HT Brunch Cover Story: “Our pregnancy, not just hers!”
The first thing that strikes me as I begin this interview is footballer Robin Singh’s disarming truthfulness. “People forget that pregnancy is a partnership. It’s a physical process for the mother, but the father too has to be emotionally supportive,” says the 30-year-old football player, setting the tone for our chat that’s going to reveal how millennials look at parenthood. “A little pampering and back massages go a long, long way,” he adds with a smile.
Robin’s wife of two years smiles back. Well into in her third trimester, she resembles any image of a footballer’s wife one may have. She’s tall (okay, not as tall as he is!), statuesque, confident. But as an artist, designer and businesswoman, you know Leanne Texeira’s the perfect candidate to question and redefine the term WAG; “Mrs and Mr” are soft finishes of the past, a “plus-one” cannot be an identifier for much longer!
“We were in Kashmir a few months ago, where Robin spent the latter half of his season [playing for the Kashmir FC], and as beautiful as the place was, the smells and food kept making me nauseous,” she says, recalling the time she discovered they were expecting. “So Robin decided to run to the chemist and get me a pregnancy test, along with some chocolate. I came out crying, and Robin was in shock, thinking something was seriously wrong, when I showed him the positive stick. We both cried together and then did a little dance.”
The couple got married on Christmas eve in 2018 in a beautiful, private beach wedding in Goa, but it’s the anecdote from the proposal that reflects the people they really are.
“Robin and I were on a staycation at a resort near Mumbai when he proposed, and I got the perfect three-studded diamond ring along with an emotional proposal in the rains,” Lianne tells us. “But when Robin was down on his knee, he started crying mid-sentence. Looking at him, I started crying too, and when he finally popped the question at the end, I said sorry, hugged him, and forgot to say yes for a whole minute!”
The football star is now suitably embarrassed, but there is little he can do to chide his heavily pregnant wife. Yes, he’s a crier, laughs Lianne, “But only for things that mean the world to him.”
The couple dated for a year before they got married. “Lianne and I met on a night out and had some common friends in our group,” Robin recalls. “I was instantly attracted to her, but didn’t have the courage to speak to her that night.”
Lianne reached out to him first, replying to an Insta story he had posted a few days later. She says, “I didn’t know Robin was a footballer [the first time I saw him], the first thing I did notice was how tall he was [Robin Singh is 6’2”].”
“We hadn’t exchanged numbers, but when I got Lianne’s DM, we chatted on Insta for a few days before I decided to surprise her by flying to Mumbai, and taking her to a brunch date,” says Robin.
Two months after that first meeting, the couple knew they would get married. “I got the feeling that he was ‘my home’,” she says cryptically, yet clearly. He adds, “There was a certain calm when Lianne spoke, and I knew I wanted to be with her for the rest of my life.”
But he’s a footballer, Lianne, and you know how footballers are. Any insecurities ever? “No,” she says, without missing a beat. “His actions have never made me feel that way.”
1 + 1 = 3
Robin and Lianne reveal that this pregnancy was, in fact, unplanned. “We feel very blessed to have found each other, and we’ve always wanted a family of our own,” says Lianne. “That said, we didn’t plan our baby, but we’re elated to be having one. I must say that becoming parents isn’t going to stop us from living our lives. It’ll now be not two, but three of us doing fun things together!”
As millennials born in the 1990s, do you know your baby will belong to Gen Alpha when born in 2020 (see box)?
“Wow! We hadn’t heard that term before… now we feel old!” they say together. “We’d like to bring up our child with the values that we were instilled with, by making sure they treat everyone with respect, are considerate about the environment, and as parents, we’d like to be as supportive as we can about their dreams”
For now, we wish the couple that loves to shed tears of joy the very best as they welcome their newest little family member. Sure, their baby will be a crier too. But will the baby’s cries be more legit than their emotionally-charged tears? You decide!
P.S. Send in your wishes to our two cover stars on Instagram at @lianness and @robin_singh_23
Follow Jamal Shaikh on Instagram and Twitter @JamalShaikh
From HT Brunch, September 27, 2020
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