Sparks flew when pharmacist Aravind Chodavarapu, 29, and registered nurse Samantha Harris, 31, first met at Atlanta hospital where they both worked. Three years later and now engaged, the duo are now happy to call UAB Hospital and the city of Birmingham home. In their love story, a romantic proposal at the Taj Mahal sets the stage for a marriage that is sure to be full of adventure.
Engagement Photography by David Bley Storytellers
Aravind: I remember the first time I saw Samantha was at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. I was doing a one-year pharmacy residency there, and she worked there as a nurse.
Samantha: The first thing I noticed about Aravind was his hair, of course, and then I fell for his calm, warm soul.
Tell us about your first date.
A: We went to a place called The Porter Beer Bar in Atlanta, which is fantastic. I always order the special when I go there, and on that day, it just happened to be a salad. Sam ordered their half-pound cheeseburger, and when the server came out with our food, he placed the burger in front of me and the salad in front of Sam. I had to awkwardly switch our plates, and she won’t let me live it down to this this day.
S: We laughed the whole time, and we still laugh about it until this day.
What is your favorite thing about each other?
A: Samantha makes people feel at ease when they are around her. She is so genuine and caring that even if it is your first time meeting her, she will seem like your best friend.
S: My favorite thing about Aravind is his dedication to people. He will drop anything at any time to help a friend or someone in need.
A: I was in Hawaii a few months after we started dating to visit one of my friends, and when I was sitting on the beach by myself, I found myself only thinking about wanting Samantha to be there with me. That moment stands out so clearly to me that we’ve decided to take our honeymoon at that beach.
S: I knew Aravind was special when I first met him, and over time it just got better and better. I have never been with a man that was so mature and outspoken about his dedication to me.
Tell us about the proposal.
A: My plan was to propose to Samantha at the Taj Mahal while we were traveling through India. I look at the Taj Mahal as one of the greatest symbols of love a husband has shown for his wife, and I thought the opportunity to propose to Samantha there would be a perfect place to start a new chapter in our relationship.
S: We met up with a tour guide when we arrived, and I noticed Aravind whispering to the guide. I knew something was about to go down but I kept telling myself, “Be cool, Sam!” When the tour guide took Aravind’s phone and started to take a video, Aravind pulled out the box. I think I said yes before he said anything!
Tell us about your experience shopping for the ring at Diamonds Direct?
A: I wanted the ring to be a surprise. I knew Sam liked yellow gold, but I didn’t ask for her input on anything else. Karen at Diamonds Direct helped me find a C. Gonshor bezel set ring in yellow gold that that has an antique feel.
S: Aravind picked the most perfect ring. The gold band has a very unique engraving all along the band, and the nest that the ring sits in is just beautiful.
A: The first duty of love is to listen.
S: Wake up every day putting your spouse first before anything else.
What are you most looking forward to about spending the rest of your lives together?
A: There will be many obstacles and challenges that we will face as we go forward in our married lives, but there is no person I would rather have next to me to overcome those challenges than Samantha.
S: I look forward to having him by my side on this wild ride we call life. Having Aravind as my man makes me feel like I can do anything.
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This month’s love story is presented by Diamonds Direct. For more information on how you can be featured in a Love Story, check out Diamonds Direct – Birmingham on Facebook.
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