Indore: Set in the 90’s, the loving tale of 43-year-old assistant director at Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) Avinash Jaiswal and 41-year-old homemaker Pooja Bajpai-Jaiswal sounds like script of a Bollywood movie, where the hero attracts women, but falls in love with a homely girl, who steals his heart with her smile. With ups and downs, struggles and separations, their attraction turned to love. When most relations fail, theirs grew stronger, because after all, marriages are made in heaven.
Sharing their love story, Avinash said, “It was in 1991, when I was in the first year of college, destiny brought Pooja to my life.” He was doing bachelors in English literature, political science and history.
“I shared bike with Arvind Phatak, who lived next to Pooja,” Avinash said. As usual, when Arvind was late and Avinash waited outside his house, he used to see Pooja.
“She was going to her school on cycle and something inside me stirred to know her,” Avinash said. Going with his feelings, he sent a message to Pooja through Arvind’s niece Sangeeta.
“I have three brothers, so becoming friends with a guy was a daring task for me,” Pooja said. Before she would reject or accept his proposal of becoming friends, Avinash stepped up his game and requested Sangeeta to set them up.
Being a romantic, Sangeeta called Pooja to her house and secretly informed Avinash. “We sat together for an hour, when I was talking about random things,” Pooja said. Avinash added that Pooja spoke for 55 minutes and he quietly gazed at her.
Though they had different personalities and views, they clicked and fell for each other. “However, our happiness did not last more than a few letters and gifts,” Avinash said.
He explained that a common friend who had a crush on Avinash split them up. “She would lie to both of us and since, we did not any other communication channel, we believed her,” Pooja said.
Following three months, they were out of touch and felt it was fling. “Destiny again brought us together when inter-college dance competition was held in Pooja’s college and I was representing mine,” Avinash said.
Being a good dancer, Avinash won the competition, which made him a star in the girls’ college. “I was busy with fans, but I could never overlook Pooja,” Avinash said. However, they did not get a chance to talk and were not sure if they should, based on what their common friend had said.
Time passed but their feelings did not change. “We had cultural fest of our college, where my friends and I wanted to perform a dance,” Pooja said. Approaching Avinash to help in choreography of their dance sequence, the group of girls met him.
“We met during the practice and cleared our doubts,” Avinash said. As the doubts cleared, it became clear that their common friend tried to split them. “We got together again and our merry time restarted,” he added.
Their merry time took a turn when Pooja’s parents started looking for prospective grooms. “I averted the tension for a while by looking ugly in front of the prospects,” Pooja said. However, a custom officer from Delhi wanted to marry her anyway.
Pressed to make a decision, Avinash decided to marry her. “I was not employed, I was doing bachelors in education from Bhopal then,” he said. His father (late) Dr Vishnu Kumar Jaiswal was not against the girl, but he felt it was not the right time to marry.
“Her parents were strictly against our union, so that left us no choice,” Avinash said. Cutting the risk of losing their love, they got married in a temple in the presence of their friends.
“My friend Rajesh Rajput helped us and took us to his village Katangi after we got married,” Avinash said. Staying away from their families, they had their little honeymoon in the village.
“Villagers were so loving and understanding, it felt like we were living among our families,” Pooja said. After six days, they returned to meet their parents.
“My parents supported but her family was still against the marriage,” Avinash shared. Standing up for her love, Pooja stood strong and walked away with Avinash.
Getting married was just a part of being with each other, the tougher part was sustaining their lives, because neither of them had a job. “My father helped out with the finances but I felt guilty,” Avinash said. He got a small paying job as a teacher, took extra classes, but still he had to depend on his father. “Finally, after struggling for three years and giving numerous government exams, I got into EPFO,” Avinash said. Following that, their life has been settled but not smooth. “It was a wild feeling that irked me to talk to Pooja, so our life is equally wild with some arguments and lots of love,” he said.