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Papa was extremely anxious about letting me go to another city. I least expected him to allow me to go to Mumbai for an MBA. We lived in the same city and attended family functions and community gatherings. His son Mehul and I are about the same age.

Although we never spoke much, we were fairly well acquainted.

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Little did they know that someday they would do anything in their power to change that. Leaving home was more difficult than I imagined.

I was unable to acclimatise to the new surroundings and it was challenging to focus on studies. Mehul checked on me often and tried to help me adjust. He introduced me to his friends. I, in turn, helped him with studies and presentations. Our friends thought that we were old friends perhaps.

We never felt the need to mention our family ties. Our daily group study sessions became longer. Meetings turned to longings. Longings turned to necessity. I realised that our relationship had long passed between cousins or friends. I had fallen for him, desperately.

He never voiced his feelings. But I guessed it was mutual from the way he stared at me for no reason and cared for me as if I belonged to him. He is my brother. I should not think about any other relationship with him.

It is incest! I wished I could go back in time and change the lives of our common ancestors. I could sense Mehul had similar reservations. I started shying away from meeting him. We finished college and got jobs in Mumbai, at different companies.

We went home before ing. My parents had started looking for a match for me. But my occupation with Mehul was getting firm rather than weak, with every passing moment. But he was a volcano waiting to erupt. Related reading: A cocktail of cultures.

Subhash Kaka and his wife, Lata Kaki, stared at him confused. Instead, his reply bewildered them. Without waiting for their reaction, he picked up his phone and sent me a text. I want to marry you.

I knew that I lacked the guts to do it. We met and poured our hearts out about our mutual feelings.

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But decided to do the huge amount of work to seek blessings of both our families. It was a mess.

There was no solution for the social stigma. Communication between our families had abruptly stopped in every way after our announcement. We did know our common blood relatives.

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We knew about the risks of inbreeding. But our hearts did not acknowledge the maths and science of it. What we only knew was we wanted to be together for life. We went to the extent of promising that we would never become natural parents and adopt instead. To put at least one concern to rest. Three years passed with futile attempts from both our families to change our minds.

They gave in for the sake of their children, as always happens. The awkwardness of the event took time to subside. We got wed in a grand ceremony with good wishes from all. We live in Mumbai. To onlookers who are unaware of our shared genes, we look like a pretty much routine-loving couple with a normal married life. Our resemblance in a couple of facial features is taken as coincidence.

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Of course, there are so many dimensions and perspectives in different cultures and communities. Some are best for the welfare of the race; some are rigid customs to maintain social discipline and avoid sufferings; while some are baseless irrationalities.

Mehul and I had stopped giving it a thought when we decided to follow our hearts. There are human urges beyond the influence of such commandments. But I do wonder at times though whether our love would have been any different if we did not have any common blood…. You must be logged in to post a comment. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam.

Learn how your comment data is processed. New-Age Couples. Nidhi Sodha September 6, Nidhi Sodha. As told to Nidhi Sodha Names changed to protect identities Papa was extremely anxious about letting me go to another city. Indian Marriage taboo. Leave a Comment Cancel Reply You must be logged in to post a comment.