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AZLAN SHAH CUP
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SAS 2015: Manpreet Singh: Love at first Sight (4/11/2015)
--Tazeen Qureshy
Love at first sight could not have a better example than Illi and Manpreet’s story. He saw her, he liked her and then here are together for the rest of their life.

Illi Najwa Saddique, Manpreet Singh’s fiancée had never imagined in her wildest dreams she would get caught up with an Indian guy. But for the past three years, the young Malaysian from Johor Baru, has lived the unexpected.

Since November 2012, the first time Illi met him, she has always been to Manpreet’s side, even finding her a job and shifting to New Delhi from Malaysia.

“It started when Manpreet had come to play Sultan of Johor Cup. After the match, my cousins and I went down to click pictures with the team. It was then he noticed me, and approached his Liaison Officer to fetch my number. I was a little skeptical. But, when my mother gave permission, I exchanged number with him,” Illi recalls the events of November 2012.

“It was then, we started talking and knowing each other. The first we went out, my mother had come to drop me. He straightaway approached my mother and told her that I like your daughter. So, the proposal came from his side on November 19, a day before the team left for India.”

So, what exactly made Illi think Manpreet is the Mr. Right for her? “Manpreet is very caring and understanding. But, the most important thing I noticed was that my mother liked him. My mother is usually strict in all these matters. But, when she allowed, I understood he is the perfect guy for me” she says.

After a nod from Illi’s parents, however, the task was completed one side. Manpreet’s parents had yet to meet the girl. Though Manpreet had already informed his family about Illi soon after he returned, they were eager to meet and know their future daughter in-law.

“Prior to my visit to India, I was a little scared honestly. I used to watch some Hindi dramas and that scared me. I wondered if my in-laws would be as they showed it in the dramas. But, today I can tell you those dramas are useless. There is no reality in it. I remember the day I went to meet his family, they were very welcoming and nice. They didn’t treat me as a stranger. For them, I am their daughter,” she says as she gets a call from her mother in-law the very next second.

undefined “You know I love saag and paneer, my mother in-law cooks, it is delicious. Honestly if I tell you, Manpreet’s family loves me more than they love him,” she laughs off.

Illi and Manpreet got engaged in February last year and since then Illi has shifted to New Delhi and is currently working with a media company.

“Manpreet wanted to take our relationship to the next level and so we got engaged last year. Soon after my engagement I shifted to New Delhi. It was not easy shuttling between India and Malaysia so often. So, I chose to settle in India. Initially, it was tough, but now I know Punjabi. I can even give directions to the autowallahs now.”

Whenever she gets time, Illi tries to watch all of India’s matches live. And for the Azlan Shah, she is there in the stadium, right on time for all the matches.

“I have been a fan of Indian hockey even before I met Manpreet. So, I try to watch as many matches as I can. Other than Manpreet, my favourite player in the team is Sreejesh.”

So, is there a marriage on the cards soon? “Both of us are currently busy in our respective careers. If everything is fine, we will look to tie the knot after Olympics next year. It is all on Waheguru.”

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