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No Longer a Weekend-Only Romance


If there was one constant in the courtship between Rashmitha Vasa and Varun Murthy, it was distance.

They met in Columbia, S.C., in April 2015, when she traveled to the University of South Carolina with the Bollywood fusion dance team from her alma mater, the University of North Carolina. He went to the same competition with a cousin, also a participant in the event, from Washington, where he lived. He had already graduated, from the University of Maryland, and he also received a master’s degree in computer engineering from Johns Hopkins University.

“It feels like we talked all night, once we started talking,” said Mr. Murthy, who introduced himself to Miss Vasa at a mixer. He is a computer engineer in Washington for the U.S. government.

Their first date came a few months later, in June, in New York, where she had a summer internship on Wall Street.

Mr. Murthy, 29, confessed to having jitters while stuck in Lincoln Tunnel traffic, but those quickly evaporated. “That same spark was there,” he said.

Their one-night date turned into a slew of events, including a comedy show, brunch and hanging out in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

“There wasn’t a point in the weekend where I was bored or felt uncomfortable,” said Miss Vasa, 27. “It felt like we knew each other forever, which was crazy, because we’d only met once.”

Mr. Murthy remembered telling himself, “This is worth pursuing because this seems too incredible to pass up, and we’ll figure out how to be together eventually.”

The two had a first kiss that weekend, though Mr. Murthy emphasized that it was modest.

“I kissed her on the cheek,” he said. “Both our families are pretty traditional, so any interaction before marriage is kind of frowned on.”

Miss Vasa returned to Chapel Hill, N.C., for her senior year of college; while looking for a job, she did not prioritize the romance.

“I didn’t want to pick an office based on where he is,” she said. “I’m very career-minded.”

Even so, she ended up accepting an offer to work for the Boston Consulting Group in the Washington area. The two lived near one another at last.

Their relationship, however, remained a weekend-only romance, as her job had her on the road from Monday to Thursday. She still works for Boston Consulting, now as a management consultant in Bethesda, Md.

Over the next three years, as their relationship evolved, the couple found they complemented each other well.

“I’m naturally Type A, very cautious, preplan everything, almost always assume the worst,” she said. “He’s the complete opposite personality: laid back, very go with the flow. We both mellow and equalize each other.”

In 2019, when she was accepted into the M.B.A. program at Harvard, the couple once again found themselves apart. To reduce that distance once and for all, in 2020, he planned to propose.

It seemed that, too, would involve travel. “I was going to fly her out to Amsterdam,” he said, explaining that a field of blooming tulips, in April, featured prominently. But: “Covid took right care of that.”

Instead, in August 2020, he devised a weekend jaunt to a different field of flowers (a sunflower maze in Southern Maryland), and he didn’t let bad weather in the forecast and a blown tire along the way deter his plan this time.

“That day was all a blur, but it went incredible,” he said.

On Aug. 28, the couple married at the Grandover Resort and Spa in Greensboro, N.C., with 600 guests attending. Masks were on hand and the couple encouraged attendees to arrive fully vaccinated. Raj Gopala Achary, a Hindu priest, officiated.

Fittingly, given the history of their relationship, the couple planned a honeymoon in the Maldives, halfway across the world.


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