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#JabWeMet: She Was Older, Bolder And Totally In Love...


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Our story began when I was in the middle of my MBBS degree. Being a follower of Art Of Living, I decided to attend one of their camps one long weekend in summer. And that’s where I first met Manik. He was my team member but we hardly interacted during those four days. Before I knew it, the camp came to an end, we all exchanged numbers and headed back to our respective cities.

Life went on, until one day I received a call from an unknown number. It was Manik! It was so unexpected. Four months after we first met, he randomly decided to call me, “Just to catch up!” In fact, I failed to recognise him initially!

Manik seemed like this sweet Punjabi guy living in...Punjab. I was based out of Maharashtra at that time. Very soon, the intensity of our phone calls increased and I didn’t even realise when this guy took over my heart, mind and soul! I loved talking to him, sharing my feelings, my daily routine and talking to him just felt so good.

Our wavelengths matched and talking to him felt so effortless. I was falling for Manik and within a year of that first phone call, I proposed to him. It wasn’t anything elaborate - I just called him and told him that I wanted to marry him!

marrying my best friend

I knew from the beginning that Manik was not ready to enter a relationship. He wanted us to remain the best of friends that we were. And that didn’t bother me. I knew I loved him and wanted to spend the rest of my life with this wonderful man, who by the way, also happened to be a year-and-half younger than me.

But I was determined to make him mine. I did what any individual hopelessly in love would do. I sent him flowers and chocolates and cards ever so often. I once even paid him a surprise visit!

marrying my best friend

And then destiny played its role and brought us both to the same city, New Delhi. I scored an internship with AIIMS while Manik was working in Gurgaon. Everyday (almost!) I would finish my work at the hospital, board the Metro, change trains and reach Gurgaon to meet him. Yes, that’s how truly, madly, deeply I was in love with him! This went on for almost a year after which Manik got an offer from Singapore and shifted base. My internship too ended and I moved to Karnataka for my new job.

Little did I know that the shift to Singapore is all that was needed. It took the distance and the decreased frequency of phone calls for Manik to realize just how much I meant to him. He missed not seeing me often and not being able to talk for long hours. My absence from his life made him realize that his heart too ached to be with me. :)

marrying my best friend

But it didn’t end there! My ‘happily ever after’ was a long way ahead. My parents were not convinced of the match. Coming from a Sindhi family, they were against the whole ‘Sindhi - Punjabi’ setup. Plus, him being younger was also a cause for concern. Thus began the long tiring phone calls to convince my family. There was a whole lot of drama but, luckily, working in a different city helped me escape the commotion!

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After almost 2 years, they finally agreed to meet him and what ensued was a two-hour-long grilling interview! The entire Damodar family had gathered with an endless question bank for my Manik. My brother even has a video recording of it!

marrying my best friend

We finally tied the knot on the Jan 29, 2016 and life has never been better. We are more like best friends living together than a married couple. We give each other a lot of space and freedom, and I don’t even feel like I am a wife now! Marrying my crazy, fun BFF has been the best decision of my life!

Images courtesy Tina Damodar.

As told to Manasvi Jaitly.

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