Savi Munjal and Vidit Taneja
Travel bloggers Savi and Vid have been together for 17 years, and pulled their relationship weight to get to where they are now. First, Vid quit his well-paying job in Singapore to join Savi in London—on an impulse, BTW, after they’d had enough of the long-distance relationship. Then both quit their jobs in London to travel the world—full-time! Now, as any couple with tell you, spending that time together can get overwhelming, even for the best bonds. “It does, sometimes, which is why we give each other space during our trips. I love museums and art galleries, so I go off by myself to do that. While Vid is crazy about gourmet coffee and photography, so he finds cute cafés to spend his day at,” says Savi. “It’s important to focus on our individual hobbies as much as we do on each other; I think that’s what makes us work. We’re independent, yet have fun together. We chase personal and common dreams.”
Kelvin Cheung and Andrea Brown
Kelvin and Andrea have been together for seven years (and married for two). Their secret to an ace relationship? Working at ensuring that they’re happy with themselves outside of the relationship first and foremost, and bringing their best version to the relationship. “It may sound cliché, but the key thing that makes me happy is seeing Andrea happy,” says Kelvin. “Every time we are on a holiday, we sneak away to write down goals for upcoming six months, as well as review our highs and lows over the previous months,” pipes in Andrea. And then there’s the C word—compromise. “Yes, I’ve given up my rights to use the bathroom first,” says Kelvin. “And I’ve compromised on the air conditioner. Kelvin loves to keep our room as cold as possible. But on the plus side, I get lots of cuddles to keep warm,” Andrea adds, laughing.
Photograph (Kelvin and Andrea): REMA CHAUDHARY
Natasha Ramachandran and Mihir Borkar
“If I had to rate how happy I am with Natasha, I’d say 25 (out of 10). She’s one of the most grounded people I’ve ever met. She’s strong, supportive, and I love her laugh, it’s extremely contagious,” starts off Mihir. “We were in a long-distance relationship to begin with, and we had to make a lot of sacrifices to make this work. That’s key,” says Natasha. Mihir and Natasha have had their fair share of difficulties, with Mihir making five trips to India to see Natasha, and she travelling thrice to the US, in just their first year. Of course, they’ve had their fair share of arguments, during which they’d often give each other the silent treatment...and that’s something they worked on, by making a conscious effort to speak their minds and let it all out. “It’s all part of growing up together,” smiles Mihir.
“whenever we’re on a holiday, we sneak away to write down goals for the next six months.” —andrea
Shereen Sikka and Siddarth Bharwani
“We’ve known each other our whole lives,” begins Shereen, as she talks about being childhood friends with Siddarth. But their journey together only began six years ago, after they reconnected, having discovered themselves as individuals first. There’s almost a childish sense of joy and playfulness about them as they delve into a conversation about the must-do habits in their relationship. “We make sure to travel at least once a month, whether it’s a one hour road-trip or a flight to an exotic place. It helps us disconnect from the world and focus on each other,” says Shereen. “We have really hectic schedules, so any time off helps a lot towards our relationship. Every night, after dinner, we leave our phones behind and take our dog Bageera for a walk to enjoy time as a family,” adds Siddarth. “We also love food, so we make it a point to go grocery shopping together a couple of times a week. It encourages us to look up cool recipes and
try them out together and just have a laugh about it, really,” they add in unison.
Porus Vimadalal and Prayag Menon
“Being together for close to 12 years and married for a year and a half, Prayag and Porus have one important lesson locked down: happiness is not a constant state, contentment is. “The one thing we do consciously is celebrate and be grateful about the small joys in life. They are like small victories that help us make our relationship better,” says Prayag. Both of them feel that the biggest strength of their relationship is “a sense of oneness, and the unwavering belief that we’ve got each other; irrespective of circumstance or time,” reveals Porus. When it comes to dealing with issues, both of them like to take time out and revisit them once they’ve had some time to cool down. “We make sure we’re vocal about what we need; not leaving the other person guessing. And that’s one of the reasons we work so seamlessly together. We’ve also learnt to create a balance which works for the both of us,” adds Porus.
“the reason we work seamlessly together is because we’re very vocal about our needs.” —porus
Monisha Bajaj and Anil Lepps
“We’ve been together for almost 26 years, and we still love each other’s company—we go for Sunday brunch dates religiously, where we chat and catch-up from 12:30pm to 5pm. I think the real secret to a happy relationship is communication. We talk through all our fights, and we never go to bed without resolving the issue,” says Anil. “Agreed!” says Monisha. “Like every couple, we’ve had our fair share of arguments and fights, but then we decided that we would take out every Sunday for each other. We cancel all plans, from ones with our friends to events; it’s important to really stay true to your word and put in your everything to make it work.” “And even after 26 years we still hold each other’s hand in the movie theatre and we have to, have to, snuggle while watching a movie in bed or things just feel wrong,” she laughs. “We’re similar in many ways; we have shared interests and we love being with each other and that’s what truly makes us happy,” adds Anil.
“we cancel all other plans to go on sunday brunches together.” —Monisha
Kanika Goyal and Ankit Tayal
“The fact that Ankit and I are essentially cut from the same cloth works very well for our relationship. We’re both extremely ambitious and understand the others’ need to push boundaries,” Kanika tells us. Married for two years, Kanika and Ankit make sure that they either have breakfast or dinner together every day. “Our working hours are completely opposite—he’s in the hospitality business, so his works starts in the evening; and I get done by the time he leaves. So eating that one meal together is very important for us,” she adds. Having similar tastes and interests also helps them bond better. “That helps us enjoy the things we love to do, together. Simple stuff like travelling or just trying out new cuisines and restaurants,” Ankit shares. Kanika tells us that they have one pact that’s sacrosanct. “Since we both love binge-watching shows together, we don’t watch a single episode without the other one... It’s ‘our time’, and we don’t break that ritual for anyone.”
Sonu and Sonali Sood
“Mutual respect is the basis of a healthy relationship; and that is what has helped us sustain ours for over 24 years now (we dated for seven years and have been married for 17!),” Sonu tells us. “The one thing that we avoid like the plague is using words like ‘compromise’ to define how we make it work. Compromise is something that you do against your will; while both Sonu and I like to make little adjustments to make each other happy,” Sonali chimes in. Sonu believes that, contrary to popular beliefs, some imperfections make for a great relationship. “It keeps the spark alive. Also, I love the fact that Sonali’s really real. I’ve known her for so many years and she hasn’t changed a bit,” he adds. As Sonu travels a lot for work, the one thing they never skip is family time. “It’s important to impart the same values in our children, on which our relationship thrives on,” Sonali says.