It all began when my parents decided to start looking for a suitable match for me. I was a 24-year-old Indian girl, living with my family in Australia. Although we had lived abroad for a long time, my family was still a simple, typical Indian family, and so was I. I did not have many friends as my parents did not approve of most of them and I had never had a boyfriend for the same reasons.
One day my dad suggested one of his childhood friend’s son, Sid, as a match for me. The following day, our parents spoke over the phone. When I came home from work, my mother ceaselessly talked about how wonderful the family was, how Sid and I used to play together as kids and how over the years we had lost touch. I was never much of a rebel. I wanted to get married wherever my parents deemed appropriate, but at that point I didn't feel very enthusiastic about it because I had just gotten a job as an air hostess with one of Australia’s largest airlines, and my career was what I wanted to focus on. So I kept dodging and ignoring their requests to contact Sid.
Our parents started conversing on a regular basis. Every day I came home to new stories of their conversations and persistent requests to talk to Sid. While my mom was lecturing me one day, my dad said, “Just leave it. We have tried our best and we won't say anymore regarding her wedding.” The last thing I wanted to do was disappoint my parents and so I gave in, and messaged Sid on Facebook asking him how he was doing. Although I wasn’t expecting a response, I felt a little disappointed when he actually didn't reply.
After around a week he replied, saying he was well and asking me about my health. Since then we have never looked back. I found him to be an honest and wonderful person. We used to talk over Skype, but never committed anything to each other as we were not in a hurry and wanted to first meet in person. Somehow everything had worked out perfectly and everyone was happy, including our parents.
Two months into it, one day when I came home, my parents abruptly asked me to stop speaking to him. All of a sudden they started disapproving of Sid’s family. Neither Sid nor I knew what had happened, and no one ever told us. Later, we figured out that it was probably an ego clash between the two moms. They started emotionally blackmailing me to keep me from talking to him.
I liked talking to him and I kept doing so secretly, despite my parents’ protests. I planned to meet him on the pretext of going for a holiday to India. My mother got suspicious and insisted on coming with me. I managed to meet him 12 times in the 2 months that I was in India. My mother tried to persuade me to see other guys and this turned into a lot of emotional drama, but I didn’t agree.
The time we spent together was magical - secret meetings, coffee dates, park bench dates, sneaking around in autos and going to watch movies. He was kind, caring, loving, romantic and emotional. We had undoubtedly fallen deeply and madly in love. At times, I felt guilty about lying to my parents, but he was one person I just could not let go of.
I came back to Australia with a heavy heart told him to try for a student visa to New Zealand as it was cheaper. Although he was a senior executive engineer with a successful job in a good company and had never wanted to leave India, he agreed to try.
After studying for IELTS for months, quitting his permanent job, persuading his parents, selling his beloved bike and saying bye to all his friends and family - just for me - he moved to New Zealand. After studying engineering and MBA for 6 years in India, he studied again for a year as he was on a student visa. I went back and forth to New Zealand as by then I had moved to a different city because of my job. We again tried persuading our parents to marry us, but in vain.
Finally, after three and a half years of trying to convince our parents, we married each other in a court in New Zealand without their approval (although we informed them). His mum did not talk to him for a year and my mum also didn’t talk to me for 2 months. But now, there was a bigger challenge. He was still in New Zealand and I had to come back to Australia for work. We put his visa application through and after 7 months he finally moved to Australia.
He is till date one of the best things that has ever happened to me. We went to see my parents after our marriage; although my mum is still not very friendly with him, my dad loves him dearly. We then went back to India to see his parents. His mum didn't talk to me at first, but eventually I won her over and now we are back in Australia.
I never thought I would be such a rebel, but I loved him so much, I could not bear to give up on him, and he moved two countries just for me and for our love.
*Names changed to protect privacy.
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Published on Mar 21, 2016