We're celebrating the month of love with our cover stars Sakib Bin Rashid ( @sakib.rashid ) and his beautiful wife Mehzabeen Ahmad ( @mehzabeen_ahmad ) who share with us their 10 year old journey of love and friendship along with the intricacies of relationships in this day and age!
Sakib Bin Rashid has been making content for social media for almost seven years, starting back with educational contents for 10 Minute School, then slowly trying his hand at comedy contents. Around 2019, when the last season of TV series Game of Thrones aired and faced severe backlash, Sakib very randomly picked up the tripod, and a native accent, and filmed a rant video picking apart the plot holes, characters and makers. Since then, his popularity only went higher.
On the other hand, Mehzabeen Ahmad is a development researcher working for The World Bank as a Consultant, and has emerged as a social media content creator and influencer in the last one year.
This loved social media couple have a garnered the love of their local audience as a power pair and today we sit with them to have a conversation about their relationship and much more!
1. Tell us about your partner, how your relationship started and how is it today?
Mehzabeen: We’ve been friends since 2010, meeting through mutual friends and very quickly became very good friends. There was a certain kind of ease and comfort in that friendship, and we soon realized, we both speak a very similar language that helps us understand each other, if that makes sense. So when we got together in 2012, it happened more as an effort to preserve the friendship than anything.
SBR: Yeah, we knew we wouldn’t be able to sustain the friendship if one of us got in a relationship, and we weren’t willing to take that chance, haha! Fast forward 10 years, its been almost a year of being married, but we’re still best friends above anything else. And we wouldn’t want it any other way!
2. What are the pros, cons, myths and measures for couples who choose to work together?
SBR: I think we like having professional commonality and individuality at the same time. As in, we like the fact that we both have our separate professional worlds, but we also love the fact that our professional worlds are not very far apart and they often cross ways. And of course, we get to work together a lot when we are making content together.
The best part of working together is you always have a lot to talk about beyond, “How was your day” and “Have you had lunch”. I understand people de-romanticize talking about work, but we like it quite a lot. Even after a busy day, we might end up talking about a content that we want to make next or maybe end up shooting one right then.
Mehzabeen: One negative side of working together is having to balance personal and professional relationship. You can’t deal with your partner the same way you would have dealt with a colleague. Feelings might get hurt. But I guess, if you two are friends and have mutual respect between each other, it is easily solvable. People also often assume when a couple works together, its hard to be 100 percent professional. But I’d say it’s the same as any other partnership, you try to be sensitive in what you convey, but also learn to objectively receive feedback.
3. What is the life of a social media influencer couple like?
Mehzabeen: The best bit definitely is that you get to do more activities together- making videos, attending events or even in just helping out each other with their own contents. And mostly its smooth cruising, but there comes phases in between when multiple projects line up. Our professional lives are demanding as well, combining that with other influencer engagements, means often having to work around the clock, on weekends, and late nights. But we’ve kind of set a rule for ourselves, if we ever feel the work intruding with the balance we prefer to maintain in our lives, we’d rather let go of the opportunity.
SBR: A lot of the projects we do as a couple actually feel so much easier and fun than producing individual contents, we bounce ideas of each other and have a blast while shooting. So a lot of it doesn’t seem like work at all. But yeah, when you have a full time job till evening and then your own individual social media commitments, it does get a little tough- we just remind ourselves how it’s a blessing that we get to come back to each other at the end of the day.
4. How does working with your partner affect your personal lives in case your style of working is different?
Mehzabeen: Oh our styles are very different alright! In most cases, Sakib will just casually throw a shirt on top of his pajamas, stroll into a corner of the room with the phone and calmly make a video in a surprisingly short time. Whereas with me, when I film something, it looks like a tornado has hit the room with things flying in every direction and myself getting hyper by the second!
So, in times when we work together, I often get very particular and want to keep redo-ing a shot to perfect it, and Sakib has to tell me to stop being fussy. But I’ve come to trust his opinion and respecting his experience, let him lead the way.
