“Four months ago, my now fiance found me through Dil Mil. We began a journey, which led us to our engagement yesterday,” Nadiya Tai, Dil Mil user, said. “We never imagined we would come this far with each other from meeting through a simple app. Thank you for allowing us to have met and start a new chapter of our lives together. This man completes me. Can’t thank the creator of the app enough.”
Here at Dil Mil, we cannot begin to describe how we feel when we get a message like this. From the initial “OMG!” to the “Aww,” to the placing my hand over my dil (you should all know what this means by now, but if you’re just catching up with us, dil means heart) out of heartfelt happiness, I was literally tearing up. I would have full-out unleashed these tears of joy had I not immediately phoned our founder to let him know his app has resulted in yet another love story.
[Connect with dynamic and professional South Asian singles across the world by downloading the Dil Mil app]
You might think this would get old after a while, but love never gets old! Or maybe we are all just hopeless romantics here at Dil Mil.
But enough about me, let’s hear about our gorgeous couple, Nadiya and Aezaz Vegamwala.
Nadiya was so kind to share details of her story with us:
“On the evening of December 19, Aezaz sent his number to me and I sent [him] mine. He was shocked initially when I sent my number. He messaged me while he was en route to a Celtics game (note: I’m a Hoosier so go Pacers!). He messaged me while I was in a meeting thinking I wasn’t going to reply past ‘hey.’ He went about watching the game, then his phone rang and it was me. That night we texted nonstop till I couldn’t bear to text any longer. Our first phone conversation was three days later, nonstop talking for a good 3.5 hours. We both knew at that point there’s a potential future we both envisioned together. From the first day we have experienced nothing but happiness. Not only that, we found out later on our families knew each other and now we are planning a wonderful journey together.”
If that doesn’t sound like it was meant to be, wait until you hear their proposal story. But first, let me set the stage with this picture perfect shot:
Nadiya explained how her picture perfect engagement came to be:
“Well I knew I was getting proposed to since our baat was pakki (our wedding date was set). So, on a Friday evening, Aezaz came over to pick me up. He first told my dad he was proposing to me while I was still getting ready. We drove to downtown Indy and recreated our first date.
Our first stop was at Starbucks, both getting the same drinks we did on our first date. We walked around for a good 1.5 hours since the weather was amazing. He then decided to head towards the canal walk, which ironically is also my favorite spot during the summer time. We were casually talking and I asked him why he wanted to marry me.
Aezaz then said, ‘About 4 months ago, I came across your profile and as soon as I saw just one of your pictures, my mind, my heart, and my gut told me there was something about you I couldn’t overlook. I then took the chance and approached you, which I usually don’t do with a lot of people, but there was just something about you. After our first few conversations and everything we’ve been through these last few months, there has never been a day of sorrow or distress in my life. You came into my life as a blessing, to a point where not only me but also my parents have a glow on their face [that] I’ve never seen before. I grew so attached to you to a point where I couldn’t imagine life without you anymore. I met your parents and your family and immediately I felt at home—loved and cared for as I would by my family. The spark in your eyes and the sound of your voice every morning made life that much better and allowed our relationship to grow that much stronger over time. You never ceased to amaze me, and I don’t even remember how and when I fell in love with you; never have I felt this way about anyone, so you left me with no choice than to ask you to be mine for a lifetime.’
And then we approached the spot where Aezaz’s best man was waiting and I was speechless. Aezaz held my hand and told me how much he loved me, making me burst out in tears of joy. He got down on one knee and asked, ‘Nadiya Mehboob Tai, will you marry me?’ Of course, I said ‘yes,’ but the moment was surreal. My best friend asked me to be his life partner.”
I’m not going to lie—I just teared up again re-reading that. And I don’t know about you, but I was seriously blown away and impressed with Aezaz’s answer. You’ve got yourself a winner, Nadiya!
From the entire Dil Mil team, congratulations Nadiya and Aezaz! We hope everyone finds a love like yours. And we’ll do everything we can to help potential Dil Mil users fall in love and have a story like yours to share.
Date of Engagement: April 11, 2015 | Date of Upcoming Wedding: Thanksgiving 2015
“What you do is not who you are. Our capitalist society spends a lot of time trying to convince us that we are our work, but we don’t have to fall for it.”
