Made for Each Other

Manish & Rekha Malpani  talk with You & I
How did you guys meet?
Rekha: I believe matches are made in heaven, so we were destined to meet. It’s called an arranged marriage, but for us, it was no less than love at first sight. We both agreed to the marriage immediately and were engaged the very next day. I remember this line he wrote on a piece of paper on the day of our engagement which still makes me cry with happiness.
Wow! Why the instant ‘yes’ from each of you?
R: His simplicity – it just swept me off my feet.
Manish: Meeting her just felt right. The love, the new adventure which lay ahead for us as a couple, the excitement of a new life – all these things invaded our hearts and filled us with a passion that cannot be put into words.
You’ve been together for 18 years. What’s the secret?
We’ve been blessed with Aayushi, who is 17, and Aaryaman, who’s 12. It’s been 19 years since we first met, but it still feels like yesterday. Time has been an illusion; we live each day anew, filled with excitement, passion and adventure. Respect comes first, and where there is respect and trust, love follows. That’s how we prioritise things. We believe in giving each other space and valuing one another’s opinions. Our days don’t end without listening to each other.
How do you keep the romance alive?
Romance is not what you see on television, where couples dance in the rain or roll in the sand! (Laughs) Romance is the bond, and when you have somebody like that in your life, someone who takes away your loneliness with just one smile or a passionate touch, the romance erupts. That burning need for each other is what keeps romance ablaze.
What holds you both together?
R: His unconditional love, care and concern, even without saying a word, says it all. We’re both so different, yet we complete and complement each other. He’s a man of few words, soft and sensible, whereas I’m outgoing, practical and energetic. His encouragement and appreciation of whatever I do make me really happy.
M: So many years of love, sharing joy, pain, suffering and celebration have tied us together in an unbreakable bond of togetherness. We are indispensable to each other. I think I may fail to survive even a day without her.
What interests do you guys share?
We both believe that a healthy relationship lasts best on the foundation of healthy lifestyles. We’re both fond of exercise and work out almost every day. And our healthy lifestyle is not just physical, but more importantly mental and spiritual. We both also enjoy music and dance, and playing sports and board games with our kids gives us immense pleasure. We make it a point to spend time with the kids every day, exploring their interests. And finally, we’re both passionate about travelling and discovering new places.
What’s your take on Valentine’s Day?
It’s yet another day for the celebration of our love, as we strongly believe that love should be celebrated every day. It has become our need, our very essence of togetherness. Being with our loved ones is a way of celebration for us. I can never forget how when we got engaged, he came to pick me up from college one Valentine’s Day in a car full of rose petals! It was like a scene from a movie, and it left me completely speechless!
What do you guys like and dislike about each other?
R: He’s very understanding and caring.
M: Her sincerity.
R: There’s nothing I don’t like about him. I love him as he is!
If you could change one thing about the other person, what would it be?
M: Changes need to be made when things are not ideal. We’re perfect for each other, so there’s no need to alter anything.
R: We balance out each other’s imperfections and try to ignore things that aren’t important. I’d rather change myself to adapt to his tastes; that’s the key to happy living. He’s my best friend, lover and guide.    

..... as told to Anahita