeling in this world better than this. Things were fantastic for quite some time. He bought us a lot of joy and happiness. From a breaking down marriage, to looking forward in anticipation for a better tomorrow; that’s the magic Casper had done. Even though we only saw him every 3 months, whenever we did, our joy had no limits. Each time when we would meet him, we would be surprised to see his growth from a little puppy to a big dog. We would regularly be sent his pictures and videos from the boarding lodging and that would bring a big smile on our faces. We were pleased that he was in good hands in our absence and was taken good care of.

Whenever we would come down to Mumbai, we would take Casper on short trips, buy him a lot of toys, pamper him, and, also got him trained. As I have mentioned before, I took up further studies and had to come down to Mumbai for my final exams. During that time, we had sent Casper to a summer camp out of Mumbai and had plans to pick him up once my exams were over. But, before my last exam, I had a break of 8 days, and, so, we decided to have a surprise visit to the place where Casper was. Typically, Casper would enthusiastically come running to us as soon as he would see us. But this time something wasn’t right. When we reached there, Casper didn’t move and lay still on the ground. We immediately understood that something was wrong and without wasting a single minute, my husband literally picked him up, put him in the car and drove back straight to the vet’s clinic. Our fears were confirmed and Casper was not only diagnosed with tick fever but also was in a critical state. The vet immediately started his treatment and upon asking, he informed us that chances of his survival were bleak. My world came crashing down. This was the first time in months that I realised that I wasn’t a dog owner, I was a dog MOM. My child was fighting a battle with the Grim Reaper and I wanted nothing else but for him to live.

Day and night, we were at the vet’s clinic doing everything we could; I was cursing myself every minute to have sent him to the summer camp. After 5 days of treatment, Casper finally showed some positive results. The vet told us he would make it and I was overjoyed and mirthful that my baby was going to live. In all this chaos, I didn’t get the time to study for my final exam and I decided to mark absent for it and attempt it next year. But my mother told me, “If you don’t appear for your test, you will as it is be marked as failed. Why don’t you read your books and give your exams. At least you will be satisfied that you gave your best instead of not going at all.” I took her advice, stayed up all night to study while my husband bought Casper home and was looking after him. I appeared for my exam and when the results were declared, I had PASSED.  Guess chaos is only a matter of perspective; what is chaos to a fly is normal for a spider. Giving up at the first instance of seeing a difficultly in life will surely ease that particular situation; but we won’t know what possibilities could lie ahead only if we try a little harder then. It is always better to try, give it a shot, rather give it our best shot, and then accept whatever happens, rather than not try at all and then sit and think a few years later what if we had only tired. The possibilities are ambiguous, but at least we know within us that we tried!

Within months, I had seen life, death, failure and success. My mother taught me a very good lesson which till date I remember and follow whenever I have to. No matter what, get up, dress up, and show up. This has become a motto for life. Seeing Casper near death and back to life gave me a new life. Basically, a new and stronger perspective to life. He taught me to face my fears. He showed me that anything can happen in life, good or bad and we have to be prepared for everything. He taught me how to have fun and laugh for no reason. He made me a responsible human being. Above all, he made me a Mom. Yes! I am a proud Mom and my kids have four legs and fur. As I write this, my eyes glow seeing Junior sitting next to me and once again makes me realise, I am so lucky to have this baby in my life. Casper taught me life, and Junior is the reason that I am living my life. And I always thank God, for blessing me with such beautiful babies.

Petrified! Tranquilized!! Casper-fied!!!

I was once asked, “Why do you want to get married?” And, the naïve me promptly answered, “When you are married, it is difficult to end a marriage after a fight. But when you are dating, you are not sure if you will patch up, as you are not legally bound to.” It was a very impromptu answer, and I guess, I today know, I was so wrong. As life progresses, I finally learned, and understood, that like many others (possibly), I got married for the wrong reasons. Marriage is a union of two people who come together because they trust each other, to know your partner at a deeper level, to want the same things, to even fight fair, to have an endless sleepover with your favourite person, etc. It’s not just the paper work that solidifies your love for each other, but marrying the right person should make you feel more secure. You feel and act like a team by which your lives are calm and certain. But I reiterate, I definitely married for the absolute wrong reason.

