Maggie, who is Singaporean, had relocated to Melbourne for work.
The production company that hired her had a distribution arm that produces Bollywood films, and she was put in charge of casting for the movie that Bidyut auditioned for.
Thanks to a previous experience in television production, Bidyut ended up not only getting a role in the movie, but also a position in the production team together with Maggie. Bidyut was attracted to Maggie’s vivacious and can-do personality; she liked his sense of humour. But it was not meant to be – yet.
She shares: “I was in a relationship then, and he (Bidyut) was this dude who was always on a motorbike with girls running after him. I was not interested.”
The three-month project took such a mental toll on Maggie that she decided to return to Singapore for a break. Bidyut missed her so much that he flew to Singapore to look for her. Thinking it would be romantic
to bump into her “accidentally”, he went to all the places she had mentioned in their conversations, such as Zouk and the hawker centres that she frequented.
“It would be destiny and I’d just find her,” he says. When that failed, he e-mailed her asking for a mailing address on the pretext of sending a parcel, then turned up at her home where she was living with her parents.
Maggie says: “Imagine how shocked I was when I opened the door, pimple cream on my face, rollers in my hair, and found him standing there. I asked, ‘What are you doing here?!’”
“Yup, I crash landed at her door!” he guffaws.
He asked if they could go steady, but Maggie was still hesitant, even though her previous relationship had ended.
“We were living in different countries – I was in Singapore, and Bidyut in Melbourne. He had no intention of moving here, and I didn’t know what my plans were. I had done long-distance relationships before and they never worked out for various reasons,” she says.
Bidyut returned to Melbourne, disappointed. He describes the days that followed like a soppy movie scene, with Maggie chortling beside him at every word: “I was crying in grief and despair – cue the slow music – everywhere I went reminded me of her. I often went through a montage of flashbacks of when we were together.”
The couple stayed in touch through the occasional e-mail. Then, Bidyut received an opportunity to expand his consultancy practice to Hong Kong, and he moved there in 2006. As fate would have it, six months after he relocated to the city, Maggie was offered a position in Hong Kong with an advertising agency.