MEHREEN (BA 2006 UC): When I met Arsalan at the UTM Library, we talked about our love of reading comic books and watching cricket. There was something about Arsalan that I immediately connected with; it was during a conversation about superpowers we’d like to have that I realized he is as wacky as me. After I graduated, I went back home to Singapore because my parents wanted me there. Both Arsalan and I are Pakistani, and we’re very close to our families, so he understood. We had a five-year long-distance relationship, mostly over Skype. I came to Toronto, and he came to Singapore but the smallest gap we had between visits was a year. We were in each other’s lives, but solely through conversation. You could probably do a study about us and how the Internet helps long-distance relationships.
ARSALAN (BCom 2006 UC): What drew me to Mehreen was her quirky sense of humour; she has a constant smile and is a very positive, happy person to be around. When she went back to Singapore, I realized how much Mehreen meant to me. I was just a bum fresh out of university and I couldn’t go to her parents and ask them to send their daughter to the other side of the world. So I studied and got some work experience to ask for their daughter’s hand. Calling was absolutely nerve-racking. I’ve been working as a foreign exchange trader so I’ve been involved with many tough calls. But this was…holy crap. I’ve never been so jittery. They didn’t say yes right away. They made me wait a couple of days because they wanted to make sure this was what Mehreen wanted. After they agreed, Mehreen and I met in London, where she was visiting her sister. I got down on one knee right next to the Millennium Bridge. We got married in Karachi, Pakistan, in April, then went on our honeymoon to Greece and then Mehreen flew home with me to Toronto. We expected an adjustment period after so many years apart, but it really just felt so natural. We stepped right back into being together.