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.
What started off as an interaction between office colleagues culminated in marriage for Arvin Mondal and Prakriti Sachdev. Arvin, a management consultant with Ernst and Young, met Prakriti at their place of work when they were both working for a management consultancy firm back in 2010. Arvin recalls that working on a project together brought them closer, and in the pre-whatsapp days, they communicated with each other through SMS after work hours. He says, “It was nothing special then, just telling each other our routines after we got home, what was made for dinner, stuff like that. That led to late night chats on the phone and gradually our feelings for each other deepened. But I didn’t have the guts to tell her how I felt. Luckily for me, she opened up first.”
Arvin, a Bengali from Kolkata, and Prakriti, a Sikh from Delhi, started dating from May that year, but kept it under wraps. Then Prakriti enrolled for a management programme at ISB in Mohali, and Arvin had a job that took him to Mumbai, then Bhopal and Jaipur. He would take time out to travel to be with Prakriti whenever possible. He says, “Sometimes I would take a flight to Delhi, then a train to Chandigarh and then drive down to Mohali to meet her. Once, on my birthday I decided to surprise her and showed up without letting her know. I took her friend’s id card and went to the campus, then her friends let me into her room and when she entered, I was hiding. Then I stood right behind her and she did not know. I followed her around her room in this manner and she went up to the fridge and drank some water. Her friends were giggling by now and when she asked them why they were laughing, they didn’t say anything. Then she turned around and saw me and was really surprised. She gave me a huge hug because she was so happy to see me.”
The couple was to tie the knot in December 2015, but due to some reason they had to postpone it to April 30th of this year. In fact, when they were in Pune in November 2015 for a friend’s wedding, Arvin formally proposed to Prakriti though they were already engaged. He says, “She told me she would propose if I didn’t and I asked her to wait and not deny me this privilege. So, when I got her alone for a bit during the wedding, I went down on one knee, made an impromptu speech and asked her to marry me.”
It is gestures like these that kept their relationship going even when they were in different cities. But when both their parents started pressurising them to get married, they revealed the truth to them. There were reservations on both sides, since they belonged to different cultures; but Arvin and Prakriti convinced their parents. Also, Arvin says that the couple had already decided that any difference of opinion that might come up from either side would be resolved without anger. He says, “In all these years, we may have argued only two or three times. We were very clear that we would always keep our communication open and not let ego issues come in the way. Plus, I was marrying the love of my life, I wasn’t going to let these things stand in the way.”
Which is why, when Arvin’s father insisted that the marriage happen in a traditional Bengali manner, everyone agreed. The wedding was in Kolkata and all of Prakriti’s family and friends turned up. A common element that helped the families bond was the fact that both sides loved music and dance. So, the sangeet, which was held a day before the marriage, had everyone dancing and singing and bonding well. Three of Arvin’s Sikh friends were also present and they helped in making Prakriti’s family understand the rituals and what was happening the next day at the wedding ceremony.
Also, since both communities are known for their love of food, Arvin ensured that the food at the wedding had a mix of Bengali and Punjabi cuisines with ample desserts. Needless to say, the bride’s family, loved the food that was made for them; including the Bengali dishes.
Prakriti, who used to work with Flipkart in Bangalore, gave up her job when she moved to Gurgaon with Arvin and is currently between jobs. But, the bond they share, and the decision to always communicate and not remain angry is a good tip to keep in mind for everyone who wants to have a happy relationship.
If you’re getting married in 2016 or 2017 and would like to be a part of ‘Love Actually’ write to us (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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.
Photography- Vivek Krishnan