how we met
We met in the summer of 2014 during our medical school’s orientation in Virginia. At the time, Neil had a cast on his wrist due to an embarrassing, weight-lifting related injury. Sneha, of course, mercilessly made fun of him for that. Our bickering and banter never-ending, we became fast friends immediately thereafter and bonded over our mutual love of chai, spicy food, and reruns of The Office. We started to grow quite fond of each other, with Neil cooking his signature Thai fish curry for Sneha and Sneha making chai for Neil, both rare feats. Our friendship eventually blossomed into a relationship that has been sustained and strengthened through the hardships of medical school, road-trips around the east coast, meeting each other’s lovely family and friends, and, of course, indulging in our favorite thing to do together: eating! We eventually ended up matching at Emory in Atlanta for residency (internal medicine for Sneha and radiology for Neil) and have enjoyed exploring the food and culture of our new home.
how they asked
I knew Sneha was the one very shortly into our relationship, and I subsequently felt that I had to go big for our proposal. I figured out the kind of ring and proposal she wanted through strategic shopping trips to jewelry stores and question-asking about other peoples’ proposals. As residents, our free time is quite limited, but I thankfully managed to figure out a day and time that Sneha’s parents in Raleigh, her brother in Boston, my parents in Philadelphia, and her best friends in South Carolina and Virginia could visit Atlanta to surprise her and celebrate the engagement. To get her to my chosen venue, Ventana’s in Downtown Atlanta, I told Sneha I had a work-related holiday party there. We did some serious online shopping prior to make sure she had a photo-ready outfit. (Sneha: “We have to impress my future colleagues,” Neil told me slyly. I had absolutely no idea what he was really planning. Maybe I should have realized when he somehow arranged for my friend to take me out for a manicure the night before!) On the (very cloudy) day of, I nervously drove her to the venue while frenetically fielding texts and calls from our family, friends, photographer, and event staff. (Sneha: He was so worried about the weather, but the clouds added the most dreamy touch to the entire thing. We were quite literally on cloud nine!) The staff at the venue escorted us up to the rooftop helipad, and I popped the question. Immediately afterwards, our photographer and our family and friends emerged and surprised her and we had a lovely champagne toast to commemorate the occasion. She was completely surprised and shocked I managed to pull the proposal off. (Sneha: I couldn’t believe he hid it from me so well. He later told me he hid the ring in a rice cooker he had in the kitchen – somewhere he knew I’d never look!) We both had long shifts at the hospital the day after, but the whole day felt like a dream and we’re thrilled to officially start our lives together.