Women who are not afraid to love

Women who are not afraid to love
Illustration by Uday Mohit

It's no longer just men who are making the first move. Meet the new generation of young women who are unafraid to fall in love and admit it

I asked my stalker out

Reena Nahar
During my college days, I would often visit my cousin sister’s office at Safdarjung Enclave, Delhi. Soon I realised that one of her colleagues Rajiv would always hang around every time I visited. In fact, he would join us when we went shopping and on other outings too.

A few months later, when my cousin was getting married, he not only attended all the functions, including the mehendi, but also stayed back till the end. Everyone had begun wondering why.

I never thought he was hanging around because of me, I assumed he and my cousin had become very close friends. I realised it only when he began making prank calls to my landline. He wouldn’t talk unless I picked up. Then one day, when I answered the phone, he asked me to note down his number.

He knew I may not be able to talk as my family was conservative and people would be around. After jotting it down, I asked, “What do I do with it?” He asked me to call, anytime 24x7. Surprised, I asked, “Are you proposing to me?” He just said, “We’ll talk”.

Back then, neither of us had a mobile phone, so though I tried connecting with him several times, we couldn’t talk. Finally, about a month later he called on the landline, when he was in the vicinity, and asked me to meet him. We drove to Jumbo Point, then a lovely place to watch airplanes take off and land. He spoke about the wedding, this that and the other, but didn’t talk about me or us. So I got straight to the point, “If it’s what I am thinking, I like you too.”

We went around for three years after that, before finally getting married.

- Reena Nahar

I asked him out on a singles’ meet-up that I co-founded

I was 30 and single; though I was thoroughly enjoying singledom, I wanted to get married, and so did my brother. We realised it’s really difficult to meet single people, even through friends and I didn’t want to go the traditional arranged marriage route or date a colleague. We thought, ‘there have to be more people like us!’

To find them we created a Facebook event, Footloose No More, on impulse and sent out invitations. “You’re so desperate!,” our married friends remarked. But, by the first week we had 250 members! Of them, 100 made it to the event at Bonobo, Bandra.

Strangely, two years of conducting these events passed, and no one asked me out. I thought, ‘What the hell?’ Soon I realised that men assumed they’d get in trouble if they asked me out as I was one of the organisers.

Then at our Holi event, I met Prashant. He was an MBA from XLRI, who had worked in media, before one day deciding to become a music director; he never put a tie on again! I asked him whether he’d sing to me and he said, “Ya, why not?” So I asked him out to Soul Fry for karaoke.

By Monday night, I began getting the jitters; I thought I’d gone too quick; so I took 20 friends along on the date. It didn’t bother him. We’d started talking six times a day and gently slipped into liking each other immensely.

Our values matched, that’s what matters. Two months later, I proposed we take a trip together. Neither of us said, ‘let’s get married’; we just assumed we would be together.

When he told his father about us after six months, he was asked, “What are you waiting for?”

Two days later, we were married!

Varsha Agnihotri Vadhyar

I asked him to marry me some 80 times!

Richa Gupta

Deepak and I met during one of my client’s photo shoots. He was a photographer for an interior design magazine and I was handling public relations. He called the next morning as he had forgotten the client’s name. But other than that we hadn’t kept in touch.

Later, we began bumping into each other at Depaul’s, a famous coffee shop at Janpath, and got talking. Neither of us asked the other out. He’s not very vocal; we’ve always communicated through expressions and body language.

By the end of two years, at 23, I was pretty sure I wanted to marry him. I come from a close-knit family and wanted marriage; my parents wanted it for me too. So I asked him and he said, “Take it easy”. He was really against the idea of marriage. In fact, at times he’d say, “I’m in no hurry, if you are, go get married”.

But I didn’t give up. If I knew he was at a particular shoot, I’d surprise him, or reach the coffee shop before him. I chased him for three years! I must have asked him to marry me 50, maybe 80 times.

Then one day, I sneakily took one of his family member’s number and asked for advice. I was told, “chase more”. Around the sixth year of being together, I had begun losing hope. Other than that, it was all perfect. We went out for movies, trips, everything. I sometimes sensed he wanted to marry me, but just wouldn’t admit it. Finally I told him I’m going to marry someone else. That’s when he suggested we run away, and stuck to the idea.

He didn’t want a traditional marriage, but I did. After asking several more times, one day he responded with a Cartier ring placed in a lunch box he was returning to me. That’s how he is, he only speaks through gestures. He’s never told me he loves me, but if I have an early morning, he’ll wake up too and keep things ready for me. If I like something he’ll probably buy five of it.

Friends and family say I’m really lucky, they feel inspired by our marriage–I have no qualms in taking all the credit.

- Richa Gupta

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