Vasundhra, a joint academic head and teacher at the Punjab Engineering College, was a student of the chemistry department at Panjab University when she first met Praneet, her senior from the physics department, who is is the the northern region head of a life insurance company.
“We were at a strike, and I met him at a public speaking forum. Both of us were good orators and the only ones to speak up from each side,” Vasundhra, 49, tells us about how they first got talking. Praneet left to join the army soon after entering into a relationship with Vasundhra and their only means of communication was through letters.
Belonging to a reserved Rajput family, Vasundhra faced a lot of resistance from her parents. She also wanted to complete her PhD before settling down; so after a long time, and a bowlful of convincing, her parents finally gave up and they married in 1992 after six years of waiting.
“Immediately after we got married, I got an offer to do my post doctorate in the United States and being in the army, he couldn’t accompany me. So, I wound up my project quickly to come back to him. I wanted a break from my research and enjoy our married life,” says Vasundhra.
However, their professions were very different from the other, so finding a job in the same place, was difficult. Living in different places for long can definitely not be easy, says Captain Singh. “We dealt with a lot of separation in order to pursue our careers and do well,” he adds.
“I had to bring up my son alone, because we were always in different places. We could talk only once a month. So we had to fix a time and place through letters. It feels like another lifetime now,” Vasundhra laughs, already feeling nostalgic.
“Now the communication barriers have been broken down; things have paced up. We still laugh, still cry, still pull each other’s leg; times have changed, but our relations remain the same,” says the armyman, which is very contrary to the current generation that is more experimental and less cautious.
28 years together
We then asked the 49-year-old what he liked about Vasundhra the most. “She’s always been cheerful and supportive. You just can’t explain that feeling in words. I can’t say why I fell in love with her, it just happened.”
“It’s like a spontaneous chemical reaction. I didn’t fall for his personality or looks; he had more rugged looks than refined, it just happened,” Vasundhra tells us, eyeing him with a coy smile.
Their relationship has been through various phases, but they stuck through thick and thin. “There’s a deep commitment which cannot be taken away just like that.”
After 28 years of being together, with minimal communication, they are still as bubbly as ever; with deep roots and commitment.
“We have been equally committed to our relationship and work. We have mutual respect for each other’s work.
That gives us personal satisfaction,” Praneet says, sharing the secret of their successful innings.
Today’s young couples surely need to check out where we’re going wrong in this age of Skype, Whatsapp and a million networking options!