Being a romantic at heart, I have always been very dedicated in every relationship of mine. After a couple of failed relationships and miserable breakups, I met Avinash. We were doing our post grad together and had a lot of free time since we weren’t living with our families. We spent almost every waking minute together and it felt like a dream come true.
After being in a relationship for a while, we decided that we would tell our parents about taking things to the next level. My parents belong to two different communities and had made it clear to me that they would not have a problem with me settling down with someone from a different caste, religion or race.
However, Avinash was from a staunch Maharashtrian family, where these things were given a lot of importance. Yet, he had assured me that his parents were very liberal and would have no qualms about me being a Christian and non-Maharashtrian.
During our semester break we both went to our respective hometowns to tell our parents about our future plans. After having discussed everything with my parents, I was ecstatic as they trusted my choice and gave their consent.
After getting the good news from my parents, I checked my phone - it had a WhatsApp message from Avinash saying, “Going to talk to my dad about us. Talk to you in a bit <3”. I waited for his call/ text the entire day. I didn’t get one; I didn’t hear from him the next day either. He wasn’t even checking the messages I had sent him.
I finally called him on the third day; the moment he said “Hello”, I went on a rant about how worried I was and how could he just not bother to call or text. All he said was, “Natasha, we can’t continue with this relationship anymore.” I was devastated.
I had never spoken to my parents before about any of my relationships and they were pretty excited about Avinash when I told them. I couldn’t think straight. The feeling was similar to the way I felt when I’d been hit on my face with a basketball when I was a kid. I felt numb.
I asked him what had happened with his parents. In a meek voice he said that his dad had a problem with me being a Christian; his dad had also said that the society wouldn’t give him the same respect if his son married someone who didn’t belong to their caste. I was appalled. Coming from a multicultural family, it was shocking for me that even today educated people had such thoughts.
He then went on to say, “You being a Christian isn’t that big a problem, I could convince dad about it. But dad thinks you’re not fair enough for our family.”
I hung up right away. There was no point reasoning with people who still live with the mindset of the 18th century.
I received countless calls from Avinash, but I didn’t answer even one. It just broke my heart that such an unreasonable issue could end a perfectly happy and content relationship. I hope he someday finds a nice girl who is fair enough to be accepted into his family with respect.
As for me, I am having the time of my life being single; I recently backpacked across Europe. Looking back, I feel it was the changing point in my life. Being the independent woman that I am, I would have had a tough time adjusting with such narrow-minded people. I’m better off without them.
* Names changed to protect privacy.
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Published on Jan 25, 2016