Shope and I met at University while studying for our MPharm degrees over seven years ago. We became friends straight away and didn't realize how close we got. Our friendship quickly bloomed into love.
We had the most fantastic time living at University. We did everything together, from eating dinner to studying together. It was one of the best experiences of our lives, and our bond grew stronger and stronger over the years.
When the time came to tell my parents, they did not accept it as I had expected. They were disappointed with my choice and did not understand why I would want to marry someone from a different culture. They were worried about what other people would say and said that our marriage would not work. I did everything I could to convince them and make them understand. Shopè also tried by writing them a letter and trying to meet them. They didn't give in.
The hardest part was moving back home after our studies and living an hour apart during our pharmacist training year.
After five years of waiting and trying to convince my parents, I decided it was time to make my own decisions and control my life. 2020 came with its uncertainties with the global pandemic, but we took the step to move in together. My parents said they would disown me if I left the house, but I was finally ready to put myself first. It was the most challenging period of my life, but we did it and managed to stay in touch with my parents.
A few months later, Shope proposed to me, and we decided to make things official. There was a lot of anxiety about whether the wedding would happen or not due to Covid. But it was divinely aligned.
Unfortunately, my parents did not attend the wedding. They still do not accept our relationship, but I still have hope that one-day things will change.
We must stand up for what we believe in, whether it is against our parents or not. As a British-born Indian woman, I hope I have broken this oppressive cycle of not having the freedom to marry outside of our community. I hope that the steps I have taken will help pave the way for future generations.