"When I knocked at her door, I saw Ruth with her pleasant smile"
An Indian man tied the knot with his Australian girlfriend after 13 months of separation.
Govind Bhardwaj reunited with Ruth Ryan in Brisbane after he secured an exemption from Australia’s current border ban after five failed attempts.
Govind had met Ruth in a building complex in Gurgaon where he worked, and she lived during her stay in India.
The 25-year-old civil engineer explained that he instantly liked the 38-year-old when he saw her for the first time.
He told SBS Punjabi: “One day in February 2019, I went to inspect the building.
“When I knocked at her door, I saw Ruth with her pleasant smile while she was watching a sloppy Hindi movie, and I remember telling her it’s not a good one. I knew I liked her instantly.”
After spending months together, Govind said he never thought that he would not be able to see Ruth for over a year after she returned to Brisbane in October 2019.
Govind explained: “I had plans to join Ruth in Brisbane, but my tourist visa was rejected twice, and then we thought we would meet midway in Bali, but then Covid struck and most countries closed down their borders.
“Once Australia closed its borders, I applied for an inward exemption at least five times, but they were all rejected.
“On top, my family had still not accepted Ruth which further increased our worries.”
The Australian national revealed that the separation and objection from Govind’s family affected their relationship and her mental health.
She said: “There were so many times when I decided to leave, and he would stop me, and then he would decide to leave, and I’d do the same.
“But in the end, we would come back to each other.
“That’s when we knew its love, and we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together irrespective of the challenges.”
“So, when Govind couldn’t get a visa, I applied for a tourist visa for India, but I still haven’t had a response on my application despite having an outward exemption.”
When his Australian girlfriend’s health started to worsen, Govind decided to apply for exemption again.
Govind stated: “This time, we explained how our relationship and Ruth’s health was getting impacted.
“And to our biggest surprise, I received an exemption on compassionate grounds, and days later my tourist visa also got approved.”
Once he received his visa and the inward exemption, Govind secured a ticket and travelled to Sydney where he spent two weeks in hotel quarantine.
Once the couple reunited, they tied the knot in a private ceremony in Brisbane and are now keen to start a family.
Ruth added: “We never wanted a big ceremony without Govind’s family present.
“We probably would have waited, but at the same time we didn’t want to let go of each other again.”