The bride who fled from Kiev to India with a coffee machine

Anna and Anupam got married in an intimate ceremony on Sunday

Last month, after the bombing of the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, Anna Horodetska locked up her rented apartment and fled to India with a pair of T-shirts and a coffee machine – a wedding gift from her grandmother.

When the 30-year-old, who worked for an IT company, arrived at the Delhi airport on March 17, he was greeted by 33-year-old lawyer Anupam Pasin, whom he had been dating for more than a year.

To beat the drummers’ celebratory tunes, Anupam got down on one knee and proposed to her and put the ring on her finger when she said yes.

On Sunday, the couple got married in an intimate ceremony in the Indian capital. At the end of this month, they will register their marriage in court to be legally valid. Anna’s one-year visa states that the purpose of her visit to India is to “marry Anupam Pasin”.

The couple met by chance at a bar in August 2019 while on a solo trip to India. They exchanged numbers, followed each other on Instagram, and the rest, as they say, are history.

Their relationship took shape on different continents separated by geography, meeting plans disrupted by epidemics, isolated rules and air restrictions, and finally the Russian invasion of Anna’s homeland.

“By the end of 2019, we were talking a lot,” says Anupam.

In March 2020, Anna visited India again with a girlfriend and Anupam took them on a road trip to Agra – to visit the Taj Mahal, the love monument – and the desert state of Rajasthan.

Anupam got down on one knee at the Delhi airport to propose to Anna

Anupam got down on one knee at the Delhi airport to propose to Anna

As India was suddenly locked up, he invited them to stay at his family home in Delhi.

“It was during that time that we grew so close and realized that we loved each other. We now know that it was more than just a frolic. After she returned to Kiev, we were in touch through daily video calls,” she says.

Their next meeting in Dubai in February 2021 was “a crucial moment in our relationship and we felt we had to find a way to move it forward,” he added.

Things moved fast after that – he met her in Kiev in August and he returned to India in December.

“On the last day of my visit, the mother of experience suggested getting married in March. We were thinking about getting married at one point, but I was surprised it came so soon. But I thought why not go for it,” says Anna.

Anupav says Anupav is a Hindu and Anna is a Christian, so their marriage has to be registered in court under special law and the formality can take more than a month.

So, the couple decided that he would come to India at the end of March to start the process and leave for India in a few months.

Anna Horodetska and Anupav Pasin with the coffee machine

Anna and Anupam with their Delhi home coffee machine – the “real hero” of their love story

But then came the war.

“We knew diplomacy had failed, but we thought war could have been avoided,” Anna says. “Many of us believed that the attacks would be concentrated on the border and that Kiev would be safe.

“But on February 24, I woke up to the sound of the bomb, and my first thought was, ‘Am I dreaming?’ Then I saw messages from Anupam and others confirming that we were under attack,” he adds.

Many people she knew started packing their things and friends advised her to do the same.

As the shelling intensified the next day she went with her mother and dog to a bunker.

“It was crowded. There was a curfew order, we were not allowed to leave the bunker, but I had to go outside to breathe and walk the dog. The city was full of smoke and the sky was so red,” she says.

A few days before Russia began bombing Ukraine, Anupam was asking her to leave as he felt the war was approaching, but Anna was reluctant to leave without her dog.

But on the morning of February 26, when she decided to leave, Anupam tried to stop her.

“By then, things had gotten a lot worse,” he says. “There were frequent shelling, the train station was far away, there were no taxis to pick them up. I was afraid she would be on the street and I was afraid a lot of mistakes might happen. So I told her it would be safe. It should be in the bunker.”

But the next morning, she found a taxi and was able to reach the station. She boarded the train to her grandmother’s village and boarded the train to Liv, on the western border.

The trip out of Ukraine took her first to Slovakia and then to Poland – where Anupam waited two weeks while working with the Indian embassy to arrange his visa – finally to fly to Helsinki, Delhi.

“I could not sleep in the blink of an eye on the plane. I was depressed. Although we did not fly over the collision zone, I was worried that the plane might crash into a rogue missile.”

Anna Horodetska with her dog in the Kyiv bunker

After the war, Anna says she will go back to Kiev to pick up her dog

When she arrived in Delhi on the morning of March 17, a text message from Anupam was waiting for her – saying he was running a little late.

“I was so angry,” she told me. “I’m tired. I wanted to go home and sleep. But when I came out, he was with music and balloons.”

When a dozen friends of experience cheered, several strangers applauded and filmed a scene straight from the Hollywood romance.

“I did not expect this because Anubhav is usually a very practical person, but it was definitely a pleasant surprise,” says Anna.

Anna says that when the couple is now married and starting a new life, they will return to Kiev when the war is over and “finish things and take my dog.”

In their heart-wrenching love story, they say the “real hero” is the coffee machine.

“When I told my grandmother about my wedding plan a few months ago, she gave me some money as a gift,” says Anna. “Because Anupav likes his espresso, we decided to buy us a coffee machine. When I left Kiev, I had to take it with me. Don’t bother, Anupav was saying we would take one here, but in my head I wondered what would happen if I could not go home sooner. I had.

Anupam adds: “Anna is a trained make-up artist but she left a lot of expensive make-up to bring this coffee machine here. I think this machine is the real hero of our love story.”

Leave a Comment