Saba and Kamal’s story
It seemed like a normal Friday evening, Friday 14th June 2019, venue Band Of BURGER another networking event. Being a total foodie, I couldn’t resist a good burger with some good friends and an opportunity to meet new people.
Shehzads events are always worth going to as you get to meet friendly people. He always comes up with great ideas: ice breakers, games, quizzes. This all helps to get people talking and mingling. I also noticed he was always happy to help with matchmaking and introductions.
On the night
I arrive and greet my friends and host welcomes me, ordered my food and started mingling.
I notice someone on another table but was waiting for the right moment to make a good impression.
I turn to my friend and say, “I really want to go and introduce myself but there are too many people surrounding her and don’t want to interrupt the conversation or come across awkward”.
My friend’s wise words: stay calm, be patient, you will get your chance.
This is my time!
So I took on board his advice; stayed calm, remained patient my opportunity came. I prepare myself mentally and casually walked over to her table to introduce myself to the group with a big beaming smile.
Salam-A-Laykum, Im kamal nice to meet you all. How are you all doing?
Saba takes one look at me, thinks weirdo and looked away not giving me any eye contact. Meanwhile I got chatting to her friend who seemed nice but was much younger than me so introduced her to someone I knew who was also looking and younger than me.
Let the games begin
The fun part of the evening, quizzes drawing pictures of my favourite superhero, favourite animal, favourite food and holiday destination, I had find someone who drew the same pictures as me.
Before I knew it was time to go home and had met some lovely people. I don’t remember speaking to saba, but I was happy to be with friends and met some new people.
After the event
My friend was added to a small WhatsApp group with some of my friends and some people he had met on the evening.
To my surprise, saba was also part of the group and discovered we had quite a few things in common, liked the same movies, similar taste in music. We both loved food, had good banter, and she would always laugh at my jokes. We had the same sense of humour,
My friends knew there was something different about our conversations, we had good banter. We didn’t realise at the time but my friends had a good feeling they were witnessing the start of something special.
Slowly I was making an impression on her with my wit, humour and playful banter. I was no longer the weird, dry, boring guy she initially thought I was. First impressions can be wrong.
The first meeting
After several weeks messaging each other I decided to ask her if she wanted to meet me for desi breakfast. She wasn’t comfortable meeting me on her own so I had an idea.
I knew there was a picnic to be held at Holland Park later that month (June 2019) and weather was going to be lovely so we agreed to meet at the picnic. That was the first time we had met, but it felt like we knew each other from before as we had been talking in the group and had established a good understanding.
Again the event (for me) was just an opportunity to network and meet people. And I enjoyed the event, lovely people, great food.
A couple of days later I again asked saba, if she wanted to meet at the same place (Holland Park), this time she agreed so my persistence paid off.
The Date 7/7//2019
Holland park for me will always have a special place in my heart.
Despite my initial fear and reservations plus a mixture of encouragement and much needed ‘real talk’ from 2 of my best friends
I thought why not just go with it and see what happens, we were already friends so no pressure. We went for a lovely walk, then had ice cream n drinks. We then tea at the hotel lounge where they also had a ping pong table. I let her win the first game took me time to warm up, still beat her 3:1 lol. The day went perfectly we both described it as ‘our best first date7
We had no idea this walk in the park would lead to 20+ meetings, countless beautiful memories and unforgettable moments. We faced a lot of challenges along the way. It was tough not seeing each other for 6 months due to Covid, which delayed the wedding plans. However, despite the difficulties we stayed strong, our commitment towards each other stayed strong
What started as friendship turned into romance and we are about to get married ❤❤
A BIG THANK YOU TO THE SOCIAL MUSLIMS TEAM FOR ARRANGING EVENTS AND ALL THE AMAZING WORK THEY DO
Saba Wakil and Kamal Razvi’s story, written for Social Muslims 21/10/2020