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Jab we met: 'Thanks to her, aal izz well!'

Last updated on: February 11, 2010 19:19 IST

As part of our Valentine's Day celebrations, we invited readers to write in telling us all about their love stories. Here, we publish more responses. First up we have Raghunathann Ramakrishnan's experience:

Will it be less remarkable if I also tag my love story as 'filmi', as other fellow writers did? If you think so, I would disagree.

It's been quite sometime since I wrote personal articles. Said so, after I started to follow rediff's thread 'Jab we met', I couldn't resist but jump on the bandwagon of writers to share my love story.

A South Indian Madrasi went to study in North India and found an interesting dost, who in turn paved the way to get him married to a North Indian kudi.

Is it a sequence of coincidences or God's well-articulated play? Let me kickstart by stating 'Jodiya upar se bankar aati hain'.

My love story began at the beginning of this new millennium 'LOVE-Y2K'. It all started during my final year NIT engineering days. College was closed in lieu of exam preparations. My friend (newly re-christened as brother-in-law) suggested that we go to his home during the break. We landed there and I saw my love, who happened to be his sister. My love is my best friend's sister. It was love at first sight. Till date, it is love at every sight. On that day, I even called my mom and told her that I have found her daughter-in-law, but my mom thought that I was joking. No amount of my insisting made any difference to my mom.

Oh dear, ten years have gone by and still every sight of her is as fresh as that very day.

I stayed at my friend's place for 10 days and all the time I spent with my love is worth living again. We learned a lot about each other. Those were the most amazing moments I cherish till date. The chemistry we shared assured me that she was the right choice.

The million dollar question then was, how to win her? I was not quite sure whether I should first propose to her and then speak to my friend or otherwise. I was caught in this Catch-22 situation for awhile. In the meantime, I got on very well with my friend's family. They accepted me as one of them. But whether they would accept me as son-in-law; this was yet to be tested.

After I left my friend's place to continue my mundane life, I quickly realised that life was no more the same as it was before meeting her. Every moment was slow, as if time stretched for eons.

After our initial meeting, we were in constant touch. I used to write her a lot of letters with my true intent veiled in them, with the hope that she would pick up those clues. She wrote back but there was no response to those subtle messages. This kept me wondering whether the letters were delivering my messages or was she playing the cards close to her heart. Several times I mustered up my guts to propose her. I used to call her but the moment she answered my call, I succumbed and hung up the phone. I kept rehearsing on how to propose to her over phone. This seemed tougher than my BTech.

Nevertheless, my hopes were high (as in 'Aal Izz Well' style) but there was no clear plan on what next. Things turned bleak when I graduated and had to move on to the next phase of life. But, I always reminded myself that everything will be fine.

Soon, God-willing, I was invited by her family for Holi. The festive of colours -- I hoped this event would bring a lot of colour to my life. With that mindset, I took the opportunity, went with the determination that I will have a great time with her and of course propose to her and win her heart. I must admit that love is an exceptionally elating feeling. Every time I spoke to her, I experienced an adrenaline gush and my spirit roared high but at the same time I felt nervous, out of sync. It is an awesome state, which I'm sure every lover experiences.

A side-note: In Om Shanti Om Shah Rukh puts it well: "If you want anything with your whole heart, all the earthly forces will influence and help you to achieve your objective." Is it REEL? No, it is REAL. I truly believe so.

Back to my story. During my stay at their place, I tried to propose to her but couldn't make it for several reasons, including no personal time. Finally I got a chance. The night before I had to leave, I tried and struck up a conversation with her. Our talk continued for hours and finally there was a moment of silence -- absolute silence. Neither of us was daring enough to break the silence. At least that is what I thought. Suddenly an urge popped into my heart that it is time to propose. And guess what...


She said those words that I was working on. Wow! My goodness, she proposed to me. That very moment, I realised that someone on higher grounds (Heaven, probably) was more kind to me. When I confessed to her that I was planning to propose to her, she told me her about her favourite quote: 'The heart sees what is invisible to the eyes.' How true! How lucky I am!!

I was stunned, speechless but soon pulled myself together and responded well. Then on, our love story went on for four endearing years and we finally got married. After marriage, occasionally she teases me by saying that I failed and she won because she was the one to propose and win my heart. In return, I always stick to the line 'Haar ke jeetne walon ko baazigar kehte hain'. Thanks to Bollywood.

In short, her love for me is the magical potion for my life. It has been an amazing journey till date. Having her on my side, I proudly say Aal Izz Well.

'I met her at a marriage bureau'

Next we have Doha-based Aryaa Siddharth Ingale's experience:

Till the time i saw my wife, I never believed in love at first sight. Ours was an arranged marriage but to me it was a love marriage.

As they rightly say, when you see someone you love, dimaag ki ghanti baj gayi! It all started when in January 2002, I came home to India on vacation from Dubai, where I was employed. My parents were very keen on getting me married but I was reluctant, since I wanted some more time. However after a lot of counselling from my mother, I agreed to see prospective brides.

