The thing that brought Nakuul and Jankee Parekh-Mehta closer was dance. Nakuul remembers their first meeting at Shiamak Davar Dance Summer Camp as love at first sight. Eight years into their marriage, the couple is now ready to welcome a new member into the Parekh-Mehta family. The duo gives ELLE a glimpse into how pregnancy has strengthened their relationship.
Photograph: Ayush Das
“Our story is a ‘straight out of a Nicholas Sparks novel meets Amit Trivedi music on Anurag Basu visuals’ kind of story. I met Jankee at a Shiamak Davar Dance Summer Camp right after she graduated from her 10th and I had finished my 12th. It was love at every sight for me, and it kept growing until I managed to make awkward introductions,” Nakuul shares with a smile. While this relationship was perfect in his head, it took him a year to convince Jankee. “I played the proverbial best friend whilst making every effort to win acquiescence. She eventually relented, and I hope she doesn’t regret that too much,” he laughs.
A very filmi proposal (“I remember borrowing the ring my father gave my mother on their engagement and dashing off to Marine Drive at midnight to meet her”), and nine years of marriage later, the couple is ready to welcome their first child.
“Having been in a relationship for some time, it only felt natural to want our family to grow. I am sure parenthood is going to make us discover and learn so many new things about ourselves in ways that we can’t even think of,” shares, Jankee, the glowing mother-to-be.
Photograph: Ayush Das
The pandemic gave them a chance to slow down and ease into the new journey. “Our decision of starting a family was, in a way actualised by nature, giving us this time to slow down and think about our dreams together as partners. As hard as it is to not look back at 2020 with an incredible amount of sadness, we feel together we have been able to garner maximum value out of what was handed to us, and that feels good,” shares Nakuul. Jankee agrees, adding that one of the most fascinating parts of this journey has also been’ “spending hours by myself staring at my tummy and experiencing the kicks, flutters, movements of the little one inside of me.”
As the two get ready to welcome a new member, the one thing they are grateful for is how much they’ve grown together in the past months. “Being at the cusp of becoming parents makes you reflect on life and in effect, makes you more sensitive. I wouldn’t say the relationship has changed as we have seen each other through many phases, but there definitely is a sense of contentment and happiness which is so palpable,” concludes Jankee