“I was attending a cultural event, sitting in the last row, when I saw Vaani. I was so drawn to her! Everyone was booing ‘loser’, but she braved it all & began to sing. In that moment, I felt something change in me. I got up & started walking towards the front row. It was love at first sight! That day, our story began.
I was a rebellious kid – so for an aimless boy like me, she was an anchor. On a half moon night, we met under a tree & spoke about how dangerously close we were getting. And how hopelessly in love we were! I’ve even walked from my place to hers, which was 18 kms away, to see her, all with a smile on my face. She was the one – & soon after, we got married.
I bounced around between jobs because I was trying to find my passion. From an editor at a newspaper to a salesman – Vaani’s support never wavered. All through the years she gave me the courage to follow my dreams. And in the end, I found my path with her.
We started a consulting firm – our business grew well! But we had to back out of a major project for ethical reasons. That was the beginning of our downfall – we laid off 38 people. Cheques bounced, credit cards were blocked, we couldn’t pay rent – the house of cards had collapsed.
We were bankrupt. We spent New Year’s of 2008 with Rs. 2000 in our bank. That night I apologised to Vaani. From our moment under the tree to this, I couldn’t believe I’d gotten her to this stage. All she said to me was, ‘No matter how long & how many days this is going to take, I’ll walk along with you.’
So somehow, we managed – every day we made it was a miracle. Despite it all, we stuck with each other. And we owe so much gratitude to the people who lent us money & trusted us during our hard times. The fight hasn’t ended for us though – we’re still paying back our debt.
But after so many years of bankruptcy, owing 179 people money, we realised that we didn’t need success to be happy – just each other. We now call ourselves the ‘happyness-walas’ – our new life motto. I guess when you’ve seen rock bottom, you learn to start loving life for all that it is. And when you have nothing, but someone is willing to walk with you, that….is everything.”