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A complicated love story

A young couple in love undergo tribulations as their families dissent.

entertainment Updated: Oct 16, 2010 01:41 IST
Mayank Austen Soofi

Bulbul Tiwari wants to marry Suresh Sharma (named changed to protect identity) but their parents object. She is 5’1 tall. He is 11 inches taller, and thinner.



They live in the small town Meerut and commute daily to Delhi, 35 miles away. She works in an IT firm at Greater Kailash-II. His software office, in Nehru Place, comes ten minutes after her bus stop. During work, they stay connected through Yahoo Messenger. (Her screen name is Jaanu; his is Suresh).



They first met ten years ago, while learning Java language in a neighbourhood computer training centre. The intimacy started much later — during the long bus rides to work and back. He liked her “childishness” and she was attracted towards his “quiet nature”. They exchange around 500 phone messages each month.



Since Meerut is a place where even strangers act as nosy neighbours, they prefer sharing their time, whatever little could be spared, in the relative anonymity of Delhi. Sometimes they go to the Lotus Temple at Nehru Place, while other evenings are reserved for strolls in Connaught Place.



When hungry, Bulbul likes to have pizzas at a restaurant near Delhi Gate. She insists on paying for her own expenses. But the couple never go to Lodhi Garden or Ambedkar Park, areas infamous for lovers seeking physical closeness in provocative poses. Suresh feels strongly about anyone doubting his beloved’s reputation.



But circumstances are not ideal. Though they both belong to the upper-caste Brahmins, Bulbul’s sub-caste is Kaushik while his is Bhardwaj. This has not appealed to Bulbul’s parents.



Their two older daughters are married to Kaushiks and they are not keen to get their last child married outside the sub-caste. Unlike Bulbul, Suresh’s family has no substantial ancestral land. This is also a source of anxiety to her parents.



But these disadvantages have not deterred her parents from being charmed by the well-mannered suitor, wanting to be their son-in-law. Last year, Suresh had arranged a cab for Bulbul’s father, a heart patient, when he had to return home from a hospital stay in Delhi. Bulbul’s parents were touched. They want a boy like Suresh for their daughter, but he has to be a Kaushik.



More difficulties lie ahead. Suresh’s parents are severely unhappy with their son’s choice of life companion. Recently, tensions within the family prompted the besotted son to leave the house. He returned a month later, only after being repeatedly urged by Bulbul. She believes parents are never to be betrayed.



What if their families never reconcile to the match?


“In that case, I will not marry him,” Bulbul said determinedly, “but then I shall not marry anyone else.”