Not many people are lucky enough to find love in their teenage days and very few of them end up marrying their high school sweethearts. The journey of love is filled with some good times and tough times, but love has the power to help them sail through everything.
This is exactly what we can see in the most heart-warming love story of Jayaprakash, a Bengaluru resident and his high school love, Sunitha. This story starts back to the time when the two were schoolmates and became friends over the time. It was love at first sight for Jayaprakash and he never revealed his feelings to her. Soon after they passed out of school, they parted their ways as well and went to different cities for further studies.
Sunitha joined IBM in Bangalore, while Jayaprakash, after pursuing MBA, began working for a drama academy in Coimbatore. In a post, shared on Being You Facebook page, Jayaprakash talks about the time when they were in school.
“2004. I was 17 when I saw a new girl walk past my classroom. I couldn’t stop staring. I had never seen anyone like her. Over time, we became friends but my heart sulked every time I saw her with someone else. Soon, I stopped talking to her even though she had no idea why. After the exams, she filled in my slam book saying she wanted to talk, but it never happened. I got into college but never met another soul like her. She moved to Bangalore.”
Years passed by, the two of them got busy with their lives, but Jayaprakash could not forget his crush. Soon the odds got in his favour and 3 years later, destiny gave him the best birthday gift ever!
“In 2007, I got a call on my birthday. The voice introduced herself as Sunitha. My heart started beating like the 17-year-old I was. The call lasted only two minutes but for me, it was like eternity. We stayed in touch occasionally, but soon got busy with our lives.”
But their lives took a horrific twist, when Sunitha met with an accident in November, 2011 and her face was left badly disfigured. There was a time when she was so pretty that girls used to get jealous of her and boys used to crave for her attention. But post-accident, mirrors were removed from her room so that she could not see her face. When she got a first glimpse of her after the accident, she was scared and disappointed. Between 2011 and 2014, she had to undergo twenty-seven surgeries and this tough phase taught her a lot about relationships. Sunitha said:
“I was wheeled into the OT directly close to midnight. There was nothing left of my face. It took over two weeks to just clean the skin up. During one of the cleaning process, they found my left eye ball in the cheek, the doctors carefully placed it back. I was fed with a tube and had another to help me breathe. They used to keep my hands tied to my bed so I didn’t feel my face. My lower jaw was broken in five places and my upper jaw was completely smashed. I had only one tooth. They drilled dentures into my mouth. For the longest time, mirrors were removed from my room so I would not see my face. The first time I caught a glimpse of myself, on a reflection on the elevator doors, I was disappointed and then scared. There was a big, crooked face with a hole in the middle staring back at me. Between 2011 and 2014, I had twenty-seven surgeries. Today, I don’t have taste senses or tear glands. I cannot smell anything more than shots. I cannot chew food or close my mouth.”
Sunitha narrated the accident, she said:
"On Saturday, August 27th 2011, I wanted to go home to Coimbatore and my friends agreed to drop me before heading to Tiruppur for shopping. We were near Krishnagiri when it happened. The window was down and I was sleeping in the back seat of Maruti 800 with my music plugged into my ears when I was woken up by a loud crash. Post that, I could feel my friend’s tears on my arm as he begged me not to die on him. Later, they told me that my hair got badly entangled, and my face was out of the window as the car toppled thrice after hitting the divider. They gave the ambulance guy whatever they had, even the gold chain from my bag, and got me to Bangalore."
When Jayaprakash heard about the accident, he went to meet her and was broken to see her like in that situation. It was then he realised that he is in love and wants to marry her. To him, her accident, her surgeries, her looks, nothing mattered. And January 2012 onwards, he was there with her for all her surgeries and remained as her support in that phase.
“January 2012 onwards, I was there for all her surgeries and would watch her giggle as she woke up after them in the ICU. We started knowing life as it is together and we had our ups and downs but we always got past them. I evolved for her and shifted to Bangalore, but it taught me to be a more confident person.”
On Jayaprakash’s birthday in October 2012, Sunitha finally said yes to his proposal but she needed time for marriage.
"On January 26th 2014, I reached Bangalore at 1 AM and was exhausted. I saw her standing on the terrace with three roses to propose. I said yes. We got engaged on the same day. Marriage preparation began in earnest."
His feelings for her didn’t change after so many years, and she was the same beautiful girl for her from high school. Later in 2014, she was ready to take a step forward in her life and get married to a guy who has shown immense love and support through her tough times. Despite their financial problems, the two tied the knot on March 3, 2014 and are living happily now with their two kids. The two talked about how they were told not to have kids as they would get Sunitha's looks.
"It was frenzy, the run-up to the marriage. There were many problems. Because of our financial situation, on the morning of our reception, I was in shorts sweeping the place. There were people who questioned why we needed a wedding now. They even asked her not to have babies because they’d have her face. People still look at her with pity and think I did a big thing by marrying her. The reality is, I married the love of my life and my life changed for the better. Today, we have two kids and wonderful mornings to wake up together."
"Post discharge, I moved to Tamil Nadu but soon came back home to Bangalore. It was then that a boy who had a crush on me since we were 17 met me and proposed. After January 2012, he has been with me for all my surgeries. To him, my accident, my surgeries, my tough childhood, nothing mattered. We got married in 2014. People even told me not to have babies because they’d have my face but we laugh these things off."
Jayaprakash and Sunitha’s story makes us believe that true love exists. Love isn’t about a face or imposed conditions or external beauty, it’s a connection of souls. Nothing could stop them from their decision to spend their lives together. Its really an inspiration to everyone seeing their unconditional love.