SBR: Couldn’t agree more with Mehzabeen. But at the same time we help each other with each other’s work a lot despite having very different styles. Mehzabeen often gives me content ideas (more regarding what not to do), and I provide some logistical support. I’d say content making has become easier for both of us just because we always have an extra pair of hands and a creative brain spare in the room.
5. Do you encourage more people to work with their partners and establish a new aspect to their relationship or have their individual career paths which gives them their own identity and space?
Mehzabeen: Well, to each their own really! I’ve always preferred having an individual career path, and own identity, I believe my work life is something that’s absolutely my own, something I’ve culminated with a lot of hard work. But at the same time, we’ve always found activities to do as a couple, and believed it really does enrich your relationship, so finding this sweet spot somewhere in between has definitely been a blessing! But my one advice would be to first find your own footing, be more secure of yourself, and then take a shot at working relationship with your partner.
6. Since your work comprises of being on social media a lot, how much does social media or the naysayers on the internet affect a relationship and how to keep away from that toxicity which could hampers your relationship?
Mehzabeen: The toxicity and the negative comments/ people are unfortunately always going to be around, but the love both of us have received, as individuals and as a couple has been overwhelming enough to drown that out.
SBR: At the same time, we also don’t invest emotionally in social media a lot, and having separate professional careers really helps in this matter.
7. What are the major differences in having relationships earlier and now in the era of the internet?
SBR: It is difficult to tell as our relationship was always very internet dependent. In fact we chatted more in the early days than recently. But we both wish we had more offline, real- world things to do. We would love to see more of the world, experience new things together. So we definitely prefer an offline relationship to an online one.
8. How important are fights and disagreements in a relationship?
Mehzabeen: Fights and disagreements are only normal and even healthy, when you are an opinionated individual, as long as you set a line that isn’t crossed. And sure, sometimes we do tip toe around that line, but the effort and objectivity you practice in restraining yourself from crossing it is one beautiful journey of self-development. For us, we’re currently discovering that space of agreeing to disagree, and I bet that’ll be useful in a marriage!
SBR: Between the two of us, I have the tendency to evade and avoid fights. But I can say with certainty that talking out our disagreements have helped us accept our differences and grow mutual respect beyond them.
9. What are some ways that people can improve their relationship into a healthy one in the times of the internet?
SBR: I guess you should find common offline activities to do together. Cooking, gardening, watching films, working out, morning or night walks. These activities allow you to share your lives beyond casual chit chats. They help you to understand and empathize with your partner better.
10. What do you personally do as a couple to retain your individuality and grow together at the same time?
Mehzabeen: When you’ve been together for long, your personalities often start merging and we’ve kind of grown up together, so at this point, we can almost finish each other’s sentences, literally! But we’ve also practices setting boundaries and areas of each other’s lives that we never tried to intrude in, for example, the choice to pursue a certain career, how we choose to conduct ourselves in social media individually, how we envision ourselves future- these are absolutely our individual choices.
SBR: Once a mutually respectful partnership is established, it automatically gets easier to ask for and offer advice, and even accept criticism. Because we know it comes from a place of pure intentions to help each other grow.
11. What are your future plans and where do you see yourself in the upcoming years as a couple and as individuals?
Mehzabeen: Most of my future plans are around getting into a Masters program in good university (and then maybe a PhD as well, who knows!), and continue creating contents I love, as long as there’s someone out there interested in watching them. Sakib’s planning to join me for Masters as well, it’ll be a bonus if we do get admission in the same university. (touchwood!)
SBR: Getting our professional career sorted is definitely a priority, and getting a good Masters degree together definitely opens up more avenues to climb higher. I’ve recently started a job that I’m very passionate about, so hope to lean into making educational contents aside from the regular. The comedy circuit in Bangladesh is also growing, so would love to explore that side more. For the both of us, at this moment, all I can think of is all the places we want to travel to make up for the last 2 years of the pandemic.