One day in 2001 (20 years ago!), I attended a Bhagvad Gita Satsang and Kirtan at a home. The talk was hosted at a house literally only a few blocks from the house I grew up in. When I got there I saw this girl, who’s house it was, sitting there quietly studying for the Specialized Science High School Admission Test (SSHAT). This caught my eye, as I had just taken this exam too. Both of us were only around 13 at the time and it was probably my first ever crush. Sadly, I did not get the chance to talk to her, as her parents were hovering behind her, and we wouldn't see each other for quite some time.


Fast forward 1 year, I was planning on transferring to Bard High School, which was a brand new liberal arts school in the city that also had a rigorous entrance exam. Little did I know, the same day I sat for their exam, that same girl I saw the year prior was also taking the exam in the same room. The difference would be that she ended up getting in there, and I didn’t. Instead, I ended up going to a different Specialized Science High School, Brooklyn Tech, and our paths wouldn’t cross for another 6 years.


Very few people know this, but before going to medical school, I actually took the LSAT to try my luck at law school. I still remember the day I went to Queens College to sit for the test; it was in 2008. Little did I know, that same girl I first saw 7 years prior was also there, taking the exam. Again, the difference would be that she ended up getting into law school, and I didn’t. Instead I went off to medical school and any chance of us meeting would fade for another 8 years.

9/18/16 - When Sparky Met Tumtum

It wouldn’t be until a fateful day in 2016, when our paths would finally cross again. After only a few messages back and forth, we realized we both lived only a few minutes away. We decided to meet at Cunningham Park, which was near her house, and my childhood home. She brought along her Bichon Frise, Tum Tum, and I brought along my mini Schnauzer, Sparky. Sparky and Tum Tum instantly got along, and happened to be the same exact age. We soon realized that we had seen each other over 15 years ago at HER house for that talk her parents hosted. It was surreal the way we both remembered every detail of that day. We instantly connected after realizing just how much we had in common; down to everything, including the fact that she was a Leo and I was a Sagittarius (both fire signs haha).

Destiny Brought Us Together

It would only be a few weeks later that I would introduce her to my parents, my brother, and my Nani (grandma)..because I knew they would immediately fall in love with her, just like I did. To my surprise, she actually spoke Punjabi and Hindi so well, that even my Nani was impressed (and she's not an easy lady to impress). 

Timing Really Is Everything

We would later realize that our paths had crossed numerous more times over the last 2 decades, and neither of us had the slightest clue. We were both born and raised in Queens, and apparently went to the same preschool at the YMCA back in the early 90s. She went to NYU for undergrad, and would study in the same library (Bobst) that I would always spend time at during the same year. And the craziest part was, her grandparents are from the same part of India my grandparents are from (Haryana/Punjab), and her dad and my mom went to the same Queens high school around the same time back in the 70s (Jamaica High School). And the entire time that I lived in the city while completing my Masters at Columbia University, her office was literally only blocks away from my apartment. In fact a few selfies I posted as my profile pic years ago, happened to be right in front of her building. I literally walked past her every single day at 5:30pm when she got off from work. It’s crazy to think how someone so perfect, who I now call my soulmate, was literally only blocks away from me the entire time, and I had no idea. It "only" took us 15 years to finally meet again, but I guess timing really is everything.

2017 - Transatlantic Love

In early 2017, I received a letter inviting me to complete medical training abroad in London. It was a very unique opportunity and I was so excited to go.  When I told her, she was happy for me, but then we realized this would mean we would have to be apart (even if this would be temporary). I quickly reassured her I would come back every two weeks, but being apart worried us both. Everything seemed so perfect, destiny had finally brought us together and now I had to leave...Little did I know that as soon as I left for London, she would follow me only a week a later there too. And so this continued for almost two years, she and I would go back and forth every three weeks, and had some of our best memories together traveling throughout London and Ireland (where she would go for work).

8/18/18 - #SheSaidYes!

Long story short..a few months back, while I was visiting home from my clinical placement in England..I decided to surprise her with a “walk in the park where we first met with both of our dogs”. Little did she know that I had arranged for both of our families to be there hiding behind trees to capture the perfect moment. Despite a few "are you serious? Is this for real? Like for real, for real?"....eventually #SheSaidYes!

Reunited at Last!

Finally I graduated from medical school and came back home to New York. We were together at last!

Despite being away in distance while I was abroad for rotations, our love and understanding of each other only grew stronger each day. With a total of over 18 trans-atlantic flights back and fourth between the 2 of us..it feels like we've already shared a lifetime of memories together..whether it was at home driving spontaneously to 6 flags, or in England driving around abandoned castle grounds swearing we saw a ghost, or in Ireland crossing the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge in Ireland during a rainstorm. I know this is only still the start of our adventures together.

I feel so blessed to call her my wife, the one I will endlessly love wholeheartedly, and the person I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with..Gayatri Galav

I feel so incredibly lucky to call her my wife. She’s my soulmate, my rock, my better 99%, the most kind, caring, selfless, patient, and understanding person I know..and not to mention the most intelligent person and best damn attorney I know lol. She is definitely my motivation for everything I do, including the reason I got through med school, and the one that always keeps me grounded. She is the reason I have faith in fate, and the confidence to do literally anything.