Every fairytale seems to conclude with the phrase happily ever after; however, most couples would agree that nothing about marriage is forever happy. Yet Nagu Chidambaram and Geetha Nagu are convinced they are living their fairytale.
While many of us revelled in our teenage dreams of marrying our high school sweetheart, Geetha and Nagu have 25 years of marriage backing them. The catch – they fell in love when they were 16. “We have been classmates since 9th grade and by 11th grade we decided to get married,” says Nagu. “The best thing in life is marrying your childhood sweetheart. They have seen you in your most vulnerable and realistic form,” adds Geetha.
The couple, today, are one of the most well-known entrepreneurial faces in the city. However, their success story – both entrepreneurial and marital – is built on the same foundation – love. “I found myself with Nagu. He gave me unconditional support and love. He has been my source of strength. It is unbelievable the faith he puts in me, even when I doubt myself,” enthuses Geetha. “We support each other in everything, only then can you grow,” says Nagu.
Love evolves in the darkest times. “We fell down together, got up together. We failed eight times, but through it all it has been ‘me and Geetha’ never ‘me or Geetha’. Love is about multiplying your strengths not setting one against the other,” answers Nagu as to what makes the duo a power couple.
While the clichéd idiom may say familiarity breeds contempt, the couple who celebrated their silver jubilee recently say, “Time has given us a chance to grow into each other.” But how does the couple manage to fight the ‘fizzle’ in their marriage? “Romance starts with looks, moves into something physical, and then you fall for the mind and intellect of your partner. But in the end all that matters is if you respect your spouse,” says Nagu. However, the duo agrees that complacence has no place in a relationship. “If you are dynamic there is no question of falling out of love. Get your priorities straight!” says Geetha adding, “It is all about meticulous focus and hard work.”
“Love and life are about the long term. Once you have a clear picture of what you want long term, nothing can deter you. When we said we were in love, we were sure we could cross everything together,” says Nagu.
The couple are blessed with two children, Surya, 24, and Isha, 16, which certainly seems like a hands-on job. However, Geetha insists that work, home and love can be balanced. “You need to enjoy the moment you are in. Life is not about shrinking, it is about expanding.”
The ease with which the couple interact with each other gives you the feeling that you are watching best friends. “If you view each other from a friendship standpoint, there is no judgment. We also have a lot of laughter in our lives” says Nagu.
Despite being goal-oriented and driven the couple continue to be romantics at heart. “We love our breaks away from the kids. Movies and food is a staple. We also love to gym together,” smiles Nagu.
“Marriage,” says Geetha, “is easy.” “There is no right or wrong.” But why then do relationships and marriages fail? “Now- a-days we lose out on the depth of our feelings. If you are heartbroken, feel the pain. When in love, enjoy the feeling. Hold on to what you think is worthwhile.”
Maybe that fairy tale involves a lot of hard work, but when it means You and Me every day and forever, it sure seems like a small price to pay.