2 States: The thought of losing him was killing me
We invited you, our dear readers, to share your 2 States stories with us. Riddhi Shah shares her story:
I was born and raised in Surat and I shifted to Mumbai in 2006, first to pursue my college and later to work for an oil refinery.
My boss there was Punil Shah, who wouldn't really speak to anyone about anything besides work.
Things were pretty normal and we had a usual boss-employee relationship.
I didn't like him a lot because he would never speak about anything apart from work and I, freshly graduated from college, eager to speak about anything and everything :-)
A year later, I quit and went on to pursue my MBA in Scotland.
We never kept in touch till until I received a call from him on my birthday while in Scotland!
I was surprised that he should have taken the effort to find out my contact details, remember my birthday and call me up!
After that day, we stayed in touch.
We went from the casual 'hello' to long hours of chat and an occasional video chat.
When I was India during my winter break, we met often, went out for dinner and late nigh ice-cream and coffee dates.
That was when I began realising that things were changing between us.
However, neither expressed anything.
Then one day, he went to Goa with his friends for a holiday and that's when he realised he was missing me.
Two days later, he returned to be with me because my vacations were getting over and told me what he felt and asked me if I felt the same.
My answer was a big yes!
So we decided to set things in order before I left for Scotland.
We brought it up with our parents and suggested that they meet each other.
At the meeting, both our parents raised their concerns:
That we belonged to different religions
That he was shorter than me by half an inch
That I was going back to Scotland and would return only after a year,
That he was more than six years older to me...
The list went on
Then of course, there were some misunderstandings too.
My parents said they need time to think over this because it would be a life-altering decision since I been brought up in a very free culture with no restrictions and that was not the case his family.
According to my parents, they were orthodox and my parents were concerned.
Things didn't go down very well and we decided to part ways because we knew we would never be able to convince them.
I returned to Scotland.
Even though, we were living apart, we couldn't resist talking to each other and so we did.
However Punil was already meeting prospective brides on his parents' insistence.
In fact they had even got him to meet someone called Riddhi!
Punil hadn't mentioned it to me but I learnt about it through a friend.
The thought of losing him was killing me.
That's when I called my Dad and I told him that I couldn't think of anyone else but him and begged him to convince my mother.
I hadn't expected him to help really but it was he who came around first and spoke to my mother about us.
So I left my dissertation incomplete and returned to India.
My parents faced a lot of criticism but they didn't care because I was happy.
Punil also managed to convince his parents somehow and after much hue and cry, the families agreed to get us married.
Rituals, food, venue, also became bones of contention between the two families.
But through all of this, we realised that it was important that we stay strong.
So On February 17, 2012 about a year after he'd proposed to me, we finally got married.
We still work in the same office but I have changed my department because I don't like to mix our professional and personal lives.
As for our parents? We've got them to accept and appreciate each other's cultures! :-)
ALSO READ More heartwarming stories like this one!
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: Riddhi Shah and her husband Punil