When I first met Joy Batra, she wasn’t an author. She was a multi-hyphenated individual who floored me with her charm and her aura. Joy not only had gone to business school and law school at one of the most prestigious universities in America, but she also valued her hobbies and her passions that were completely extraneous to her working persona. Her nontraditional career path was one that, at first glance, confused me. “I’m a dancer and freelancer,” she had said, and I batted my eyes as if she was talking in a foreign language. What’s a freelancer? Why and how did she come to identify herself as a dancer, when her degrees all point to business and law?
Joy Batra’s therapeutic and timely book “Freelance Mindset” provides relevant stories, guidelines, and motivation to take ownership of your career and financial well-being. Particularly, the book is centered around the pros and cons of life as a freelancer and practical advice for how to get started as one. At its core, the “Freelance Mindset” encourages diving deep into the relationship between career and identity, and how the balance of both relate back to your life view.
In the words of Batra:
“Freelancing is a way to scratch a creative itch that is completely unrelated to their day jobs…Freelancing harnesses that independent streak and turns it into a long- term advantage.”
Batra’s older sister’s advice is written with forthright humbleness and glaring humility. Batra leads us through the fear of facing our existential fears about careers, productivity, and creativity. She leans into the psychological aspects of how we develop our careers, and reminds us to approach work not just with serious compassion but also with childhood play:
“You are naturally curious and passionate. As a child, before you needed to think deeply about money, you probably played games, had imaginary friends, and competed in sports. Those instincts might get buried as we grow up, but they don’t disappear altogether.”
Batra also provides us with a diverse cast of inspirational freelancers who provide their honest perspectives across a wide range of domains from being a professional clown to actors to writers. Especially noticeable is the attention paid to South Asian women through notable interviews with Vyjayanthi Vadrevu, Saumya Dave, and more. On social media, it’s easy to find these women and immediately applaud their success, but behind the scenes, it takes a lot of grit, persistence, and determination to reach the successful level of freelancing that you see. Batra encourages a spiritual way of thinking that is marked by rational needs (ex. Maslow’s hierarchy): not to seek immediate gratification and corporate climbing, but rather to view life as a “jungle gym” as coined by Patricia Sellers. Taking risks is part of life, and just like entrepreneurship, freelancing is just as ambitious and off-the-beaten path, despite stigmatization.
“One of the strange paradoxes of the working world is that entrepreneurship is fetishized and freelancing is stigmatized.”
I recommend the “Freelance Mindset” to anyone who is starting out their career in these economically uncertain times, as well as seasoned workers who are looking for inspiration or a shift in their career life. Whether or not you are considering becoming a freelancer in a certain domain, this book is the practical wake-up call that workers and employees need in order to reorient their purpose and poise themselves for a mindset of success. I view this book as a “lifer,” one to read every few years to ground myself and think critically about the choices I make and where I devote my time.
I leave you with this quote:
“We can adopt the new belief that no single job will meet all our financial, social, emotional, spiritual, and physical needs…We have one self, and we must figure out how to integrate it into the various situations we find ourselves in.“
You can purchase a copy of the Freelance Mindset here. Follow Joy Batra on Twitter and Instagram for more content!
NAKED: The Honest Musings of 2 Brown Women was born in the autumn of 2018, when Mimi Mutesa and Selvi M. Bunce began sharing their poetry collections. It was scary, beautiful, and terrifying when they decided to trust each other with their most intimate thoughts. Not only did they feel relieved after doing so, but Selvi and Mimi also felt more seen as women of color. They embarked on their publication journey, so others may feel as seen as they did on that fateful autumn.
“Ingrown Hair” deals with the themes of societal and family pressures that are reflected throughout NAKED. Mimi and Selvi have always written for themselves. They see poetry as an outlet, and their poems exemplify their personal frustration and vulnerability. “Ingrown Hair” speaks to Selvi’s experience with the societal pressures of South Asian women, such as getting married, being a good wife, becoming a good mother, and leading a certain kind of life.
There is something strange beneath my skin
telling me to build a house,
make a home,
I am not sure how to reconcile it.
My mother was strong
and a mother after all.
My philosophy has been to spend my time
on myself and the world.
I have always thought
I could simply address the thing under my skin
when it finally crawled out.
But when my family starts guessing
who will get married first, and my father
has been saving wedding money for years,
I begin to wonder
if I will have to pluck it out.
The opinions expressed by the guest writer/blogger and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Brown Girl Magazine, Inc., or any employee thereof. Brown Girl Magazine is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the guest writer/bloggers. This work is the opinion of the blogger. It is not the intention of Brown Girl Magazine to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, or individual. If you’d like to submit a guest post, please follow the guidelines we’ve set forth here.
