LOVED & MARRIED TOO: Two states, One journey

It is not often these days that a college romance fructifies into a wedlock. Corporate Citizen unlocks the story of love that has culminated into marriage, for we believe in the stability of a relationship and family unit. We bring to you real-life romances that got sealed in marriage

As they complete two decades of married life, professionals Sindhu and Suhas Kulkarni, still only in their mid-forties, could have several pointers for younger couples if they cared to listen. Not that the unassuming Kulkarni’s have “advice” to give anyone, just a simple suggestion: try to put yourself in the other’s shoes. The journey becomes that much smoother

All of 18, young Mahima Kulkarni is pursuing her at Pune’s Symbiosis College. Even as she walks the tight rope between studies and fun activities, just like youngsters her age, she is nevertheless, old enough to reflect on the intricacies of an institution like marriage. The product of a happy marriage, her take is simple, “I will marry only if I find someone like pappa.” And she adds, a partnership as enduring as her parents Sindhu and Suhas Kulkarni have enjoyed.

Flashback to yesterday

This love story was scripted in the nineties when two aspiring young professionals started their work lives together. She had completed her B. SC and a diploma in computers, while he was an MCM.

From the beginning Sindhu Madhavan and Suhas Kulkarni got on well. He admired her for her winsome blend of practicality and sensitivity to others, while she liked the fact that he could get on with practically everyone. “He’s humble, caring, grounded, responsible and has a sense of humor to laught at life,” she says.

Despite the fact that they were different personalities, their differences only seemed to work well together. While she’s spontaneous, talkative and expressive, he is a man of few words. Still the bond just grew. “She was simple, loving, caring, emotional, compassionate yet practical and realistic. Sindhu can make anyone feel comfortable with such amazing ease, a rare quality. What’s more, she is a happy person who spreads happiness all around her in short, everything I ever wanted in a life partner,” he says.

Possibly that’s why the need or occasion for a formal proposal was simply not felt.

Instead, one fine day, Suhas just asked to speak to her parents. They were both from different cultural backgrounds-she’s a Keralite and he a Kannadiga. So naturally, Sindhu’s parents had initial concerns and put forth a simple condition that the horoscopes should match. “They have a strong belief in the horoscope system. Luckily for us, they did match. So, I suppose, we were meant to be together,” laughs Sindhu.

So, the two were duly wed in 1998 in the course of a warm and fun-filled traditional ceremony that accommodated the best aspects of both the Malayalee and Kannadiga belief system.

The building blocks of a marriage

From the outset, both Suhas and Sindhu went all out to embrace each other’s families. “As things stand, my parents do not take any decision without consulting him, while I am like a daughter to my in-laws. My father-in-law, in fact, from the very beginning has been a huge support”, shares Sindhu.

There were a few adjustments to be made, considering that they both belong to different states, but the journey was largely fun. “For example, I can cook Keralite food-which they appreciated. Similarly, I too, learnt how to cook Kannadiga food,” says Sindhu. “Of course, being brahmins, they have elaborate rituals that I made a point to pick up.”

Though their daughter Mahima was born just a year into the marriage, Sindhu says the transition was made smooth by the fact that Suhas has always been a big help. “He has always helped out at home and has been very supportive of all my endeavours,” she says.

This is the case even today with both their busy profiles. While she is assistant HR manager, Boomerang Digital LLP, he is co-founder and director (Business Development), Cyber Securist Technologies Pvt. Ltd. Sindhu could be caught up with work, secure in the knowledge that if she were to get delayed, the home front would be taken care of.

“Marriage is all about putting yourself in the others’ shoes,” says Suhas. “Of course, love, trust and understanding play a major role in taking the journey forward. Sure, differences happen and sometimes a fight is a good thing. What is life without a bit of spice?” he smiles.

“But when you see things from the other person’s point of view, it helps in understanding the other person’s thoughts and feelings, which, to my mind, is crucial in making a relationship meaningful and rewarding for both people involved.”

Besides, he adds, positive communication has to be multi-fold, and your partner must be involved in different aspects of your life. Sindhu affirms: “All three of us are equally invested in each other’s life. Each of us knows what is happening in the other person’s day.” Given this fact, conflict management is not a big deal in their lives. “Honestly, we don’t really have fights. We have differences of opinion, yes, but we have been together so long that they aren’t such a big deal at all,” says Sindhu.

Marriage is all about putting yourself in the others’ shoes. Of course, love, trust and understanding play a major role in taking the journey forward. Sure, differences happen and sometimes a fight is a good thing

- Suhas

The mantras of a marriage
  • Love, trust, understanding and acceptance
  • Positive communication
  • Doing little things for each other in the course of a hectic schedule goes a long way
  • Extended circle of family and friends always helps
Bringing up baby

Neither Suhas nor Sindhu have been the kind to push for academic performance, still Mahima has done well for herself, scoring 92 per cent in the Xth and subsequently deciding not to opt either for medicine or engineering. “Her career choices will be her own entirely. We want her to be happy in all that she does. After all, it is important to enjoy one’s college life-the wonder years-so to speak,” says Sindhu. In fact, she adds, she is the lenient parent-urging her daughter not to study so much-while he is the stricter parent. “Despite the fact that he is tough on certain aspects, he is gentle in others. For example, he has a good sense of humour and does not mind at all when Mahima and I,get together to pull his leg and tease him,” expresses Sindhu.

It helps that the two have a loving circle of family and friends to help bring up the little girl. “We have very strong family bonds with the extended family apart from long-standing friendships. These are all important in leveraging your quality of life,” says Suhas.

Both have workable tips to manage work-life balance. “Monday to Friday is all about doing your best at work. Don’t take your family issues there. On the other hand, weekends are for friends and family. Don’t mix the two-even if you are facing difficulties at work-it’s not fair to unleash your frustrations on unsuspecting loved ones,” says Sindhu.

Perhaps Suhas sums it up best, when he says, “The most complex problems have the simplest solutions. Try finding them out.”

By Kalyani Sardesai