They say blood runs thicker than water and that is certainly the case for the Wadhwani Family. 34 years of marriage and 2 granddaughters later, this family has forged a bond like no other.
How long have you been in Hong Kong? What makes this place special to you and your family?
I moved to HK in 1972 from London where I was born. I have forged so many precious memories here through nearly 5 decades. My wedding, birth of my children, all my family and friends. I witnessed the handover and countless other events. I have a very special affinity for HK as I have my roots firmly planted here.
What does LOVE mean to you?
Love means many things to me. I feel there are many mediums of love. Love for my husband, family, friends and humanity. If you really love someone, you will be more giving and tolerant. You will go above and beyond your comfort zone to make someone happy. You will always find ways to make them smile. Very often, it’s the simple things that mean the most.
How did you meet your husband? Was it love at first sight?
I met my husband 37 years ago when we were both in our late teens. We have grown together since then. We have evolved in different ways while maintaining our own identity. It wasn’t love at first sight, but it was a slow gentle bloom that eventually blossomed.
Where and how did your husband propose to you?
The funny thing about it is that I didn’t realise that he never proposed to me until 11 years after we were married! A young relative asked me about it and then it struck me. Actually, my mother knew we were dating secretly. Being the conservative parent, she insisted that we get married if we were going to continue seeing each other. We were both so young then and hardly in any position to get married. When my husband returned from a three month long business trip, I told my him that my mother wanted us to get engaged if he was serious about me. Well, the rest is history!
What is the secret to your 34 years of marriage and for having such an amazing family?
Mutual respect and friendship are the most important to keep our relationship strong. I can be unpredictable at times so that keeps our marriage interesting! The ability to laugh and share mutual interests are the glue to our companionship. The love and support of my husband has been instrumental in forging solid family ties. It’s important to be on the same page when it comes to family values because it keeps us close together.
(Question to Husband) What do you love about Rina?
Haresh: I love her zest for life, her passion for adventure and trying new things. Most of all, I love her wit. There’s never a dull moment with her around!
(Question to Rina, Daughter, & Daughter-in-law) Favourite chocolates - Truffle / Dark / Milk?
Rina: I absolutely love dark chocolate and truffles.
Sheryl & Shalene: We both love milk chocolate!
How will you be celebrating Valentine's Day this year?
Shalene: I will be spending Valentine's day with the girls having brunch and celebrating friendship!
Dhiraj & Sheryl: We will be spending it with my 3 girls. I'll be taking them for a picnic in the park if the weather is good. If not, high tea!
Haresh & Rina: We usually travel in February for a holiday and celebrate Valentines day overseas. However, with the social distancing and travel restrictions, we would love to check into Rosewood Hotel. Then, have lunch at one of the restaurants, relax at the spa if it’s open, and enjoy a private dining experience in the suite.
Where will you first travel to when this pandemic ends?
Once travel becomes possible and safe, I will be off to London - city of my birth. We have a home there and many friends.
Congratulations on becoming grandma for a 2nd time! What advice would you give your granddaughters on "Love"?
I would tell them to follow their heart just as I did. Marriage is a union of deep love, companionship, and shared interests. You should never lose yourself in a relationship. Don’t ever settle for a man who will love you selfishly or expect you to change to suit him. It is vital to see how a man treats people around him. If he treats them well, and speaks to them well, that means he will treat you well too. Most of all, you both should enjoy doing things together as well as having some “me” time apart.