For BGM Literary, editor Nimarta Narang is honored to work with writer Sri Nimmagadda. In this short story, we follow a man in a gray suit who makes a stop at a church to bide his time before a job interview. Sri Nimmagadda is the Chief Program Officer at MannMukti, a nonprofit dedicated to reducing the stigma around mental health in the South Asian community through storytelling and advocacy. He lives in Los Angeles with his dog, Rani, and is passionate about authentically growing inclusion and diversity through storytelling in the entertainment industry. Editor Nimarta was extremely grateful to have Sri join the legacy of wonderful and moving authors for the literary vertical in honor of Mental Health and Awareness month.
A man in a gray suit stands in front of a church and looks up and through the entryway with the resignation of a desiccated man taking a bitter medicine he’s absorbed for years but simply accepts as a fact of his life, however unpleasant. So, the man in the gray suit — a get-up slim but not so lean as to emit a cockish, metrosexual air, scraggly lint escaping the seams across the surface in a manner that supposes either venerability or somewhat tired desperation — thinks about what it means to take a bitter medicine, the trade-off between the instantaneous sour, bitter, wretched, and cloying and the promise of perhaps a better tomorrow, or a better tonight, or a better five-minutes-from-now. After some consideration, this man in a gray suit — an outfit that some would’ve supposed he’d purchased from Goodwill, the night before, for a painfully wrought $95.67 with tax after getting into an argument with his wife about who was going to take the kids to school in the morning and fucking Brenda skipping out on babysitting again — steps inside the church.
This man in a gray suit — armed with a briefcase, and the last and latest copy of his résumé that he’d worked on until 1:30 a.m. the night before after Max and Annabelle had long gone to sleep and his angry, exhausted wife laid restless, in their shared bed, thinking about whether she’d consult the number of the divorce lawyer she’d been recommended by one of her girlfriends in the morning before deciding she’d give her husband another shot just as she had the night before and the night before that and the night before that — paces towards the front of pews almost cautiously, as if someone were watching him, afraid to be caught in the act of being vulnerable and giving himself up to some higher power. Maybe if you go to church and the pastor or some other demure, God-fearing soul sees you, they’ll call you out — who are you? why are you here? — and you’ll realize that for as much ado as people make about the unconditionality of God’s love, they make claims to His love the way they’d claim a parking spot or a position in a queue at a grocery store. Faith, it appears to the man in the gray suit, is really about paying your dues.
So the man in a gray suit approaches the front-most pew — the communion table before him standing guard ahead of a cross. He lays his briefcase down. He sits at the pew. He closes his eyes. Please, he begs Him in his own mind. I need this.
But then this man in a gray suit considers his pathetic whimper to God, how he can’t even acknowledge God by his name, how he begs Please rather than Please God like a weak, unfaithful man who cannot bring himself to say his wife’s name when begging her for forgiveness after his own infidelity. What a mess, he thought of himself. So, he tries again.
Please, God. I need this.
The man in a gray suit considers this again and admonishes himself for his cowardice — when you pray in your head, words and phrases, and sentences and prayers, and pleas twine and intertwine and mix until the signal becomes the noise and you can’t really figure out whatever you’re trying to say. So, for a half-second, you think the only way to get it out of your head is to blow it up so that it all spills out and maybe then God will understand how you really feel — and so he tries again, and puts his prayers to air. The man in a gray suit is not used to coming to church. This is his first time coming in a couple of years. He’s going to need a couple of tries to get this thing down.
“I’m sorry,” the man in a gray suit exhales, “I’m just not used to praying.” But that’s okay. Prayer is a process, the man in a gray suit would find, and what begins feeling ridiculous, or like grasping for spiritual straws, ends up feeling akin to a dam giving way to water; unrestrained, unexploited. So the man in a gray suit — the man who’s come an hour and a half early to an interview because the early bird gets the worm, only to find himself with an hour and a half to kill and nowhere but a church to grace with his presence — prays, and he prays faithfully, and he prays well. He picks up the Bible on the shelf of the pew in front of him, flips it open to whatever page presented itself and begins to read. He closes his eyes, and at that moment he feels safe, like God’s hands envelop him, and that tomorrow will be a better day, and everything will be okay.
Somewhere along the line, this stupid fucker in a gray suit fell asleep in the middle of Galatians and missed his interview.