Our initiative ‘Love Actually’ is a photo series featuring couples who actively seek ideas and inspiration from WeddingSutra. The series celebrates beautiful people in love as they start their lives together: because real love can only begin, never end.
Akanksha and Sohil spent seven years in love and apart. What better way to celebrate the triumph of long-distance love than by going for a meandering drive, together. WeddingSutra listened to the love birds tell their incredible story as we captured candid moments with them at iconic locations across Mumbai in a car that is an icon itself.
When they lived in the same neighbourhood, Mumbai-based Akanksha and Sohil had never been introduced despite their families being acquainted and their sisters being close friends. Sohil was studying in Nagpur when he sent Akanksha a Facebook friend request and she accepted assuming he was a friend’s boyfriend. Sohil spent zero time clearing that misunderstanding up! When they met on a trip back home, they clicked offline too.
Sohil gathered up the courage to ask Akanksha out only when he went back to Nagpur. Akanksha was skeptical. Distance is tough on relationships but they decided to give it their best shot. They talked across cities via Skype and Sohil would visit every couple of months to meet Akanksha. She would in turn pamper him with care packages! And thanks to these packages Akanksha found her passion and skill in baking. Just when they were getting ready to be together, Sohil was offered a job in Varanasi. They would have to be apart again. But they took it in their stride. By the time Sohil’s job brought him back to Mumbai, Akanksha had to leave for the States to pursue a course she had in baking and pastry arts at an American university.
Two years. When they met during her summer break however, he decided it was time to make it official. Akanksha grins, “We were discussing our experiences in our respective cities when he said it was time to tell our families. He didn’t want to lose me to some American dude. I joked about how this time away made him see what I meant to him!” Sohil spoke to both sets of parents. “I was so moved at how wonderfully he spoke of me to them,” she says. “I realized then that Sohil was perfect for me.”
They were so close to finally being together… but Akanksha still had a course to finish. She went back to the US and prepared for her graduation while the couple’s parents prepared for the engagement ceremony, set for three weeks after she got back home. She had only one clause: Sohil needed to buy her a ring from his own earnings.
And suddenly, the seven-year wait was over. Everything was going great. But where’s the romance, Akanksha wondered. Sohil had a rather elaborate plan in place.
Four days after she was back in the bay, he offered to accompany her for the fittings of her engagement outfit. Instead he took her to the Taj and then, sailing. Strangely, there was a photographer on board. Sohil told Akanksha that every sailboat had one. She says, stifling giggles, “Then I overheard the sailboat instructor on the walkie-talkie, talking about having left something behind.” Sohil quickly distracted her into conversation. Soon enough, another sailboat came over and handed them a gift-wrapped box. She thought it odd. He said it was a value-add; he had told them she likes chocolate.
It was sunset by then. She clearly recalls the moment, “Sohail wanted to share a joke he’d made up; it’s a regular thing between us. So he said, ‘knock knock’. I said, ‘who’s there?’ ‘Will…’ ‘Will, who?’ He said, ‘Will you marry me?’ I was shocked. I had precisely then, bitten into the ring in my chocolate. It was all so perfectly timed,” she gushes about this beautiful proposal.
Their romance further deepened on a drive through Mumbai’s roads, as they deftly swerved through the chaotic traffic, cocooned cosily in a Volkswagon Beetle, with their favourite songs playing on the radio… They traced all the swerves their own love story had taken before accelerating to the wedding stage.
Now that the stars have finally aligned themselves in this couple’s favour, they’re looking forward to a winter wedding in Mumbai, where their love story blossoms.
Another promise that Akanksha has been nudging Sohil towards is the Volkswagen Beetle as a wedding gift. “The Beetle symbolizes us as a couple. It’s fun and looks classy,” she says. “It denotes a sense of togetherness.” Sohil too loved his Beetle experience. Who could say no to comfortable bucket seats and a push-button ignition! “The phrase that comes to mind is ‘urban pleasure’. It’s cute on the outside and futuristic on the inside,” he says, as they merrily pose with the love bug against the south Mumbai skyline. The early morning sun reflects on their love bands. They share a meaningful glance as he holds open the Beetle door for her. Her face lights up with a smile. It’s finally happily ever after for them.
If you’re getting married in 2016 or 2017 and would like to be a part of ‘Love Actually’ write to us (email@example.com) with the link to your FB profiles, wedding date and ‘How you met’ story. Selected couples will be invited for the shoots in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai.