#Love Possible - How Nishi & Shishir's bond grew stronger after a major setback
February 28, 2019
In our final story in the #Love Possible series, Shishir and Nishi Bhatnagar talk about a major accident that changed their lives and marriage, and helped them forge a new, stronger bond.
Something clicked for Nishi and Shishir when they met for the first time. Shishir, a Merchant Navy captain, and Nishi, a student, had seen and liked each other's profiles online. The meeting that followed confirmed the initial positive feeling.
"I wanted someone who would be OK with the nature of my job as I had to travel a lot", recalls Shishir. "She was open and understanding and we had a comfortable first meeting. We met a lot of times after that, went around for a year and got married".
"There were a lot of things about him that I liked", says Nishi, a smile in her voice. "His job for instance and the fact that he was open that he drank and smoked occasionally. It was an open, friendly conversation. I liked his honesty and thought to myself, this is where the search stops".
A year later, they were married, and what followed was an idyllic time with Nishi accompanying Shishir as he traveled across the world on work.
Then came their second wedding anniversary.
We were in a happy mood as our wedding anniversary coincided with my cousin's wedding and the whole family was in Goa for a major celebration. It was a poolside party and sometime during the party, I fell into the pool and banged my head on the bottom, sustaining a spinal cord injury. I was left paralyzed below the neck. - Shishir Bhatnagar, Nautical consultant
What followed was not just months of pain but also intense confusion as the couple had no idea of the changes a spinal cord injury brings.
"There was a lot of physiotherapy and rehabilitation for eight months and she was with me throughout", says Shishir. "She would take me to the rehab center and back, stopped her work and it was one year of turmoil. She protected me from the negativity, the crying relatives and faith healers".
However, Shishir struggled to come to terms with the changes, and Nishi often found herself at the receiving end of his anger and frustration. "He would keep telling me to leave him though that thought had never crossed my mind. Just because he was injured, I was not going to leave him. I don't know what he would have done had the roles been reversed", she laughs.
One day Nishi did walk out after a major fight. "Shishir had been pestering me to leave and I went to my mom's place for two days until he got some sense. I just wanted him to understand that he couldn't keep saying things like that to me".
Today, the couple have moved past that turmoil to find a new rhythm and romance. Nishi is a professional home baker, a skill she discovered by accident. Her business is called Chocolate Therapy by Nishi and she has a steady clientele. Shishir works from home as a nautical consultant.
"I think the two years we spent traveling before the accident accelerated our knowledge about each other and the commitment towards each other", says Shishir.
Nishi says she has not changed as a person, only grown stronger. "We know what the other person wants and are more connected emotionally. I think our compatibility has improved. What couples achieve after years of marriage, we have reached at earlier".
The couple, whose bonding in the early years was strengthened by travel, are back to pursuing that passion. "We go to places nearby and spend a lot of time on dinner and coffee dates", says Nishi. "I love going out and he knows that, so he plans these trips carefully and takes me out often, which is really lovely".
Read the other stories in our #LovePossible series:
Watch in Sign Language
- ‘Protect India’s future’ - Road crash survivors appeal for strict motor vehicles laws to be upheld
September 18, 2019
- Gujarat professor develops model to convert languages to Braille
September 17, 2019
- “We may be in pain, but we are strong” – My Take by Dr Anubha Mahajan, Founder, Chronic Pain India
September 17, 2019