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To be honest, I had wondered if it would feel weird to see two men or two women marrying each other, but that day, I realized that there’s nothing more beautiful than watching two people immensely in love coming together.
Unlike the rest of the world, when everyone celebrates February as the month of love, from next year onward, I’ll be celebrating April as the month of love in my life instead. Because it is in April that love won not once or twice but thrice, over the differences, divisions, and even hate that we human beings create in our minds for each other, and made way for three very unlikely weddings to happen.
My husband and I got married in April 8 years ago, after a long outer as well as inner battle (I am married to not an Indian but a North-American man).
And this year, after what seemed like an eternity and near impossibility, 2 people I care for got married in an inter-caste wedding back home (yes, it is still a problem in our country, especially if one of them belongs to a supposedly ‘low’ caste).
And last but not the least, 2 women who are very close to my heart, a lesbian couple, after postponing their wedding quite a few times because of COVID, finally walked down the aisle and exchanged vows in the month of April too.
And so for the June just gone – the Pride month, it is them I write about here, and why their love and wedding have a very special place in my heart. #CelebrateTheRainbow
This couple entered my life, 8 yrs ago, with my marriage. Not Indian like me, they are two very close friends of my husband, the most beautiful, most compassionate human beings I have ever known. These women are humorous, feminist, anti-racist, opinionated yet open-minded, environmentalists, and dare I say vegan too.
No, I, by no means, am trying to say here that it is one’s diet that decides what kind of a person one is. I have both vegetarians as well as some non-vegetarians in my family and I love them all equally, yet, it does say something about your intentions and character especially when you grow up eating a majorly meat based diet, and let go of all that only out of your love for animals and a genuine concern for the environment. These two women have done that.
They both are teachers by profession and now are getting their degrees to hopefully work as Principals someday. Their students are children of people who are not so-well-to-do economically. Not only North Americans but children of immigrants too from all over the world: Somalia, Peru, Argentina, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and even India.
Just like any other two people in love, I have seen them for the last 8 years sticking together through every thick and thin, no matter what kind of problem life has thrown at them, and facing it together head-on: including coming out to their families (grandparents mainly), facing deaths in the families and so the pain, sorrow, and unexpected responsibilities it brings.
I was never homophobic. In fact, like most decent human beings, as long as a person was nice to me, it didn’t matter to me who they were: their caste, religion, creed, or sexuality. Yet, to be honest, there was still a little bit of curiosity before I met them. A general curiosity that many of us have about what do they look like, if they look any different, behave any differently, etc.
So knowing this couple personally has changed a lot in me. It has broadened the horizons of my mind, and has enriched my life in more than one way.
To start with, they have never once judged me or treated me unfairly for not just being from a different country, but different culture, religion, and of a different colour too.
Most movies (especially Bollywood) still mostly make homophobic jokes – gay men are considered excessively feminine, and homosexual women very manly. They are nothing like most movies show. They are simply what they are and not trying to be anything they are not. Their love for each other is just like that of any couple who truly love and care for each other – just like my husband and I, my parents, their parents, and grandparents.
They both are teachers- not the highest paying occupation out there, yet the way they care for their students (irrespective of the race or ethnicity of the child) and go out of their way to help them out, you can’t help but wonder and question, that why is it that world is still so afraid of them? You can’t help but question yourself, why is it that we still have issues accepting them as they are and just letting them be?
I have seen them buying gloves in the winter for their entire class. The entire class! I have seen them buying cat food just because one of the students said his cat didn’t have any food to eat. Cartons of milk and meals out of their own pockets just because a kid didn’t have her lunch, or because a student said there was no milk at their home.
Not just their students, they are very dear to my child too and make two wonderful and very loving aunts to her. They have been in her life since the first time she cried, have changed her poop-laden diapers without a frown on their faces, have given her baths, read her stories, and have bought her numerous gifts very lovingly.
After my siblings and my husband’s siblings, if I can trust my child with anyone, it is them. God forbid if something happens to my husband and me in the future, after my husband’s siblings (my siblings live too far away), it is them I would entrust my child with. I know for sure that they will love her like their own and guide her to grow into a strong yet compassionate human being who will have the courage to follow her heart and be herself.
I once had a very heartening and rather eye-opening experience of meeting a gay couple too here in the United States. My husband’s friend’s friends: An American man married to one of our own: a handsome but a tad shy Punjabi munda.
The four of us hit it off really well because of the similarity in our marriages. The food we cook at home, the movies/shows we watch, my husband and that American man’s very limited knowledge of Hindi yet rather astonishing knowledge of the Hindi slang (Ah, men! straight or gay, Indian or North-American, I tell you they are very similar in many ways!), etc.
They too were again nothing like most movies show. Not effeminate. Yes, I did notice a soft/sensitive side to them that not all men have (or choose not to show), but then my husband has that too. A quality, that in my humble opinion, only adds to a man’s beauty, straight or gay. I still remember that after that meeting, how I had told my husband that if I wasn’t in love with him and if those guys weren’t married, I might have fallen for one of them. Because how nice they both were, how genuinely happy they looked with each other, and how fondly and with love, they talked about each other. Especially the American guy (he was learning to make aloo sabji and all, and he called it like that: aloo sabji and not curry).
Coming back to the wedding of the two ladies, it was in the month of April that I had the honour of becoming a part of this wedding. I wouldn’t take any more of your time here in describing how it was one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever been to, because it indeed was and I loved absolutely everything about it: the decorations, the food, the music, more importantly, the fact that most guests (some 100-150 people) looked so very happy to be there, to be able to witness that not-so-common union. But most beautiful of all, it were the two very happy brides who took my breath away that day.
To be honest, I had wondered earlier (until I met these two and a few times later too) that if I ever got to attend a same-sex wedding, would it feel weird to see two men or two women marrying each other? But that day, I realized, looking at my lovely friends as happy as they were (their families too), that there is nothing more beautiful than watching two people immensely in love coming together and committing to each other for the rest of their lives. That there is nothing more beautiful than watching two very happy individuals, two souls happily getting married. No matter what the gender.
These two women may not be a definite pink or a blue, they might be slightly different, but that fact has only added more beauty, more vibrancy, and more colors to my life. Their love for each other has only reinforced my (only) belief that there is no stronger force in this world than love, nothing more beautiful than love, and where there is love, nothing is wrong and unnatural.
Rainbows, the thing about them is that only when you can quieten your mind, only when you can silence every thought and let go of what you have heard or others might have told you of them, can you see their beauty. And when you do, aren’t they breathtaking?
Published here first.
Image source: Kevin Heslin from Getty Images Free for Canva Pro
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A mother, a wife, a daughter. More than that, a human being like everybody else, full of faults yet her own beauty. read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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