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This Kannada groom and Sindhi bride got married in February – and boy was it special, an intimate wedding in a backyard. A whirlwind romance that first started over a phone call – just proves that when you know, you know.

What were you looking for, when you came to Sirf Coffee?
Mala: I was looking for something real and honest. I had had my fair share of dating apps, ‘arranged’ proposals etc. And I knew that those weren’t for me. Yes, I was looking for a partner but wasn’t in a rush. I wanted to meet someone on my own terms and pace and see where it goes.
Abhay: I’ve never used dating apps, because the swiping right thing was not something that fitted into my idea of dating/relationships. I also hated the idea of having to sell and market myself on these platforms with pictures and an interesting profile. When I found out about Sirf Coffee through a friend, I decided to give it a chance because it seemed different from the algorithm-driven dating apps. Having a human being involved in the process was the clincher. 

You physically met after a few phone calls. What was the first date really like? (be honest!)
I’ll let her take this one!
Mala: Oh, it was the sweetest day with its fair share of drama! We had decided to meet in Mumbai for a lunch date. However, it poured all day and we were stranded at the airport until midnight. It was awkward at first, Abhay wouldn’t even look at me initially. I was being my bullying self and slowly we both eased into it. We had lunch, had a few beers, held hands and knew that we had to see each other again.

How did you know that he/she is ‘the one’?
Mala: I don’t think I can pinpoint a particular moment. Being with him just feels right. It feels like home.
Abhay: Our second telephone conversation. Without going into specifics, what I will say is that I told her things about myself that I was not very proud of. She heard me out, understood where I was coming from, and made me realise that I had nothing to be ashamed of. Looking back, I knew deep down that she was the one after I hung up the telephone.

What does your partner do to lighten up your mood?
Mala: He has a crazy sense of humour and I love it – well mostly because it borders on obnoxious every now and then.
Abhay: Smile.

What do you find most endearing about each other?
Mala: When you first speak to Abhay, it can be a bit intimidating, but over the course of time I’ve discovered a very sensitive side to him – which I find most endearing.
Abhay: She acts like a baby when she doesn’t get her way. It’s both annoying and endearing in equal measure.

How soon after an argument can you laugh about it all?
Mala: It may take 5 minutes or 5 hours but our only rule is to never sleep over a fight. 
Abhay: Once I concede defeat!

In what ways are you most alike, and different?
Mala: We both value the same things in life – especially family. But our general approach is very different. He is very driven and wants to be in control of things while I can be a bit of a chill, drifter type. It’s a good balance. 
Abhay: We share a lot of traits. We’re career-oriented. We’re creative. We’re headstrong. Both of us have massive egos and we’re very proud. Both of us value loyalty above all else. We like being around family. We love eating – a lot. She’s from the North. I’m from the South. So there are differences. We think in different languages. She expresses herself more; repression comes more easily to me. I think we disagree the most on what it means to be successful. And we both have very divergent approaches to money. We’re different in many ways, but we brings us together is our resolve to rise above these differences and make what we have work. 

What are the little / big things that this relationship has changed about you, and your outlook?
Mala: I suddenly feel more responsible. It’s like I grew up all over again at 33. 
Abhay: It’s too soon to tell. We first spoke in August, met in September, got engaged in October and tied the knot in February. 

What is the best part about being together?
Malini: Having a permanent 5:00 AM friend, right by your side. 
Abhay: Not being apart. 

One piece of dating advice that you’d like to share:
Malini: That there is no ‘right’ amount of time to have known your partner before you take that big step. Your core values need to match. There has to be respect and trust and a whole lot of love. If all your basic boxes are ticked, why wait? 
Abhay: It’s a cliche, but when you know, you know. Seize the day, step up and take the leap.

*Names changed to protect privacy.


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