Vik and Pratheepa first met in college at UC Berkeley. For almost four years, they had never crossed paths (at least to their knowledge). After all, Vik was a night owl, spending his time on the Northside of campus working on computer science projects and doing late night food runs with friends, while Pratheepa was living in South side studying hard to get into medical school and watching Smashits with her roommates. As graduation was approaching, so was the annual Indus Culture Show. Pratheepa, Ahila, and Anjali were excited to be organizing the Tamil Film Dance for the show, but soon had a big problem on their hands- they needed more guy dancers. One of Vik’s friends (Sagnik) somehow convinced Vik, quite possibly the last person on Earth who would have an interest in dancing, to give it a try. Vik came into it thinking he would quit after the first practice, but things didn’t quite work out that way. Pratheepa and Vik got to know each other through dance practices (Vik needed a lot of help) and group bonding sessions. After months of chemistry building between them, Vik finally mustered the courage to ask Pratheepa out for dessert in San Francisco (when Pratheepa's dessert craving at the Indus Banquet went unsatisfied - providing the perfect excuse). Their first date went great, and they started talking and meeting up more and more ... and today, nearly six years later, Pratheepa and Vik are happily engaged and ready to be married.
It was the weekend prior to Pratheepa’s birthday. Over a casual phone call, Vik mentioned to Pratheepa that Souvik’s (his good friend) girlfriend was visiting from out of town, and that they should go out for dinner together in San Francisco Sunday evening. He also mentioned that he would be in Oakland (where Pratheepa is doing her residency) on Monday for a meeting, and that they should get dinner together that night "somewhere nice". At the end of the call, he lightly mentioned that Sunday would be casual, but to wear something nicer for Monday’s fancier dinner. The wheels in Pratheepa’s mind began churning ... why something fancier on Monday? Was he planning something special then? Hmmm ...
Sunday rolled around, and Pratheepa’s Mom, who knew the proposal would be that evening, encouraged Pratheepa to wear something nice. Pratheepa insisted on wearing a comfier dress, to her mother’s disappointment.
Vik and Pratheepa met at the Powell Street Bart Station (their usual San Francisco meeting point). They met an hour earlier than the dinner time to hang out around Union Square. Vik made up various excuses for them to walk to very specific locations of Union Square, which were really landmarks where Pratheepa and Vik shared unique relationship moments at. Vik's plan quickly backfired as they passed department stores that Pratheepa really wanted to check out along the way. They were short on time so Vik had to come up with desperate and lame excuses like "I'm really tired, let's go somewhere and sit" and then would guide her four long blocks away (passing many resting areas) so they could hit their next landmark. After they visited all their key landmarks, Vik made an excuse for them to go into Tiffany’s, where they had first looked at rings together. A feeling of “Oh my gosh, is this it?” rushed over Pratheepa's mind as they walked in. Pratheepa got excited, but also nervous that the proposal was about to go down publicly in a jewelry store. Then the manager asked if she could step away for a moment so he could talk to Vik alone. It looked serious. Vik and the manager talked for what felt like forever to Pratheepa. When their conversation finished, Vik immediately said, "Alright, let's head out".
A big "What is going on?" feeling consumed Pratheepa. Did something fall through? Nope. Vik had already purchased the ring nearly a month before. He sensed Pratheepa may be thinking he was going to pop the question some time soon, and so he wanted to fool her a few times into thinking the proposal may happen that day, but by evening make sure she didn't think there was a chance it would take place then. Hence why he also told her to wear something nicer on Monday for a fictitious event designed to purely throw her off. Anyways, let's get back to the story.
It was now time to catch a cab to meet Vik’s friend at the restaurant. Vik even called Souvik and had him talk to Pratheepa for directions. When they arrived, Pratheepa got out of the cab happily oblivious to where she was. Vik was sure she would recognize where they were, but nothing lit up in Pratheepa’s eyes as she chatted away. When they walked right up to the restaurant, Pratheepa finally recognized that they had arrived at Cafe Jacqueline, the restaurant where they had their very first date. This was their first time back to Cafe Jacqueline since their first date. Vik admitted that Souvik was not coming, and that he had planned a birthday surprise for her at this restaurant. Pratheepa thought, plausible, but still had an inkling that there may be something more ...
They finished their dinner and shared a chocolate souffle for dessert just like they had done five years earlier. The waiter sang Happy Birthday to Pratheepa, and then it was time to leave. Pratheepa was happy with the birthday dinner, and thought to herself, “Well he asked me to wear the nicer dress on Monday, so this must have really just been a birthday dinner”. As soon as they left the restaurant, every suspicion of a proposal taking place that night had escaped Pratheepa’s mind - Vik’s stage was set.
Vik knew that Pratheepa wouldn't question the route they would take back to BART ... unless of course that route had major steep hills. Unfortunately, Vik scoped out his route to the proposal location completey virtually by selecting the shortest route via Google Maps, and forgot to look out for hills. When they hit their first climb, Pratheepa's senses kicked in to high gear and she started questioning the route and why they weren't taking the better, flatter route to BART. Vik scrambled for an excuse, and then told her there was a nice garden a little further down that he wanted her to see. Three hills and five motivational speeches later, they finally reached their final destination: The Fairmont Hotel. They proceeded to the beautiful garden on the backside of the hotel. In the middle was a fountain. Vik pulled out a coin for Pratheepa and asked her to make a wish (he knew what the wish would be :). Vik let the moment soak in, and then said "Ok, let's get back now". When they got back inside the hotel, Vik told Pratheepa that his dad had told him there is a beautiful fountain and view at the top of the hotel, but it was a part of a private suite. Vik told her he would talk to the manager and try to convince him to take them up to the suite. She asked Vik to go alone on the embarrassing task as she explored the lobby (thank goodness because Vik had a few more proposal instructions to tell the manager).
Vik returned with the manager who stated he knew Vik’s father and would take them up to the special presidential suite. As the manager gave them the tour of the suite, Pratheepa looked like a kid in a candy store - she was in pure awe of the sheer magnificence and historical significance of the place. Vik on the other hand had other things on his mind. Then, all of a sudden, the manager abruptly stopped the tour. He said he was needed in the lobby, and asked them to please bring the keys down once they were done looking around. As he left, Pratheepa exclaimed to Vik “What? How could he just leave us here unattended?” Vik handed her the camera and encouraged her to go around taking photos, which she happily bustled around doing. From the balcony, Vik called Pratheepa. As she approached, she was shocked and puzzled to see him wearing a suit coat. “Wait, where did you get that coat?!” she kept repeating. He led her out to the balcony where there was a beautiful fountain overlooking a gorgeous view of the city. After a long heartfelt proclamation, he bent down on one knee and proposed to Pratheepa as the sun set. Between tears, she managed to say “Yes!” Pratheepa then proceeded to call her family to tell them the news. She ran to her phone near the front door, and just as she began dialing, the doorbell rang. Vik told her it was probably the manager. He opened the doors to both of their families, who paraded in with carts of food and champagne. It was a perfect evening.
We have a special room rate of $99 / night at the Fairmont.
Call 1-800-346-5550 and ask for Singh-Sivaswarupan Wedding.
We feel very fortunate to have you in our lives and for you to be joining us on our special day - that means everything to us. However, a number of invited guests have inquired about what we would like to have after our wedding, so we have created a limited registry on Amazon. We will be in the process of moving to our new place just around the time of the wedding, and so are trying to minimize boxed gifts.