As a romance writer I thought love came naturally to me, till I met my bride to be. We are a modern love story, first meeting on Facebook through a common friend. I was a writer in Mumbai, she a true blood Punjabi kudi settled in Delhi. Love blossomed as we got to know each other more, though it had its challenges. There was the question of religion. She is a Sikh and I am a Brahmin.
Related reading: Does love conquer all – Marriage across religions
Add to that the fact that Marathi is Greek to her! We are our very own melting pot of cultures. But the end of this love story is fortunately positive, like those of my books. We are to tie the knot for our own happily ever after.
I knew I had the right girl. She is kind, understanding, accepting and more. Qualities that define my story’s heroine. So it was only natural that my next book be about her, and our story. As I say I do, this book is an attempt to immortalise our love, share our journey with the world and tell my beloved how she inspires me.
The book is a culmination of one chapter of our lives, and the start of another. And as we promise to be there for each other through thick and thin, I thought it apt to title it All Rights Reserved for You. Today, tomorrow and forever.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing. The frustrations of living in two different cities did get to us sometimes. When you meet only a few days every four or so months, a lot of things go unsaid. And no amount of texts or phone calls can convey emotions. Insecurities, assumptions start creeping in.
Plus, we were in the same country but inhabited different time zones. She worked all night and when she was free, I’d be in deep sleep. Needless to say, 4 am conversations begin to blur the line between reality and dream. She would discuss serious issues and I would try to mumble coherently while figuring out how to best hold the phone lying down. By the morning she’d be asleep and I would debate if the fight last night was real or imaginary. She was quite literally the girl of my dreams, after all.
Then there was the struggle of how to make up after a fight. I couldn’t exactly land on her doorstep with a bouquet and an apologetic face. I would be blocked across social media, rendering any form of digital communication impossible. My sole hope was the good old SMS. Did it reach her? Has she read it? How many more characters can I fit in? And I had newfound respect for anyone managing long-distance love before this century.
But I’d found someone who gave me my space, who understood me. And no amount of firewalling would deter me. I am very fortunate to be with someone who gets me. The demands of my career, my eccentricities, my choices, accepted, with no conditions attached. And I hope I can accept her just as well.
Like her temper. In true Dilli style, she can get angry before I can even say dharna. I do what any aam aadmi would, stay silent. Wait for the tide to pass. And all is soon well in our little paradise.
After three years of being together, marriage was the natural progression. We still have a lot to look forward to. Finally we can be in the same city. Experience the joys of a honeymoon. There is excitement and nervousness. The hallmarks of anyone about to get hitched, I’d say. The nerves are temporary till the big day. The excitement is here to stay, for I can finally be with the woman I love for the rest of our lives. No cities to keep us apart.
As a writer I create my endings. But the story of my life progresses unknown. My reality has not been far from the world of my books. Boy meets girl. Boy falls for the girl. They face obstacles in their romance. And finally overcome them to write their destiny together. I don’t think a writer could’ve asked for a better story. Filled with real characters facing real choices. A will they/won’t they conundrum thrown in for good measure. And a climax that puts a smile on the reader’s face. Marriage is of course a whole new story. But I am willing to bet on us and another great story ahead.
(As told to Shahnaaz Khan)