Imagine this scene. You've just arrived at the airport after an international flight, and as you enter the terminal you hear your boyfriend's voice on the PA system. He calls your name, professes his love and tops it all off with a marriage proposal.
Well, that's exactly what played out at Auckland Airport in New Zealand on August 18, as Aucklander Yashraj Chhabra enlisted the help of airport officials to pull off a spectacular surprise for his girlfriend of eight years, Riiya Shukla.
“She’s a hard woman to surprise and I really wanted to catch her off guard,” the 26-year-old banking specialist told the New Zealand Herald. Chhabra had a plan, but he didn't know if the Auckland Airport would be on board.
"I was delighted they said yes to making my dream proposal become a reality,” he said.
Chhabra precorded a 12-second proposal that would be triggered as soon as his girlfriend entered the Arrival Hall. This is where Chhabra would be waiting, along with a large contingent of family and friends.
"Attention Riiya Shukla, you are hearing my voice because I really need to talk to you," the suitor announced over the loud speaker. "Every minute that we have spent together has been the most amazing moments of my life. So I have something really important to ask you... 'Will you marry me?'"
At that point, Chhabra emerged from behind the crowd of supporters and approached his girlfriend with a ring box in hand. Then he went down on one knee and placed a diamond ring on Shukla's finger.
In the background, a bunch of younger family members held up signs that in combination spelled out the "Will You Marry Me?" message. Everybody else cheered and whistled.
Two members of the airport technical staff, who were responsible for triggering the pre-recorded message, watched the action via a close-circuit feed and high-fived as Shukla accepted Chhabra's proposal. Mission accomplished.
The Auckland Airport Facebook page noted that "love was in the air" at their facility.
The airport social media team posted a video of the exciting proposal and wrote, "We jumped at the chance to be ring-ins for this unforgettable moment. Grab the tissues and be ready to swoon. Congratulations Riiya and Yashraj! Thank you for making us a part of it." The team punctuated the post with an engagement ring emoji.
Shukla was ecstatic: "It's the best thing ever. And thank you, Yash, for making this memorable."
"Anything for you," he said.
Credits: Screen captures via Facebook / Auckland Airport.