I see her as a beam of light in my life. She is a rock that will always be there. I know she will always hold my hand no matter what is going on. If I'm starting to fly too high, she’ll make sure that we're level.
He makes me feel safe and protected. He accepts me for my weirdness and and everything. I think I am very lucky, that's all I can say.
There wasn’t this snap moment where it was like this is the girl I'm going to marry. As soon as I met her after the first two or three times, there was a deep knowing in me that this is the girl I'm going to end up with.
I was taking my lunch break and I decided to go on one of the dating apps, coffee meets bagel. There are two sections of the app, one with your preferred list and one where it shows random people.
And then, Anish pops up and I was looking at the profile and he wasn't from my preferred list. He was living farther away in San Diego. I'm in LA. So it would be like long distance. He was older than what I was looking for.
I see this like, on this non preferred list. I remember just like looking through the pictures and seeing her age and seeing distance and also thinking, if I'm going to like this back, am I willing to put in that effort for long distance? I just remember looking at her pictures like, wow, this person just seems so down to earth and grounded.
I sent him a like and texted, Hey, how's it going? And that's it. And he responded fairly quickly back, I believe within like an hour or two. I got a response back, Hey, I'm doing good. How are you? And we just started chatting on the app and then very quickly I said, oh, let's just exchange phone numbers cause that's easier for me.
She seemed to have like a nice heart inside and out. It's always surprised me how much you can glean from someone's profile. Her description was, I'm shy at first or quiet at first, but open up once you get to know me. And I remember thinking like, that's great. I love that she’s so comfortable with herself and so self-aware that she could put that in this description, which is a very vulnerable place to share something. I just sensed that there was much more to this person than just a young, pretty girl from LA.
We were texting for about two to three weeks before we actually met in person. And we used to have super long texts, like paragraphs. We were writing to each other describing our entire day.
One of the things that we really connected on is romantic, soulful Indian music. There’s such a small niche of people who appreciate that kind of music. And I had told one of my friends several months before that one of the core, main qualities I want to see in a future wife is someone who I can connect with on that kind of music together. It really does stir my soul. For someone to experience that same kind of affinity, it says so much about who they are and their personality and that we would just vibe on that. Music was a really big piece to why I felt so connected to Mohini right off the bat.
I think music played a really big role, especially early on in our relationship. A lot of times, we would start our conversations with music. Even if we didn't have something to talk about, we would just send a music link that we really liked and just talk about that. And I especially love Indian music because I've grown up on that type of music. It was definitely really important to me that my partner enjoys that music.
Romantic love songs changed because now when I listen to them, I'm imagining us in them. It was no longer about the person singing or the actor and actresses in the video, it was about us. I felt like he's saying those words to me or I'm saying them to him.
I associate some memories with the music that we were listening to. My Hindi is not very good and Mohini grew up in India, so hers is obviously on point. With one song, if you translate it literally, which is what I was doing, it's like, I'm going to cut your neck or you cut my ear. Like you cut my throat or something like that. And Mohini like just could not stop cracking up because she's just like, oh my God, it's not like that.
His translations of Hindi music are definitely one thing we used to crack me up because he doesn't understand it. One of the songs that both of us loved, and he used for the proposal, later he found out that it's a breakup song. He told me he was telling his sister about what he's planning on doing for the proposal and she was like, why are you using this song? It's a breakup song.
It tells you how important the lyrics were. I didn't really care about the lyrics before then. There's so many great memories with music. I have another one, just lying down in Oceanside in a little beach tent. We each had one earpiece and we were just listening to music.
We would just kind of sit in the car and listen to songs after a date and, just kind of connect, in a spiritual way someone could say, cause you're not talking, there's just this comfort associated with that music.
I definitely wanted someone Indian because I just felt like they would understand me better. Someone who could enjoy my Indianness, listening to Indian music or watching romantic movies. My idea for romance is very simple, just eating together, watching a movie or TV show, or going on walks together and things like that. But also someone who brings me out of my shell and can make me grow and make me a better person. And I think Anish does all of those things.
Growing up, there was a very Indian culture that was just so in my face that there was almost this feeling that I need some distance from it. When I came out from college, I wasn't looking to date Indian girls. And up until that point, I'd been in one serious non-Indian relationship. The way I looked at it was, there's so much more diversity that can be added if I'm in a non-Indian relationship. Otherwise, it's just too much of the same.
Over the last few years, I noticed that I've become a lot more in touch with my Indian culture. There was something about Mohini where it did feel like, maybe I do want to be with an Indian girl, someone that can really understand where I came from, and yet is modern enough to be able to be open. I wanted that balance as someone who was grounded yet also willing to fly every once in a while. Mohini struck that kind of perfect balance for me. It was an even more diverse point of view than I could have gotten from dating an Indian girl that was born and raised up here because there was this added element of actually having lived in our motherland.
Basically we were in my car and we were like kids about to kiss
It was my first kiss, so I was very nervous and I wished he picked a different spot and not the car. Yeah, we were ending our day and then he asked me and I was like, yeah, sure. But I was very nervous, so I just like did a quick peck, but then we said let's try this again, and it was better. And then I was just like, okay, good night.
I was her first love and there is a sense of purity to that.
