We have known for a few weeks that this would happen! Afzal connected with us on Skype from Kenya and told us that he was going to propose to Sabrina. He told us he loved Sabrina with all of his heart, and wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. He asked for our blessings and showed us the ring that he planned to buy for her. He also told us that he had not decided when the actual proposal would happen. His one wish was that it would be when she least expected it. Since that day Nagib and I have been sitting in this place of joy, of suspense, of anticipation. It is like we are characters in this story but we don’t know the whole plot. Would the proposal be in New York in September when Afzal bought the ring? Perhaps in Beijing in October? Or in Johannesburg where they are attending a conference in November? Or In Toronto in December?
Well, it happened today. In China. At the Great Wall of China. Afzal proposed and Sabrina was too shocked to say anything until she found her voice and said, “Of course. Of course. Of course, of course. Of course”. And we could not be more ecstatic. Ecstatic that these two exceptional people found their way to each other. That, out of 7.3 billion people in the world, the two of them met, connected, became friends, started dating, opened up a business together and got engaged! I can still remember vividly cuddling in bed with Sabrina and reading Dr. Seuss books together. When did my little girl grow up?
Watching Afzal and Sabrina together is a treat. They find delight in each other. They live their lives fully and with no regrets. They bring out the best in each other. They push each other to be the best versions of themselves. Afzal is gregaroius and fun with a big personality. Sabrina is thoughtful and reflective and likes harmony. He is smart and creative and lives in the world of possibilities. She sees patterns and connections, likes structure and is fearless. Like yin and yang. They are equal partners and are each other’s best friend. Shayne has coined a term for the two of them and sometimes affectionately calls them “Subzal”, Recently, I remember asking Sabrina, where home is for her, given that she travels extensively between New York, Nairobi and Toronto. Her response: “Home is where Afzal is”.
Individually they are strong. Together they are an unbeatable team. They believe in the impossible and make things happen. Like starting a social enterprise in the slums of Africa against all odds. Like taking the road less travelled. Like designing their lives and creating their own destiny. They have made believers of us of what is possible with hard work, faith and luck. And what I find so striking about them, individually and collectively, is that they are open to learning, generous with people around them and fun to be around. I have noticed that when they are around, the laughter quotient goes up exponentially in the Premji household!
Right now, I keep hearing a tune in my head from the movie Moulin Rouge. The refrain from this song is, “the greatest gift you’ll ever know, is just to love, and be loved in return….” How incredible that these two people found this precious gift in each other.
I am so thankful that I am alive to witness this milestone event in their lives. And I wish for them the most brilliant, radiant and illuminated life, a kaleidoscope of opportunities, the greatest adventures ever imagined and a love that transcends space and time!
Congratulations Sabrina and Afzal!