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You Can Ring My Bell

You Can Ring My Bell

Issue 61 October 2009

Not even the Atlantic Ocean could come between Ambrina and Zarrar; with a helping hand from Cyber Space and the old faithful telephone, they managed to make marriage plans and realize their dream wedding



I first saw Zarrar when he walked into our offices in London. He was based at the companies’ Washington DC offices and came over on business once or twice a year. We were introduced through a mutual colleague and became acquainted. I recall, that after our introduction, I was always quite anxious about his impending arrival; I guess it was because I was somewhat in awe of him. I put it down to the fact that he emitted such a positive aura; most people felt comfortable around him and warmed to him immediately. I found him to be very polite – a true gentleman; his American accent was also an added plus point! I remember being amazed by how balanced he was; charming and stylish yet incredibly humble and well mannered; the sort of man that I would like my parents to meet.

As time passed and we became familiar with one another and often spoke on the phone. We realised that marriage was inevitable. With that intention, we struck up a friendship, which entailed endless hours on the phone! I don’t think either of us was looking to get married but we both share the sentiment that when you find that right person, waiting only delays the inevitable. Since Zarrar was settled in Washington and I was based in London, we had to make a decision about where we would live after the wedding. After discussing it in great detail, Zarrar actually left the final decision to me. He said ‘it didn’t matter where we lived as long as we were together’.

It was then that I realised that I had found someone who was going to respect and appreciate me no matter what. So, I decided to move to America. Culturally it was different from the UK; the people, the lifestyle. But I like that. I looked forward to starting a new life and considered it to be an adventure. For the wedding, we decided to hold two receptions; one in London and the other in America. It was difficult to share ideas since Zarrar was on the other side of the world but we were both committed to making it work. I went on a shopping spree for the wedding, in Pakistan, with both my mum and mother-in-law (to be) after countless emails and phone calls to Zarrar, things began to slowly fall into place. Our special day was slowly becoming a reality. We spent numerous sessions via the webcam showing one another table centerpiece ideas and material samples; I don’t think I’ve ever been so grateful for technology! Since moving to another country is a big change, Zarrar and I made it a policy to discuss all of our apprehensions, thoughts and concerns. We both think that it is important to communicate in order to understand; we feel that is what’s at the core of every successful relationship.

We slowly began to understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses and gained an insight into each other’s backgrounds and this helped put our doubts at rest. Despite that, naturally for me, the most difficult thing was adjusting to life without my family. Coming from a big family, I’d always been used to noise; slamming doors, music playing in one corner of the house and the TV in another. The transition from a loud, bustling household to a quieter one was initially very difficult. But I spoke to my parents and siblings every day, and Zarrar sent me home every three to four months, in the first year. In my opinion, personality clashes normally happen at the beginning of a relationship. I must arguing every now and then does the soul good! I have to say that Zarrar keeps me grounded. He’s become an anchor for me; always reeling me back to rationality whenever I’m irate or being unreasonable. I think it’s rare in this world to have a marriage that’s based on a mutual friendship; I’m very lucky in that regards. I get to share my life with one of my best friends.



I remember first spotting Ambrina in the London office; she was absolutely stunning! I can still remember what she was wearing; she’s always been very stylish. She has a beautiful smile. Her elegance and composure had me completely smitten. I quickly recognized that she was a strong individual; level headed and intelligent, with a feminine grace that was quite obviously innate. The accent was, of course, was an added bonus. I had initially thought that it would be hard for us to get to know each other well. But after I got to see Ambrina interact with her family, all my reservations were erased. When you are surrounded by those closest to you, you drop your guard and reveal your true self. I observed that as the eldest, like myself, Ambrina had an instinctive desire to protect and nurture. Her bond with her sisters was one unlike any other I’d ever seen; they were like kindred spirits. Ambrina carried responsibility with such poise and ease, I realised then that she was the woman I wanted as my wife. When it fi nally came to the wedding, it was difficult not having her around to get the fi nal approval on things. After all, the wedding day is for the bride to shine so her input was crucial. Thankfully, we managed to persevere through the grace of technology!

My intention was to make everything as lavish as possible to make her feel loved and cherished so many miles from home. I think the most di- cult part was trying to pick a good stylist and makeup artist; that’s where my two sisters came in handy! Like most couples, we aren’t identical versions of one another. In fact, I’d say that Ambrina was the Ying to my Yang. Our differences make us stronger. I can be quite stubborn at times but she balances that out with her logical and passive nature. I have always admired her resilience and tenacity. She has an incredible way of attracting people towards her; she truly is the centre of attention when she walks into a room and I couldn’t be more proud when I point my wife out in a crowd. If it wasn’t for her insight, I wouldn’t have been able to make some of the vital decisions in my life that have helped make me the husband and father I am now. Having been married for five years, I’ve realised that you can’t really prepare for that transition.

All you can do is remind yourself to always be conscious of the other person and assess how the actions you take will affect your spouse. I think the most important thing is to grow as a couple fi rst before you begin a family. It would be doubly challenging to learn and adapt to a child and a marriage at the same time. Having said that, every day we learn something new about one another and every day we are surprised by how much the other is capable of. Ambrina is my inspiration to always do better.


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