We had just moved into a new office and I thought we would paint our office together. We literally got yellow paint everywhere on everything, but it was so much fun. We had such good chemistry and the teamwork. She understood, he's kind of a free-spirited guy, but she also made really good suggestions like, maybe we do this wall first and then do that wall. She knew a way to work with me and direct that kind of creative side without making me feel like I was being bossed around. It just felt so natural. So at that moment I knew, this is that girl.
We had a really good time and we kind of learned a little bit more about each other and how we work together. And that's the night he said I love you.
I was in New Zealand waiting for a ferry. And I went to a shop and I was drawn to this journal. This was a year before I met Mohini and I was like, I want to give it to the person that I really feel strongly about and want to marry. I held onto that journal for like a year and a half or something, and then when Mohini came into the picture and the day I said I love you, I gave her that journal.
I think it was just a natural thing. Mohini was starting to stay over at my place more and I knew I was going to propose to her.
I had been into woodworking at the time, so I wanted to make her ring out of wood, but it turns out that it's gonna cost me like 10,000 for all the equipment to even make a wooden ring. If I can't make the ring out of wood, then I would like some wood in there because nature is important to both of us. For her one-year gift, I had made her this wooden candle holder and I found a ring maker who takes wood that you provide him and puts it into the ring. I found a piece of wood from that candle project so that it would have some symbolism.
I knew that the diamond should probably come from her dad because her dad works in the diamond industry.
One day while I was visiting Mohini at her parents' place, I snuck in to take a look at the diamond and brought it back with me.
I had this one spot in mind from like eight or nine years ago, a secret spot that I found near the ocean. It was just one of my favorite spots to go to whenever I felt like I needed a break. I always knew, I want to propose to someone here. I purposely never took her there in the year that we were dating because I wanted to save it for a first-time thing. And then I needed to figure out, OK, how do I make this as a surprise for her? So I set up with a scavenger hunt where she would have to find me.
I'm texting him that I'll be there, but I'm not getting a response back. I thought, oh, maybe he's sleeping. I tell my sister, OK, when we get there, be very quiet. When we get there, the place is super clean and Anish is not there. I text him, Where are you? We're here. And no response. My sister was briefed before, so she's kind of like guiding me through the whole thing. She's like, what's that hanging up there? Can you see what that is?
Inside the tea jar was a QR code that led to a video that he made with all our photos, it was like a slideshow of photos from the year that we spent together and also the background music was that song he didn’t know was a breakup song.
I am a very competitive person, especially when it comes to games and things. I was so into solving this whole scavenger hunt that my mind didn't even go to the fact that wait. What is he trying to do?
He used this special pen that if you blow it under a candlelight, it somehow displays the words. And the candle was the candle holder that he made me on my birthday. So he tried to incorporate all the gifts and little things we had done so far in our one and a half years, which was very sweet and thoughtful.
I think we were both very nervous and just feeling a lot of different emotions. I get there, we hug and he says a few really sweet things, which I don't remember, so I write it down later in this journal. In the moment, I felt like I was not processing everything.
Her folks live in L.A., my folks are in the Bay Area, so I said, oh, why don't we just go get some food and we'll just call them at the restaurant? So I started driving towards the restaurant, but had said I just had to quickly stop by the house that my friends taking care of. As we were walking there, there were like flower petals. Mohini saw her dad through the window and she's like, oh, the family's here. And she got excited and we opened the door and my parents were there, her whole family was there, at this really nice Airbnb that overlooks the ocean.
The families hung out. We had lunch and played some games and just like bonded over stuff. I have to say, he put in a lot of effort.
And there’s this outrageous cheesecake. I went on a hunt and called a bunch of cheesecake factories and none of them carry it anymore. So I was like, how do I get this cake ready for engagement? What do I do? I don't know how to bake, but I can try, like, the most complicated baking I've ever seen. I asked one of my new interns who I had just met that week, and she was like, yeah, I'm happy to help. I bought all the all the ingredients and her and the other intern and me just baked the cake together And we ended up having that cake ready for devouring with the whole family there. And I thought that was a surprise for her.
God. Yeah, that cake was beautiful. It tasted amazing. When I say he put in a lot of effort. Now, you see. He even made me this outrageous cheesecake.
She’s always willing to go where I go. It's more than anything I could have asked for from someone. She will literally do anything for me. It’s beyond words how appreciative I am of that. I see her as someone who will love me unconditionally.
We took our love languages test very early on in our relationship and we learned how our love languages were different. The way I show my love is by doing things. I'll cook for you. I'll do your laundry. I'll be there when you need me. It's just doing the little daily things that will reduce your stress or give you more free time.
He's a doctor, working very crazy hours, but I want him to know that it doesn't matter. I know when he's there, it's quality time and I have his full attention.
I think the most important thing I would like him to know is that he can always trust me. He can always count on me being there and that I love him unconditionally.
It feels like a very mature love for me. It's not this kind of Bollywood romantic, girl falls into guy. It’s a deep knowing that this is the one and that our souls are tied and connected. There is literally nothing that can ever get in the way of that tie between us. I can't think of anything, no pandemic, no parent, no hardships that could come between us. I wrote a poem for her that described how our sails are set forth and yes, there might be bumps, but, whichever way our sail goes, I know we're always going to be on the same boat together. We are ever going to abandon that ship. I've never felt more certain about something in my life. With women, I tend to be this kind of free spirited guy, but like just having that kind of firmness and belief, it's almost like a tenant.
I feel very lucky and blessed, I get to be or married the person that I love. I had my first kiss with him, he is everything that I ever wanted and much more.