Love against all odds: Prajakta Koli and Vrishank Khanal's old-school romance

The couple talk to Cosmopolitan India about the struggles of navigating their differences and how it eventually became their biggest strength.

11 March, 2024
Love against all odds: Prajakta Koli and Vrishank Khanal's old-school romance

It is past midnight and ‘Stand By You’ by Rachel Platten is playing on a loop. My indelible musings and persistent curiosity lead me down a rabbit hole of sorts as I try to make sense of love and relationships in a world that seems to be running high on harsh labels, unsolicited judgments, and stereotypes. What does it take to be brave in love? To fight the uphill battles that it can often come with? To choose a love that is shunned by the world but perfect for you? What does it take to find a love that screams you in every way? We speak to two couples and a throuple who remind us of a love that is perfectly imperfect, a love that grows in strength not despite its difficulties, but perhaps because of it.


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He’s from Nepal and she’s from India. However, when an 18-year-old Prajakta Koli met 22-year-old Vrishank Khanal, they found an old-school romance and a home in each other. “We didn’t know anything about each other’s existence at all,” says Prajakta Kohli, a content creator. “We had one common friend. We happened to meet and then we started talking. (And then) there was no going back from there. When I really think about it, both of us just kind of fell in love after we got together. When I met Vrishank, I felt settled. And he says the same thing.” Khanal says Kohli’s humbleness attracted him. “She is so simple and grounded, and I think that’s what I love most about her,” says the 34-year-old lawyer.

The two had little in common. “But that’s what eventually brought us closer,” adds Khanal whose life is extremely structured and coordinated while for Kohli, not one day is like the next. “As we grew older, our work started becoming a bigger part of our lives,” she tells Cosmopolitan India. “Navigating that difference was a challenge. In the beginning, we would just not talk about things and let them fester till it would come to bite us in the back. Eventually, we learned how to communicate better.” So, what keeps them going? “We didn’t give up on each other no matter how tough things got,” says Prajakta. The couple feels the differences in their lives and upbringing are their biggest strength too.

The two have been together for 12 years and are now—much to our excitement—engaged to be married. Their understanding of love has evolved beautifully over the years. “I am extremely romantic. I like to put it all out there. He was this person who would hold back and take his time—that’s how I thought it worked,” recalls Kohli. But reality turned out to be very different. “When I look back at all these years, he was always the one who was putting me before him. And I was the one who would kind of take my time with it,” Prajakta adds.

The couple says the meaning of love for them has changed over the years. “Initially, there was so much excitement, we were trying to understand each other. Then we went through a phase where our work started taking a lot of our time, so, then, love was giving each other that space to build whatever we were building in our respective careers. Then it moved on to knowing each other’s families and it became a more collective space. Right now, I think, is the best phase of our relationship where we understand the balance between the different parts that we play in our respective lives. And then we are still there for each other, no matter what,” Prajakta concludes.

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