Bringing Animals Back into Our Backyard
Divya Vasudev
MY HUSBAND & OTHER ANIMALS by Janaki Lenin Westland, 2013, 282 pp., 250
April 2013, volume 37, No 4

We are fast moving towards an era when we look to admire tigers in  far­off forests, enjoy  the  antics  of  monkeys  in zoos and fish in glass bowls. Janaki Lenin, in her collection of essays in the book My Husband & Other Animals, tells us to move beyond. She embraces  the  creepy­crawlies that make their home in her kitchen. She resigns herself to the inconveniences of  frogs in the toilet tank and snakes coiled in her shoes, and views their presence instead for the excitement they provide in her day-to-day life.

Incongruous as it seems in the midst of newspaper  reports of monkey menace and snake scares, what Janaki Lenin brings to our notice is not just a tolerance for a shared life with insects, toads and the like; it is a celebration of shared space. And by virtue of this celebration, My Husband and Other Animals, seems to be exactly what the doctor ordered in today’s context.

Continue reading this review