Messy Party Mishap Turned Proposal

How a helping hand in a messy situation set the stage for an enduring love story

There’s bad first impressions, and then there’s what happened to this week’s Love Letter couple.

Inshia and Abhishek were college classmates in India who didn’t talk much. But that changed when the two found themselves at the same party. Inshia had drank a little too much and needed to be taken home. But when Abhishek came over to lend this stranger a hand, she threw up all over him.

Not only did Abhishek — clothes and shoes ruined — still make sure she got home safe, he checked up on her again the next day.

That messy situation soon blossomed into a relationship that has been going on for nearly five years. And next year, Inshia and Abhishek will be tying the knot. Read on to hear their story.

How did you meet?

Inshia: We started our masters the same year in the same college in the same class. And although we knew each other, we weren’t really friends. But he was great friends with my roommate.

There was this party for this club that we both were in, and my roommate really wanted to go. So during that party, I got way too drunk. He saw that my roommate was struggling to take care of me, so he came over. And as soon as he stepped in, I threw up all over him. All over his shirt, his jeans and his white sneakers. But he was really sweet about it and he still drove me home and ensured that I reached home safely.

The next day my memories were hazy. My roommate told me everything that happened, and I said “Oh, shit, I have to text him to say sorry.” He was really sweet about it and he asked me how I was feeling and if I wanted to grab coffee.

I went to meet him at the college, and in that moment I knew that he was someone that I really wanted in my life, maybe as a friend or if it turned into something more. So once my roommate confirmed that he was single and up for grabs, I was like “Oh, I’m not letting him go anywhere.”

And what was your side of the story from that first night, Abhishek?

Abhishek: It was totally unanticipated on my end that as soon as I went to help, she’d just splurt out so much unwanted stuff on me. But it was important that I take care of her and her well being.

So I took her home. And it was a genuine gesture. I didn’t have anything in the back of my mind that I’m pursuing this girl and want to impress her. It was just that I was worried about her and wanted her to be safe.

What were your impressions of her once you saw her the next day?

Abhishek: I thought she might be feeling a little awkward about a stranger dropping her off at home in the condition she was in. So I just wanted her to feel that it was okay, that this happens between friends and it’s an okay situation to be in.

Did you realize that she was into you?

Abhishek: After a while, I realized that she was trying to pursue me. And on the other end of the spectrum, I was also feeling the same. So I started reciprocating those feelings. I got attached to her. I started trying to find ways and means to talk to her and spend time with her.

At what point did you realize that you had potential as a couple?

Inshia: There was a period where we had a break and I went back home for about a week. And that’s when I realized that I really missed him. I was constantly texting him telling him that I couldn’t wait to see him, and he was saying the same thing. That’s when we sort of realized that we both wanted this to happen. And we gave in.

Abhishek: While she was back home, I was still at the college. Every time I was sitting in the library or working in the classroom I always felt that she wasn’t around. In between lectures I would always try to find out what she was doing. So that’s when I started missing her.

What did you do for your first date?

Abhishek: For one of our classes we had to present to a panel, and we were in the same group. We had been waiting for about six hours, and we realized that it was going to take another hour and a half before we got to present.

I asked if anyone wanted to grab some food, and Inshia said yes. So we took a walk to a nearby cafe across the street. I don’t know what struck me, but I just grabbed her hand while we were crossing the street. And I felt butterflies in my stomach. And then we had a cup of coffee and some instant noodles. That’s all our first date was.

How did your relationship grow from there?

Inshia: When I came back from my vacation, the first thing I did was meet him straight from the airport. And that’s when we sort of realized that this is something that we both wanted. And from that day onwards, it grew very organically. We started dating and our friend circles sort of merged. His friends became my friends and my friends became his friends.

Once our masters were done we both started our jobs, but we always took our time on the weekends to order food together and watch movies and catch up with what’s going on in the other person’s life.

We make it a point to take vacations together. And a few months ago we started talking about getting married and moving in together. So that’s when we decided to ask our parents and start planning our wedding.

How long have you been together?

Inshia: It’s going to be four years on November 20th.

Inshia, do you have any advice for someone who feels that they might have made a bad first impression? It’s impressive to come back from throwing up all over your boyfriend!

Inshia: If you really like the other person and you’re not ready to give up, then I think you should just go for it. Don’t think about the bad things that can happen, think about how it can turn into a beautiful thing. So I say just give it a chance and see how it goes from there.

Abhishek, how do you get over a bad first impression?

Abhishek: One meeting or a couple of meetings are not enough to understand someone. So whether you want a friendship or a relationship or even a partnership, I think it’s a set of interactions that you need to have with the other person to understand their point of view. And then you can get a better view as to what you can do as a team.

What are you most looking forward to in the future?

Inshia: I’m most excited about finally moving in together and living in the same city. We’ve been long distance for four years. But we’re finally in a place where we can settle down in the same city and just be together all the time.

Abhishek: Definitely being together and building our future lives together. But also just having a happy place and being able to pursue each other’s hobbies. For instance, we have tried our hands at pottery just because she wanted to. And we’ve started visiting a few museums and historic places because I like to. We do all these things on vacation, but we’ll be able to do it more often now. I’m excited about that.

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📊 Last Week We Asked…

“Are you open to going home with someone on the first night?”

  • 56% said “yes, if there is a connection”

  • 44% said “no, prefer a few dates first.”

Do you or someone you know have a meet-cute story for the Love Letter? Get in touch here!

Interviewed and transcribed by Nicolas Vega. This interview has been edited for length and clarity