HYDERABAD: The couple together set up Dr Rama’s Institute for Fertility in 1991. They went on to set up hospitals in Rajamundry and Vijayawada in 1998, Vishakapatnam in 2002, Guntur in 2003, Raichur in Karnatakain 2013 and Bengaluru in 2015. Prasad is a founder member of the Rotary Club of Hyderabad, founded in 1983
Happily married couple looks back on how their relationships began. They met when they were 18 and courted for six years before getting married. “This period laid strongest foundation for our future. Before marriage we had no responsibilities, no economic problems, most of the time we spent doing pleasurable things – caring and sharing for each other. I was introduced to his family soon after our first meeting. I grew up with his family, both our likes, dislikes and habits became common, we never told each other I love you. We did not talk about marriage. We just walked into each other’s life as if it was natural, like water flows downwards,” shares Rama.
Cultural background, no bar
Couples coming from different backgrounds may have to deal with family pressures. Though both are from different castes, they were determined to stay together. Prasad and Rama, who met during a meeting in the college premises too come from different cultural backgrounds. Prasad says, “I was socially active and hence my family had no issues.” Rama’s family was worried initially but later rget also agreed. “We got married once she joined her masters in gynaecology and obstetrics, and I completed my law,” says Prasad, a (founder) member of the Rotary Club of Hyderabad, that was founded in 1983.
Love beyond boundaries
Their relationship developed from afar when she decided to travel to Iran. Through long conversations, they found that their love was strong enough to allow them to create space for each other’s beliefs. “After masters she went to work in the Islamic republic of Iran for four years to gather capital for setting up a hospital, as we had no family wealth other than comfortable living incomes. I began my practice and due to early exposure to law made a mark in the profession soon but there was no money those days in law, even for successful young lawyers. Only name could be earned,” he says.
No wedding like this one
The couple agree that they went through a medley of emotions. There were so many things happening simultaneously. “It was simple. We dated for about seven years. We were just waiting to complete our studies and begin a new life. So as soon as Rama finished her medical study, we fixed our non-conformist wedding, even before my law final exams. It was not a usual wedding. I booked Vivekvardhini Girls High School Amphitheatre for `50. We had a thousand friends attending. We gave each a packet of laddu and bundi at one rupee per packet supplied by a friend. There was no priest or rituals. One of the head masters of Vivekvardhini schools I studied under, a social activist, conducted the wedding and administered the oath, drafted by me. We exchanged simple garlands. Invitees were requested not bring gifts, though a few traditional family friends did bring some. My younger sister and her then boyfriend also got married along with us on the same dais, with same oath and exchange of garlands. Theirs too was an inter-caste marriage,” he recalls.
Only etched in memory
The perfect wedding picture should be a treasured memento of a happy couple’s big day. “The whole wedding was for an hour only and a couple of hours of socialising informally with everyone. No photo opportunity etc. The whole hour is, was and still happens to be a rare wedding many admired but few dared or did,” says Prasad and adds, “I always had everything under control. It was a Sunday evening 6 pm social event, like a meeting on a social topic. I was giving invites till 4:30 pm, then went home on my scooter, showered, changed, and drove back to the venue on my scooter, a red Vijay Pushpak familiar for many thousands those days. My friends found it funny that I was doing everything.”
“It was Rama’s commitment and attachment towards him as a person. The confidence in me as one who could steer us both together in life for mutual happiness and contribution for changing the world around us for better. It was and is still very important for us,” Prasad says.
Great relationships develop from determining an agreeable pattern for how to resolve conflict. “It was always persuasive long talks, an examination of any problem, analysis of all available solutions, and choosing the best agreeable for both that would give long-term or life-long comfort for both, while also not compromising on principles and values we both believe in for bettering the world around us,” says Prasad.
“Whenever there is a fight or disagreement, we sit across the table, and try to sort it out. Most of the time it is only our organisational matters. But basis for success is love, caring and sharing with each other. Disagreement is not personal. Both our goals are same. But approach is different at times,” she adds.
There at all times
The couple, who has two children – Smitha and Anurag – says, “Being there for one another, in everything thick and thin, at the cost of giving up oneself for the other.” “Comfort of having a man in your life who takes care of you till your death,” Rama adds.
“I think, nothing is hard, leave alone hardest. Each spouse simply has to make enough space for the other, show tolerance for the differing views and beliefs of the other which keep forming and surfacing as life goes on, though they were not there in the early days, or even for a long time before,” says Prasad.
Lessons from marriage
“The necessity and good reasoning to show total tolerance for every human emotion and trait in the other, and the ability to remain silent and without action and reaction even when you feel compelled to act or react, says Prasad. “I think it is the development of a high degree of equanimity,” she says.
With so many marriages falling apart around us today, what steps does this couple take to ensure that they stay close emotionally and spiritually, he says, “Simple. Give space, more than needed, if necessary. Treat the other person as an independent individual, though in a bond, who has to go out, roam free in the worlds below and above. Come back. Always keep ones own beliefs and principles, that can be completely same as yours.”
“We tried to reduce differences of opinion, or arguments, spend time together. our family , friends, children act as cushion. we try to achieve our goals together. he always puts efforts to fulfill my goals and desires,” says Rama.
Keeping the fire alive
This couple, definitely knows the ingredients to keep each other happy, healthy and satisfied. “Apart from hard work professionally, we have always spent a lot of quality time together, and once we had children along with them together and separately. We planned minute details of living and lifestyle, evolving systems and discipline for everything, food, exercise, entertainment, socialising, travel, picnics, movies, different concerts, shows of national and international artists. We watched hundreds of high quality movies over time in theatre mostly. We travelled together to over 30 countries, in all continents and oceania. With children we have travelled to about 20 countries. Seen and done many things very few people do. We are going to Chile and Argentina, for the coming Christmas and New Year celebrations, all the four of us,” says Prasad, who was born in Krishna district in an agricultural family.
“Our family vacation to Australia and New Zealand during the summer of 2003, when the whole world came to a stop with almost all airports in Europe and USA and Canada and many other parts of the world closed for foreign travel. Singapore just opened and was almost deserted. The feeling of defiance of that life threatening SARS, severe acute respiratory syndrome, though with caution,” says the fitness freak Prasad. “Black water rafting in a mountain stream inside the mountain, in New Zealand, which is a world heritage site for glow worms,” adds Dr Rama.