2 States: We have more occasions to celebrate
We invited you, our dear readers, to share your 2 States stories. Here are two new responses:
Squadron Leader Vijay Nair shares the story of his wedding to Mansi Bhatnagar:
Our surnames should be enough to understand the places and culture we belong to. But I truly believe that fate has its own way of creating things which are at times inexplicable. And now when I look back it all seems a story... of course with a happy ending!!
I was posted to New Delhi on August 28, 2006. While rounds of proposals were going on for my marriage, nothing materialised till January 2007.
Believe me, going through proposals is more torturous than getting married itself. But that can be a separate story in itself.
Frustrated with the series of events, I planned to re-kindle my passion for dance by joining the Shiamak Dance Workshop at Vasant Vihar on weekends.
Soon I had a group of similar thinking people and we struck a chord.
Amongst them was this silent girl who rarely had an opinion on anything and was hardly affected by the chaos around.
The group introduced to her and that's how I met Mansi. I was then told that she belonged to Uttar Pradesh and was born and brought up in Delhi.
Somehow the inbuilt filter in me filtered her out as a marriage prospect given her origins.
My brother had gone through some ordeal for his marriage to a known Marathi girl and so I didn't want to take a similar stress for an unknown UP girl.
Our conversations were limited to 'Hi' and 'Bye' till one day when I was travelling back from Chandigarh, I messaged everyone in the Dance group.
However, she was the only one to respond to my message.
We started conversing and I came to know that she too is going through a series of arranged marriage proposals.
We soon had a common ground to talk and started discussing the pros and cons of every proposal we had been through.
It didn't take much time for us to understand that we ourselves are best suited for each other as our compatibility and expectations matched to what we wanted from our future spouse.
There was more of a mutual consensus than a proposal and acceptance. However we knew that it was just the beginning.
As her family was getting her ready for another arranged marriage proposal, she had to mention about me.
Her brother was most practical as compared to others who were more apprehensive due to obvious cultural differences.
As it is for every north Indian anything below Mumbai is 'Madrasi' :-)
I had a man-to-man conversation with her brother and clarified my stand that I would be speaking to my parents in a months' time and in case my parents agree to the proposal we can go ahead with further discussions.
It was acceptable to him and the only thing he said was not to delay it to a level where they couldn't wait.
I made a short visit to my parents' place and to my surprise they agreed to it saying there were okay if this is what I wanted.
It was followed by rounds of visits/discussions from either sides but fortunately nothing dramatic happened to spoil the case.
While there would have been undercurrents and behind-the-scenes issues, none of them are to my knowledge till date.
There is where I feel it was all fate and slated to happen this way.
What followed as a mix of marriages first as per Kerala tradition and then as per UP customs in Delhi on February 1, 2008 followed by a reception in Ahmedabad where my parents resided.
I firmly believe that it's not the culture but the people who matter.
To this date, after over six years there has not been a point of discomfort between my parents and in-laws.
In fact it has always been an environment of happiness and joy whenever both families come together.
It's also great to have more occasions to celebrate...
But more importantly, the celebration of life continues with my beautiful wife and two cute daughters who are yet to know the differences in our cultures :-)
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Image: Flight Lieutenant Vijay Nair and Mansi Bhatnagar have been married for a little over six years now
The girl who defied traditions... 40 years ago!
Vijayendra Sheth shares this fascinating story of a cross-cultural marriage that happened over four decades ago.
My mother Usha (65) is a Konkani/Marathi-speaking woman from Goa and my father Harshad (70) is a Gujarati Jain from Saurashtra Gujarat.
Both, however, were born and raised in Mumbai and met at the office they used to work for.
It was more than 40 years ago and it came as a huge shock to both families.
My father's side was more open to the idea, though my mother's family was dead against it.
And so for about two years, my parents broke up and stayed away.
Then one day, they decided to get married anyway.
They got married in August as per the Arya Samaj customs.
Only my father's family was present; my mother's family thought she had gone to work!
A week after the wedding, my mother slipped a letter under her father's pillow and went away to live with my father.
Things at my father's place were not as amicable as she would have liked -- the five brothers and my grandparents lived together.
My mother knew no Gujarati and so she took special efforts to learn the language and the new religion.
She also managed to miraculously balance work and household chores evenly and was a wonderful mother to her three children -- my two older sisters and me.
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 email@example.com (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: Harshad and Usha (seated) defied traditions and got married more than 40 years ago