My name is Jauana (pronounced Jo-Anna) and my finance’s name is Kokilan (Koko). We both met 7 years ago when I first started University in September 2010. We’ve been dating for about 6 years now and are engaged to be married next year. So funny I had to stop after writing that because it seems so surreal. Here is some background information about the two different worlds we both came from. I was born in Toronto and raised in Vaughan (uptown suburbia away from Toronto) with 4 older siblings who preached one, and only one thing. “Boys are bad, school is important, become successful, or face the punishment”. Okay, it wasn’t that serious, but I was very sheltered. And unlike any other normal young adult, I actually listened to every single word and was afraid to do anything “I wasn’t allowed to do”. Koko on the other hand was born and raised in the heart of Malvern Scarborough (Center of the Sri Lankan Tamil population that migrated to Canada). Your typical scarborough tamil boy who grew up with basically no box around him what so ever. Don’t get me wrong, he wasn’t a trouble maker, but he had his fair share of mischief, definitely more than I could ever imagine. I’d like to think I resemble Rapunzle the princess who grew up locked in a tower, and koko was the mischievous Flynn Ryder, who lived by his own rules.
In first year, I was this nerdy “weird” new girl finally being set free into the world with a colourful polka dot backpack and he was this third year popular cute boy who breathed and lived in the gym. I never came into uni thinking I was going to leave with the love of my life, and never did imagine it to be him, because why would some older CUTE guy talk to me, right? Funny enough he was the only boy who treated me normal in my entire life of discovering the male species.
He was definitely different. He made me laugh, made me feel like a friend, and more than just a girl with what every other boy referred to as a pretty face. He was able to connect with me in a way where it was past my looks and past my weirdness. We officially met in person on our university Dance Team (Oshawa Titans). The countless days and nights of practices, along with competition preparation was definitely a key player in bringing us close together. During my first year I was going through a phase where I liked everything colourful and non-matching and “out of the ordinary”, and instead of making me feel like I had to hide it, he only joined in to help me embrace it. Till this day his mischief, playfullness and that ability to make situations light hearted is one of the things I love the most about him. I know it sounds cliche, but a good few months into getting to know him, I knew he would be the one I’d be spending the rest of my life with. He really is the one and only love of my life.
So how did this sheltered scared girl get the courage to leave her tower and have a boyfriend you may ask. That is because I literally asked if I could LMAO. At the time I was living with one of my older sisters, and the night of her birthday (feb 18 2011) while I was up with my cousins getting ready to surprise her at midnight, I get this huge long BBM Message (yes BBM Message, because he spent the entire day with me but couldn’t find the perfect time to say it) from Mr. Kokilan professing his feelings for me. This is literally minutes before we were going to enter her room and yell surprise. While I’m reading his message all I could think of was “man why couldn’t you wait till the summer and just pretend like we were just friends”. But anyways, I got the message, took a few minutes to read it, had no idea how to respond or what to do, so I wished my sister happy birthday and gave her the phone with the message as her birthday gift. She read it and went “I Knew it!” And basically was like ye, just do your thing. At the time my entire family didn’t know, but knowing at least she knew and had my back gave me some kind of confidence to follow my heart. Although our feelings were in the open we had yet to make it official, because he was very understanding of my family and wanted to do things at my own pace. I know, how sweet and caring, right? Well that only made me want to jump the gun sooner.
Fast forward to April 29 2011, the last day after my exams, and a few months of debating if I should be a rebel or not, we had a huge conversation about his past and life and the stories his friends told him not to tell me, but he decided to anyway because he wanted honesty and openness. At that moment I didn’t really care about what he was saying, to me I respected and admired the fact that he followed his heart and did what he felt was right. After this 4 hour long conversation, we had our first kiss and made things official. An interesting fact here is, the playful and humorous Flynn Ryder actually was super sad and upset when he first realized he loved me. He felt I gave him hints but kept my distance (would possibly friend zone him), and that I was too good for him. Weird right? Two people who both thought the other was totally out of their league, but actually only ended up being a perfect fit.
The past six years have been one heck of a ride, and my family only loves him more than me if anything. And now, we’re here 7 years later where on June 10, 2017 he popped the question under a beautifully decorated gazebo dressed as Flynn Ryder and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. According to him I have yet to say “yes” because I never actually said the word yes. In my defence I was sobbing and only had the mental capacity to nod my head. Either way we are still engaged to be married. As of now, Flynn is still holding on tight to Rapunzle as we are facing our toughest battle yet, planning this wedding. If we come out alive you’ll know this love is real. Jokes, I think we will survive, we do laugh in the midst of the fights and arguments, and if you ask me I think this is the closest we’ve ever been.
Photography: Concepts By Nithy
Cake: Deadly Addictive
Save the Date Shoot