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Mr. & Mrs. Chellarajan

We were in a long-distance relationship for a few months shy of a decade. Our relationship seemed impossible. But, we were young, naïve, and riding that endless wave of bliss, the bliss of having found our soulmates.

We grew up in Zambia, met in high school, became inseparable friends by graduation, and took the leap of faith before leaving for college. @mrs.chellarajan went to South Africa, I went to the USA, and in the beginning, we'd meet back home in Zambia twice a year.

All the while, I insisted on keeping our relationship a secret. A young man's fears of disappointment, guilt, rebuke - an unfair burden to put on anyone you love. But @mrs.chellarajan stood by me the whole way. We kept it in the shadows for years, with her Zambian family fully aware and incredibly patient and my Indian family seemingly oblivious. Inevitably, the time had come.

I told my parents five years in, opening a Pandora's Box. The following years were filled with grief, anger, denial, negotiation, depression. Until we finally reached the point of acceptance. Those days were dark and filled with immense heartache for everyone involved, but we all had to go through it to grow from it.

On my side, we are an immigrant family who'd left our homelands on two consecutive generations. All we had was each other, making it impossible to disown each other. So, we held on. Eventually, stereotypes were broken down and replaced by the person, giving my family the chance to love this incredible human being.

Today, we've been married for six months with the full blessing and support of our parents and families, having gone through a wedding and a global migration during these COVID times, and finally living together in Toronto. My parents and @mrs.chellarajan have a deep and vulnerable relationship, one not even I have with them. And it feels like everything we've gone through should have broken us by now, but maybe we're still riding that wave of bliss.

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