Relocating to Dubai, I assumed my life would be wonderful. Living independently, without in laws, or for the matter of fact any relatives, I thought “Wow! What fun; I can do whatever I want!” While that was true to some extent, what I had not imagined, or realized, was the same freedom also gave my husband the license to do whatever he wanted too. Within the first year of our marriage, we had already started falling apart. For me, my husband had become my entire world; there was not a single moment that I would leave him alone. I had also started working in his company and we were practically together all the time. While I was delirious, I was oblivious to the fact that he on the other hand had started feeling suffocated. I guess things majorly started going wrong because we didn’t communicate our issues with each other. Like any other girl, I had left my family and friends back, got married to the love of my life and shifted to a foreign country. I had thought, he is my best friend, he is my family, and he is my life. I was wrong and the distance between us only kept increasing.

I was dejected, and, to divert my mind, I took up further education. I indulged myself in my books, and while I was trying to not only educate myself but also save the marriage, my husband saw this as an opportunity to continue with his own life. While things looked great from the outside, from within, on some level, both of us knew long back, that we were not meant to be with each other. In all this chaos, we came down to Mumbai for a family function. My sister mentioned that she wanted to gift a puppy to her son on his birthday and gave the responsibility to my husband. My husband was more than excited as he was an insane dog lover. Two days before my nephew’s birthday, my husband came home with a very cute puppy.  As mentioned earlier I was petrified of dogs; even the mention of the word Dog would literally fossilize me. The tiny puppy was in my home and I didn’t even touch him. We took him to the vet, got him vaccinated, and gave him a bath, all ready to be gifted. The two days the puppy was in my house, he would run around, play, eat and snooze most of the time. When the day came to gift him, my husband had already become emotional, and I on the other hand, was waiting for him to go away from my house. We reached my sister’s house and surprised her son with the puppy. He was ecstatic. And finally, the puppy had a name – Casper. When we left the party and sat in the car, that moment hit me like a bolt of lightning. I started crying as I realised, I had got attached to Casper. Those two days that he was at my house, even though I was panic stricken, I had fallen in love with him. Unfortunately, I couldn’t do anything about it!

We were in Mumbai for a month and we got busy in our lives. But there was not even a single moment that I wouldn’t think about Casper. Then one day, my sister called and informed my husband to take Casper back as she was not able to manage the kids and dog, and was doing injustice to him. It was unbelievable. My eyes glowed from joy and my heart was beating faster than a humming birds wings. But it wasn’t that simple. We were residents of Dubai and had to go back. We couldn’t take Casper along with us; UAE isn’t exactly a dog friendly country. Although we had been contemplating moving back to Mumbai for a while, doing that immediately there and then wasn’t an option. My husband and I had a discussion about this and we decided to get Casper home, keep him in boarding lodging, and visit him every 3 months, till we could figure out our future address. Clearly, both of us were not ready to let him go and we bought him home. Our joy had no limits; especially because after months of fighting and differences of opinions, this was the first time that my husband and I agreed to something together and shared our joy.

Life is so unpredictable. When you feel it is the end of the road, you suddenly see a way. Today, as I look back at the last 10 years of my life, I see and believe that ‘Happily Single’ is recognizing that you don’t need or want to be rescued from your life by a handsome prince because your life is pretty awesome, as is! Bing Single is NOT a taboo – There is no need to rush. If something meant to be, it’ll happen in the right time, with the right person, and for the best reason. Being single does not have anything to do with your past, IF you’re single, focus on being a better you instead of looking for someone better than your ex. A better you will attract a better next!

There is only one cause of unhappiness: the false beliefs you have in your head, beliefs so widespread, so commonly held, that it never occurs to you to question them. Over the past few years, I learnt this that never stress about anything. Because whatever you over think and stress about, usually not even 10% of it happens. It’s said that there are more things to alarm us than to harm us, and we suffer more often in apprehension than reality. And, if, when, something does go wrong, you automatically get the strength to face it. Let me not deny the fact that after I got Casper and Junior, my life has been wonderful. In more ways than one, my fur babies have saved my life and turned me into a wonderful human being I am today. Even today, as I have passed through a terrifying phase of my life, Junior still inspires me every day. There is a saying, be like a dog. If you can’t have it or play with it, pee on it, throw some dust and move on. As I am excited for another positive coming up in my life in a few weeks, Junior is doing the best that he does, eat, play, sleep, repeat. And you know what; I would not want to change anything of it. I fall in love with him every single day over and over again.