I have never been the one to blindly follow the ‘norms’ of the society. Now that I think of it, I have always been a rebel. And I am proud of it! Through my 31 years of life, I don’t remember a time when either of my parents took a decision or an action prioritizing their happiness and wishes. It has always been about ‘society kya sochegi?’ or ‘rishtedaar kya bolenge?’ But who is this society and where are these rishtedaar who judge too easily, but are never around when we need them? By the time I had enough sense of the world around me, I distanced myself from the narrow-mindedness of my parents, who were, and still are, too rigid to change or accept me for who I am – I am open to the different choices this world has to offer me and I can’t be bothered with the ‘society’.
I consider myself lucky to have found a partner who shares my beliefs. We met in college almost 10 years ago. Her free-spirited, compassionate and warm nature is what drew me to her. I knew instantly that this would be a problem with my parents – because she is unlike the kind of girl they were expecting me to marry, let alone the fact that we don’t belong to the same caste. When we decided to get married, we wanted it to be a small and private affair and not a big fat wedding, which of course became another bone of contention between my parents and us. The same insane questions – ‘society kya sochegi?’ ‘rishtedaar kya bolenge?’ After having tried and failed at convincing them for a year, we decided to take the high road. Thankfully her parents were happy with our choices and gave us their blessings.
We have been married for 1.5 years now, and things did not go as planned in the first year. Halfway into the first year, we found ourselves in a situation where we both needed support and as natural a response as could have been at that time, we turned to my wife’s parents for support. Yes, that’s right, I will give you one reason why – her family has opened their arms to me and accepted me in ways even my own parents failed to. And so we moved in with my in-laws, who are my family too now.
I know so many of those who will read this would be quick to judge because what we did is odd, not the norm. But who decides that? When we decided to spend our lives together, it also meant an unspoken promise to provide each other with an environment of care, comfort & acceptance. I am merely fulfilling that promise made to her. I am living with my wife’s parents because we needed their support and care (as did they) and is no different than she moving into my parent’s home if they were just as accepting of her. This in no way means I do not fulfill my responsibilities to my parents. They are my family & will always be, and am there to support them whenever they need me. There is nothing wrong with prioritising your happiness, those who don’t agree need to understand this – at the end of the day it wouldn’t matter what the world thinks about your choices, the only thing that will matter is whether you are content with the choices you make and how does it impact those who truly love and accept you as you are.