Saying good-bye to all worldly comforts, a lovelorn US-born woman came all the way to Haryana's Popra village to marry her Facebook friend and play the role of a doting Indian wife.
Adriana Peral, 41, is 16 years older to her husband Mukesh Ror. The couple got in touch with each other over social networking website Facebook in February, 2013 and reportedly got married in November.
Peral, who hails from California, was a grandmother back in the US, when she decided to marry Mukesh. Now, the couple wants to fly to the US to see Peral's mother, daughter and two grandchildren.
Popra is located about 70km from Karnal, adjoining the border of Jind district.
Peral told HT that her marriage with a stubborn US navy official did not last long.
"With tears in my eyes, I used to pray in the church to have a caring life partner. I am happily married and want to see Mukesh join some profession and have a nice house in a town," said Peral, adding that she is still adjusting with the limited amenities at her new house.
Meanwhile, the US embassy in New Delhi has refused to entertain Ror's visa application.
"On January 3, I appeared at the embassy to get a tourist visa but it was turned down. The official at the embassy did not even open my file. Parel's visa for India will expire on February 10 and she wants to take me along to introduce me to her family in the US," said Mukesh, a postgraduate in mass communication from the Kurukshetra University.
But Peral sees nothing wrong in the rejection of visa application, saying it was the US policy to maintain an eye on the unscrupulous elements trying to enter the country using unfair means.
"I hope that Mukesh will soon get a permit to visit or settle with me in the US. But I am not averse to stay back in India to lead a peaceful married life," she said.
Mukesh had worked for various Hindi news channels and newspapers from Assandh sub-division of the district, but now, he said, he was busy with his new life and working on his visa clearance.
Mukesh's mother Bimla Devi also stays in the house and family leads a comfortable life from whatever they earn from their eight acres of farmland.
Peral, who studied till Class 8 back in the US, said that she was a receptionist at a clinic in California.
"We became friends on Facebook and our relationship ended in the marriage. After initial hesitations, I grew faith in Mukesh and decided to marry him. I came to India in August, 2013 and I do not regret my decision of marrying in a land which has a completely different culture," said Peral.
Now pregnant, Peral is firm on delivering the baby in the US.
Clarifying that she was not a typical Haryanvi housewife doing all household chores, Peral finds the ongoing chilly weather as completely unbearable.
"I chop vegetables and unsuccessfully tried my hands at making 'chapattis'. Though the living conditions are different than I used to have in the US, but I am enjoying my life here," she said.
Quoting Bible that "a person without true love was a dead", Peral said that here she missed the church and gymnasium the most.
"I used to spend up to five hours in a gymnasium. Here, I have no place to jog. I go to Assandh or Karnal for shopping and I enjoy becoming a centre of attraction in the market," she said.
When told that marrying an elder woman and that too from a different religion was still considered a taboo in the Haryanvi society, Peral said that she didn't care as long as Mukesh loved her.
"I have seen women in the village covering their heads, but no one objected my wearing the western dresses. I also enjoy wearing salwar-kurta stitched by my in-laws," she said.