Dr Harpreet Dhiman, 35, and Dr Amisha Dhiman, 34, met in 1997, became friends, lovers, man and wife, parents and are now teachers at the same medial college.
Their journey began on the very first day of Amisha’s college, when she took admission in the second year of bachelor’s of Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery at Lord Mahavira Homeopathic Medical College, Ludhiana. Harpreet, pretending to be her senior, ragged her. When he came to the class later — the class he had been bunking so far — Amisha realised they were classmates.
Recalling their early days, Harpreet says, “Our groups were in a cold war, so to say, from the very beginning — her group was a bunch of intelligent students, mine was, let’s just say, more ‘happy go lucky’. It was only in the second year, when her friends either left or got married, that she became lonely and joined our group. We were very contrasting personalities — I was a flirt and she was the shy introvert. I even tried irritating her to elicit a response from her.”
Love was nowhere in the picture till then, they were ‘just friends’. “Once, on her birthday, I handed a mobile phone to our common friend to silently place it under her pillow. And I, along with a few other friends, wished her as the clock struck 12. Interestingly, a classmate of mine used to like Amisha a lot. Just to pull my friend’s leg, I used to find a reason to strike a conversation with her,” recalls Harpreet.
Finally opening up, Amisha shares, “In the third year, I started forcing him to study, in order for him to clear an exam he wasn’t able to in the first go. He eventually did. Now, however, he admits that he only used to look at me, not study!”
It was the vacations in the fourth year — after which Amisha returned to college with the news of her parents looking for a suitable match for her — that started the fire. “Call it insecurity or whatever, but the news changed my feelings for her. I stayed quiet, as my friend liked her. Since my friend noticed my changed behavior towards her, he said impressing Amisha was Task Impossible for him, so, if I really felt for her, I could try my luck!” recalls Harpreet.
And then began the string of late night phone calls. Every night, they discussed just about anything — from medicine to Osho’s philosophies.
“When she went home for the next chuttis, I missed her. Just to keep myself busy, I started studying 18 hours a day. When she returned, the number of phone calls increased. For two difficult months, every time I tried proposing, either the battery went out or I was out of balance. One of these nights, when I finally said ‘I love you’, the phone battery went dead right after. I couldn’t even call her back, as I used to hide in the store to talk to her,” says Harpreet.
“The next day, we avoided each other in college, which was followed by another phone call at night. After a two-hour long conversation, I confessed my love for him,” shares Amisha.
Two days later, Harpreet shared the news with his younger brother, who came to his college and made him and Amisha confess their love in front of the whole college. Two years after passing out, the couple got married (in 2005), which also involved some struggle to convince Amisha’s parents, thanks to their ‘religious differences’. A year after their marriage, they opened their clinic in Ludhiana and Amisha continued her MD simultaneously.
Recalling a few anecdotes, she says, “He has surprised me in more ways than one after marriage. I was unaware about his love for slumber, which I discovered on the night of our marriage. After the doli left Delhi at 6 am, he kept sleeping till Karnal on our way to Ludhiana. On the day of my delivery — we have a six-year-old daughter now — when I tried waking him up in the morning, he asked me to go with my mother-in-law and father-in-law, though he woke up later. But, I also don’t forget that he completed my thesis when I was pregnant while doing my MD.”