Just a few days ago, Actors Anuja Joshi and Ankur Rathee got engaged following Ankur's dramatic proposal involving a 4500km drive from California to Maryland to win his lady love. The actors have been in a committed relation for seven years and now decided to take the big leap. They both announced this milestone with a classic proposal moment picture on social media.
When asked about the surprise proposal, Ankur told the media, "I always knew that I was going to pop the question in 2020. The pandemic definitely threw a wrench in my plans, but where there's a will there's a way. Flying was too risky so I had the absurd idea of driving across the USA to surprise Anuja and my wildly supportive family enthusiastically agreed to join me. However, with any activity these days there's a risk of exposing oneself to the virus. After creating an itinerary of small towns with very low number of cases per capita, researching hotels that followed all CDC guidelines, and speaking with Anuja's father about their family's comfort and risk tolerance, the four of us embarked on the almost 4500km drive from San Diego, California to Potomac, Maryland. It was the road trip of a lifetime and the ultimate family bonding experience. 4 days later we arrived and executed a plan that Anuja's twin, Aneesha Joshi, and I had been hatching weeks prior. We lured Anuja to a hidden little gem in the woods at sunset and gave her one hell of a surprise. I kept it exactly how I knew she'd want: intimate, quiet, and with our loved ones. After she said yes, one by one our family members and a few dear friends also made their way into the woods with candles in their hands. We were surrounded by love and light."
Anuja, who is still bubbling with joy, spoke about how she met Ankur, "We met as co-stars on a short film in New York City. It was a tribute to 100 years of Hindi Cinema and was directed by Siddhi Sundar (NYU) and Raashi Desai (SVA). We spent the majority of the shoot schedule together, and loved every minute of getting to know each other, doing what we both are so passionate about. At the time we were young college students who had aspirations of working in the entertainment industry as full-time professional actors. One baby step in front of the other, followed by some gigantic leaps and hurdles, and here we are.
Are you concerned things might change, considering Bollywood has always been a slippery slope for actresses post-marriage? An immediate response from Anuja, "Ankur and I have never led our career or life decisions from a place of fear. Too often we hear advice on how people should portray themselves online or how they should conceal their personal life in order to gain traction in the industry. Ankur and I have had to fight our way to every opportunity we have been given thus far, and due to that perseverance, we have come to discover that no set of rules are universal. We are passionate about fighting for what we want in love, life and career as long as we maintain our core values and beliefs. We came into this business because we are so in love with being artists. Marriage doesn't change that fact. "
Given you both are actors, have you ever experienced competition in you relationship?Ankur replies, "We're both very ambitious and there were times, early in our careers, that insecurities occasionally crept in. We never saw each other as competition per se, but when you see your partner achieving your dreams, it's natural to feel you're not doing enough to succeed. Usually, we were able to transform those moments of weakness into opportunities for growth, pushing each other to do better. However, over the years, we've realized that even those feelings of insecurity are rooted in ego and separateness. Today we operate as one unit. When she succeeds, I succeed. When she fails, we fail. When you start to see things from that perspective, competition really has no place in the relationship. We do everything in our power to lift each other up."
As of now the couple is focusing on their engagement period with open heartedness and patience. Anuja said, "The state of affairs in the world at large is bleak to say the least. So, we are spending the down time focusing on ways we can advocate for social change and responsibility from our followers and fans. As far as the wedding goes, when there is a safe and responsible way to begin planning amidst our busy shoot schedules, we will be happy to take the even bigger leap."
Now that is one fairy tale love story