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.
Before social media was ubiquitous and Whatsapp and Instagram had been dreamed of, internet forums and chat rooms operated as incubators for intercollegiate romances.
Sanchi and Sanjeet were part of an extended circle of college buddies in Mumbai and were introduced to each other by a common friend on MSN Messenger. Their chats meandered across platforms – Gtalk, Yahoo Messenger, (the now defunct) Orkut, back to MSN Messenger – keeping them constantly in touch.
Sanjeet knew Sanchi was the one for him but Sanchi wasn’t so sure. After all, he was scheduled to leave the country to pursue higher education and long distance relationships can be tedious! After a bit of a chase though, Sanchi acquiesced. A few coffee dates later, Sanjeet left for the States.
Sanchi missed him and realized she wanted to spend the rest of her life with him. She also realized the wait wouldn’t be quite as tedious as she imagined. “HE was always just a call away,” she says and she made an extra effort to keep the romance alive, online. Sanjeet remembers, “She would stay up till odd hours of the night just to speak with me for five minutes, and that meant a lot to me. She’s always been supportive in her own quiet way.” Sanjeet in turn, tried to make it up to her by spending as much time as he could with her when he was home for the summer.
When Sanjeet came back to Mumbai in 2010, armed with his post-graduation degree. Sanchi heaved a sigh of relief, “Finally we could be a couple – every conversation face to face. You cannot imagine how wonderful that is unless you’ve spent years communicating across a screen.” Little joys, holding hands as they walked on Marine Drive or stuffing their faces with ChowMein at a roadside Chinese cart, impossible online, now enthralled them.
And they realized their relationship had grown. “Our tastes are similar, our personalities are different, but he completes me,” Sanchi says, “he knows me better than I know myself.” Sanjeet, taking a break from the dance rehearsals for their sangeet, smiles, “We’ve been together so long, even though we have our own set of friends, we don’t really know a world outside of each other. I’m outgoing. She’s an introvert. I’m the noisy one in the relationship. She is quiet and deeply grounded. She brings balance to our world.”
Sanchi recalls an incident in 2007 when Sanjeet returned from a trip to Kolkata two days before their first ‘anniversary’. His friends ‘kidnapped’ him and whisked him off to Lonavala within moments of him setting foot in Mumbai. Sanchi was livid, assuming he had forgotten about the anniversary. But he rushed back on the eve of their anniversary and took her out for a romantic dinner. He had already booked a ferry ride for the next morning and they spent the entire day together.
“It’s his thoughtfulness that will make our relationship stand the test of time,” she reckons and make it timeless like their platinum love bands. “That and his sense of humour,” she quips. Sanjeet in turn, credits her entirely, for her ability to adapt to his preferences, her level of understanding and her maturity in the toughest of situations. He says, “She always knows what’s right; when to put her foot down, when to let go.”
The couple had planned their future during their innumerable chat sessions in the late 2000s. “We had decided that we would get married in 2016, by which time we would both settle into our respective careers,” reveals Sanchi. Sanjeet has created a brand of innovative lifestyle products and Sanchi is a fashion writer. The couple had a small engagement ceremony in August last year and planned a mehndi at the MCA Club in Bandra Kurla Complex. The ring ceremony and cocktails will be hosted at Tote on the Turf in South Mumbai, then a traditional temple wedding on the 1st of May at the Laxmi Narayan Temple. The celebrations will crescendo with a wedding reception at Novotel in Juhu.
Their personal evolution has been wrought out of years of being a couple that went from getting emotional about little things to having a pragmatic approach to life. “Long distance relationships are difficult to sustain. But, we’ve sailed through the rough patches because of each other. When one of us is losing our mind, the other one stands by in quiet support,” Sanjeet reflects.
“We spent the initial three-and-a-half years across continents, with only an annual visit when we could actually be together in the same space,” Sanchi says, “I still feel the same way for him as I did in our first year, that kind of freshness still exists between us. I can’t believe it’s been a decade already. If it stands the test of time, it’s got to be real love.”
If you’re getting married in 2016 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 and Chennai.