A Love Story Directed by Friends

Alekhya Punjala, an exponent in Kuchipudi and Bharatnatyam, and Dr P. Vinay Kumar, a surgical gastroentrologist and Congress man, met in college after they were set up by a friend. Alekhya tells us how it came about

Published: 22nd November 2014 06:02 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd November 2014 06:02 AM   |  A+A-


HYDERABAD: It seems like only yesterday and also, a  very long time ago when I think about water that has flowed under the bridge called marriage. My meeting with Vinay was very well orchestrated by my friends. Though our families knew each other, we had not been introduced or had not even met each other.

My sister-in-law Jalaja Kumar was a fellow disciple of my guru Dr Uma Rama Rao, an acclaimed Kuchipudi dancer, teacher, choreographer. Both of us had grown close to each other and Vinay happened to see me when he came to drop her one day.

He went on to share his feelings with his friend and classmate at Nizam College, who happened to be my very dear friend’s cousin. With clever planning my friends got me to agree to attend their College Day celebrations. We all agreed to meet at Nizam College, though I couldn’t fathom why I could not come straight to Ravindra Bharati where the fest was being held. I had a performance the previous evening and was very reluctant to go there by 8.30 in the morning. How was I to know of their plan?

So I got there in the morning to see the whole gang present and I sense an undercurrent of some hidden agenda. That’s when I realised that I wasn’t just there for a casual meetup.

First Meeting

I was introduced prim and proper and also enlightened as to how I should have known him already as he was Jalaja’s brother. A couple of calls and soon he came home and made his intentions known to my mother. She greatly appreciated his honesty but thought we had a long way to go before even thinking about taking it to the next level.

I had just joined intermediate and he was waiting to join medical school. The next five years both of us were busy pursuing our studies and me also pursuing my passion that is dance.

Coming Together

Marriage was far from my mind and did not figure in my scheme of things. I strongly believe that marriage is not just the coming together of two people but two families.

And I was willing to wait for such a time and match. As if preordained things happen very quickly and both of us were married in July of 1982.

Vinay was someone who was comfortable with people he knew and opened up only after getting to know a person. I loved interacting with people as dance gave me opportunities to travel both in India and widely all over the world. I looked forward to outings together as and when the opportunity arose. He is an avid reader and loves watching films with as many close ones of the family and friends. After his joining politics he has become more communicative and probably is more of an extrovert now.

Life After Marriage

Thirty years of marriage, we have seen several highs and lows that taught us to respect each other’s distinctly different professions, to support each other in the best possible ways.

We have faced many obstacles and life-altering experiences. However, our love has remained intact. Our love has become more strong.

The icing on the cake are my two sons, Sashwath Punjala, a law graduate from the NALSAR university of law and Devansh Punjala, who is pursuing his bachelors in business administration from Rochester Institute of technology. They are best blessings showered on us.

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