It was January 17, 2002 when we went to one of the marriage bureaus in the evening. The lady there showed me many pictures of girls and I just browsed through them. I was almostdone with the pics when the lady told me there was also an eligible girl who lived closeby and would be back from work soon -- she was a college lecturer. She said I could see her before I left.

I agreed and she made a call for her family to come see me. After a few minutes, her mother and brother arrived, without the girl.Once they saw me they called her -- and I still rememeber the day I saw my wife for the first time and fell for her.

My mind and heart were telling me that this was the girl I would grow old with -- she was my life partner. It was love at first sight and in a matter of 20 days we tied the nuptial knot. We've been happily married for 8 years and been blessed with a son (4 years).

I thank God and my heart, since I followed my instincts and got married to her. We will be celebrating our engagement anniversary on February 14 (Valentine's) and our wedding anniversary on February 15.

'I thought she would complain to the HR about me!'

Here is Pranav Trivedi's story of how he met his wife Sonal:

We were working in the same organisation in Delhi -- I was in the service level management team. The year was 2004. I used to see this girl every now and then and had one thing in mind -- that she was a nice girl.

One day I got a chance to check with her about an assignment for some breach of organisational policy. Till that time I only knew her by face. That day we had a good argument, as she was not ready to accept her fault. To save time I thought that I will explain her the process through instant messenger online and that's how it all started. The process was explained and that explanation became the root of an everlasting relationship. We started chatting and after one month, I proposed to her through chat.

After two minutes when there was no reply from her, I walked up to her seat to find that she was not there. I got scared and all kinds of negative thoughts started rolling through my mind. At first I thought she went to our HR department to take action against me. I quickly rushed to my seat and started writing again using the same chat session: This is what I said: 'Look, if you did not like this gesture, we can talk and resolve it ourselves. I am a normal middle class guy and have just purchased a car, for which I have just started paying the loan installments. If you report this incident to HR, my whole career will go for a toss and I'll carry a bad name also -- on top of it, who will pay my loan?"

I wrote this and started praying for my wellbeing. After 10 minutes she returned to her seat. She went through the chat and replied that my proposal to her had been a real shock for her. I apologised for making her feel uncomfortable. After a few minutes she asked a question. Guess what? "Why don't you comb?"

From this thoughtful question, I knew that I had half the battle won. From thereon, we happened to meet quite often and later regularly with each other. Actually, we were trying to know each other better and of course, liking it as well. During our meetings, she realised that there were a lot of complications if we went ahead with our relationship. Just to mention one: I am a Brahmin and she being a Kayastha, we had different ideologies from the family point of view. My family is strictly Brahmin (though I am not) and were complete veggies -- not even touching garlic and onion -- and her family were ardent non-veg lovers! Ha ha ha.

In the meantime, as fate would play its game, I was asked to move to our Bangalore branch to work on another project. Both our families had not agreed by that time. Unable to decide, she told me that she would do as per her family's wish. During my last days in Delhi (before leaving for Bangalore) I met her family also and tried my best to persuade them. One day befor my departure, I was sitting at her house from 9 am to 8 pm just to get an affirmation from her mother only. Well, I had finally succeeded after a lot of arguments and reasoning. I left for Bangalore the next day -- that was September 2004.

From that day onwards,we ensured we were in regular touch through phonecalls, e-mails and chats. In December, I came to Delhi for my best friend's wedding for 4 days. During that time, our parents met and we got an 'official' approval. Due to the time crunch, there was no official ceremony done and it was decided that our formal engagement would take place in May 2005. On May 1 (her birthday) of 2005 we got engaged and we decided to marry in November. We left the rest to our parents -- management of all the formal activities. We both planned our leave and on November 28, 2005, we got married, after a good 16 months of a long distance relationship! She got a transfer on marriage grounds and we were together again in Bangalore.

It has been a great journey so far and my life has totally transformed. Since our parents are getting old, we decided to move back to Delhi and in 2008, we did. Today, I work for a UK telecom organisation and she works for an Indian one.

By God's grace, the Internet, and blessing from our elders, life has been pretty great so far. We both share a wonderful chemistry and have become a source of inspiration for our youngers within our relations. This is the story of me and my wife, who have been married for more than 4 years now. We still argue, fight, disagree but finally end up happily on all issues.

We had our share of struggles and agony, but being together, we have overcome all these. There is no secret. It's just love.

'I had only spent 5 minutes with him and here I was marrying the guy!'

This is how couple Roopa and Vinod met, in her words:

My marriage to Vinod was an out and out arranged marriage. A few people I know even shudder to think of the way it happened.

I was working in Bangalore, while he was living and working in Kuwait. My parents and sister were looking out for a prospective groom to get me married through very many sources (matchmakers, matrimonial adverts on websites and in print, word of mouth etc). For some reason, things weren't just working out for me. It would either be the family or the job or on several occasions, the guy himself!

