Minal and Vivek
How We Met
It was April 2009 and due to security concerns, the IPL was being hosted in South Africa. Vivek is a cricket fanatic so having the IPL here at home was like a dream come true for him. I on the other hand hadn’t been to many live cricket matches so when my older brother and older cousin said they were getting tickets to some of the IPL games and invited me to join them, I jumped at the opportunity. I was in my first year of university and having gone to school in a small town meant that I didn’t get out much, so being out and about without mum and dad was exciting for me.
Vivek’s sister and my older cousin had studied at the same university and spent a lot of time together so I had developed a friendly relationship with her. My brother, cousin, Vivek’s sister and Vivek’s group of friends had bought tickets together so we were all sitting in the same row. It seemed that everyone knew each other, I was the only ‘new’ person there. It was quite overwhelming as I was also quite a bit younger than everyone else there. I will never forget that day at the IPL cricket match when his sister pointed at a very cute guy and introduced him as Vivek, her younger brother. He was dressed from head to toe in the India cricket colours, with the Indian flag hanging off his shoulders like a cape and was passionately yelling at the players as the game progressed. I smiled at him politely but in my head I thought ‘OMG he’s so cute’. Over the next few weeks as we constantly met at the IPL matches we formed a quite a friendship.
We both studied at the same university so we often ‘ran into each other’ – or so he thought :) In actual fact, I would go out of my way to bump into him between classes because I had quite the crush on him. He was two years ahead of me, studying the same course so I used this as an excuse to contact him. I would ask him for help and guidance with my uni work just so that I could meet him. I’m not sure when or how our polite friendship went from just that to something more but 6 months later we went on our first date.
How He Asked
I was in Eastern Europe on a 3 month work assignment and had planned to spend Easter weekend in London with my brother and other family members that live there. Vivek and I had discussed marriage quite a bit before I left South Africa for my assignment so I knew a proposal was on the cards – though, I thought it would happen when I returned home. We’d been dating for 6 and a half years and decided that we were ready to take the next step. Together with my brother, and his cousins who live in the UK Vivek planned to surprise me in London with a proposal the day before my birthday – Good Friday. He arrived in the UK (unbeknown to me) 5 days prior to finalize the proposal plans. I arrived in London the day before the proposal but I had no idea he was there – as far as I knew, he was going home to his parents house to spend Easter weekend with them.
My brother told me that we were meeting some friends at a fancy bar in the city on Friday night so after a day out with family I came back home, did a quick change of clothes and my brother, myself and my cousins headed out. As we neared Tower Bridge (and the spot where Vivek was waiting) I stopped to take a quick picture of the bridge to send to Vivek and tell him I missed him. I took the picture and then carried on walking as I typed the message to him. There was a crowd gathered around something as we rounded a corner so being the inquisitive type I poked my head around to see what was going on. The crowd split down the centre and I saw individual white wooden letters placed next to each other to read ‘Marry Me <3’. With a slight panic I jumped to the side, with the crowd, thinking that I was in the way of some lucky girl that was being proposed to but when I looked up my jaw dropped.
Vivek, immaculately dressed in a greyish suit, white shirt and blue bow tie, stood behind the letters with a bunch of helium filled balloons smiling. I could hardly believe my eyes – I hadn’t seen him for almost two months and I missed him incredibly. The scene was absolutely perfect with Tower Bridge shining beautifully in the background. My heart raced as I walked towards him, the crowd clapping. When I was within earshot, he put down the balloons, got down on one knee and showed me the ring…
In all honesty I have no idea what he asked because all I could think was 1. I can’t believe this is happening 2. I need to hug him right now. I jumped up and down as he spoke and then held out my hand for him to put the ring on and the crowd cheered. A group of people even began to sing ‘Marry You’ by Bruno Mars.