Blessed are those Indian lovers who get to walk to the wedding hall without trials and tribulations from their families. In spite of the progression in accepting love marriages by families in the last few decades, it continues to remain a struggle not only in personal lives but also in the social realms.
Today we have an anonymous contributor (assigned with a pseudo name, Rahul) who, after several testing months, is now engaged with the girl of his dreams. Being a sensitive issue, I was hesitant to ask him to share his experience. However, I am grateful for what he has opened up is a flood of awareness to the society.
Listen to him; he’ll tell you what love marriages mean in India.
Like all relationships, our’s started too with much love, passion and admiration for each other. I don’t think we ever had a misunderstanding in the last few years we’ve been together. I must say we had a mutual maturity in the way we handled our relationship. I could not have asked anything better in my life. The joy and security in being loved and trusted by that one girl in my life gave me a new confidence in all that I did including my career. With days, months and years of bonding with her, I saw myself becoming redefining to newer versions of me.
At one point, sadly, we had to take the matter to our families. My parents are religion fanatics and her parents are no better. Yet, we hoped we can convince them after initial the shock subsides. But, as I write this, I feel extremely disappointed with my family, with the notions of relationships and the lack of interpersonal freedom in our country.
The fear kept us long on hold. When her family brought up talks about her marriage, the fear further shooted, more in her than me. With pressure building up for her to get married, we broke the news to our parents.
From the series: E for Expose – Here enters the Family
What followed was a catastrophe of name callings, insults and blames. From emotional dramas to ferocious arguments, my mom had put me through a lot in the last few months. Yes, I love her, I value all that she has ever done for me. I also understand the strict vedic rites and rituals she had been raised under and practising for years. I respect all of them. I am sure I will continue to carry forward all that she has taught me from childhood about religion, epics, traditions and rituals.
Unfortunately, love in my life happened with a girl of another religion. I didn’t plan to; it just happened. I couldn’t avoid. I couldn’t resist. I didn’t want to avoid and resist. I didn’t want to let that beautiful feeling go off my life. I just didn’t want to let her go from my life!
I understand how shocking and disappointing it could have been for my mom. But, I was equally shocked and disappointed to realize how much wrath and intolerance she has within her towards other religions. I don’t feel good to write this about my mom. But, this is the naked fact I have to admit.
With her family, religion wasn’t particularly their problem. But, they were unwilling to bend down or say, come down leaving their egos to interact with a caste-fanatic family. I empathize with their ideology. I cannot demand them to become shameless. However, the way they reacted to the whole thing has made everything worse which could have otherwise possibly sailed through smoothly.
If it makes sense, I have to say that at some point I began to ponder if really it is the religion that was a barrier or if it is that my mom was unable to accept the fact that her son has been in a relationship of his choice. If, I would have fallen in love with a girl of my religion and caste, would it have made things any better. It’s a game, I don’t know.
Now, coming to addressing Nandhini’s query: How has this affected our relationship?
Pretty bad! At the end of the day, we all need to live together with each other’s families. She began to think how her days will be when I go to office and she has to live with my mom at home. The beauty of our love gradually faded with the realizations of the realities of our future. I still hold the same strength of affection towards her. But, she says she is not excited any longer. She is rather scared about her future, with respect to my mom’s caste ideals and also about how her dad may react at every little interaction with our family throughout our lives.
And the guilt of being the cause of anger and displeasure in the hearts which loved, cared and raised us all these years can never be explained in words. It crushes me every other day.
Not only have we both lost regards towards religions and castes, but also we doubt if we still have that beautiful feeling we used to have towards each other. We are standing at a point where we neither can sacrifice our love for the sake of our parents nor can we bring back the old, uninfluenced feeling we had for each other earlier, for no problems between us. And that pains us. What caste and religion does to couples like us is greatly unfair. We miss our real-selves with the family’s entries into our love life.
Yes, we are engaged. But I already hate her father and she is already planning how to take revenge on my mother. Amidst these family dramas, there’s still some hope left for a ‘Happily ever after’.
At first when Nandhini approached me to write on this, I thought what is the need to share these experiences publicly. But now that I’ve spent a few hours in writing down the deep emotions of my heart, I feel light. I feel more clear on what went wrong and how I don’t deserve to feel guilty at all for all that has happened. Thanks Nandhini, writing is powerful.
I definitely have to take this opportunity to tell everybody who are reading this – At the end of the day, we don’t live with the religions and castes. It’s the love and understanding from our loved ones that make us live. Please don’t break the latter for the blind anchor you find in the former.
About the Relationship Talk Series
It has been my fantasy project to hear from people their first-hand emotional experiences about the evolution of their relationships because, I believe there’s a celebrity in each one of us and that all of us have stories to inspire others. And that was the notion with which I went about asking a few known and unknown persons to contribute their thoughts to this series on relationships.
More posts from the series:
To read more about how this Relationship Talk series began, visit the post Z for Zest for Camaraderie in Marriage
You can find all the posts of the A to Z series on Marital Relationships here.
Header Image Credit: Shutter Stock