2 states: 'Love is all you need!'
We had asked you, our dear readers, to tell us what it is really like for a south Indian to marry a north Indian and have been inundated with your responses.
Here are three more real-life 2 States stories:
Vandana Chaudhary shares the story of her marriage to Anand:
It all started from the IIT campus canteen where I was sipping on my chai and a smart naval officer walks in the canteen.
Only after I was vigorously nudged by my friend from my stupor, I realised that he was accompanied by another friend who I knew.
Wasting no time, I casually asked for his mobile number, as I was new to the city. He politely obliged... and it ended there.
In due course I learnt that he was a south Indian from Pondicherry who was based out of Visakhapatnam.
As I was working in Bengaluru, chances of us meeting again looked extremely bleak.
But two years after this chance meeting, in 2007, I was transferred to Mumbai.
It so happened that the naval officer I had met was also there, albeit for a temporary duty.
This was when we finally met and decided that we were so made for each other.
The real problem however started when we discussed marriage.
Although from an unorthodox family, most marriages in my family had been arranged.
For Anand, it was all the more difficult as he was a Tamil Brahmin.
We deliberated, discussed and debated and finally came to the conclusion that it's not going to work out.
We decided to call off the whole thing.
More days passed and after a few months, we realised it was not a good decision after all.
We decided to give it a shot.
Telling my parents that I had fallen for a south Indian was one of the toughest moments of my life.
That night they didn't sleep!
Predictably, Anand's family reacted similarly.
However, we somehow managed to convince our respective parents to meet each.
Anand reached Delhi that year in December and my parents went to receive him to the airport.
They were taken aback, when Anand fell at their feet, in true north Indian style :)
(I had instructed him to do so :-P)
My dad, who had been extremely anxious and curious started grilling Anand the moment he stepped inside the car!
By the time they reached home (it takes 45 mins from the airport) Anand (admitted later) he was finding ways to fend off the 'questions'.
While my dad continued grilling, mom instantly struck a chord with Anand. He says, she (and the food) was the only reasons he could survive two days in Delhi.
After two days, Dad was pretty convinced and consented to a meeting with his parents… whew!
They met, they liked each other, mommies cooked sambhar and aloo parathas together and the date was decided -- February 13, 2009.
It was a Friday :-)
Just when we thought it was all hunky dory, the discussion began on the marriage ceremonies.
As north Indians, we had customs that had to be conducted in the late evenings; south Indian weddings were usually take place early in the mornings.
More discussions ensued.
We tried to intervene and were ruthlessly brushed saying it was between the parents.
Finally it was decided that weddings will be conducted according to both the traditions! That seemed fair.
On the day of wedding I woke up at 4 am and got dressed in heavy Kacheevaram sari with flowers that pulled my neck backwards and gold that weighed it down forward.
I was actually balancing my neck precariously and sat through the two-and-a-half hour long ceremony.
This was followed by another really long ceremony (in the north Indian tradition) involving relatives from the bride's side presenting gifts to the couple.
Today, when we look back at those differences, in traditions, language, culture, it all seems so frivolous. The key takeaway from our marriage was love is all you need to sustain.
We celebrate Diwali with same gusto as Pongal.
And life just gets better with two different cultures! :-)
Image: Vandana and Anand have been married for five years now
'When she is with me it is heaven'
Next, Kapil Relan shares the story of his marriage to Sonali:
They say marriages are made in heaven, but the day I met Sonali was heaven on earth.
I saw her on the first day of our tuition classes in my second year of graduation.
She was simple and shy. And I remember her smile even six-and-a-half years later like it was yesterday.
We started talking to each other over exchange of books and other study materials.
She used to come over to my place to study and became part of my family.
But no one at the time thought once that we'd want to get married!
It was only after we completed our graduation and I moved to another city for further studies, I realised how much I missed her.
I was really confused about the feelings I was dealing with.
She too was having a tough time.
No words were enough for us share what we were feeling, no proposals, no promises, but we knew what beautiful phase of life we were cherishing.
She too joined me in the same city to pursue her master's degree.
Those were good times :-)
We completed our education and now it was time to announce the big decision!
It really was difficult to convince my (very emotional) mother who started crying the moment I mentioned her name.
The same scene was being played out at her home, only with her father :-)
In-between settling into our new jobs, we were trying to get our families on our side.
She managed to convince her mother and her older brother but not one of my 13 family members was happy about the idea.
So finally, after over two years of futile efforts, we got married against our parents' knowledge and told them about it good two days after our wedding.
Of course, things became more terrifying than ever but eventually the dust settled.
It has only been two months since our wedding but we've been in a relationship for six long years.
For all this time, she has been with me at every step, caring for me and loving me.
When she is with me it is heaven! :-)
Image: Kapil and Sonali Relan have been married for a little over two months.
'It was the best day of my life!'
And finally, we have Prakash S who shares the story of his marriage to Neha:
I come from a very orthodox Brahmin family and my wife hails from Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh.
We met at the company we work for in Mumbai and bonded over being outsiders in a new city.
Barely a few days had passed since we got to know each other I proposed to her… without once thinking of the consequences.
At first she didn't say anything but some days later she agreed!
It was the best day of my life!
We had also decided that we wouldn't get married without our parents' permission.
As usual, we faced several problems.
The usual concerns about diverse cultures came up and lot of emotional scenes were being played out at our homes.
But we stood our ground.
We wanted to be together forever and after much convincing, our parents finally agreed.
On April 7 last year, we finally got married and it has been a great ride!
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: Prakash S and Neha celebrated the first anniversary of their wedding earlier this month.