Prayag & Porus personify luck in love—they met at the tender age of 18 and 20 respectively, and were each other’s first ever relationship. It has been fifteen years since and the magic is more alive than ever. There’s no doubt that in the past decade they have narrated their love story umpteen times but there’s still palpable excitement in their voices as we sit down to talk about their life together. From being separated by continents to learning how to fly together (quite literally, they got their aviation licenses), they’ve done it all. Years of supporting one another through both losses and ambitions culminated in a whirlwind NYC wedding. Much like everything else in their relationship, it was beautiful and effortless. Their eternal love was symbolised through two of the most beautiful wedding bands you will ever see—natural diamonds rings they both designed together, for each other.
Your love story has been epic! How did you both meet?
Porus Vimadalal: Back in 2006, Prayag had a blog that I would avidly read. I found it really funny so I would leave comments and he started replying to me. We then connected on a social networking platform and exchanged numbers. At this point however, I hadn’t even seen a picture of Prayag as he was really camera shy, quite unlike now as I have completely converted him. Since he was based in Bangalore and I was in Mumbai, we’d spend hours talking on the phone for almost three months until we finally met. Over the course of several long conversations I learned a lot about Prayag and he hinted at the fact that he is gay. I still hadn’t come out to anyone but somehow, I felt safe enough to be open with him. Despite being in different cities, we decided we wanted to be together and give this a shot.
Prayag Menon: At the time we met I was 18 years old and Porus was 20. When you’re so young you don’t know where life is headed or what will happen next. In our case there was no romantic tension. It began as a meaningful and wonderful friendship, which is so important when it comes to a marriage, especially for its health and longevity. We have always had the comfort and safety of being with each other while still having the space to be ourselves.
What was your first impression of each other?
PM: If I’m being completely honest, when I first saw Porus I thought to myself that he was so cute!
PV: Our first meeting was as effortless as our phone conversations before it—we immediately warmed up to each other.
When did you know ‘this is it’?
PM: When we met, I had no clue he’s the one. Back then I saw him as a really great friend. Once things started to escalate I thought, let’s see how this goes. During the initial days you want to be cool about it, you know?
PV: (Laughs) Yeah but we were not cool about it at all.
PM: I just have to say, I am obsessed with Porus. It has been 15 years and I am still obsessed with this man. He’s my ride or die.
PV: For me, after six or seven days of being with each other, I knew this is it. We’ve had our share of ups and downs but our relationship was never in question.
What is the one thing you love most about the other?
PV: Prayag has always been very direct about his wants and needs—I admire that. He isn’t afraid to speak his mind. For instance, when I was in the early days of my photography career, I’d put a lot of work into building images for my portfolio and Prayag’s candid feedback always helped me better my craft.
PM: His kindness and humility. Be it helping people out at work or in a personal capacity even, Porus has so much compassion. I once remember when we were in Mumbai, it was raining heavily and an old woman was getting drenched. He gave her his own umbrella along with some money [to get home].
You had a whirlwind wedding in NYC. Tell us more!
PM: A few years ago we were holidaying in New York City. One night when we were at a friend’s place for dinner, she casually mentioned that we could legally get married there. This was obviously a conversation Porus and I had had in passing but neither of us envisioned it would happen like that. All it took was the exchange of a look and we decided to take the plunge! If not now then when? Some of our closest friends were in NYC at the time and it felt so effortless and serene to talk about getting married in the next three days! We barely told anyone and simply registered on my phone, picked up the license and had a simple ceremony at City Hall a few days later. And there it was—we were married on the 17th of June 2016. Everyone was so surprised when they found out, our phones exploded!
PV: It was just six or seven of our closest friends that were present. We did not plan anything! All I remember is going and buying two shirts for ourselves and that was it. We took a few Polaroid shots on the day of.
PM: Post the ceremony we had a lovely ramen and champagne lunch at Republic.
What is the story behind your wedding rings?
