Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Our Journey of Togetherness - Long distance < Love

As long as you’re in my heart and I am in yours, there is no distance great enough that our love can’t travel. Distance never separates two hearts that really care, for our memories span the miles and in seconds we are there. But whenever I start feeling sad, because I miss you, I remind myself how lucky I am to have someone so special to miss.

Online Matrimonial Portal: 

We came to know each other from an Indian matrimonial portal namely, Chavara Matrimony in March 2013. I was on my holiday trip to India during the time. Ashlin had just registered her profile in the matrimonial portal in March 2013. As soon as I saw Ashlin’s Profile, I knew that she is the One. 26th March 2013 My family immediately expressed our interest in Ashlin’s profile and requested her family to have a look at mine. Ashlin was interested in my profile as well and hence her family invited us to Ashlin’s home so that we could meet in person. 

Our First Meeting: 

30th March 2013 

We originally met each other at Ashlin’s home, on a Saturday just before the Easter Sunday of 2013. After the formal family meeting, we got some private time for ourselves. Both of us were pretty comfortable with each other and spend some time introducing ourselves and got a chance to know each other. I was falling in love as we spend our first moments together and I expressed my interest in having a stable and loving relationship with Ashlin. Both the families were pretty comfortable with each other as well. We left Ashlin’s home with a happy heart. 

Marriage Proposal: 

7 th April 2013 

As part of the tradition, Ashlin’s family and relatives visited my house the very next Sunday. They had a great rapport with myself, my family and relatives. They were happy to take our alliance to the next level. In the meantime we started chatting with each other through Facebook, Viber, Whatsapp, Skype etc. 

10th April 2013 

After a couple of days, Ashlin’s family visited my home to officially confirm our marriage. The marriage date was fixed for 4th of May 2014. The date was fixed at a mutually convenient time as Ashlin had two more years of studies to complete and I had to go back to New Zealand next month. Though those were pretty exciting times, we already started missing each other. 

22nd April 2013 

Before I left to New Zealand, we went to Ashlin’s home to meet her once again. This time I had a surprise gift for her, a diamond ring expressing the purity of love, commitment and trust in our relationship. We were pretty excited to see each other as we have been getting close emotionally every day through phone calls and Skype. In those precious moments, we were in fact experiencing a glimpse of heaven. 

Our Date: 

23rd April 2013 

The very thought of flying away from her have been haunting both of us all these days. Out of nowhere we decided to meet once again before I depart to New Zealand for the longest one year of our lives. We were too excited to have the opportunity to meet once again; it was just the both of us. We met at St. George Church, Edapally, in the city of Kochi. We literally had butterflies in the stomach and we were running out of words with happiness and joy. We talked for long hours, I could see the love in her eyes when she was staring at me. I was filled with such an over flowing happiness for having my soul mate by my side. We are extremely glad to have such sweet moments to cherish forever and ever. We also went to St. Antony’s Church, Kaloor, in the city of Kochi. We had some food later on and departed with heavy hearts. 

Departure to New Zealand: 

27th April 2013 

I departed to New Zealand on a Saturday night. Ashlin’s family was there at the airport to say goodbye. Though Ashlin was not allowed to be there, we kept in touch through phone calls while I was waiting at the lounge till the take off. At the 12 hour stopover at Singapore, we talked again through Skype. I reached New Zealand on a Monday morning. 

The One Year wait for Marriage: 

It was a long one year of waiting till the marriage. Our love kept blossoming day by day, as we were falling in love over and over again during this one long year. I send my first birthday gift to her on 16th of August, while she surprised me with a Birthday card on December 28th for my birthday. I didn’t miss the chance to express my everlasting love on our Valentine’s Day; I surprised her by sending 100 fresh red roses and other gifts through an Indian gift portal service. 

I used to stay late everyday at nights to make the Skype calls. We never missed a chance to stay in touch. The latest social networking applications were a real blessing for us during those days. Our families kept in touch with each other by paying friendly visits and exchanging birthday wishes and season’s greetings. It was a very busy time back in India, as both the families were actively engaged in the preparations for marriage. We renovated our house, bought a brand new car and we were pretty excited for having the preparations to give a grand welcome to Ashlin to our home. 

It was during those happy moments that my dad met with an accident and was admitted in an Intensive Care Unit at a hospital in my hometown. It was a very shocking incident and my mom told Ashlin not to let me know about the accident. Ashlin tried to keep her calm during the everyday Skype calls we had during those days. Ashlin would have been in real pain when I mentioned to her about missing my dad and mom. In a week, my dad was completely normal though he had a plastic surgery. It was only then that Ashlin let me know about the accident and the turn of events. 

I respect her for how she handled such a sensitive issue with much care and understanding. By then our relationship was at a level where our conversations and care for each other were as if we were already married. We discussed pretty much everything under the sky from financing our lives to the upbringing and future of our children. By then it was already 2014 and getting close to the wedding time. 

In the meantime, I had a bachelor’s party with my friends at a holiday house at Lake Pukaki and gave a treat to all my fellow coworkers at Harrington’s Breweries. I departed to India on 6th of April 2014. 

