Abanti Sankaranarayanan (nee Basak), a Bengali, and Govind Sankaranarayanan, a Keralite who struggles with his Malayalam, make for an interesting combination. The chemistry between them first sparked off at Tata Administrative Services (TAS), which they joined after completing their MBA. Married for twenty years, the couple now lives in their tastefully done up home in south Mumbai. A big part of their lives revolve around their enterprising twins — a boy and a girl — who are curious about what is being written about their parents. Both Abanti and Govind come from similar backgrounds, with their respective fathers having served in the IAS. And the similarity does not stop there — it boils over to anecdotes about their communities and their mutual fascination for politics and fish, among other things.
During our conversation, Govind lightens up the mood with his subtle humour and poker face. It’s what Abanti liked during their initial years of courtship and what she still loves about him. Having lived on different continents, Mumbai is now home base for the couple. However, that doesn’t come in the way of their exploring new destinations during vacations. It is evident that both Abanti and Govind love their jobs; that being said, they always make time for the little joys in life, such as watching a movie, enjoying a play or just being with each other. By their own admission, these little things have made a big difference in their relationship.
Where did the two of you meet?
Abanti: We met at Tata Administrative Services (TAS) in 1992, right after completing our MBAs.
Govind: We actually met very briefly in Mumbai for the final round of the TAS interviews. We hardly spoke to each other back then, though.
How did the two of you get along?
Abanti: Diversity is a big enabler and that has definitely been a big part of our story as well. I am