When Harry met Sally

So in my last post, I introduced you to my friend Rania. In the spirit of over-sharing on social media, let me introduce you guys to my new fiancé.

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Salman Qureshi is one of the pioneers of stand up comedy in Dubai. As well as stand up, he is an improviser, actor, writer and producer and has performed with international artists such as Saad Haroon, Maz Jobrani and Max Amini.

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So as my Grandad once asked me, how DID Harry meet Sally?!I Actually, I met him through my sister. She had been friends with him for years hogging his hilariousness all to herself and one day she had THE most brilliant brainwave of introducing us. (Cheers, sis!)

Initially he was just supposed to be a new friend, but after spending one awesome, authentic and spookily kindred spirit “mate date”, I was hooked and decided he is a keeper. He’s funny, (duh), creative, intelligent, warm, compassionate, romantic, sexy, sentimental and genuine, he definitely ticked all the boxes and THEN some.

So to cut a long story short we started a whirlwind romance and alas – two of the most silly, NON serious people became serious with EACH OTHER.

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One day he called me up and insisted on getting up at dawn and seeing the sun rise from Jumeirah Beach Hotel. I didn’t think he was up to much, as he is quite a spontaneous dude in general and so I just thought he was planning a fun date.

After we settled down in the dark on a table (which the staff quizzically led us to at 5am) he whipped out two canvases out of nowhere and said “Hey you know what would be FUN?! If we PAINT! Like, seriously … RIGHT now..I’ve always seen you draw and thought it would be fun to try. IN FACT, lets have a contest. We won’t look at each other’s painting and only show each other once we are done. No peeking.”

So, anyway I got really involved in drawing and meanwhile, the sky changed into a gorgeous pink/purple gradient. Needless to say, he showed me his painting AFTER mine and while down on one knee.

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I’m from a Pakistani background and while I respect tradition and have witnessed many beautiful relationships blossom through our slightly more formal matrimonial introductions, I have NEVER personally been thrilled about the idea of rishtas sent through families. It always felt impersonal to me. I always wanted a romantic, fairytale, rom-com, you complete me-like proposal and I’m just SO happy he made the dream a reality and that too, managed to incorporate ART into it!

After that day, we got really busy with my sister’s wedding and I managed to do a quick, impromptu sketch of her in her wedding lengha at the reception. You know you’re obsessed with art when you find yourself illustrating in a sari at your sister’s wedding.

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After a crazy two weeks, I’m now planning my own and as usual art plays a part. Here’s a sketch of my engagement outfit I designed and some personalised cards to go with my engagement favors. After drawing many invitations for other clients, it feels surreal and fun to be finally making my own.

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Even though I’m a complete romantic, I detest things that are overly cheesy and Bollywood so I will sign off with this quote dedicated to Salman, which is JUUUUUUST tipping the edge of too soppy but NOT quite … wether it is or it isn’t is for you to decide…but I will say that this is 100% true.

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