Karan and Bhagyashree
Karan is a 3rd officer in the Merchant navy and I am a Recruiter. We both are the perfect definition of ‘opposites attract’. He is the English series kinda guy and I am a typical Bollywood Drama lover. He is so sensible, practical and a perfect gentleman whereas I am this full filmy and romantic crazy girl.
Forget prince charming I have a sailor
Ours was an arranged marriage. We met through Bharat Matrimony. One day my father told me about this guy he saw on the site, who is in the merchant navy and seemed to be a good match for me. My instant reaction was, “NO” as the thought of being married to a man who will be away for 6 months on his job was completely in contrast with my idea of happy and loving marriage. But my dad convinced me to have at least one Skype meeting with Karan.
So, here my laptop was showing me the call from Karan Sharma. Though I love to dress up and makeup that day I was just a mess ( as I was least interested in this Skype call).
I accepted the call. I still remember he was wearing a blue t-shirt and brown shorts and was looking so cute. He greeted me with a big smile. We started talking about our likes, dislikes, future plans etc. But we both could feel a connection and it felt like that we knew each other for ages. Clearly, the two of us hit it off right away. We talked about everything right from life goals to hobbies, to past relationships, to break up, to our favourite alcohol. The call lasted for about an hour. Before hanging up Karan said, “You are such a wonderful girl, in all ways different than the rest. Well, I would love to have a girl like you like my wife who will not just be a wife but also my best friend and my partner in crime for life.”
While I was still unsure because of the “6-months distance” issue, I got a Skype notification from Karan Sharma, “Can I pls have your number, Would love to know you more. Ping me on 9&^*%$#@*”. I immediately texted him and he replied to my text right away.
Our Journey from strangers to friends and then life partners
We realised that none of us was sure about the marriage thing so we decided to not to think about that and just to cherish this good friend vibes between us. We started talking and we used to talk for hours, every day. And imagine what, our families had no clue about that. It was difficult to manage the time difference but we both did it well. We were lucky that during that time he was on the port for 10 days. After that, he had to start sailing again which meant – No Internet. And sadly, that day came too soon and now the only way to communicate was through emails. We used to write each other those long emails about every little detail of our day and how much we missed talking to each other. This was the most crucial phase for us as we knew if we could do this there is something really really special and strong about our bond. After a long 20 day sail, he reached the port and the first thing he did was to call me. Nothing could be compared to the happiness I felt when I saw his name flashing on my mobile.
There was no pretence. We could totally be ourselves with each other. 3 months passed like this and then one day, over a random call he proposed to me. He said to me, “Babes I love you and want to spend my life with you. I know it is not easy to marry a sailor. Only some special and strong women can do it and for me that special woman is you, Pls be my queen.” and I said YES. Next thing we did was to inform our parents that we wanted to get married.
My parents decided to meet Karan and his parents. And their plan was to go alone without me as it was the first formal meeting of families. I was ok with this decision as this is how it happens in arranged marriages in India but Karan called my dad and convinced him to bring me along. But the problem was they had already left by then so I took next morning flight with my brother to Mumbai. This was my first ever flight in life. We got down at the Mumbai International airport and Karan was waiting at the domestic airport. I was not aware that we were at two different airports. We were trying to locate each other for an hour. I was feeling so lost and nervous because of all this chaos and confusion and he too got irritated and tired. Al my excitement had drained by then. I was all sweaty with my makeup worn out. Finally, we met. We did a formal handshake and sat in the car. As soon as I settled down he gave me a big bar of dark chocolates and apologised to keep me waiting. Oh man! At that very moment, he won me over.
We met, our families met and we sealed the deal. Then I introduced him to my friends and other family members. Karan is a complete charmer, he soon became everybody’s favourite.
He went onboard for 6 months again. And that ‘Long-Distance-Love’ phase struck us again. But, the wait for the calls and video calls was worth it all. It was difficult for me but he always gave me strength. He made sure that he gave me all his time when on port and wrote to me each day without fail no matter how tired he was.
We got married on the 19th Feb 2017.
