Beyond the test of time
Metrolife meets couples in the City, who found true love while in school or college, and still have their relationship going strong
blossom into a long-term commitment and marriage?
For Avinash Johnson, a software engineer from the City, the story dates back to more than a decade, while still in high school, “I met Jayshree when she came to my school and instantly fell for her. Looking back, it was just a very strong infatuation then and the love was something that developed over a period of time. Although at every point of time, I always thought I was totally in love. It’s only when you look back that you feel it's love now and wasn’t before. But I proposed to her around my first year of college when we used to write letters to each other almost on a daily basis, she was in LSR Delhi, and I was in IIT Kharagpur.”
And like Avinash, for most, maintaining a long-distance relationship, was a litmus test.
Says Shuchi Taparia, a company secretary who met Ravish Singhvi while doing her B Com in 2003, “we definitely went through that time where things just didn't match up at all. The divide between our priorities was too big to stay a couple, we decided to take a break in the middle, but I didn't find anyone who could ever measure up to Ravish.”
Says Avinash, “for us it’s been different because we have spent a lot of time apart and the tonnes of letters we wrote to each other helped develop the friendship and understanding between us that helps us when we are in a relationship.” But not every young couple is as successful as Avinash and Jayshree or Shuchi and Ravish and at going that extra mile.
Dr Monika Rao, a psychologist, says long-distance dating is hard when there is a strong sense of attachment and then a sudden shift in the opposite direction. “It’s very hard to do. If the bulk of the relationship is based on long-distance, it can be difficult because you may not have a realistic sense of how the two of you are in day-to-day settings.” What makes a relationship strong despite the odds of familial pressure of being young and going for a love marriage which still creates issues in Indian society.
Says Khurshed Batliwala, the programme director of WAYE, an NGO for youth who has 18 years of experience dealing with youth, “when the focus is something bigger than each other, like a cause, the relationship blossoms. All timeless love stories where the protagonists have focused on each other, like Romeo and Juliet, Tristan and Isolde, the story has a tragic ending, but Indiana Jones on the other hand gets the treasure and the girl, and walks into the sunset.”
Shuchi sums it up, “during the college days when the going got tough, we reminded each that the problems weren’t forever and that one day we would look back on these years and say, ‘We made it’.”