It All Started on the Dance Floor; Mala and Sandeep Get Engaged

{How They Met}

Both of us were part of NDM Dance Productions. Mala had been part of the company for years and took some time off from NDM to work with Cirque du Soleil. That was Sandeep’s first year at NDM but since Mala wasn’t around as much so she didn’t get to know him. After her year away she rejoined the troupe and Nakul partnered her with Sandeep.

The rest of the story, Mala shares in her own words:

At first I was hesitant to work with Sandeep as I didn’t know him, nor anything about his dance abilities. On top of that the piece we were doing together was pretty intense and difficult. As a dedicated dancer it was important to me that the piece be fantastic and working with a new partner, there’s always a learning curve.


Fast forward into rehearsals and we became good friends very quickly. It turned out he is a great dancer. My favorite thing about him though is that even though we were sweating like crazy after long rehearsals he still always smelled really good! No joke! I appreciated that very much.

We were in touch all the time, texting each other all the time like you do with your closest friends. Eventually the friendship evolved into something more and we never looked back.

{Sandeep’s Perspective}

At first, I thought she was pretty intense. She is really dedicated to her craft so during rehearsals her focus was on work vs. being social. And I respected that. I knew her focus was to make sure everyone was prepared. And she was really good at it! After we started working together, we became friends and that changed the dynamic from super work focus to social + work focus.

{Growing the Relationship}

Mala: I joined Google and moved up to the SF Bay (from SoCal). Sandeep  moved up about a year later and our relationship withstood the distance. He’d still hang out with my parents even though I wasn’t there, which I loved! And we’d go back and forth to visit each other. I think that made our relationship grow even stronger.


{How He Proposed}

My sister got married in November 2015. Sandeep was a huge part of her wedding, helping, running errands, choreographing etc.  And I think he felt a lot of pressure at her wedding to propose to me. At that point we’d never talked about it. We just knew we’d get married eventually and it would happen when the timing was right. But little did I know that he already had clear a plan.

Fast forward a couple months in early 2016, before even asking my parent’s permission for my hand, he worked with my best friend on the ring. The ring was bought and ready. Now all he needed to do was talk to my parents and plan the proposal.  He knew having my parents at the proposal was critical for me. And at the time I really liked the tv show, “The Amazing Race“.

{The Amazing Race}

So one thing about us, is that we’re planners. Typically we plan our trips to LA pretty well in advance. That year we had decided not to go to LA for Memorial Day but about a week before we just decided to go.

Since it was so last minute I had zero indication that he’d propose. So we were in LA and I was hanging out with my mom. Sandeep had gifted her a mani/pedi for Mother’s Day and she asked me to go with her. I thought since I was going I’d get my nails done too.

As we were getting ready to leave the salon, the lady that works there handed me a card that said, “You’ve been selected for The Amazing Race. There’s a towne car waiting for you in the parking lot to take you to your first destination.” What?!? I was SO excited! I really thought I was on the actual show!


It took me a second as I reread the card, to realize that this was probably Sandeep. I get to this towne car, keep in mind I’m in shorts, a t-shirt and no makeup but mom to the rescue she had already packed my makeup for me. That’s when I knew that this was the proposal but I had no idea what to expect. And I was SO excited!


1st stop – Kabuki Sushi which was the 1st restaurant Sandeep and I went to together on a date. When I walked in the staff there told me that I had to complete my Amazing Race challenge in order to get my next card. The challenge: have a beer. I appreciated that because I sat there enjoying my beer soaking it all in. Soooo many people came up to me and asked if I was really on Amazing Race. haha! I told them I was on the Amazing Race of sorts. Beer done; they handed me my next card.

2nd stop -I headed to my sister’s place where there were two beautiful outfits laid out for me to select from. I got dressed, did my makeup and got back into the car for the 3rd and final stop.

3rd stop – top of Mulholland Drive. When I got out of the car there were rose petals trailing to the top of a small mountain area and there was Sandeep waiting for me.

He shared some beautiful words, then got down on one knee and proposed. Of course I said yes and we celebrated with champagne. One of our good friends took photos to capture this special moment and afterwards the 3 of us are drinking headed to my parents’ place where our close friends and family had gathered to celebrate with us. I couldn’t have asked for anything more thoughtful and romantic.


Their wedding is this week! We’re so excited for you! Congratulations Mala and Sandeep!

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