Being a sailor’s queen is not an easy job, but my sailor is worth the hard work
My life changed for better with him by my side. We enjoyed every bit of that time of ‘togetherness’. Of course, we had our share of disagreements and fight but we promised to never to go to bed angry. 5 months of a happy married life and again Karan had to go for duty. I was prepared. I promised him, “I will be strong and will wish him goodbye with a smile”. The only thing Karan can’t stand is my tears. I was trying hard to be strong and composed but inside I was breaking apart. The moment we reached the airport we hugged each other and burst into tears. We knew its gonna be much more difficult this time. Staying in his home without him, staying in the room alone with the memories of the moments spent together was tough, really tough. Initially, I couldn’t sleep as I was so used to sleep on his chest, in his arms. He too was having sleepless nights on the ship.
It was his first ship after marriage and what made it even worse was the captain onboard was very strict. They were not allowed to access emails and got only 350mb data for 30 days. Karan started keeping very busy and called me just once a day. I wasn’t happy. I wanted to talk to him but couldn’t, as a result, we started having misunderstandings and arguments.
After 2 months I reached the saturation point and could bear nothing. I felt so suffocated with the thought of staying like this forever like waiting endlessly for his calls and texts. I wanted to call off the wedding. I told Karan everything and he was taken aback after hearing about my decision. He was in pain himself but heard me patiently and said he was sorry to make me feel so miserable. He made me remember all the great memories we created together. His words gave me strength back again. And that one thing he said, changed my life, “It’s not easy all the time. Whenever we are together we have our moments of bliss and happiness. Then there comes a time when I have to leave. That is the test of our love that we both can’t afford to lose. We can’t give up on each other, as this is all we have”. He came back after 6 long months, he contacted my colleagues and planned a surprise for me. He reached directly to my office and the moment I saw him, I froze. I was shaking, screaming, laughing, crying all at once.
Half of my heart is out at sea
Our life is a series of screenshots we take over video calls and the emails we write to each other. In 1.5 years of our marriage, we got to spend only 10 months together. We have our moments when he is home and we keep the love and faith alive when he is onboard. By God’s grace the vessel Karan is on at present has internet and he can call me whenever he wants to. The Internet might be a small thing for the world but for us, it’s the most important thing; the only way we can hear each other daily and see each other once a month (video calls consume more mbs and they get only 350mb/month).
We were not together on valentines day, Karwachauth, Diwali, new years because Karan was Onboard. But, we made cards for each other and wrote letters which we exchanged when he was back. Isn’t that romantic!!!
Our love is greater & stronger than any deployment
We are both stubborn, egoistic and short tempered. We fight on silliest of things but make sure that we sort out our issues before going to bed. And most importantly we never take each other for granted, this is our mantra. We try our best to create wonderful moments when we are together. I am his friend, confidant, guide and little monkey (that is what he calls me, haha) and in him, I found everything I left back in Kolkata – a father, a mother, a brother, a best friend.
Nothing worth having comes easy
The two big challenges that we face in our marriage are:-
First is, our profession.
I work in Mumbai( 9to5 job) and Karan works on Ships (6 months on-off). So, when Karan comes back home on vacation I still have to go to work. He spent the whole day waiting for his wife to be back home after work. He sometimes gets sad and disappointed and I totally get that. But he never expects me to leave my job, he rather encourages me to excel professionally. Every day he keeps the dinner ready as I come back home totally exhausted after work. He always tells me I am his queen and he leaves no stone unturned to make me feel so.
And the second one is different time zones.
When Karan is onboard we are usually in different time zones. Sometimes after a long bad tiring day I fall asleep and miss his calls and sometimes there are days when I badly want to talk to him but I cannot because he is sleeping.
But that promise of not losing the test of love actually keeps us going. The love that we have for each other is unexplainable. We wait for months to even hug and do random stuff that couples do each and every day.
Dreams about our future
10 years down the lane, Karan will be a Captain and I’ll be in some big corporate house. We’ll have a kid and a house that Karan and I will decorate with our own hands. Our relationship will be the same. We’ll be like those excited, just fallen in love kinda teenage couple… waiting to hug and kiss each other, creating our wonderful memories while exploring the world.
In love, every moment spent together is special and should be cherished
Long Distance Relationship isn’t a cake walk. It takes equal efforts from both the partners. No matter how long you have known each other for, never take your partner or relationship for granted. Don’t keep grudges, talk if you are hurt. Tell them how you feel as it is always better to talk than keeping it all in heart and building a caste of misunderstandings. If you cannot talk then write letters, it really does work. Tell each other you love them. Even in the low and worst moments never disrespect your partner. Be each other strengths and help each other to be a better person. Together you both can conquer the world and shine.