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She said yes

I proposed. She said yes.

A few minutes into the first day of the new year, I was down on one knee with a bouquet of roses and holding a ring in my hand. On the table, there was a cake. The writing in chocolate read “marry me”.

I’d made a reservation at a rather fancy rooftop bar. During a visit to the place, I sat outside for a few minutes because I was shy to ask. I spoke to the manager to tell her of the plan, hoping that she would help me out. And she did by arranging a lovely bouquet of flowers and the cake.

Our not-so-surprise gifts were amusing. Vaidehi forgot hers in Singapore (duh!). And I couldn’t get my card ready in time (double duh!). That evening at home, we were both sitting at opposite ends of the living room writing our separate cards. The ring, we got that made together as well. So when she saw it, it wasn’t new to her.

Nonetheless, I’m glad with the way it all turned out. The flowers and cake were still unexpected, and I was very pleasantly surprised by the thought that had gone into the message she meant to convey, even if the accompanying gifts were back in Singapore. More importantly, we were both ready - no part of it felt like “we’re doing this because we have to.” We could laugh at our little mistakes leading up to the night, but make up for it with the knowledge that there was more to the message than the element of surprise alone.

Near midnight, people were gathered around our table near the edge of the rooftop bar to get a view of the fireworks. Moments before the cake and bouquet arrived (luckily for me, she was busy snapping pictures to notice them), I felt like I was up on stage. But in a funny case of missing the moment, everyone was too busy peering into their phone screens and camera viewfinders to notice what was happening right under their noses. So despite the crowd, we were alone.

I proposed. She said yes.

Ramkumar Shankarpersonal, love