The Proposal

The Surprise Element
Sometime in February 2011, fate planted an idea in my head. Why not leap on the opportunity to propose on our UK trip since the setting will be absolutely lovely? Most importantly, she wouldn’t be expecting a proposal that soon –  I have been throwing the idea of marriage before 30 out of the window – so this would be an epic surprise for her! And given that our relationship was built upon surprises after surprises, this was just a natural extension.

Sweetheart to propose to, check.
Majestic setting, check.
Splendid weather, check.
Surprise element, check.

So, after deciding on the perfect rock for her (which in itself was another interesting story), I went to get her parents’ blessings. I sold the story of an awesome proposal in the UK (blue skies, sunny but cool spring days, majestic backdrops)  and they couldn’t have been anymore excited. I’d like to think they gave me the green-light because they like me, and not because of my sales pitch (occupational hazard), but it was okay; either way, I was going to propose!

To be honest, I didn’t know how I was going to propose when I left for Vienna and the UK. All I knew was that I had this huge rock in my pocket – god, don’t let me be robbed or pickpocketed – and I had to keep it with me for a month before I would have a chance to use it.

Part of me chided myself to be more worried than cavalier about this. It’s only a month and you don’t have a plan? You’re in faraway UK! Not Singapore, where you have her friends to help!
But at the back of my mind, Anil’s “Hoe ja’aa gaa” (Nepali for “it will happen”) kept reassuring me.

Then, sometime in my daily quest on youtube-ing proposal videos and stocking up ideas in my proposal diary – enlightenment struck. I would do it at the Tower Bridge – and I would even have her family join in the actual proposal plan.

The Proposal
So, I started sending her postcards from the UK, reminding here how much I miss her and love her despite the fun I’m having at training. I decided that D-Day would be the Friday they arrived in London.

I roped in her sister, Yan, to take the family to a particular restaurant by Fisherman’s Wharf overlooking the Tower Bridge for dinner (powerpoint on how to get there with maps all settled a week earlier). And with the SIM cards cleverly supplied to her through a visit to their hotel the night before, I had control over when she would pass Fang the final postcard midway through dinner.

And thank god for the SIM cards. As luck would have it, my journey from St Albans to Central London took 3 hours instead of the usual 45mins because the A1 was closed.  Of all times for a fire to break out and cause an entire highway to close… I think I must have been an arsonist in my past life for this to come back and haunt me.

Yan was texting me surreptitiously, and frantically.

“We are at the restaurant already, where are you?”
“On the way to London! Will be just nice in time before you guys are done for dinner.”

15mins later, ” We are halfway through our mains, where are you?”
“You won’t believe me but a fire closed the damned highway, and I am stuck in a jam right now. Hope to get out of this soon. Driver says can reach in 35mins”

20mins later, “we are getting desserts. Are you here already?
Me, thinking to myself  damn, they eat so fast; “Not yet, just got on a small road – its a detour, but at least traffic is moving. Stall them. Deliberate on desserts longer.”

5mins later, “desserts arriving. Did I just see you walk past?”
“No, I am about 20mins away – damn Friday evening traffic. Stall longer!”
“Hmmm, just a thought…Are you getting cold feet?” 

So thankfully for the SIM cards, I could reassure Yan that I was not about to pull a fast one on her and Fang.

At about the time I arrived at the Tower Bridge, they were just finished with desserts, and I sent Yan a text to finally pass the final postcard to Fang. It showed the Tower Bridge and a message that read “Come out to a place where you see this, and you’ll see more.” So, Fang rushed out and saw me standing there, grinning like a clownfish, waiting for her to pounce on me.

After the niceties, I gave her the Massimo trench I bought as a “Welcome to London” gift. She was totally besotted by it, but it was a mere distraction to the surprise she wasn’t expecting the least bit. Feeling the fabric up and down, she put her hands in the pocket and fished out a card. A suspicious look grew on her face. The card read “Check your Blackberrry!”

“Oh, I left it in the hotel room…”

Nevermind, I knew that was going to happen. So I cooly fished out my iPhone and showed her this picture:

She immediately went into shock.

Being nervous, I didn’t notice her shock. So I continued on to one-knee, and popped the question. Because she was in a “I-don’t-believe-this-is-happening-to-me” state of mind, all she could utter was a sustained,  “noooooooooooo…”

It took a couple of seconds before I realised that I heard a “nooooooooo”, but when it hit me, it hit me hard.

“Okay….hold on, hold on. I’m going to ask you again. Listen carefully and think through your answer ok? This is make or break. Here goes…..Fang, will you marry me? ”

And then she snapped out of it. “YESSS!!! I meant YES YES YES!”

“Yah LAH!!!!” We hugged.

Talk about having planned for months. This was something I didn’t foresee. At least amongst my friends, I can claim bragging rights of being rejected while on my knees!



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