To Everyone Who Told Me That An Inter-Religion Marriage Wouldn’t Work

Posted by Saumya Srivastava in #BHL
October 4, 2017
Editor's note: This post is a part of #BHL, a campaign by BBC Media Action and Youth Ki Awaaz to redefine and own the label of what a 'bigda hua ladka or ladki' really is. If you believe in making your own choices and smashing this stereotype, share your story.

December 5, 2009. I asked the cab driver to pull up the car near a tall healthy man who was dressed in a simple kurta-pyjama, along with a jacket. He looked puzzled, nervous and tired at 9 am in the morning as he stood outside the Delhi airport. I asked him to hop in the cab and before the cab driver could start the engine, he looked directly into my eyes and asked, “Are you sure we are doing this?”

“Don’t you think we have come a little too far to ask this?” I replied in a reassuring voice.

So there we were, heading to the court without the slightest clue of what our life would be like from that point on. I knew I was risking everything I had. Marriage is always a gamble, and in our case, the stakes were much higher. That was one of the rare moments when I was not filling time with words. Hardly did we speak in the car, and an hour’s worth of travel brought us to the court.

In the intense one hour, I remembered the last eight years of our togetherness. Everyone told me that my relationship with this man wouldn’t work. After all, we came from two extreme religions.

“It won’t work, Saumya. You will regret it later, and then there will be no turning back.”

“He is a man. It’s easier for him to move on. What about you? It will never be easy for a woman”

“You are trying to achieve the unusual. It may look good but it’s not practical.”

My response to the society who questioned me for several years before I tied the knot – “Yes. It is unusual. It does not fit in the conventional sense this world perceives women, but I hate perceptions. I feel this is right for me. You believe in experience, I believe in an experiment. If it did not work for some, does not mean it won’t work for anyone.”

I tried convincing them and when I got tired, I went ahead and took the decision, which got me to the day of December 5, 2009.

We’d reached the court and had to wait for our turn. In order to kill time and hunger, we ordered ₹25/plate of chole-bhature and mineral water. We looked like the same silly people that we were when we met at 17 and 18. We had no clue back then, about what we’re getting into.

I could sense his scepticism, so I brushed my insecurities aside before I answered his unspoken thoughts.

Just before entering the court, I held his hand and said, “After marrying you, I might regret the decision, and they may be right about us. But we have to give us a try, and then accept the answer as ours.”

We looked deep into each other’s eyes and went ahead with no looking back. The papers were signed and I enthusiastically embraced the decision as it was mine!

In life, there comes a day, when you display courage even when you didn’t know it existed. My time was exactly seven and a half years ago. Today, we have a daughter and call her Mysha.

Did hardships come across our way post marriage? Yes. But we dealt with them with pride. It was our decision.

I was writing my life individually, and then I scribbled my life into his. And, this is my biggest story.

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