Janam Janam Ka Saath Hai

It was her eyes that drew debonair cricketer, Vijay Mohan Raj who played Ranji Trophy matches both for Mumbai and Hyderabad, to remedial educator and columnist Farida Raj the first time they met. He knew instantly that they were meant to be together, forever. ‘Kaun kehta hai mohabbat ki zuban hoti hain, Yeh haqeeqat to nikhaon say bayan hoti hain’ (Who says love has its own voice? It is only explained through eyes)

Published: 08th November 2014 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th November 2014 06:00 AM   |  A+A-


HYDERABAD: This week City Express brings to you, the riveting love story of the duo in their own words.

Love at first sight

Vijay: I met Farida in Bombay and that too accidentally, and instantly felt attracted to her. My persuasive skills took over and I was quick to make my proposition. Love at first sight is the only that I can give.

How far can one stop the storm-of-love?

Vijay: To begin with, she may not have felt the same but soon it was  obvious, ‘Bingo yeh dil maange more.’ We began meeting frequently.

Meeting Mr Right

Farida: I was a full-time teacher at the Centre for Special Education, Mumbai. Though teaching children with cerebral palsy was a passion for me, I also enjoyed freelancing as a special announcer and anchor at the Doordarshan, Mumbai. It was here that I first met Vijay. He along with his cricketer friends, Ravi Shastri and Sandip Patil, had come for a programme that I was anchoring. After the programme, he asked me out for coffee. We used to meet at the Sea Lounge of  The Taj. The beauty of this place was that you could order a cona coffee and sit there for as long as you want. In those days we could afford just this.

A special connection

Farida: The first couple of times we met did not mean much to me but soon he grew on me. I felt at ease and comfortable with him which I feel is very important in a relationship. What attracted me was his unconditional love, absolute confidence and being himself - not looking for approval.

We were poles apart in terms of religion and culture and there were many challenges, but we overcame all. After all, just because you have challenges does not mean you won’t be able to do it. We took the risk with the resolve to make our relationship work. It took us two years to get our families to agree and structure a relationship culminating in marriage.

We came to this beautiful historical city when he began playing for Hyderabad. Like any other marriage, we too had our share of ups and downs. We had experiences that were painful and at times scary but we learnt to accept pain and pleasure as two sides of the same coin. We learnt to live life with equanimity. 

We share a lot together

Farida: Though I don’t know much about cricket, he sure can give a talk on ‘dyslexia’. In retrospect, we could have done better on many counts but the past 32 years that we have been together has borne fruit in two children - Samira and Daanish, who would surely be proud of us. If asked to live your life all over again, ‘Janam Janam Ka Saath Hai (For keeping company from one existence to another). Yes, we would choose to be together again.

New territory

Vijay: My exploits for Hyderabad cricket were many but the ultimate distinction came in 1987 when Hyderabad were Ranji Trophy Champions after 50 years and I had a double hundred in the Ranji Trophy finals played against Delhi. We were playing in Delhi when Farida came to watch me. It made a big difference at the personal level. When I scored the double hundred, I raised the bat to salute to her. This incidentally was also my farewell game from active first-class cricket.

My transition to business from cricket enabled me to set up several companies along with Farida and the most prominent among them was Sameera Travels which has completed 27 years of existence.

The travel business gave both of us an opportunity to visit nearly all the major countries in the world, which by itself was an education enabling us to upgrade our perspectives and experiences.

Date night

Our involvement in diverse activities has enriched our lives together, given us and our children lot of exposure. There has never been a dull moment. We still feel the same excitement when we meet after a couple of days apart. Now that our children are away, every Saturday we go on a date to just sit and chat or visit art galleries or take in a movie. After 32 yrs of being together, it still seems, like we met just yesterday.   

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