PM: We didn’t actually exchange our rings at the wedding. I got mine made three years earlier in 2013. I knew I’d get married to Porus someday so I said ‘just get me the ring!’ K. Wadia Jewellers, who have now become dear friends, made both our rings. Very popular in the Parsi community, they are five generations old with impeccable quality and craftsmanship. I was very clear that when it comes to my wedding ring, I don’t believe in subtlety—there had to be a solitaire. At that point many people tried saying men don’t wear bling but I never believed in that gender stereotype. Jewellery is a personality driven item and if you can carry it off, it looks really great on you! My idea was to have the finger covered in diamonds with a solitaire at the centre so Porus and I sat with Viola at K. Wadia and worked on a design we all liked. The setting was picked to amplify the solitaire—a round cut brilliant stone as the centrepiece, flanked by smaller stones on the side.
PV: I, on the other hand, have always been very skeptical of wearing a ring or any jewellery really. I warmed up to the idea very slowly—first with a gold chain my mother gave me and then my grandfather’s ring, which Prayag used to wear earlier. He was keen for me to wear a real diamond ring as well so he’d subtly show me images of these diamond bands and say, ‘I think this would look really good on you.’ I finally got my ring in 2017, a year after our wedding. I remember seeing a design for an eternity band which I really liked because it had diamonds all around and wasn’t just focussed on one huge solitaire jumping out. I didn’t think it would be this blingy when we customised it, but now that I have it, you will not believe the amount of times people have noticed it and lavished compliments!
PM: My heart swells with pride every single time! When we initially designed Porus’ ring, the diamonds were in a channel setting. The band was therefore overlapping the edges of the stones so the diamonds didn’t flash as much when they hit light. We then changed the setting to prong which ensured that each of the 16 round cut stones stood out and were shining in all their glory.
PV: Viola, from K. Wadia, picked out really great quality diamonds for us and we learned so much along the way about cut, clarity etc.
PM: She taught us a very important lesson which was that one should always focus on the quality of the stone and not the size.
We know it is tradition, but tell us, why did you opt for a ring versus any other token of love?
PV: For me, this ring is special because it came from Prayag. It could have been any other piece of jewellery and I would have appreciated it equally. It reminds me of the entire creation process we went through together right from designing the ring to picking the stones.
PM: I feel the same, and it is something I wear everytime I go out. I wanted to wear a diamond and felt the best place for it would be on my finger, in a ring.
Why did you opt for diamonds specifically?
PM: Diamonds are strong stones—they’re eternal and I love the fact that they shine (so much)! They look pristine and somewhere deep within, that’s how I view my relationship with Porus. The diamonds were a very firm symbol of our commitment towards each other. We didn’t have a fancy wedding and all the things that come with it but this was one extravagance we wanted to treat each other to. Plus, they make for great heirlooms. Our future family will inherit not just our jewellery but also our stories.
What is your most joyful memory together?
PV: When we moved into our first home in Mumbai, bought in 2012. We spent almost five months doing up the place—it was a labour of love and a thorough joy to live there.
What inspired your decision to move to Toronto?
PM: The need for equal rights and opportunities across the board including family building, marital recognition and other facilities.
PV: We love our time in India, and people are becoming increasingly accepting. In the future we hope we can split our time between both countries.
What does date night look like for Porus & Prayag?
PM: On Saturdays we have burger night where we make all the food from scratch. We don’t bother making any social plans that day. It is not so much about the superficiality of this mini-event but more about how relaxing it is for us. For dessert we have the incredible ice cream Porus makes.
PV: All our friends here know not to make any plans with us on Saturday night unless it’s a birthday or another unavoidable occasion. It’s funny that it has become such a ritual for us.
What is the secret behind your great working relationship?
PM: It comes from a feeling of security and learning to trust yourself as well as each other so when you do engage in dialogue or feedback sharing, it is never taken in a negative sense. Instead, you trust that the other person is only saying it from a constructive perspective.
PV: Communication. Even though sometimes our ideas may differ, giving each other the chance to explore them nonetheless is what has helped us build a symbiotic working relationship.
How do you envision your lives together in the future?
PM: I see us in a farmhouse in India with Porus gardening in the orchard. There’s also a child in that vision.
PV: I would love to garden and cook and do all those things, whether I have retired or not. There’s been a realisation about giving importance to things in life other than work. I often think back to my childhood days when I’d spend time with my grandparents in their home and garden as my grandfather would teach us about flowers. A good healthy balance of that simplicity with work is what we hope to achieve.