I wanted a break and planned on a two-week holiday to visit my grandmother. This was February 2007. Normally, my parents would have joined me too; my father was living a retired life from the defense,  my mom is a housewife and my elder sister was also willing to join us with her 3-year-old son. But the timing played spoilsport when my sister was unable to take leave from her office during that month. My parents decided to stay back and help her with caring for her son and decided to join me later. So I set out to meet my grandmother alone.

My first 2 days were absolute fun with my extended family. On Day 3, my sister called me to speak about this one alliance that came through a matchmaker. Well, he told her that the guy was working in Kuwait but had come down on a short vacation and that his family and he were interested in meeting me, considering the fact that I was already in Kerala! This is what I call DESTINY. I was just meant to be there to meet him. My parents and sister and brother-in-law quickly rushed down to Kerala to meet Vinod's family. All along I was confused, scared and just not interested in marrying somebody working in the Gulf.

My best friend in Bangalore and my sister encouraged me to meet him, plus my family assured me that they would stand by me if I didn't want to proceed after meeting Vinod. After the families exchanged pleasantries they found out that Vinod's family was distantly related to my brother-in-law's family and hence it made things a lot easier for both families. We were also given sometime to speak to each other.  I was completely blank and I think I was just answering the questions he asked me -- considering the fact that I am not a shy kind of person, maybe it was resentment after all.

Vinod told his family and mine that he liked me and was willing to take things further. So, when I was asked my opinion, I didn't have an answer and decided to go with the flow of events. By Day 6, my parents met his parents again at their place and the remaining formalities were taken care of.

The next thing I knew was that I was returning to Bangalore after my first week of holidaying so that I could save up on my leaves for my engagement and wedding!

We were engaged on March 19,, 2007, the wedding date was set for May 21, 2007 and I had spent only 5 minutes with the guy I was supposed to spend the rest of my life with! During the period between my engagement and wedding, the only way to know and understand him more was through chat (long live MSN and Yahoo). We spent endless hours on chat and I still had the jitters and butterflies in my stomach when I saw him standing smilingly and confidently on the mandap on our wedding day. I soon joined Vinod in Kuwait.

Well, after a good 2 years and 8 months, I must say that going with the flow was one of the best things that I did. Oh and by the way, we do have our share of fights and differences, but there is nobody else I'd be with in this whole wide world, because nobody I think will love me as much as he does and accept me for what I am. We are now proud parents to an 8-month-old angel.


'He transformed my life'

And finally, we have this story from Debarati Dasgupta, based in Navi Mumbai:

My relationship with Ayan started in the most ideal of all romantic places -- Agra -- almost in the shadows of the Taj! We met there during a training session conducted by a public sector company where we both were trainee officers. He belonged to Lucknow and I came from a little-known town in Assam. Despite the diverse backgrounds, we hit it off instantly as friends. For me, this was my first foray this far away from home. He started taking extremely good care of me. We used to be involved in various group activities and often studied together (although I found out later that he pretended to be studious just to impress me!). But romance was definitely not on my mind. I had found in him the friend that I had always wished for. Our days in Agra were some of the best days of our lives.

On May 4, 1997, the evening of his birthday, he asked me whether I'd like to be with him for the rest of his life. I said 'yes' unhesitatingly. Surprisingly, it had been only about a month since we had met. I hardly knew him enough to take such a momentous decision. But deep inside, there was this firm belief that he was my soulmate. There was not a shadow of doubt in my mind that we were made for each other.

Of course, there was the usual parental opposition to a 'love marriage' with a not-so-good-looking girl whose father didn't have enough money. But Ayan stood by our decision and we got hitched in 1998.

That was the moment which completely transformed my life. My life in a small town had been without any ripples, with hardly any exposure to the outside world. My marriage with Ayan was like a rebirth for me. From a gawky girl unsure of herself, I have transformed into a confident person, gaining tremendous knowledge and experience. He has always been very supportive of my career and gives me enough space as an individual. He never forgets to compliment me for my housekeeping and culinary skills and he's a mean cook himself! Ayan has also played the greater part in bringing up our son, Aditya who is now 10 years old.

After marriage, I'd often ask him why he had selected me to be his life partner despite knowing many beautiful girls. He replied that marriage is a lifelong companionship and to choose a life partner, one should concentrate on the inner qualities of a person and not physical beauty. After observing me for some time, he was convinced that I had the qualities to guarantee a happy and fruitful life together. Till date he has had no reason to regret his decision.

Of course, we do have a lot of opposing personality traits. I am basically a loner and an introvert. He is more gregarious. I can speak my heart out anytime, but he is the diplomatic one. He has an extremely positive outlook towards life, while I can be extremely pessimistic and anxious. I am a romantic at heart and I wish he'd be so too

Despite all the differences and occasional tiffs, we enjoy our relationship to the hilt. We are into the twelfth year of being together. But it seems only 12 days have passed. In all these years we have grown both personally and professionally, thanks to a great symbiosis which thrives on our friendship. Our life together has given me a tremendous sense of fulfillment which cannot be described in words. I wish my dearest husband a very happy Valentine's Day!