Watch: With birthday cakes and balloons, Dubai’s ‘surprise couple’ bring joy to others


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Lydia Ann Joseph and Vipin James
Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: On October 30, when Saji Dominic got up to collect the newspaper on his doorstep at 5.30am, he was surprised to find a cake waiting on his doorstep and the threshold of his home festooned with balloons, streamers and glitter.

No one other than his family knew it was his 52nd birthday, yet here was a young couple singing happy birthday to him, bringing a warm and spontaneous smile to his face.

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One of the couple’s many birthday surprises
Image Credit: Supplied

Meet Lydia Anne Joseph and Vipin James, a couple from the southern Indian state of Kerala who have made it their life mission to bring joy into the lives of their family, friends and friends of friends. On October 30, they were up at 4am and made their way to the door of their buddy Dominic to decorate and set up the surprise just so that they could see the broad smile on his face.

In difficult times like the present, when people are reeling with the impact of the pandemic, the touching act of love from this couple has become the talk of the town.

Making someone’s day

Talking to Gulf News, Joseph said: “Dominic’s reaction was very sweet. He stood with eyes wide open not quite knowing how to respond initially. He was soon joined by his family who were part of this surprise. Later we spent time having breakfast with him and we could see how happy he was,” said James.

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The couple say the expression on the faces of people they ‘surprise’ is priceless
Image Credit: Supplied

Joseph elaborated: “That expression of surprise and joy on another face is priceless to me. I love to bring cheer and happiness into the lives of people. So far no one has been able to surprise me like this other than my husband Vipin.

A random act that became a studied practice

Joseph got into the business of spreading joy into the lives of others when she first organised a surprise for her roommate in an apartment she was sharing with friends, seven years ago, before her marriage. “This started quite randomly when a few of my friends got together to pull off a birthday surprise for a roommate. We stood in a dark room and as soon as this friend entered, we surprised her with cakes, flowers, balloons and confetti. She was so delighted that I decided to incorporate this practice into my life for good. Later, when I met my husband, Vipin, he loved the idea and together we have been taking time out to surprise people late in the night at around 12 midnight on the eve of their birthday. In case of Dominic, I coordinated with his wife and did an early morning surprise because he is slightly elderly and I did not want him to be anxious a day before at midnight,” explained Joseph.

Bringing cheer into the lives of loved ones and going an extra mile to get smiles to the faces of family and friends is the chief mission of the couple who have now been dubbed as the “Surprise Couple”.

Bringing spontaneous joy during the pandemic

Joseph, 35 and Vipin James, 37 are continuing this practice especially during the pandemic. Recounting one such experience during the pandemic, Joseph said: “Recently on October 23, it was the birthday of one of my friends and she was particularly depressed because of the pandemic as she was unable to throw or party or be with friends. I coordinated with her husband and at midnight we entered her home with cakes, flowers, gifts and balloons and sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to her. It really cheered her up and made a big difference to the depression she was slipping into. When people realise their happiness matters to someone, it helps them make that important shift and find a purpose in life. My friend’s sheer joy made my day.”


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