In the summer of 2017, Mrinal Kalakrishnan and Preeti Murali Telvai reached a crossroads.
They met as colleagues at Google’s X Research Lab last October. Also known as the “Moonshot Factory”. In Mountain View, Calif., Ms. Talwai was asked to consult with Dr. Kalakrishnan, who holds a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Southern California, about a project.
Although they were on different teams — hers focused on user experience and his on robotics — the two soon became work friends who would often message each other throughout the day. “I was impressed by how thoughtful he was,” Ms Talwai, 30, said of her initial interaction with Dr Kalakrishnan, 39.
Their friendship eventually evolved to include shared lunches or dinners at the office, and by August 2017 they started hanging out together off the clock. But this month, Ms. Talwai accepted a new position at Google that required her to work in a different office from Dr. Kalakrishnan, who had recently begun to realize that his feelings for her were platonic. are more than
Faced with the prospect of spending so little time with him, Dr. Kalakrishnan said, “I felt like, hey, I really like this person, and he doesn’t actually work in the same building anymore. will.” “That’s when it occurred to me that, hey, maybe we should explore something more than friendship.” Over dinner at a tapas restaurant near his apartment in San Francisco, he asked Ms. Talwai if she would consider going on a date with him.
At first she was hesitant. Although both have families from India, Ms Talwai said she was troubled by some differences in their lifestyles: he liked to spend his free time outdoors, for example, while she preferred to read and write poetry. were
But they had become so close that she couldn’t help but wonder what romance with Dr. Kalakrishnan looked like. Given their current bond, “I think we both knew that we probably wanted to be in a serious relationship with each other, and it wouldn’t be a casual thing,” she said.
Their official first date came shortly after Dr. Kalakrishnan spoke on the subject. They began by seeing an exhibit at the De Young Museum in San Francisco, before having lunch at a Mexican restaurant and then heading to Palo Alto, California for dinner. The date ended with them moving to the Santa Cruz Mountains, where they annually Perseids meteor shower.
From then on, Ms Talwai said, “we spent all our time together.” He also revealed his relationship with his separate managers at Google.
About a year after they started dating, Ms. Talwai, who has ulcerative colitis, began developing worsening symptoms. He had to go to the doctor more often and have colonoscopies. He said that the unwavering support shown by Dr. Kalakrishnan at that time deepened his love for him.
“He was there for the not-so-glamorous parts of my life, and through it all he was a really solid partner,” Ms Talwai said, adding that his steadfastness “confirmed my feeling and my belief. That it’s really serious.”
In November 2019, the couple moved into an apartment together in Mountain View. Dr. Kalakrishnan is now the robot learning lead at Everyday Robots, a division of Google’s parent company Alphabet. Ms Talwai is the User Experience Research Leader at Google.
Soon after living with them, Dr. Kalakrishnan began to think about the best way to propose. He decided to narrate the couple’s love story in a moving poem, which he composed A video The set to music was composed by him himself. In May 2020, after playing a video for Ms Talwai in her living room, he asked her to marry him.
By then it had “helped me in so many different ways, and brought out the best version of me,” Dr Kalakrishnan said.
On July 14, the couple married at a private residence they rented in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Prem Talwai, Ms. Talwai’s younger brother, officiated at the ceremony after being appointed by the county clerk’s office as a temporary officer. in San Mateo County, California
The only in-person guests were the bride’s parents, who live in El Dorado Hills, California. The groom’s parents and sister, Jo Bengaluru, formerly of Bangalore, India, attended the practice.
Dr. Kalakrishnan always “accepted me for who I was,” Ms. Talvai said, including “all the parts that I thought might be difficult or awkward to accept.” Of the bride, the groom said, “She has become my best friend.”