Editor’s Note: This is a part of our #UnsanskariLove campaign, which spotlights the love stories of queer/inter-faith/inter-caste couples whose love is deemed ‘unacceptable’ by society. In this time of rising intolerance and prejudice, it is more important than ever to cherish and protect the love stories of these brave couples.
I had been going through a difficult time in life – my father was bedridden and everyone thought he would die soon, my mother was clinically depressed and would wake up in the middle of the night with panic attacks, and my brother was egoistic, unhelpful, and only concerned about his girlfriend. I belonged to the Rajput clan, which has never given me anything in my life of 25 years and 7 months.
I would have to cook all three meals, take care of my parents, and also attend college as much as possible so that I could appear in my final exams. On weekends, I would go to a coaching class – and that is when I fell in love with my Muslim boyfriend.
My friend pointed him out to me. He was sitting among 4 other guys in a class of 300, but I only noticed him. He was wearing a polo neck t-shirt with a weird collar. I saw him from the back and wanted to see his face too, but luck didn’t work that day.
Eventually I went a half hour early to class one day just to see his face and I finally saw him. At that time I tried to dismiss it as a crush, but my feelings would not be dismissed that easily. One day, during the break when I was on my way to the canteen, he noticed me and said something to his friends. I was in seventh heaven because he had noticed me!
So many people have left me, but this man is worth it all.
But I still did not even know his name. I am a very shy person and I was going through a lot, so I couldn’t bring myself to walk up to him and speak to him. He would be very aloof, focussing on his studies and not talking to a lot of people, which only lowered my confidence even more. I assumed he was already in a relationship.
One year passed and the initial basic course at our coaching class ended. I thought that he might come and finally speak to me on the last day of class, because he had seen me checking him out. I waited for him, but he never came. My house was 10 kms away from my coaching class, and I cried for those 10 kms while driving my Scooty. I didn’t understand how I had fallen in love with a guy without even knowing his name, let alone his family background, his college, or his hometown.
I lost hope of meeting him again and didn’t want to go to coaching again after my exams ended because I didn’t want to revisit the centre and cry about having lost him. But my friend convinced me that these classes are helpful and would help me in future so I just went. On the second day of class, I saw him again and literally jumped for joy like a mad person. Feeling braver, I asked one of my guy friends to ask him for his name and his Facebook ID, which he did.
I finally learned his name for the first time and realized he was Muslim. I was wracked with questions, curiosity and anxiety. I was worried about the situation and didn’t know what to do. My friend told me to just know him more – maybe he was already committed, or we would not be compatible. This calmed me down, and I added him from my best friend’s Facebook ID. I told him, from her account, that there was someone that was interested in him in the coaching class and wanted to talk to him. Consequently, he sent me a friend request, and I realized he wanted to know me too.
when we look at what has been happening to other inter-faith couples, we are scared to hold hands.
On 29th March 2014, we started talking. We spoke about everything, and I realized he was not what other people said he was. He was as humane as me. My college friends ostracized me because I was in love with a Muslim man, and emotionally tortured me. Even my best friend boycotted me. She thought that having a crush on him was fine, but planning a future with him was stupidity. When I tell someone I am committed to a Muslim man, they look at me like I have planned to bomb the place.
So many people have left me, but this man is worth it all. I have been harassed and sexually assaulted by guys from my own religion. This man is loving, caring and supports me in being true to myself. He has always supported me in pursuing my passion when I decided to switch my career. I am working and studying at the same time, which makes me stay away from home for more than 12 hours, but his only concern is my safety. He’s very secure and trusts me, and has never limited me from doing anything I want. He is a good man, he takes care of his family and works hard to support them. He bought a Scooty for his sisters, but travels by metro himself.
We have a small dream of owning a house, working in nice places, earning a good living and taking care of our parents. But our love lives in secrecy because we are from different religions. We earn our own living and we’ve never harmed anyone, but when we look at what has been happening to other inter-faith couples, we are scared of holding each other’s hand. I can’t put up a picture of mine with him anywhere, because I am scared one of these men with political agendas from some sena will find it and try to harm him for no reason. I see people turning into demons everyday in Uttar Pradesh, and sometimes I wonder why we study and work so hard when these devils are ruling us and trying to decide our fates.
I have never hugged him in these 5 years of being together. I haven’t put up any picture with him on Facebook in these 5 years. I must always remember not to tag him in any picture so people do not see our interactions. Whenever he drops me at a metro station I am always worried about whether he will reach home safely or not. He is fighting so badly to upgrade his status from middle class to upper class so that nobody can harm us in the future. I pity those Indians who try to term such relationships and dreams as ‘love jihad’.
I am scared one of these men with political agendas from some sena will find it and try to harm him for no reason.
He is an Indian and has given far more to this country in GDP than you political goons. He pays his taxes in time and contributes far more than you devils, who have done nothing for this country, state, system and even yourselves. He has done a lot more to promote education and help the financial status of people who were in need of it. I’m not the only one in love with a someone from other faith – I’ve encountered 8 people in the same situation, but had to part ways due to this pressure.
Today, I am scared because I am a no one in this society. The day I become something, I’ll marry my love in the grandest wedding in that Uttar Pradesh has seen. Love will win in this battle of illiteracy and communal hatred.