This adorable couple prove that you can fall in love after marriage!
It’s February, and you know what’s special this month! It’s Valentine’s Day – the time of the year when you celebrate your love, with candle lit dinner, roses, chocolates, diamonds and extravagant gifts! It doesn’t matter if you have had an arranged marriage, or a love marriage – very often, life takes you on a roller coaster ride of events and emotions that eventually fortifies the bond you share with your partner.
Text: Riya Sonny Datson
Photography: Binu Avarachan
Liya & Suraj
It was not ‘Love at First Sight’, in fact, when Liya and Suraj met for the first time, they mutually agreed that they were not ready for marriage. But two hours into their first chat, their parents had decided that they were ‘made for each other!’ As it happens in every arranged marriage, although they were intimidated by the prospect of marrying a complete stranger, after a bit of coaxing and sweet talk, they agreed to the next meeting. Over the next few phone calls, hand written letters and romantic dates, they agreed to the wedding! It’s been seven years now since they tied the knot and they have two sweet daughters, Nandita and Poojitha! Ritz is in conversation with the couple: Suraj George Verghese, who administers the Warwin School at Vykom, Kerala, apart from being the Area Chairman for Round Table India and Liya Verghese, who is a part of ‘DD and Friends’, the renowned music band by Music Director, Deepak Dev.
What quality attracted you to each other at the first meeting?
Liya: His personality.
Suraj: Her attitude, stature, beauty and yes, she was a good listener!
What was your first impression about each other? In reality, was it different?
Liya: Suraj can strike a conversation with anyone very easily, which is not the case with me. At the very first meeting, I felt comfortable with him. We had similar tastes and interests which still continues to be the case. But I would say, if you compare the first impression and reality, things were a lot different. We got to really know each other…maybe two years into our marriage.
Suraj: Yes, we instantly felt we had similar tastes and interests. But after getting to know each other better, we realised that our perspectives were very different but I would say it’s also the difference, that’s our strength as a couple!
One thing you like most about each other?
Liya: He is very supportive.
Suraj: She has a steady head on her shoulders!
One thing you wish were different?
Liya: Sometimes I wish I was less steady headed and we could reverse roles!
Suraj: Nothing really.
Your idea of a perfect Valentine’s Day?
Liya: Before marriage, I used to feel that Valentine’s Day was something really big and exciting and I used to look forward to having a partner but honestly, after marriage, I feel differently. Mostly because Suraj doesn’t really wait for an occasion, he is generally romantic and gets me what I want whenever I need it. We celebrated our very first Valentine’s Day in a special way but otherwise we don’t really plan much for Valentines. We wish each other and are happy to spend time together.
Suraj: Spending time with each other.
What would be the Best Gift you have received from each other?
Liya: I think every gift from him has been special in its own way!
Suraj: My children!
What would you want most for this Valentine’s Day?
Liya: That reminds me of the gifts that he needs to give me! (Laughs)
Suraj: Reaffirming our love for each other!
People change and evolve over the years. What change has endeared you to each other and strengthened your bond?
Suraj: I think the first year of our marriage was the most challenging in terms of getting to know each other and also having our baby. We were practically thrown into the deep ends of the water and we just had to swim! We grew up in very different family settings and hence, like any couple, our perspectives were very different. But over the years, we have educated each other and grown to appreciate each other’s viewpoints. Now, we are more empathetic, generous in spirit and understand each other better – which is our greatest strength. (Liya agrees)
Fifteen years down the line, how do you see yourself as a couple?
Liya: I would like to travel around the world together more often…
Suraj: Hopefully happy and still in love! J Going places, trying new adventures and tasting exciting food is definitely the plan!
Would you want your children to have an arranged marriage or love marriage?
Liya: As a cautious mother, I would like to see my girls settled but ultimately, they can do whatever makes them happy.
Suraj: I hope my children make an effort to build a relationship between us and their partners as I feel such interactions bring forth a lot of character traits. I think when we are in a relationship, most of us look for some of our parent’s traits in our partner. I think, if my children would try to do that before getting into a commitment, it would be great!
- Recipe for a good Marriage: Patience, Ambition to grow as a couple
- First Romantic Outing: Lobster Bar at Zuri, Kumarakom
- First Movie Outing: Iron man
- Most memorable Outing: Trip to Singapore and Bali!
- Favourite Celeb Couple: Michelle and Barak Obama