Meet the real life ‘Rahul’ and ‘Anjali’ who believe love is friendship. Both Bhanu Pratap Singh and Gina Arora are best friends first and then man and wife. While studying humanities in SD College, Chandigarh, the two started liking each other, though it took them a year to even initiate talk.
Unlike today’s fast-paced generation that takes no time to approach the opposite gender, they both spent the entire first year of graduation (2007) in staring at each other in spite of harbouring strong feelings. And then, perhaps fate decided to intervene with the rain god playing cupid when Bhanu, who belongs to Nahan in Himachal Pradesh, and Gina, who hails from Amritsar, were in the second year of graduation at SD College. The beat of raindrops dancing on the classroom’s ceiling created the perfect ambience, pursuing the two to start with a simple hello to start their friendship.
“I knew that he liked me, as some of our common friends would tell me that Bhanu kept singing love songs for me while playing the guitar in hostel,” smiles a blushing Gina with Bhanu proudly confirming her claim.
Initially, they were just friends who would hang out together whenever possible and exchange friendly messages. But, when they both started feeling as if no one else existed, they knew they were in love. “Ever since we came in touch, we just never felt the need of any friends around us and this in itself was a strong indication to get into a relationship before finally getting married,” the couple says in unison.
As they say, some people bring good fortune with them. This is exactly what Gina did for Bhanu, believes he. Just when college days were coming to an end, Gina decided to sit for the entrance exam to the course of mass communication at School of Communication Studies, Panjab University. But, Bhanu wasn’t sure what he would do. However, listening to Gina’s advice proved fruitful for him as both of them got through the entrance and ended up in Panjab University, where they spent two more years together.
These two years also laid the foundation of their relationship, as the two lovers got to spend more time in each other’s company, especially since the timings of girls’ hostel, where Gina stayed, were more relaxed as compared to college. “Gina was not allowed to go out of the hostel after 5 pm. But, since classes would consume most of our day’s time, we were sometimes left with no time to spend with each others,” rues Bhanu. However, the end of their Master’s degree also brought in some nervousness for Bhanu who wanted to seek financial security to ask for Gina’s hand in marriage. To their good fortune, Bhanu received a job offer from a multi-national company based in Ludhiana while Gina came to Panchkula to work.
The two reckon this was the most testing period for them, as physical distance and shortage of time took a toll on them. “While we were both dying to be with each other, our work commitments were keeping us busy. However, we would make sure that we compensated the loss on weekends,” says the happy couple. On many an occasion, Bhanu would drive down to Chandigarh to visit Gina, while she too boarded a bus to Ludhiana once to see him, though without telling anyone at her place.
“Since we were living in separate cities, a sense of insecurity had started creeping in, especially in Gina. So, to her surprise, before going to meet her in Panchkula, I got her name tattooed on my wrist. This made her really happy,” beams Bhanu. Similarly, Bhanu felt apprehensive of Gina’s inability to cook, which propelled her to join a cooking class in her hometown Amritsar.
The couple finally cemented their relationship and got engaged in early December 2012 and tied the knot a few days later on December 9 as parental support came easily. And the first dish that she made for him after marriage was his favourite moong dal. It is after all little gestures that make their love all the more special.