2 States: Together we make a wonderful combination
We had asked you, our dear readers, to tell us what it is really like for a south Indian to marry a north Indian. Here are the first two responses to our invite:
We start with the story of Siri Manjunath, a Kannadiga who married Rishi, a Punjabi.
This is her story:
My husband Rishi and I met in our engineering college in 1998.
We initially hated each other and eventually fell in love after a few years!
I am a hard core south Indian girl, who loves idli and rice, and Rishi loves roti and aloo!
We had a wonderful time in college, with great friends and environment, our story definitely suits any romantic Bollywood movie!
We were good friends in our first year of college in the same class, with no sparks flying!
Our exciting story actually began in the second year of college, when I changed classes and moved to a different college building.
This is when Rishi suddenly felt a void in his life and started missing me.
Rishi started calling me up every night after dinner at 9 sharp.
All our friends joked and called him 9 o'clock news!
But, what impressed me the most was his dedication!
Even if I was at a friend's house, or at cousin's, or out of town, he always managed to get my number.
This went on for a year, after which Rishi proposed to me, much to my surprise.
He was 20; I was 18.
I did not accept his proposal, and he went on for a year trying to pursue me by teaching maths, flirting, yet caring for me so much, that eventually I felt he is the most romantic guy in this world, he was so good at springing surprises and guessed what I wanted even before I knew!
I did not realise when I fell in love with him and we agreed to commit ourselves for marriage.
All of it was fine till we realised the challenges that come in a north-south wedding!
His parents had a pre-conceived notion about south Indians (who his mom and my now sweet mother-in-law referred to as 'Madrasis'):
That they had weird accent and were dark-skinned!
Much to her surprise, I did not look a bit like the south Indian that she imagined.
I was an effervescent girl who loved to enjoy life, dance, and dress up like the Punjabis.
They agreed to meet my parents, just after seeing my picture, not to forget the initial scrutiny done by my lovely brother-in-law when he had come down to our college.
Finally, after initial hiccups, we had a big fat Punjabi wedding, with my relatives dressed in kancheevarams and jasmine flowers and Rishi's in crepe sarees and diamond jewellery!
It was a wonderful north-south mix during our sangeet, when my relatives were initially sitting quietly watching how the Punjabis are dancing and enjoying themselves.
After Rishi pulled them into the dance floor, they started dancing and joined the fun too!
It was one of the most memorable days of our lives to see both our families gel and get along famously in spite of their cultural differences.
Many people have told us how our story is based on 2 States, the novel, though I never got a chance to read the book.
We are from two different states, but follow the single language of love.
We have a rich cultural diversity at home and I celebrate karwa chauth and Ganesha festival with equal fervour!
We now have two little boys (Rian and Rishaan), who are a delightful mix of north and south!
While writing this, I just fell in love with my husband again, who came into my life and changed it for the best!
I am soft-spoken and simple; my husband is loud and aggressive.
He spends; I save.
He makes sure I enjoy and I make sure we excel.
Together we make a wonderful combination.
We are about to complete 10 years of marital bliss.
And sharing with Rediff readers will make our tenth anniversary even more special!
Please click NEXT to read yet another story...
Image: Rishi Sood and Siri Manjunath
Photographs: Courtesy Siri Manjunath
'Why could they not have supported us earlier?'
Mukesh Nautiyal is from Uttaranchal. His wife is from Goa.
This is their story:
I met her for the first time, 24 years ago.
It was 1987.
After courting for over three years we decided to get married and told our parents about our decision.
Although we are both Hindu Brahmins, our parents refused to bless our marriage.
Our families disowned us.
We left our parents' home on the day of our wedding.
And after that the hardships started. Both of us faced them with determination.
It took us a few years to settle down.
Eventually both the sides came around and accepted us.
But this was not before having created a huge vacuum and raising the one important question in my mind.
Why could they not have supported us earlier?
My wife is more forgiving and continues to support me.
Next year we will be celebrating our 25th anniversary.
Are you a north Indian who's married a south Indian or vice versa?
How did you two meet?
How did your families react?
Was there enough drama for a Bollywood movie or a bestselling book? :-)
Email us the stories of your inter-cultural marriage!
Write to firstname.lastname@example.org (Subject line: 'My 2 States story') along with a picture of you and your spouse, and we will publish the best stories right here on Rediff.com!
Image: Mukesh Nautiyal and his wife