LIVE LIGHT, TRAVEL LIGHT: He’s a minimalist in the true sense of the term. I pretend to be one but I am not actually. After filling up my wardrobe, my clothes happily snuggle into his. He only has one shelf to himself, the rest is occupied by his better half. But I am ruminating over the culture of excess and trying my best to be a minimalist. I hope to succeed. More importantly, he travels light. Whether it’s a 3-day trip or a 30-day trip, I have never seen him carry more than his rucksack. Though I am far better than many of my fellow women travellers, I am yet to start a journey with just one rucksack on my back.
CELEBRATING ANIMALS: He’s a vegan and doesn’t use any animal products, whether wallet, shoes or soaps. While I grew up with a pet dog, I am now learning to embrace the entire universe of beautiful people called animals, birds or butterflies. He has a special love affair with all our neighbourhood dogs. I think when he goes on the tour they miss him more than I do.
The way they climb all over him when he returns after a trip is a delight. Over the years, he has made me more compassionate towards other living things. Now I actually miss the pigeons if they don’t come into my living room and create a little havoc.
THE POWER OF NOW: He believes in living in the moment, enjoying and savouring it. I was born to parents who believed in being meticulous, perfectionist and constantly doing something or the other, typical Type A personalities.
My husband has always encouraged me not to fret over tomorrows and to slow down and savour the moment. I am slowly learning to celebrate ‘Today’ and shedding my obsession with (read fear of) tomorrow.
The beauty of revelling in now is that he doesn’t get perturbed (unlike yours truly) if things don’t go according to his plans. A few weeks ago, his laptop stopped working. I thought that he would be really miserable without his faithful companion. So, when I came back from office (he works from home) in the evening, I queried, “You must have had a tough day, na.” He replied, “I cooked vegetable fried rice and garlic mushroom. I finished reading half of Amitav Ghosh’s Hungry Tide. I didn’t even realise how the day flew by.”
SAY SORRY: I always had problems with saying sorry. I might have felt like saying it on some occasions but I could never bring myself to say it aloud. I used to sulk, feel miserable and live with the hurt for a long time, but I had problems in saying sorry. My husband is the first one to say sorry when we fight. He will come up, say sorry and then with a goofy grin, give me a hug. Somehow, it becomes difficult to hold on to the anger. Now, I have learnt the art of saying sorry. When I make a mistake now I say ‘sorry’ to friends, nieces, nephews, young colleagues at work and to my domestic staff. I now feel absolutely comfortable in saying this one magical word, ‘sorry’. It has made my life easier and more beautiful.
THE JOY OF HUMOUR: We laugh a lot. I always tell him, “I have a better sense of humour.” Once I complained, “You bloody cheater. When you were dating me, you used to take me to Maurya Sheraton in Delhi. Now, you are taking me to dhabas.” I added dramatically, “from bukhara to khakra…my love story.” Without batting an eyelid, he said, “Trailer tha Karan Johar ka. Movie hai Sudhir Mishra ki.” We burst out laughing.
Last year, on Valentine’s Day I told him, “Listen, get me flowers in the evening when I am back from office.” And then I gave him a long lecture on how men (Indian men to be specific) needed to be told what to do. When I came back home in the evening, he opened the door with a huge smile and a cauliflower in hand. I screamed, “What…a cauliflower?” He said, “You said, flower….I got you a cauliflower. I always take one step further for you only. All for your happiness.” Well, I like his crazy sense of humour.
Some days ago, he went to Kutch for a few days. One fine morning, the doorbell rang and I thought my cook had become very efficient, reporting to work at 7 am. I dragged myself up and opened the door. To my utter surprise, I saw him standing there with a puppet (picked up from Kutch), saying, “Jo Kutch nehin dekha woh kuchch nehin dekha (from Gujarat Tourism’s ad campaign). I broke into a huge smile.
His sense of humour has also acted in his favour and spared him a verbal nuclear attack from me on some occasions.
Related reading: Couples that laugh together
He cheekily says, “Management guys know how to diffuse tough situations.”
Well, I think they know how to woo smart women…this is my way of self-branding.
You see, this too I learnt from my husband.