By Dave Grewal
I was 14, socially awkward and not really sure how to talk to a girl. On top of that, I lived in an all "White" city and went to an all "white" high school. Don't get me wrong, I had a few white friends, but I had never really socialized much with Indian kids in my area because, well, there were none. Things changed when my sister moved to Troy, MI with her husband. A quiet, quaint neighborhood with a cul de sac and all that good stuff. With purchasing a new home, of course came a house warming party. The Friday before the party my sister requested that I go to Dabu's house and pick up some party chairs. Dabu? Who was Dabu? Anyway, I proceeded to walk over to their house, which was only several feet away; one house over you could say. I knocked on the door and was greeted by none other than Dabu Uncle himself. He asked who I was and I replied, in a rather nervous tone that I was Rani's brother. He welcomed me into his home and let me know the chairs were in the basement.
And here is where I met the love of my life. Sonia was perched at the top of her stair case staring down at me as I walked toward the basement door. Our eyes met, and we both gazed at each other in a rather confused, curious & excited way. I proceeded to get the chairs and head back over to my sister's house.
I asked my brother in law who Dabu was and he said a good friend of theirs. I asked if he had any kids and he said yes, two girls; Sonia and Monica. I kind of giggled at this point, I was like, I wonder how old the girl I locked eyes with was? Fast forward to the night of the house warming party. I got ready, it took longer than usual because, well, you know. I am chatting with my sister in the corner and I see that Sonia is kinda glancing over in my direction every few seconds. This whole Indian party setting was new to me and I was meeting a lot of new people, including some cool Indian kids. I hit it off with this guy named Kunal and we both kept chatting near the stair case. Then, Sonia and a few of her friends came over and stood with us and started asking us questions. I said my name is Dave, and she looked perplexed. An Indian guy with the name Dave? LOL. Anyway, the night rolled on, we made some small talk and then decided to exchange AOL Instant Messenger screen names. Fast forward two weeks; we have been chatting on AIM casually and had another opportunity to see each other (of course at another Indian party.) After the second meeting, I realized that I had these weird feelings. Like I actually cared a lot about this girl. Fast forward four years, high school is just about finished up.
Sonia and I were both accepted to the University of Michigan. College was interesting. We learned a lot about each other. Our quirks, ambitions and goals. I found that I grew closer to Sonia. When historically, you see couples break up when college begins. Fast forward four more years, Sonia is in Medical School and I am working in the IT field. We haven't seen each other much but we do our best to keep in touch. Email, video chat, phone calls etc. This was a hard time for us; we really struggled but we kept at it. We wanted our relationship to work. Fast forward another 4 years, Sonia just graduated medical school and moves to Virginia to start residency. At this point, we both wanted to be living closer to each other. After several months, I decided to make that leap of faith and move to Virginia as well. My work allowed me to work remotely so I took that opportunity and moved on December 2014. I intended to propose right away but work side tracked us for a while. I finally popped the question on November 13th of this year. Thankfully she said yes, or that would have been an awkward evening.