The Most awaited Holiday in India: 

I reached home on the 6th of April, Sunday night. I was filled with immense joy and happiness as I was getting ready for the Pre-Marriage course with my sweet heart Ashlin. After one long year, we met on 11th of April; it was a beautiful Friday morning. It was more beautiful as I was about to meet my sweet heart after the longest wait I ever had. The first gaze we had, it almost melt my heart. I remember spending our 3 days of Pre-marriage course chatting, laughing and praying together in the presence of God. It was a very fruitful experience as we learnt about the significance of leading a blessed married life. We met again for some wedding shopping along with our families. We spend more time exchanging our love while selecting dresses for the wedding. It was like spending my time with Ashlin in one of those Bollywood songs with colorful sarees in the background. 

Our Betrothal: 

26th April 2014 

It was one of the happiest and exciting days in both our lives as we held hands and exchanged engagement rings with the blessings of our friends and family at St. Anne’s Church, Aluva. We smiled throughout the day as our hearts were overflowing with joy and happiness. It was a grand ceremony and we met more family members from both the sides. 

The Wedding: 

4 th May 2014 

The day we have been counting down from a year back has finally arrived. I was both nervous and happy as I was getting ready for the biggest event of our life. Ashlin was absolutely gorgeous in her wedding dress. I couldn’t wait for the priest to declare us husband and wife. With much pride and happiness, I tied the wedding knot and we exchanged our wedding rings. We had a fabulous wedding with a huge reception following the ceremony, having a head count exceeding 1500 guests. We had our biggest smiles throughout the day as we knew that we were living through the most beautiful chapter in our life. 

Following the reception, we had a brief visit and prayer at Ashlin’s residence. We held our hands together with immense joy, satisfaction and fulfillment as we drove back to my home. There was a small party arranged at my place for more guests and they concluded only late in night. 

Honey Moon Trips: 

Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health, Velankanni, TN State: 

We started our journey of togetherness by spending three days and two nights at the blessed destination of Velankanni; South Indian’s most frequented Pilgrim Centre also known as the Lourdes of the East. We prayed together to ‘‘Our Lady of Good Health’’ for blessing our married life with happiness, peace and satisfaction. We stayed at the Seagate group of Hotels, Velankanni and had a very memorable stay. We celebrated the intimate moments of our marriage by exchanging body and soul during these stays leaving everlasting memories of love. 

Vythiri Village Resorts, Wayanad, KL State: 

Our next destination was to one of the most luxurious and sought after honeymoon spot in South India, Vythiri. We spend three days and two nights at Vythiri by booking a Honeymoon Package comprising of Candle light dinners, floral bed arrangements, Trekking and Sightseeing. We got some of the most romantic and sweetest memories to cherish forever from these honeymoon trips. 

Family Functions: 

Since my holiday was a short one, our moments of togetherness were jam packed with heaps of family get-togethers and functions. Apart from joining for feasts and dinners to most of our friends and relatives homes from both the sides, we managed to join a one day family holiday trip, attended one of my cousin brother’s marriage ceremony, a baptism and a couple of birthday functions. As time went by, our love blossomed and became more and more beautiful. It became so hard for our hearts to say farewell again for another year of staying apart. There was one more year for Ashlin to finish her course and hence we would have to stay apart by ourselves for one more year. The very thought of it was heart breaking. But there was hope for a better tomorrow, just one more year and we would be back and living together forever. 

Leaving my heart in India: 6 th of June 2014 

The day has finally come, for me to break her heart again. I felt my heart sinking deep with pain, at the sight of tears coming down from Ashlin’s eyes, as I stood at the airport to board my flight. I stayed calm and gave my warmest hugs and kisses to Ashlin. I left to New Zealand leaving my heart in my home country. It was saddening but we carried on with our lives hoping for the fast arrival of our days of togetherness. 

One more year of staying apart: 

I was back at Harrington’s Brewery and soon got busy with the annual audits and slowly got back in track with my job. We kept in touch through Viber, Whatsapp, phone calls day and night and did video calls every day through Skype. We have opened a joint bank account while we were in India in Federal Bank Limited and I started sending money to her every now and then. As I became more and more busy at work, I confirmed with my manager about my next big holiday in May 2015 to bring Ashlin back to New Zealand. We celebrated our 6 months anniversary on 4th of November 2014. 

I started looking for better offers in the meantime to progress my career as I would have to support Ashlin as well in a year’s time. Ashlin gave me the confidence and pushed my limits to apply for jobs which I would rather not. And purely by trusting her supporting words, I have applied for a job at Fonterra for a Quality Lead position. We celebrated our first Christmas and New Years after marriage through Skype as well. On January 2015, I got the job offer at Fonterra for the Quality Lead position at Palmerston North. Taking this job offer would compromise my holiday in May, but since it’s an opportunity which I couldn’t refuse, I accepted the offer and gave resignation at Harrington’s with a heavy heart. I had to leave Christchurch, the city where I have spent my 5 years in New Zealand since 2009. I started my job at Fonterra on 2nd of February 2015. The whole credit for me getting this job goes to my wife Ashlin, without whom I would not have even applied for this position. It was a new start with new city and new faces all the way. 

I believe 2015 is a fresh start for me and my sweet heart. I have signed my tenancy agreement with Watson property management at Palmerston North for my stay at Room No. 11 Ruahine Apartments, Roslyn. Even if it’s just a week’s holiday from Fonterra, I would be returning home soon to bring Ashlin back to New Zealand. We have plans to spend our first couple of months here when Ashlin arrives in New Zealand. And eventually to rent a house and as we progress our life together with couple of babies we might even think of buying a house and settle down for good.

NB:- An Extract from Our Relationship Letter submitted to Immigration New Zealand.