S(agar): I remember seeing Neema for the first time at MS University. Despite being in the same college, same class and same majors, we never talked in college. On our interview day with TCS we were introduced to each other by a common friend. There was an immediate connection. On the very first day of our training at TCS, we shared the same desktop to go through some presentations (that didn’t make any sense to me). There was something about this girl that made me feel like sharing my life with her.
In those initial days of attraction, we sensed that we had entirely different personalities. In fact, these differences were what attracted us to one other.
N(eema): Honestly, if anyone ever asked me what I like about Sagar, I would be blank. It’s odd, I don’t have any reason to like him….I just love him. He is just like my father, so cool, calm and composed. He never gets angry with anyone, no matter what.
S: Our romance picked up momentum when we started working together at TCS. I worked the morning shift, so I wanted to do something interesting in the evening. I enrolled in French evening classes at MSU and persuaded some of my friends to join me. Neema was one of them.
I knew that French classes hardly interested Neema. It was the time after the classes that I would look forward to. We would all go to Dairy Den Circle for Jay Ambe’s Aadu wali chai. What I liked about Neema was that even though she doesn’t drink coffee or tea, she came to keep me company anyway.
On our last day of French class, as I drank my tea, she proposed to me. It felt incredible. I was proud such a sweet, sensible, simple living, high thinking girl like Neema saw something in me.
Instead of accepting her proposal, however, I ended up declining it. Although I enjoyed being with her, I did not feel those lovey-dovey feeling for her. My plans were clear: I didn’t want to fall in love and mess up my perfect life. Above all, I knew that sooner or later I would be leaving for the US. So I had decided that I could not marry before I returned with my Green Card.
A part of me wanted to accept Neema’s proposal, but I thought she deserved someone better. One day, I told her what was stopping me from saying yes to her. To my surprise, she still wanted to marry me. And finally, after 4 months and 12 days, I said yes to her.
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N: Since the day we began our relationship, I have never felt, even for a single minute, that I proposed to him. On the contrary, he has always made me feel that it was he who proposed to me, and kept showering me with so much love.
S: The only twist in our relationship is that it has been long-distance bond. Between the time Neema proposed to me and the time I said yes, she had already moved to Gandhinagar. So we had to wait for Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays to see each other.
N: By the time I took the transfer back to Baroda, Sagar had to move to the US. So all we had were weekends to talk to each other for hours without worrying about the time factor.
S: Thankfully, our families approved of our decision to get married, in spite of the distance. Although I was able to come back to India for the wedding, in a mere 3 months, I had to return. Since then we’ve been waiting…and waiting…and waiting.
The best part about our relationship is that we are the best of buddies so we don’t use the typical loaded terms like Husband Wife, Responsibilities, Family Customs and Rituals, etc.
N & S: Whenever we talk, we are the same best friends that we always were. So our romance always has a flavor of flirting, teasing, and making fun of each other.
Our bond is strong enough that this distance is bringing us closer to each other and helping us understand each other. Because of the time difference between the US and India, the only time we get to talk to each other is during weekends and a few minutes on weekdays. We wait like the boyfriend-girlfriend who live at home and wait to go to college the next day to see each other.
(As told to Darshana Shukul)