A couple from a small town near Delhi has added a twist to the clichéd Bollywood plot of lovers parted by feuding families.
The 25-year-old woman arrived in Mumbai last month to surgically change the way she looks so that she can marry the man she loves.
The man’s family had forbidden him from marrying her as their upper caste, affluent families were involved in a bitter feud for two decades.
In December, Seema (name changed to protect her identity) underwent two surgeries, which lasted four hours each, to change her look beyond recognition.
“They got married. They had decided to change Seema’s looks to ensure that the man’s family accepts her,” said Mohan Thomas, the cosmetic surgeon who gave Seema a new face with a sharper jaw line, more pointed nose, a reduced forehead and a dimple.
However, 80 per cent of the makeover is reversible and Seema can get her original face back if she wants, said Thomas, a consultant cosmetic surgeon with Breach Candy Hospital who also has a private clinic.
When the couple first approached Thomas for the surgery, he referred them to a psychiatrist.
“Seema was a pretty woman. Their reason for opting for cosmetic surgery was so astonishing that I thought they required counselling,” said Thomas.
After two individual sessions with each of them, the psychiatrist gave a report that said the couple was “sane, mentally sound and completely prepared for the consequences”.
It also said that the two were in love and had no other way of saving their relationship.
“When practising in New York, I often got clients who wanted to change their looks to evade the law. But, for the first time in the 25 years that I have been practising, I got a request for a makeover to gain acceptance from in-laws,” Thomas said.