As we all know that 14 February is been celebrated as Valentine’s Day. On the occasion of a beautiful day of love, we present you with real-life beautiful stories of couples who moved mountains for love:
- ZAHID SHAFI ANSARI & RANJAN KOUL
Ranjan Koul realised that he is the one when he first met Zahid Shafi. Having a lot of controversial differences of being Hindu and Muslim, man and man relationship is of course an ongoing stigma in society.
Koul was born in India and Zahid Shafi in Saudi Arabia. Different cultures but that never stopped their love for one another instead that made them even closer. At present, they work in the same organisation.
Ranjan Koul says, “Being gay and out, we have made sure everyone we come in contact with knows. Both of us refuse to be in the closet and will ensure the other gets respect and acknowledgment as a partner.”
Sixteen years: Never ending “I love you”, lots of laughter, lots of travel, a few Pride parades, a few cats, comfortable silences, getting dragged to concerts or garden centers, some weddings, some births, some illnesses, some deaths, ” Koul said with counting for more years of togetherness.
Love is love there are no boundaries, let us all realise that.
Inputs: Ranjan Koul
- SALMA SIDDIQUI & KRISHAN CHANDER
It all started in the 1950s while India was planning its post-Independence status.
Salma Siddiqui had admired Krishan Chander, a leading light of the Progressive Writers’ Movement, for many years who was her father’s friend. Chander was older than her by 20 years. She fell in love with Chander’s Urdu short stories and novels while in university in Aligarh.
Salma was the mother of three with a Muslim man who was a respected public intellectual in Bombay. But she fell in love with Chander.
With many disbelief, judgments of being from a different religion, a woman who was already married to a lawyer with three kids which led to guilt. They proved their critics wrong for over 20 years and the unexpected death of Chandra in 1977. The couple had been in a married life with lots of love and care for each other.
Salma’s granddaughter, Rehana Munir wrote, “The Urdu word ‘fidaa’ aptly captures Krishanji’s adoring response to my grandmother. She told us stories of his humor and humanity until her last days in 2017.”
“I’ve preserved a wooden statue of Saraswati that my grandmother kept among her books – a legacy of her relationship with her second husband, with whom she shared a deep love for a syncretic Hindustan. An atheist myself, it reminds me of where I come from and of the cultural riches I have inherited, no matter how bleak the times.”
Inputs: Rehana Munir
- VINAYA KURTKOTI & TONY KURIAN
“Growing up, the “joke” in my extended family was, “You can marry anyone — anyone at all, just don’t marry a Muslim, Christian, Dalit, or a woman”, Vinaya Kurtkoti said.
Tony Kurian and Vinaya Kurtkoti finally decided to announce their relationship with their families.
The couple who met on Tinder fell in love and was not sure how their families would react. Vinaya belongs to an upper-caste family Tony Kuria is a Syrian Christian from Kerala with a disability and also three years younger than her. He is an atheist and communist.
“Both our families surprised us in many ways when we broke the news to them. My parents had met him when we were friends; they continued to treat him with love, respect, and trust. Tony moved in with me during the lockdown, and has since taken over several responsibilities in my parents’ home: solving tech problems, dad’s physiotherapy exercises, writing diplomatic emails, utensil washing and ceiling fan cleaning! Lockdown was announced before I could meet his family, but his conservative Syrian Christian family could not stop welcoming me into the family with multiple welcome videos, ” wrote Vinaya Kurtkoti.
We were so happy that both the families were welcoming and that she found someone as wonderful as Tony to spend the rest of her life with. During the lockdown, they got married in the presence of 50 guests and Tony’s family attended the wedding over Zoom.
” At times, society throws some bizarre comments our way about “love jihad” or how I’m “bold” to make this decision, but I’m fortunate enough to have parents who understand our relationship and don’t pay any attention to society’s judgmental comments,” Vinaya Kurtkoti said.
Inputs: Vinaya Kurtkoti
Note: Stories fetched from Indian Love Project