University of Toronto Magazine University of Toronto Magazine
Mehreen and Arsalan Rashid, wearing traditional Pakistani wedding clothes, smiling and sitting close together, with Arsalan's arm around Mehreen
Mehreen and Arsalan Rashid. Photo courtesy of Mehreen Hasan Rashid

Mehreen and Arsalan Rashid

The heart wants what the heart wants, but Mehreen and Arsalan offer a lesson in the virtues of patience

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.

Recent Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. One Response to “ Mehreen and Arsalan Rashid ”

  2. University of Toronto Magazine says:

    Mehreen and Arsalan Rashid speak of their "five-year long-distance relationship, mostly over Skype," and it made me smile - how easy!

    I met my wife in Croatia in 1972 on a trip back to my native land. We met ever so briefly, during the last week of my two-month stay, but we fell for each other hook, line, and sinker! Problem was, in those days, staying in touch was a huge challenge! There was no Internet (to speak of), and long distance telephoning was only for the rich - it was about $60/min to call Croatia back then! So, we continued our relationship primarily via Canada Post, and the odd good-Samaritan traveller who would take back little packages.

    The good side of this was that we both became good writers. The bad side was that the relationship nearly dissolved when Canada Post went on strike. In Croatia at the time there was no concept of strikes, so my future wife did not believe this story when I later tried to explain my lack of response. She thought I had lost interest. Now, 36 years after we got married, she sees that this is not the case!

    Still, the article made me think how different it all would have been if the technology I was then working on had come about faster. I am a Computer Science grad (1975) - one of the early batches U of T produced.

    Thanks for awakening a lot of memories!

    Steve Pozgaj