Celebrating love…

EVERYONE is on celebrating love mode these days leading up to Valentine’s Day on February 14! It’s as if love is in the air although whiffs of springtime are still to waft in…although the crinkly yellow angsana or copperpods are already blooming profusely and drifting, sweeping down the Campal promenade, making such a pretty picture. Funny, pretty young things go so coochi coo over St Valentine’s Day (a priest of Roman times who helped young Christians get married secretly).
Actually, the romance of Lord Shiva and Parvati from Hindu mythology which culminates in marriage on Shivratri is equally enchanting, beguiling, enthralling…then there are of course all the rites of springtime, stories of God of Love Kamadev with wife and gang of friends going about – his sugarcane bow of buzzing bees and floral arrows targeting a meditating mahadeo (god of all gods) so he opens his eyes to see a dancing Parvati… targeting young folk lurking here and there in the mood to bask in the balmy weather of early springtime, even mother nature is abuzz with her gifts of the fruit of the earth!
All that and so much more. Anyway, because we believe in love above all, we decided to ask a few people how they proposed to each other… for much water has flowed below the bridges of romance, love and togetherness in marriage, and these liberated days we also hear of women proposing and why not?


How often do you witness a proposal, prince-like, on one knee? How about a public proposal, prince-like, on one knee? Now, add to that the fact that the public is approximately 250 people strong… that’s quite a crowd, right? In 2017 when Tasneem met Kuresh through a common friend, they didn’t think that they would find love again, in the second innings of their life. Having lost their spouses after happy successful marriages, both of them made peace with the fact that they had had great years with lots of happiness. They made their lives complete with activities, work, children and all the things that brought them peace. They were content and complete on their own. I guess that is what they mean when they say that meeting someone who is right for you means that you have to be right for them as well. Tasneem and Kuresh soon found out that they had very little in common, other than the fact that they both loved living life to the fullest. Both being parents, had focussed on ensuring that they nurtured and encouraged their children to live up to their fullest potentials. Now that they had found a friend for themselves, they didn’t quite know how to take the association (?)further! In a day and age of tinder, sugar daddies, boy toys and lonely singlehood, these two happy birds found a park of youth with each other. “It is after a very long time that I have felt this nervousness about meeting someone. It is not about how I dress or anything, there is just a nervousness in general”, shared Tasneem, when she realised that she had romantic feelings for Kuresh. It is true, there is a unique joy and spunk in feeling on edge about spending time with each other. It is not about feeling lesser about yourself, just that you want to be your best for them, and not just with them. “I have found a friend in her. But, I also realised that my heart is still bold and young enough to experience love again. She makes me want to do more with my talents. She supports me in my adventurous ideas. In our generation, we didn’t know that love and friendship could co-exist. But apparently, it does. And I have found it!” Have you heard a better, more romantic proposal speech? Lion Kuresh Polen proposed to Lion Tasneem Khilawala while handing off the reigns of Chapter presidency to his successor in Tasneem’s induction ceremony. In front of all the members of their Lions Club chapter, this tall, enigmatic and impressive man, went down on one knee to propose to a woman who had not only stolen his heart, but his inhibitions too! My mother and step-father, Tasneem and Kuresh, have been an example for me, a divorcee! No doubt, love is not predictable. It may not even be forever… but it is, indeed, real. A diamond may or may not able to say what it means, but a loving heart and a complete, content soul, will definitely be able to find another that it can meld and beat with.
Saish Shirodkar, marketing executive We are not married but I have already proposed! It happened like this. We were on a WhatsApp group and I messaged her, she replied the next day. So we had some casual talk, what do you do, what does your father do… we found out about each other, we chatted for five hours! She sat quite a distance from me on the same bench! Next day, we met again, same place at children’s garden, same time of 5pm. But this time we were sitting on the bench much closer to each other. It made a big difference. She said she was too much healthier, not such good looker, why I was interested? While I was too thin! She told me her story. We were just friends. I proposed in ten days, she said Yes but would like a month to think it over. I showed my mother her picture and my mother said, she’s fine. Our families know each other. I told her our thinking matched, we argue but we also say sorry to each other… now only getting married is left. I have already proposed!

Parshuram Iyer, engineer, Mumbai
First and foremost I did not propose, she it was who did it. So I am lost about how to propose, it took me a month to come out of the shock! I met my wife Justina when I joined a firm known as T Maneklal, manufacturers of textile processing machines. I joined the spare parts department and my wife was working there. We were five sales engineers there and I was a fresher, although the others already had five years of experience…in a month’s time I outshined all the four and that impressed my to be wife so much she fell in love with me and proposed. So we were friendly from 1974 till 1976 as I had to save money for our wedding. We got married on August 1, 1976. Before we married we had frank discussion about our religion and we decided not to discuss religion in our marriage at all, we just follow our own religion in true and good faith if we have to live happily and we have kept that promise till date. I was a rolling stone that gathered the moss. I have lived on my own terms since 18 years old and never ever looked back. Today I am 70 years young!

Saumya Naik, graphic artist:

It was in 2007. I’d gone on an outing arranged by a friend of mine, she just told me to come along with some more other friends. I’d known of Sandesh and I asked him if he was that fellow, he said No at first! I said I know you! And ignored him for half the day after that… however the next day we spoke to each other on phone for the whole day, we shared our family stories and I told him I can only get involved with him if he has marriage in mind only, my family is already looking for guys for me. We had open discussions and then we mutually decided to get married, we have a daughter now!

Ruby Redkar, Manager, CREDAI: Well, Suhas, he was a most handsome man, he saw me at Sarvodem where I’d gone for a holiday and he proposed marriage right away. I’m a Gujarati or rather Gujarati Bohri Muslim from a famous family… you can say it was instant love or maybe kind of arranged-cum-instant love! After we married it was all love, only love… he passed away in 2008 but I’m blessed with two daughters and lovely granddaughter. That’s all I would like to say. I’m a grandniece of the late Yusuf Meherally if you’re interested.
Shanta Shetty, LIC employee: No, it was not me who proposed. He, Jayesh, proposed, asked me if I would like to spend the rest of my life with him? We were at Miramar beach in Panaji. We’d known each other for six years before – I was 26 years old then and said yes straightaway, he is a darling! It’s been a love marriage totally and we’re still in love after 20 years have now been completed, we have two daughters.
Tara Narayan, journalist: In 2001 in my late 40s in Mumbai I’d reached the ripe or over ripe age when more men propositioned than proposed to me! So imagine my surprise when one night in 2001 Rajan called me on the home phone past mid-night, with my mother wanting to know who’s this man calling you so late at night. The man was Rajan Narayan calling from Goa and he said, “Just imagine that I’m going down on my knees with a rose in my hand and proposing to you, do you want to get married to me?” I said, “I’m sure you don’t mean it. See the time, are you drunk… call me tomorrow when the sun is shining!” Next morning he called, “Check and see if the sun is shining outside…” I said, “Yes, the sun is shining, I’m coming over to Goa by the next flight!” He was waiting at the airport for me with cigarette in hand (he was chain-smoking then, busy killing himself slowly as editor of Herald). Actually, he was hurriedly trying to hide his cigarette at his crotch area where his silky kurta was alight and burning away unnoticed…hey, I said, look what’s happening. Sorry, sorry, he sheepishly stubbed out the cigarette and threw it. We decided to get married for better or for worse, me for the first time, he for the second time. Eighteen years later he still gets me exquisite roses on birthday and marriage anniversary even if contrarily I shout don’t waste money! I’m sure he still loves me with all my shortcomings, as much as I love him.

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