Love and Celebration in the Times of Hustling: The Luxury of Doing New things Together

My husband was turning 40 and highly keen on trying something new now that he was feeling too old. As luck would have it, a few of his college basketball friends were also going to come in from abroad at the same time. Wanting to travel as well, we looked for something in Madhya Pradesh. Typing in Madhya Pradesh tour packages led us to LETS Tamia, a hidden gem in Patalkot Valley that boasted some of the most gorgeous sunrises and sunsets in the state.

A trekker since his childhood, my husband booked us in right away.

I was curious to experience something that my husband loved so much and that I did not know anything about. We arrived in the afternoon and started with a lunch of dal, veggies, roti and chawal that felt like food that my mother-in-law makes. She was there and just as happy with it. The camp manager, Lalit Ji, was lovely and made small talk with our 10-year-old daughter, asking her about her interests and putting extra veggies on her plate. She smiled and finished all her veggies too — the magic of kind and funny strangers!

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We relaxed that day. Everyone caught up with each other around the bonfire at night as our friends kept reaching the camp in Tamia. I remember my husband laughing and telling me that all his favourite people were here doing his favourite activity with him on his birthday in a gorgeous location; it was the best gift anyone could give him. Seeing him so happy made my heart expand with love a little more.

The next day, we left early in the morning for a sunrise trek as part of our Tamia travel package and cut his birthday fruit cake at our destination as the sun rose above us in the sky. The staff was very happy to accommodate and helped us make the required arrangements. After creating the beautiful memory together, we came down, showered and went for archery and rifle shooting in the afternoon. My husband hit the bull's eye on every shot while using the rifle while I did not hit the target paper anywhere at all! I tried multiple times and then stopped. My face was feeling hot and I felt like I was embarrassing my husband in front of his friends. My husband noticed that I was not interacting and came up to me. Standing next to me, both of us were looking at our ten-year-old who hit her mark a few times too.

After a few moments of silence, he turned towards me while the setting sun right behind him created a stunning halo amidst a warm and gentle spillage of yellow, orange and pink on a canvas sky. Bathed in those colours, he took my arm gently, led me across the green grass on the rolling hills to the rifle and started directing me on the hows. I had never seen such a gorgeous sunset anywhere in all of my vacations.

Neither had I seen this kind colour of my husband.

I still failed at rifling. But I was okay with failing because at that moment he was with me and happy teaching me how to shoot on his birthday at an adventure camp. I had never seen him this way because I had never done things with him in our day-to-day lives. Having him teach me to shoot while witnessing the most gorgeous sunset taught me the value of doing new things with the people we love.

While walking back to our tents from the rifle and archery location, he slipped his hand in mine and I smiled. Also, the same night I saw him try to belly dance after drinking two shots — learning anew that he cannot take his alcohol. Regardless, the next morning after having breakfast and checking out, I realized that the Tamia adventure tour had made me fall in love with my husband again after 13 years of marriage. Had LETS not pulled us away from our daily hustle, I would not have received this gift.

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