Reema and Rahul had met during their graduation days.
Their friendship slowly turned into eternal love. Let me clarify one thing here, they both loved each other intensely but they never spoke about marriage to each other. Was it that they did not want to marry or they had some other plans?
They did not fall in love with each other only, rather they fell in love with each other’s dreams, career plans, future plans, studies, job, everything. They were in their early 20’s, and the only thing that mattered to them was their career, not alone but with each other. Both understood each other so well that there was just no space left for any third person. They completed their graduation with flying colors. Reema was hostelite and she had to be back to her home after graduation.
Getting separated was very tough but both had decided to do MBA from the same college. Staying apart at different cities, with no mobile phones and the only thing they could rely upon were letters. It was very tough, but their will power was so strong that they both got admission in the same college. Reema got it in the first attempt and Rahul had to wait for three months for appearing for the second attempt. She went to Delhi, their dream city for pursuing further studies.
These three months she did a lot of home work in terms of the cost of living in Delhi, studies and rest all expenses. Once when Rahul got admission in the same college, they had to take a call. Both coming from lower-middle-class family knew that the expenses were high and the pocket money that they got from their home was very less. The path was tough, but the determination to make a bright future was also very high.
They decided to stay together, what we call a ‘live-in relationship’ as this would ease their expenses and they would be able to support each other mentally and financially. It wasn’t easy for them to get home, wherever they approached they were questioned about their marital status. They were shocked to see that for a girl and boy to live together, they needed a stamp of being married.
After a lot of struggle, they managed to get a small apartment with the help of their friend. Their journey started, these two years of MBA made their relationship very strong. Still, they never spoke about marriage. They passed out of their college and got handsome paying jobs.
Their ‘live-in relationship’ was still on.
This time they thought to take a bigger home. They started approaching agents and landlords but everywhere they were again asked the same question of being married.
Out of peer and societal pressure, both decided to have a court marriage as that would not involve a lot of expenses and they would get a marriage certificate also. Both were against any lavish marriage, none of their parents had any objection and they took this decision with a lot of deep thinking and self-research.
Reema was a girl who did not believe in wearing any mangalsutra, or sindoor and was always in her jeans. Rahul never forced her to do so also. But this habit of Reema made their lives more miserable. Wherever they went to look for a house, the ladies asked Reema that despite being married, why is she like a ‘Jhalli’? Why doesn’t she wear bindi, sindoor and mangalsutra? It was becoming enough for them and at one place Reema told the landlords very firmly and openly, “This is my life, how does it matter to you how should I stay? Should I be carrying my marriage certificate all the time? We both are showing our identity proves, is that not enough? What if a rapist brings a girl who is looking like a bride and keeps raping her every day in your rented house? Will you allow saying that they are married? Why is a marriage so necessary?“
Everyone’s mouth was shut.
They left that place, but the struggle to find a rented accommodation continued.
Even I want to ask, why can’t a boy and girl stay together? Why is it necessary to get married and if married why the girl is supposed to be in a marital attire always? What is wrong with a live-in relationship if two people are comfortable and understanding each other. At least, no one is bound to be in a relationship.
This is a true story that took place 15 years ago, but still the same stigma, the same taboo remains.