Sonali and Jaynit’s Platinum Love Story
Sonali Fabiani, Founder at Altry: Gifts That Matter, and Jaynit Raheja, an entrepreneur first crossed paths as students at the University of Southern California where they struck up a quick friendship while sharing a class. Over the years as they transitioned from being students to successful professionals in their own right, both of them started developing feelings for each other. However, love bloomed when Sonali flew back to India to serve as a volunteer at ‘Teach For India’.
Having been best friends for a large chunk of time before they started dating, Sonali and Jaynit acknowledge that both of them aren’t the same 22-year-olds who shared a class in the second year of their degree. As they’ve grown older, their perspectives have changed but their camaraderie has led them to be completely transparent with each other. Sonali shares, “The best part about spending my life with my best friend is that we don’t judge each other when we aren’t at our best. Our relationship has had its fair share of ebbs and flows over the years but through it all, our friendship has enabled us to be patient with each other and most importantly, led us to voice each other’s thoughts, be it happy ones or fearful ones, without any inhibitions. As we’ve evolved, I’ve always kept Jaynit in the know about my thoughts and feelings and in return, he does the same.” This clarity in their bond has, as a result, led them to build off each other’s strengths and become a better version of themselves. Sonali shares, “My tendency to focus on the negative aspects have diminished because of Jaynit’s sunny outlook. Earlier, when he used to pitch new ideas for Altry (an NGO they’ve founded together), I was first to point out what could go wrong. Instead of getting offended or pushing me to accept his views, he patiently urged me to take my time, mull over it, and weigh both the pros and cons. Thanks to this, I’ve now learned to be more receptive to new ideas and focus more on the positive side of things.” On the other hand, Sonali’s emotional awareness has made Jaynit into a more giving person. He shares, “ With Sonali, I’ve learned to practice more control over my ego. It’s easy to get riled up and frustrated when your partner gets upset. Sonali is very much in touch with herself and whenever we have an argument, she takes a step back and tries to understand the root of my problem. Over time, this skill of hers has rubbed off on me and today I apply this at my workplace too. She has helped me fine-tune my ability to connect with people and led me to become a more empathetic person.”
Insightful to each other’s needs and willing to go above and beyond to make sure that the other is happy, Sonali and Jaynit have always had each other’s back. Sonali shares, “ During the budding stages of our relationship, I joined Teach For India as a volunteer and barely had any time to spend with Jaynit. Instead of getting deterred by my chaotic schedule, which started early in the morning and carried on well past midnight, Jaynit gladly joined me while I created papers, drew up lesson plans and charts. He never made me feel that I was making him miss out on anything. He would stay up with me till 2 in the morning to help me with my workload even if he had his business to attend to the next day.
At Teach For India, one teaches at government schools where resources are scarce. Hence, you’re expected to provide a substitute to take care of your classes if you plan to take a leave. I share a very close bond with my maternal grandfather and to celebrate his 80th birthday, he wanted me to go on a trip with him. Needless to say, I was keen on spending this quality time having been caught up in the whirlwind of work for the longest time. But even after days of scouting, I couldn’t find a substitute. When Jaynit came to know about my dilemma, he volunteered to step in for me despite not having any background in teaching. He simply said, ‘Don’t worry, I’ll teach your classes!’ From then on, he keenly studied my syllabus, went through my worksheets, and even formulated lesson plans on his own so that I could prepare for the trip! It’s amazing to have a partner who chases your dreams and ambitions with you as his own. Jaynit doesn’t just understand me, he also stands next to me and puts in the same amount of effort as I do in my dreams.”
For Jaynit, helping Sonali came naturally. He shares, “What’s important to Sonali is by default important to me. So when I found out she was having trouble finding a substitute, how could I stand by and do nothing? Yes, this did result in long days for me as I went through the lesson plan during the commute, balanced my work, and studied the syllabus at night. But it was all worth it as Sonali could spend quality time with her family. Plus, I also derived a certain sense of satisfaction by teaching underprivileged students knowing that I’m starting my day by doing good for others.”
Helping each other spread their wings and become better versions of themselves, Sonali and Jaynit are thankful for the rare love that they share. Crafted out of 95% pure platinum that is found in extremely limited quantities in only a few parts of the world, Platinum Love Bands is a fitting marker that celebrates their rare love.