Love is, among other things, compassion for fashion designer Suneet Varma and his partner Rahul Arora. For them, their sexuality is simply a part of their life, which holds true for anyone in a seemingly conventional setup. They have defied the tenet that lovers in the same workspace cause nothing more than strife. A couple that complements each other, the pair of them don’t waste their time wondering about what could be or what might have been. All that they concern themselves with is their next big step together, as individuals and professionals.
A rainy night in Delhi, nine years ago, was when we were set up for a blind date. Thanks to the rain, we were unable to meet one another till it was time for the pub to shut shop for the night. A shout-out of the code word we were given changed our lives forever and for clearly for the better. A long courtship and marriage, (we have been married for four years) the ceremony was in New York, we are each other’s better half, in every sense of the word.
They say one should never mix business with pleasure. We disagree. As luck would have it we would like to see each other more often. One would think working together would mean being in each other’s faces all the time but that doesn’t hold true for us, one of us is always either travelling or busy with an assignment. But that’s only geography, our hearts are with each other always. We love working with each other and enjoy what we do. Over the years, we have, each of us, taught the other a thing or two. But more importantly, we have grown together.
To keep a balance between our personal and professional lives we have defined our roles. To being with, three scheduled meeting a week to remain on the same page and discuss brand development, our vision, therefore, is in sync. The plan is to reinvent the brand and keep it relevant in this rapidly changing world, and to have the right sort of collaborations to keep the process exciting. Naturally we agree to disagree on certain points and yet always find common ground after a discussion and a fair amount of debate. One of us is involved with design and visualisation; the other oversees financial matters, manages shows, social media and advertising. Years of experience on the one hand and newer ideas on the other. It’s the right amalgamation of classic thought processes and fresh perspectives. Where there is a dreamer the other needs to be the sort who does a reality check.
When it comes to our personal lives, we have our dreams, but those aren’t the be all and end all of our lives. Our sexuality is a part of our personalities, there isn’t anything extraordinary about it, we just look at it as a part of our private lives, one of the many dimensions of personalities, we are creators and business owners and family men, not letting one aspect of our personal lives define who we are. Fortune has truly smiled upon us, we are surrounded by supportive family and friends. Unconditional is what our families have given us. And since we are Indian how is that love expressed, through delicious and scrumptious food. Members of the fashion fraternity, as well, haven’t treated us differently. For them we are two people in love, who also happen to be the brain behind the own brand.
One might say that there are not many same sex couples who lead a prominent public life after having taken a courageous step of showing their love for each other openly and getting married. It does seem that people from the creative world, specifically the arts live more liberal lives and are forthcoming about their choices. But what people tend to overlook are the numbers. There are more gay software engineers and doctors than there are fashion designers.
Our relationship is like anyone’s. The very same logic applies to us. Marriage was the next logical step. Would things have been easier for us if we were not in the public eye? May be, may be not. There isn’t an iota of doubt when we look back on our decision of getting married. Neither do we pay attention to the fact that we are rooted in the same place, the home and the office. It is our love that binds us and inadvertently frees us.
Love cannot be defined in a word. It is a feeling of compassion. It is communication. Above all, it is acceptance. It is important that love does not change. It is also important to have freedom in love, to give the other person space and time to grow in. When one can love the good, bad and the ugly in another it’s called ‘being in love’, and we are unrefutably in love with each other. It could, at times, be easy to take a decision, but to live with it sans regret is another story, to be able to do so requires conviction and a lot of grit. Living a life without regret isn’t an outlandish proposition if you are content with the choices that you have made. For us, we are thankful that we found each other and we wouldn’t change that for anything in this world.