What’s your favourite thing about Mahesh? Varsha says, “His endearing smile, patience and his caring and accommodating nature. My life really did not change after wedding at all - what I want to do, what I want to wear etc etc were all welcome with him. I went to pursue my studies in the US just after a year of our marriage - how many men esp those from such a conventional family background - would facilitate such a thing for their wives - and I am talking about about 17 years back.” What’s your favourite thing about Varsha, Mahesh says, “Varsha is a very practical, simple, focused and straightforward person who believes in planning everything well. She is also very finance savvy, caring and is very meticulous about the future plans for the family and kids. She was kind of a perfect complement to a very care free, happy go lucky, living for today person like me. And yes - she is one of the finest head and neck radiologists that any good physician would like an opinion for his patients.”
The Doctor couple have been married for past 18 years, says it’s that old simple formula of respect, love, and being there for one another. “Just allowing each other to pursue what one wants itself keeps the relationship ripe. Also, in the marriage different things at different stages energise the relationship - first it is the thrill of courtship, then the family connect, then your professional success that you share with each other, kids coming into your life and adding a new dimension and also that we find out time to socialise, connect with friends, take a vacation etc,” says Mahesh. So how do they keep themselves in love? “Have not really had to work for it, it comes naturally. We have known each other for four years prior to getting married and then 18 years of marriage making it about 22 years. But yes - we do take time off for a dinner for just the two of us - a drink for just the two of us at home all by ourselves. It does get difficult now though - with two energetic kids around,” says Mahesh, also a professional singer and has done over 400 performance to date.
Do we really need to tell what happened next? After spending a few beautiful moments together, they decided of taking their relationship to the next level. And then there was no looking back for this beautiful love story. So, what was the feeling in the days leading up to the wedding, “Ours was a love and arranged marriage – not completely accepted by Mahesh’s family at the start. Mahesh’s family was a large, joint, business family and mine was a small nuclear family - there were apprehensions about how things will work out,” recalls Varsha. Storing up only one hour’s worth of memory, she says, “Unlike a big fat conventional Marwari wedding, we had consciously decided to have a very short duration simple Arya Samaj marriage ceremony that was completed in a couple of hours. While it had really nothing exotic about it, the entire simple short wedding ceremony was memorable in itself. A couple of incidents we do remember that bring back sweet memories - in a typical Marwari wedding, the groom comes to the mandap on a horseback and is welcomed by the bride’s mother at the doorstep. Mahesh and his family reached the venue before my parents could reach the place. My mom was so embarrassed and since she knew Mahesh from a few years, she insisted that he go out again and come back to the venue so that she could welcome him. Another thing was during the bidaai. I was crying so much when I was leaving my parents and Mahesh by my side kept telling me why was I crying -how he found the whole thing so funny. He kept saying that u r not even going away - you will continue to be in Mumbai and it is he who will be away from his family,” she adds. Walking us down the memory lane, he further adds, “Sending the bouquet and letter to Varsha, going to the wedding venue in a pair of shorts and T-shirt and reaching the venue before Varsha’s family reached - the baraat reached before the girls family reached the venue is still the most memorable moments of my life.”
Be your natural self
He feels, one of the most adventurous things they have ever done together is getting married to each other when they were so very unsure about their future - course of their careers - the diversity in their families. “At times it needs a lot of patience and maturity to handle even small issues in any marriage. There is no such thing as an ideal marriage - one has to work towards a happy married life,” says the couple, who has two boys - Hriday and Saransh. The couple says, they are yet to meet a couple who they could say is the ideal model marriage in toto. “We have always looked at positive things from couples around us and tried to learn and incorporate positive things from their relationship into our life.” With so many marriages falling apart around us today, the couple advises, “Talk, communicate, be your natural self, do things together but don’t stifle each other. Pursue your hobby. Varsha is a fitness freak and likes to spend at least an hour or two at the gym daily. Mahesh is a music aficionado and loves to sit around and do Riyaz or is busy preparing for his next performance.”
Coming from diametrically opposite upbringing --- Dr Varsha, Senior Consultant Radiologist with Vijaya Diagnostic Centers --- comes from a nuclear family and is the only child, whereas Dr Mahesh Joshi, CEO Apollo HomeCare coms from joint Marwari business family. “I think the last 18 years of togetherness has shown us enough ways to manage each other well. Mahesh usually likes to go into depth and address the root cause, which takes time but I insist on resolving the issue right away and move forward. I guess, these have eventually brought us closer,” says Varsha, a successful radiologist and an acknowledged leader in the field of head and neck imaging. They worked together briefly for about three-four months in between finishing their undergraduate training and proceeding for PG. “He had tried to pull a fast one on me when I walked into the Medical OPD of the hospital - he pretended to be some senior doctor and asked me to examine a patient and then tried to tell me how I was doing things wrong etc etc. I was really annoyed when I got to know he was just another resident like me - but then once I joined the hospital - he was always nice to me. Always helped me, went out of his way to make things comfortable, helped me out, did my emergency calls etc etc. We started seeing each other may be a couple of months later,” says Varsha.
Belief in each other
Coming from joint Marwari business family from Jalgaon, Dr Mahesh did his schooling and junior college in Jalgaon. Thereafter, went to Amaravati for his medical college and further on to Hinduja Hospital Mumbai to pursue his post-graduate training. On their wedding day, two people stand side by side, nervous and excited as they pledge their love and lives to each other. “Our life at that time was a plain canvas. We believed in our abilities and wanted to build our careers and be successful. We were looking forward to proving to ourselves that yes we could do it. We did not have loads of money or legacy to build upon – we were excited about scripting our own success,” recalls Mahesh.
At times it needs a lot of patience and maturity to handle even small issues in any marriage. There is no such thing as an ideal marriage - one has to work towards a happy married life
— Dr Mahesh Joshi and Dr Varsha