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#ThisThingCalledLove. I met my husband as a stranger for the first time on Google +, and fell in love with him overnight. Yes, love at first sight, or rather, first chat.
I know, I know. The whole Love at First Sight is such a cliché – useful only for movies and romance novels but not something that happens in real life. Heck, I don’t believe in it myself! After all, just looking at a person tells you nothing about them. Real people don’t have labels saying ‘hero’, ‘heroine’, ‘villain’ and so on. But it did happen to me. Falling in love took me less than 24 hours, with a man I had never met until then!
‘Hold on!’, I can hear you saying, ‘How can you fall in love at first sight with someone you never met?’ Read on and you’ll find out.
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About 4 years ago (March 2012 to be exact), I had just quit my depressing job and was enjoying myself at my grandmother’s home. I’m not a fan of Facebook and Twitter but Google had just launched a new network called Google+ and I was trying it out. The problem there (as with any other social network) was that it was filled with men who could not hold a decent conversation with a woman and most of the replies on my posts were variations of ‘Can you give me your number?’ or ‘This is my number xxx-xxx call me!’ in broken English.
I’m a huge fan of the Calvin and Hobbes comics and frequently posted various strips on the social network. Imagine my surprise when one of them actually got a proper reply from a man! The language was on point and he was actually trying to have a conversation with me about the comics since he was a fan too! That comment stood out so much from the other garbage that I immediately replied to him. And thus began a back-and-forth conversation that was frequently interrupted by time zone differences (he was in Detroit, USA and I was in Guntur, India) and poor Internet connections.
A typical conversation would run like this:
1:00 PM IST
Me: ‘Did you read this article online?’
5:00 PM IST
Him: ‘Yes I did, I could not believe how illogical he was being!’
Next day 11:00 AM IST
Me: ‘Me too!’ and so on.
Shortly afterward, I went back home to Delhi and for the first time, we were able to have a proper conversation in real time and without interruptions. That first day, we chatted straight through the night and talked about religion, culture, philosophy, books, comics, games, technology (even exes). We both wanted the same things from life and weren’t willing to compromise on the partner we wanted to spend the rest of our life with. I was in love and so was he.
For this to happen to a person like me was nothing short of amazing. I’d always believed that you needed time to fall in love, it just doesn’t happen overnight in real life. And yet, here I was in love with a man I hadn’t seen (except his profile picture) and hadn’t met in person! We hadn’t so much as talked on the phone. We fell in love with words. As a bookworm, writer and geek, it was nothing short of perfect.
Of course, my story doesn’t end here. You have to work to earn your happily ever after unless you’re a movie hero of course. In India, falling in love is easier than making it to the altar of marriage. Parents still think their adult offspring are incapable of selecting their future spouse!
So the next step was to tell our respective parents. Usually, couples have to deal with caste, religion, language, age, status and similar issues. I was faced with having to explain to my parents that I wanted to marry a man I’d never met and to whom I had only talked twice (once when he wished me on my birthday and the next day when he proposed!). On the other hand, it meant they could stop searching for a groom in the traditional arranged marriage system which could only be a plus.
My sister (she had known about him from day 1) and I rehearsed what I would tell my parents and how. We decided it would be best if I approached our dad first since he would be less likely to freak out. Sitting next to him on the sofa, everything I had practised flew out the window. I simply blurted out to him that I wanted to marry this man I met online because he was everything I’d ever wanted in a partner.
To this day, I wonder at my dad’s response. Many parents might have responded angrily or started yelling and screaming but not my dad. He simply nodded his head and asked if I was sure of my decision. He respected my judgement enough to say yes to a son-in-law he’d never met!
Since he couldn’t come to India due to visa issues, both families met each other and gave their blessings. We even had an engagement ceremony without the groom present!
“So when did you actually meet?” I can hear you all ask.
Well, we met 2 weeks before the wedding. That’s right. I met my fiancé exactly 15 days before we were to get married!
My love story isn’t exactly what you’d expect but the only difference with the movie version is that we fell in love with words, not looks. I still believe it takes time to fall in love, except now I know just that the time can be as short as 24 hours!
Image source: couple reading by Shutterstock.
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