Nishant had decided to marry Rukshi the moment he set his eyes on her. The commerce graduate was working at a BPO in Gurgaon, when Rukshi joined up as a summer intern. “One day as I was supervising the floor operations, I happened to pass by her bay and she called out to me to help her with her PC that wouldn’t respond,” Nishant recalls. “I helped her, but I couldn’t help myself from falling for her.”
Rukshi quit the company 15 days later to study mass communication. Nishant kept in touch, very much in love, even as the object of his affection was scarcely aware of it. What transpired next is the stuff of a Bollywood plot. She graduated and found work at a TV company. He found out and quit his job to try for a position, any position, in the same firm. “I knew I did not have the qualifications she did, but at that time what mattered most was to be able to spend time with her,” Nishant says. “I knew that she was the girl I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. Everything else was secondary.”
As luck (or Cupid) would have it, Nishant not only got a job, but ended up in the same department as Rukshi. Only this time, he was the intern – an unpaid one. “But at least, I could see her, talk to her and be with her every day!” Their romance blossomed, and so did his career. Nishant outdid his ladylove’s expectations and got promoted to assistant producer. “I was totally floored by his success,” says Rukshi. That day, they left office, huddled in an autorickshaw, and in the middle of the dark Delhi winter, Nishant popped the question. They were married on Valentine’s Day.
Happily ever after: Rukshi still works at the same TV company. Nishant is a stand up comedian: “Going by my ability to make her laugh, she made me quit my job so I could follow my passion for comedy”
Nishita Peerbhoy, 31 & Akshar Peerbhoy, 31: He interviewed her, and fell for her
Things were tough when Mumbai-girl Nishita moved to Bangalore to look for a job. She’d been roughing it out for three months when a friend mentioned an opening with an advertising agency. Nishita was to be interviewed by the director himself. “I expected an elderly, bespectacled man, but was surprised to see a young, tall and fair gentleman,” she says. “I was immediately attracted to him.”
Akshar was quite smitten himself. “It was love at first sight,” he admits. “By the time the interview was over, I knew we’d end up together.” Neither was vocal about their feelings – he was, after all the son of the chairman and his mother ran a business out of the same building – but the two became good friends. “When I was going through a rough patch in a relationship, I simply walked out of my house, called Akshar and he took me into his home in the middle of the night,” Nishita says. “After that incident, we came very close.”
It started out as a secret, with hush-hush weekend trips. “Those close to me knew I was dating, but whom was a mystery,” explains Akshar. At one point, they were in his room at night when his mother knocked on the door. “Not knowing what to do, I locked Nishita in the cupboard!” he laughs.
At work, it wasn’t any easier. The boss was sterner to his girlfriend than other employees. Eventually, they took their relationship public when he took her to meet his father – the chairman. “His first reaction was not positive,” Akshar recalls. “But when I reminded him how he, the owner of the company, had also married an employee (a copywriter then and my mother now), he gave in.”
Happily ever after: They’ve been married eight months and have a baby due in March
Amrita Sarkar, 36 & Subroto Sarkar, 45: She met him in a bus and sparks flew
She was 19. He was 29. She was flirty. He was just out of a relationship. She was late for college. He was late for work. They met on a Delhi bus on a December morning in 1995. She sat on his jacket and when he pointed it out, she realised, “he was too good looking to be rude to.”
Over that 30-minute journey, Amrita and Subroto discovered two things – they were both Bengalis and interested in the airline industry. Sparks flew and phone numbers were exchanged. They met again, a little more than a week later and two days after that – on New Year’s Eve – Subroto did something unusual. Five minutes to midnight, as he called to wish Amrita, he found himself fumbling and saying something else: “I love you.” He hung up before she could react. “I was scared,” he says. But, Subroto had nothing to fear – Amrita felt the same way.
They courted over movies (two a day, every day) and meals out. He’d drive 100km to pick her up from college, wander around the city, drop her home, get back in time to grab some sleep.
They were married soon after her second year exams. “I was 19. My family made many attempts to talk me out of it.”
Their 10-year age gap was never a problem for her: “I still am the decision-maker in the house.”
Happily ever after: They’re not watching as many movies together any more, but they’ve found a new love – WWF. “We even set the alarm and get up at midnight to watch the game,” says Amrita
Abhishek Agnihotri, 38 & Dali Agarwal, 38: She joined the singles club he owned
When, at 35, Abhishek Agnihotri broke up with the woman he was set to marry, he thought the single life would be full of excitement. “But contrary to my perception, nobody was dying to go out with me,” he confesses. To make matters worse, a friend’s wife told him that at his age, finding someone to marry was almost impossible.
It sparked off an idea that changed his life. Abhishek and his sister set up a group, Footloose No More, for educated, independent singles to meet up. The venture was a hit, close to 100 people showed up for their first event, but no one hit it off with him.
One day a new member applied via Facebook. For Abhishek, Dali seemed like the “Bond girl coming out of the sea.” He got his sister to check her out. It turned out that Dali, 35, was at the peak of her career, and the sister convinced her to show up at the next gathering. “Just as I went about helping people meet, she walked in,” Abhishek recalls. “We chatted for 15 minutes and I realised that I wanted to meet her again.”
The couple eventually met for drinks. She warned him that she had to leave in half an hour, but they chatted for three hours and ended up dating for three months. “I liked hanging out with her, because she was, to put it mildly, a bit crazy,” says Abhishek. But things went sour soon. “We started to drift apart.”
So his parents decided to intervene. Abhishek’s mother called Dali and said, “We like you very much. Do you like Abhishek enough? Then marry him.” The couple was dumbfounded, but ended up taking a hard look at each other and realised they had something special. They married the next month and will soon celebrate their third anniversary.
Happily ever after: Dali and Abhishek spend their mornings road-testing breakfast menus in Mumbai. Their evenings are spent watching sitcoms, and nights are for taking care of the baby
From HT Brunch, December 2
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