CP24 Breakfast co-host Pooja Handa met her now husband, Paul Pathak, as they crossed paths (literally) at a birthday party. The couple, who recently bought a home in Lytton Park that they are rebuilding from the ground up, shared their love story with us.
How they met
We met the old-fashioned way … at a bar! We were both attending a birthday party at the Spoke Club. I was arriving and Paul was leaving. We passed one another as I came out of the elevator. I was with a boisterous friend of mine who yelled out a comment about us being a good match just as the door was closing to the elevator Paul was now in. I yelled out, “That wasn’t embarrassing,” expecting to never see him again. Turns out, Paul returned to the party in search of me. As fate would have it, we had a mutual friend there who introduced me to her husband who happened to be friends with, and was standing beside, Paul as apparently Paul had enlisted him to help look for me. Paul and I smiled at one another, knowing what went down hours earlier, shook hands and parted ways. The next day my girlfriend called me and asked if it was OK to give my phone number to Paul who had asked for it. I said yes. Minutes after I hung up, the phone rang. It was him! He didn’t waste any time and actually called instead of texting. We chatted and laughed and had a great conversation.
The first date
We met a few days after that for dinner at Terroni. We talked for hours and ended up being the last patrons at the restaurant. If they weren’t closing we probably could have kept talking. I knew he was husband material after that date. He said he knew I was the “one” within 15 minutes of our phone conversation. The date went so well that Paul invited me to our second date the very next night!
Our courtship didn’t last very long as we were engaged within three months. But we had many memorable moments. From a weekend trip to Napa Valley to attend a wedding, to surprise concert tickets to see a sold-out Coldplay show, the courting was on point. But perhaps the most special was when I met his parents. His mom had been hospitalized for three months and was unable to speak. Before she had been hospitalized she had been bugging Paul for years to get married. He was in his 40s and known as a forever bachelor who just couldn’t find the one. As soon as she was able to speak again, Paul arranged for us to see her to announce our engagement. She was thrilled. Her smile beaming to learn not only did Paul finally meet someone, but that we happened to be from the same town in Punjab and that, like her, I was a vegetarian. So much of my love for Paul comes from how good he is to everyone he knows, including his parents.
Paul arranged for us to have a spa day at Hammam Spa. I thought it was just one of his thoughtful gestures, not realizing he had arranged in advance a special room scattered with rose petals, a bottle of champagne and chocolate. At first I thought we were getting a very fancy couple’s massage, but then he got down on one knee. He was shaking like a leaf as he asked me to marry him. I gladly said yes!
We got married at a hall in Woodbridge. We had 700 guests at our wedding, so it wasn’t easy finding a venue that could accommodate us. We actually had two honeymoons, and yes, there’s a story! Paul had a friend’s 50th birthday golf trip planned a year in advance. Our engagement and wedding all happened so fast, and the only date we could secure our venue happened to be two days before his golf trip. So two days after our wedding, Paul left for Scotland. I’m not going to lie. It felt odd to get married and then be home alone days later. Paul felt the same way and decided we’d make the best of the situation. He cut his trip short and had me flown in to Paris to meet him for a weekend there. It was so very romantic. He insisted this was just our weekend honeymoon. Our real honeymoon was in Hawaii a few months later.
Balancing work and marriage
We both have very busy lives, and hosting a breakfast show means I go to bed before most children do. Paul is a corporate lawyer, but work never really ends for him as he is always available for his clients. That means we get very little time together during the week. Weekends are really our time to spend quality time together. Plus we miss one another all the time, which adds to the excitement of when we do get time together.