Ice Skating Proposal, Leela and Rahul

{About Leela and Rahul}

They met in Kansas City and ended up in Washington D.C. Around the 3-year dating mark, Rahul proposed. Leela shares their story below.


{How We Met}

I was speeding through downtown Kansas City trying to make my way to a friend’s place for a housewarming party. I seriously contemplated staying home, snuggled in my PJs and watching Kuch Kuch Hota Hain for the millionth time but THANK GOD I didn’t because I met Rahul that night! When I walked into my friend’s apartment, my eyes fixated on the commendable being standing in front of me. My voice creeped up a few scales and I squeaked, “Hi.” My mind was racing – Wow. Who is this guy? His face is flawless. Taken? Probably. Indian? I think so. “Hi, I’m Raul.” (Kuch Kuch Hota Hain for real! No way?!) “You mean Rahul?” I playfully asked. Rahul smiled at me, and I knew this was the beginning of my beautiful Bollywood story. I was the heroine and Rahul was my hero.

{The Proposal}

I knew Rahul was the one for me since the day I met him. It wasn’t just his name and the fact that he is Punjabi and absolutely gorgeous (although those things helped!). It’s because he complements me in every way. He teaches me about hedge funds and updates me on current events. He guides me through a game of golf and watches Indian movies with me over dahi and daal rice. He asks me about the latest developments in medicine and encourages me to be a better person everyday.

The day he proposed, three years after we started dating, we were living in Washington D.C., and I was completely oblivious to when, where, and how he’d propose. Rahul, my sister Pooja, and I, had a casual dinner at a friend’s place and we planned to go ice skating afterwards. I was excited to skate with Rahul for the very first time. It was a special moment for me, as Pooja and I grew up skating with our father. After consuming delicious Indian food, I went into a food coma. “Rahul…Pooja…let’s just go home. I’m tired.” Pooja immediately said, “No akka (elder sister), I really want to go.” On the way to the rink, my sister was fixing my hair in the car. I thought nothing of it. “Want some eyeliner?” she asked. Still nothing. I was clueless. We headed over to my favorite site in Washington, D.C., the Waterfront. The ice rink was surrounded by nothing less than perfection as it was the beginning of the winter holidays and numerous lights were twinkling over the intrepid Potomac River. I glanced at Rahul and asserted, “See Rahul, this is so pretty. Why don’t you think of some ideas?” I was of course referring to the proposal. Little did I know, tonight was my lucky night. It was freezing outside, and I tried to put my hand into Rahul’s coat pocket. “No! Don’t you have pockets?!” he exclaimed. Weirded out, I held his hand instead, still in oblivion.

When we got onto the ice, I realized I was not the experienced skater I was when I was little. I used to do turns without any hesitation and that day I could barely stand up straight! I grasped Pooja and Rahul’s hands and we made a few rounds around the rink. Then Rahul stopped me and grasped my waist. For some reason, I was confronted with angst and excitement. I knew something was happening – something important. Unlike me, Rahul was a commendable skater. He skated backwards, pulling me along with him to the center of the rink. He stopped and stated, “There’s actually another reason I wanted to bring you here.” I began to blush. Rahul got down on one knee…on the ice. I looked at my sister, almost as if I wanted reassurance that I was alive and this was real. She smiled at me, tears welling up in her eyes. Rahul began expressing his emotions as poetically as a man could. When I had imagined this moment, I thought that I would cry and scream and get down on my knees and embrace Rahul. Instead, I just stood there, frozen, inundated with emotions. And then it happened. My Rahul, the man who shied away from ever joining me in karaoke, the man who did not pronounce his name correctly when I first met him because “this way is easier for people.” He did what he knew would mean the most to me. There was a pause, and I began to hear loud music in the Waterfront. My heart filled with warmth because it was my favorite music. Indian music. Rahul sang to me in his deep, calming voice, “Tum Hi Ho” followed by my favorite childhood song, “Ek Ladki Koh Dekha Toh.”

Everyone at the Waterfront was watching…literally. It was exactly as if Shahrukh Khan and Kajol themselves were shooting for a film in D.C. Rahul asked me if I would marry him, and all I could do was nod my head as I wondered if his knee was frozen. When we got off the rink, I met Rahul’s friend who happened to be capturing all the memories. I FaceTimed my parents and then burst into tears, realizing the meaning of this moment. I was going to marry my best friend! This was the beginning of our Bollywood story!

Below, enjoy photos from Leela + Rahul’s Downtown LA engagement session shot by Geeta Randery of Randery Imagery.

Congratulations Leela and Rahul!

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