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Shivalika-Vipul's Lovely Love Story

February 15, 2024 16:06 IST
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'Society tends to get uncomfortable when a girl takes the initiative. But who cares? I proposed to him,' says Shivalika V Patel.

Shivalika and Vipul Patel

IMAGE: Shivalika and Vipul Patel are celebrating 12 years of wedded bliss. Photograph: Kind courtesy Shivalika V Patel

Not all love stories are made in heaven, some are carved by humans too.

I met my husband -- it still feels a little odd saying that considering the age at which I met him -- when we were in Class 11; he was a science student and I had chosen commerce.

He was very calm and composed but I noticed his eyes spoke volumes.

He didn't speak to girls and seemed like a silent introvert. At the same time, he was an expert at getting his friends into trouble even as he escaped scot-free.

Yet, there was something about him that attracted me; besides, I could not resist the charm of his eloquent eyes.

Usually, society tends to get a bit uncomfortable when a girl takes the initiative. But who cares? I proposed to him on August 8, 2002. And he said yes :)

Like all teenage relationships, there were misunderstandings, ego wars, break-ups and patch-ups...

We soon completed school and joined different colleges. I moved on and thought he had done so too.

I went on to complete my studies in my new world, with my new circle of friends, dreams and aspirations. Old friends and memories were tucked away in a far corner of my mind.

By that time, Vipul had joined the merchant navy and was travelling from one country to another.

Whenever he would get shore leave, he would try and reach out to me.

Cupid struck me again in the form of Orkut, the first social media app that allowed you to connect with old friends.

I was at a cyber cafe, working on an important project, when I saw his messages on my birthday.

I decided that I would wish him on his birthday too and shared my phone number.

And then, a tsunami hit me... a tsunami of calls from Vipin whenever he could reach land. Sometimes it was China, sometimes Australia, Malta, Europe...

I was stunned when I realised that, though I had moved on in life, he was still waiting for me to settle in my career before I returned to that point in 2002 when I had proposed to him.

He was so clear about a future with me that he would constantly ask me to marry him without even knowing what I was doing professionally or what my salary was.

As far as he was concerned, both of us had started out on our careers and could now think about the next stage of our lives. He told me he had met 11 girls via the arranged marriage route, but could not connect with any of them.

It was at around this time that I lost my father. My mother and sister were alone in Punjab. My mother went into severe depression and the entire responsibility of my family was on my shoulders. I have an elder brother but since he was abroad, struggling with his own career, I had to take charge.

Once mom became better, I told her about Vipul. She remembered him as one of my friends whom I used to invite home when I was in Class 11.

Later, she told us that his maternal grandparents and my dad were family friends for many years.

I organised a video chat between Vipul and my mother and she approved him immediately. His family, too, were happy.

We got married in February 2012 and, a year later, our darling Sakshi arrived.

As a shippie, he could only spend a few months at home every year.

Life without him was difficult, especially since I had a young daughter to take care of.

It was a little difficult for me to stay without him, especially since we had a little daughter now.

Thankfully, my in-laws -- especially my father-in-law -- were a strong source of support. He taught me to be self-reliant in every way because, according to him, I didn't have a 'normal' life where my husband was available 24 x 7. I learnt to drive, I learnt about banking transactions, the family business...


2021 changed our lives forever. Vipul was on the ship when my father-in-law and I were diagnosed with a severe stage of COVID.

His oxygen levels were low so we had to admit him in hospital.

There were no flights at that time. My husband was emotionally frustrated. Though he was the eldest child, all he could do was send money so that his father could get the best treatment possible. He could not help in any other way.

Despite our best efforts, we lost Papa on April 25, 2021. I had to share this terrible news with Vipul through a phone call.

My health worsened but I did not tell Vipul; he was already broken after the loss of his father. Thankfully, by the time he could return to India, I was much better.

Vipul never returned to the sea. We now have our own business and continue to live in a joint family; it was my father-in-law's dream that the family remains together.

We miss him a lot, but his thoughts always bring a smile to our faces.

Vipul and I look forward to many more decades together. If he wasn't determined, we wouldn't have been together.

Whatever turbulence comes our way now or in the future, our Love will keep our ship sailing safely even in the roughest of seas.

Do you have a special someone in your life? How did you two meet? Was it love at first sight?

Who played Cupid? Who said the magical words first?

Were you nervous, anxious? Felt butterflies in your stomach?

How long have you two been together? What's your secret to your happiness?

Tell us all about it.

Write in to us at (Subject: 'Jab We Met'). You can include a photograph of you and your partner and we'll publish the best entries

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