The love story of Mina Shankar and Dr. Aditya Radhakrishnan shares a theme with many others lately: he got Covid and she stood by him even though their relationship was still new.
While important in their journey as a couple, that experience is not what their love story is about. It is based instead on the confidence that both had in the judgment of their parents, whose help neither had specifically asked, nor refused, in seeking a suitable mate.
“They were just trying to help me no matter what their means were.” dr. Radhakrishnan said about his parents. “I said, I’ll keep an open mind.”
Ms. Shankar said, “My mother is the one who introduced my sister-in-law to my brother, and they have been married for 10 years now.” She added: “My mother clearly wants the best for me.”
Ms. Shankar, 32, was living in London when in 2015 her mother offered to create and manage a profile for her on BrahminMatrimony.com, a marriage-focused website for people of Indian descent. In the years that followed, her mother had sent dozens of potential suitors. But no one was really interested in Ms. Shankar, who is a portfolio manager at Schroders, a British asset manager based in New York.
dr. Radhakrishnan, 33, went through a similar process, guided by his father, using the same website. While living in New York, he would turn down potential matches one after the other.
“My mom thought I was being picky,” said Dr. Radhakrishnan, who is a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, and sees psychiatric patients at Bellevue Hospital.
Their parents were initially in touch in 2017 about the couple’s marital potential, eventually deciding not to introduce their children to each other until Ms. Shankar returned to the United States.
In January 2020, Ms. Shankar had moved to New York and their parents had suggested they might be compatible. In February, she and Dr. Radhakrishnan met for drinks and dinner in Midtown Manhattan.
“It was just really easy to communicate with him,” said Ms. Shankar, who is a graduate of Northwestern and holds a master’s degree in financial engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. “I felt like I already knew him.”
“I think we were both pleasantly surprised in the end,” said Dr. Radhakrishnan, who is a graduate of NYU and holds a medical degree from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.
Weeks later, just as the coronavirus lockdowns began in March 2020, Dr. Radhakrishnan Covid. The couple was only on a handful of dates in their relationship.
“I made it very clear to her: I am in danger every day,” he said. “But she still chose to hang out with me and see me.”
By the time he completed the isolation, they were inseparable. (She never got sick, although he said, “I coughed on her.”)
“He’s outgoing and I’m introverted, so this fits together so well,” said Ms. Shankar, adding that she found an echo of her own parents’ relationship in their dynamics. “We complement each other so well.”
“She keeps me balanced,” said Dr. Radhakrishnan. “I’m happy to just sit on the couch and watch a crazy reality TV show with her, something I could never have imagined.”
In the fall of 2020, each of the two had been introduced to the other’s family. He met hers virtually, on FaceTime, and she met his in person at an Indian restaurant in Midtown.
“It sounds so simple, but I felt like I could identify with him,” Ms. Shankar said. “We both grew up in the US and we were both Indian-American, with an emphasis on both: American upbringing, Indian values.”
The following year, in February 2021, they moved into an apartment in the Gramercy Park neighborhood of Manhattan. They got engaged in August.
The couple married on May 13 at Crystal Plaza, an event space in Livingston, New Jersey. Ganapathy Kailasanathan, a Hindu priest, presided over the ceremony and the bride’s brother, Ravi Shankar, performed after he was ordained Universal Life minister for the occasion.
The success of her own relationship, Ms Shankar said, has led to a sudden demand for her mother’s expertise.
“My friends, now that my mother is done with us, ask me: can we have your mother find us boys?” she said. “I didn’t actually ask her, but I think she would! She enjoys seeing my brother and me happy.”