Posted On Saturday, August 04, 2012 at 08:57:05 AM
I am a 22-year-old Hindu woman. I am in a relationship with a Bohri man, who comes from a very broadminded family.
He loves me selflessly without pretending to be someone else. His family knows about us and they have accepted me with much love. To them, religion doesn’t matter.
However, my mother says it’s not possible for me to marry him. And she is right. People will run like rabbits to gossip. I love my parents and can’t disgrace them. I know I will never find a guy like him.
He is an engineer and both of us are graduating in a month. It’s unfortunate that we live in such a society. What should I do?
- Gossip Feeder
Dear Gossip Feeder,
Gawd, this is the kind of question I dread answering. I hate myself for having to accept societal stupidity when my head, heart and every other body part tell me that I should not even be letting such outdated cussedness enter the discussion. But what can I say?
When Hindu parents still kill their children over caste and gotra, it’s frightening to think of the hardened attitudes when two different religions are involved, especially two marked by such irrational fears and unfounded suspicions about each other. Having said this, count yourself blessed that Mr Bohri is so perfect and, more important, has a family to match. The fact that they have welcomed you with open arms makes them very special indeed.
My hats off to them. With half the battle won, you should try every method — and all your daughterly charm — to bring around your own parents. I’m glad to hear that you are so understanding of their position, but the fact that ‘people will run like rabbits to gossip’ should be the least of your worries — or theirs.
Their real fear stems from whether you will be able to live in so culturally different a milieu. Convince them that this is a broadminded family with a modern lifestyle, so they have nothing to lose sleep over.
As for ‘disgrace’, it’s an imaginary phantom; say ‘Boo’ to it loudly and it will disappear. As I have advised in the past, if parents are graciously accepting about an intercommunity/ caste marriage, it effectively shuts the jabbering mouths. Trust me, I speak from experience.
Not from mine, but that of my mother. She too, had got into a state of hysterics about losing face in society when my sister decided to marry a Bengali. But knowing what a nice guy he was and how much my sister loved him, we convinced Mama to be sensible and place her daughter’s interests above the bitching of idle busybodies.
And everyone lived happily ever after. Even the hyenas found some other prey. Hope your mom understands this, too.