“While love is mostly referred to in the context of a partner, the beauty of parental love isn’t often given the credit it deserves. It’s brushed under the title of “duty or responsibility” that one has to take up after the birth of a child, completely ignoring the extent to which mothers and fathers go for their offspring.
And I was a direct witness to this magic, only at the time of my wedding. Having been raised as a single child, I went through a rather pampered childhood. Everything I’d wished for was fulfilled without any expectation and life felt parrys one happy ride. Plus, fortunately, in my case, love also struck early and I was completely swayed by this boy who is now my loving husband.
But in the midst of this seemingly perfect story, there was one major hurdle- our faiths. He was from an orthodox Muslim household and I was a Hindu. Caste really didn’t matter to us, for we’re slowly but deeply falling for each other’s personalities, but we were made to realize soon after how big a deal it is in today’s society. Right from the start, there were friends and known folks warning us of all the ways this union could eventually go wrong, now that we’ve been raised in two distinct circumstances with hardly any similarities.
I guess differences are often looked at as hurdles than as opportunities to appreciate and work towards. But thankfully in this journey, I was blessed to have incredibly open-minded grandparents who were progressive enough to cut through the clutter and look at the matter as just two individuals who were in love.
Then again, if there was one thing that my grandmother taught me, it was that family always came first and that regardless of how topsy turvy situations can get, I mustn’t forget how both our parents had worked so hard to raise us into two healthy and stable individuals. And from then began my journey towards pursuing love, whilst going through a rollercoaster of emotions and scenarios that might seem like they were straight from the movies.
In the quest for love, I was one of those fortunate ones to have successfully taken my relationship to the next level. Married to my long-time boyfriend, life feels surreal today. Nevertheless, this journey didn’t come easy at all. In fact, at every point, there were a plethora of hurdles and tough choices we had encountered.
Being raised in two different faiths, we faced every possible scenario that’s shown in the movies, right from a request to convert into the other person’s religion, varying degrees of warnings, and even a mild dose of threats leaning towards honor killing. But regardless of what people thought or said, I knew I had loved a good man who treated me with respect. And to me, that’s all that mattered to put my foot down and strongy tackle the criticism.
So after several years of pursuit, Shahul and I married in 2019, with separate ceremonies to honor both traditions! I was just twenty-three then with a bunch of more battles lined up against me. You see, every single one of my choices, right from being a homemaker, becoming a mother early on to even trying my hand at entrepreneurship went through intense scrutiny. People bombarded me with their varying opinions and it became too much to take in after a point.
There was even a phase where I started second-guessing my decisions and that took a major toll on my confidence. But thankfully though, with a husband who encouraged my individuality right from the start, Shahul protected me from chaos every time, aiding me to take confident leaps in all my fields of interest.
And I guess that’s how I was able to pursue my masters after marriage and even attempt a home-based business with my mother. Today, I live every day, thankful to have both parents who were accepting of my choices and a husband who cherishes me for who I am. Battles internal and outside can be many but I guess it all ultimately comes down to the people who are ready to ride the tides with you! I’m blessed to have a family that fuels the budding business woman in me whilst equally celebrating the child within!”