MODERN LOVE
Grazia|November 2020
Three interfaith, millennial couples share tales of their intricate journeys that are rife with love and convolutions
TANYA MEHTA

There’s a scene in Mira Nair’s A Suitable Boy that personally stood out to me. Based in a post-Independent India of the 1950s, a worrisome Hindu mother frantically questions her young daughter about the boy she’s seeing. As the tormented daughter struggles to confess that she’s dating a Muslim boy, the general discomfort and tension was palpable. Although this narrative dates back to a different age, the question of religion has been a defining factor for many marriages and relationships in the country, and often-times, a deal-breaker. Even in today’s climate, it is a topic of constant deliberation and controversy, yet there are many who go against the tide, roping in their opposing families all in the name of love. Here, we speak to three couples who took the leap as they tell us what it’s like to be in an interfaith marriage today, and how they’ve managed to find a middle ground in upholding tradition.

SHEEFA GILANI & AMAN MAROO

HOW IT STARTED

“Love story? I don’t think you can call ours that, it was more of a chance encounter. Aman and I met on the dance floor at a mutual friend’s sangeet, where we were both grooving to Salman Khan’s cheesy number – Jaanam Samjha Karo, back in 2014. I had recently moved to Bombay from London with a broken heart and Aman was already in an almost-perfect relationship. But strangely, we hit it off and what followed was six years of being best friends, nursing each other’s heartbreaks, and now being husband and wife. We’ve had our share of drama but it’s safe to say we’ve come full circle,” says Gilani.

Gilani, a fashion stylist, belongs to a Muslim family while Maroo, a businessman, comes from a conservative Marwari background. The duo dated for over a year in secrecy. When Gilani broke the news to her parents, they were sceptical and curious but gave her the green light. Maroo’s family, however, wasn’t so easily convinced.

GETTING HITCHED

“Up until last year, I was looking at wedding proposals that my family had in mind for me, I even ended up meeting a few suitors. Then one day something shifted and I realised that it would be pointless to not try and make this work out just because we belong to different religious communities. I asked Sheefa whether she’d consider marrying me, and as usual, she thought I was pulling one of my ‘cheap tactics’ to woo her again. Even though she agreed, my parents only knew of her as my best friend. With the help of my younger sister, we were able to share the truth with them, but my maternal grandparents (who I’m very close to) weren’t accepting of having a Muslim bahu. They made it clear that they wouldn’t attend the wedding and that I was ‘tarnishing the family’s name’. On the other hand, my paternal grandfather, who I thought would be dead against my decision too, was much more willing to listen to my point of view and have a conversation,” explains Maroo.

After convincing the elders and getting blessings from Gilani’s family, Maroo proposed to her in Agra during a weekend get-away, despite a brief courtship. The couple had always envisioned an imitate wedding for themselves but as they incorporated ceremonies and traditions from both faiths, it led to a month-long extravaganza.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM GRAZIAView All

No filter?

We’ve all used corrective f ilters on social media to the point that they’ve become addictive…but what’s their real influence in the beauty market?

4 mins read
Grazia
December 2020

ONE PERSON'S TRASH

Is fashion upcycling the disruption movement we need? Now, as hand-me-up culture infiltrates the luxury sphere, the art of repurposing is as much about waste-not as it is about future-proofing the industry

7 mins read
Grazia
December 2020

ALL THE RAVE

In the UK, restrictions might mean parties are forbidden. But, as Anna Silverman discovers, that doesn’t mean they’re not happening – they’ve just gone underground

6 mins read
Grazia
December 2020

INTO THE WILD

How glamping has became the social distancing activity of choice

3 mins read
Grazia
December 2020

SCENTS OF THE SEASON

The end of the year usually smells like cinnamon and hot chocolate, amd as you cozy up in your jackets and boots, consider updating your winter scent to match your mood – is it moody, mysterious and sensual or warm and happy?

1 min read
Grazia
December 2020

Off Track

Maxi cardigans and chunky chain links. Openwork sweaters and diamonds. These unusual combinations will bring uniqueness to your Fall wardrobe

1 min read
Grazia
December 2020

BEAUTY CHARTS

Skincare and make-up on our radar right now

1 min read
Grazia
December 2020

ALL NATURAL

Meet the woman entrepreneur who’s acing the beauty and skincare business

3 mins read
Grazia
December 2020

Winter Essentials For You

A little extra something to get you through snuggle season

1 min read
Grazia
December 2020

BEAT THE BLOAT

Gummies aren’t just for kids anymore

2 mins read
Grazia
November 2020
RELATED STORIES

A housewarming gift

My husband seemed to be in every room— even though I knew he was in heaven

3 mins read
Angels on Earth
Jan/Feb 2021

Amani Lewis – More Blessed to Give

For Amani Lewis, the portraits are much more than a likeness.

10 mins read
JUXTAPOZ
Winter 2021

Tail Tales

What works on one airplane might not work on another.

5 mins read
Flying
January - February 2021

SHREWISH SHARON ON SHAKY GROUND!

She’s catching heat as Talk’s ratings tank

1 min read
Globe
December 21, 2020

Y&R: BILLY IS BUSTED!

Billy and Lily discover that the secret witness the police have brought in for testimony in Chance’s shooting is staying at the Grand Phoenix, so while he’s cooling his heels in the lobby, she searches the hotel to find out this mysterious person’s identity.

1 min read
Soap Opera Digest
December 21, 2020

PUT AN END TO BARN DRAMA

While it’s impossible to prevent all discord at the barn, conflict resolution techniques can help solve problems, restore calm and enable everyone to enjoy their horses.

10+ mins read
Equus
Winter 2020

The Gift of Glamour

The Smith family of Ridgeland celebrates the holiday season in style thanks to help from a talented design duo.

3 mins read
Mississippi Magazine
November - December 2020

NEIGHBORLY ACTS

Small gestures make a big difference.

2 mins read
DesignSTL
November/December 2020

When I Left “Karl Liebknecht” (an excerpt)

In the Karl Liebknecht House in Leipzig, Germany, thirty people of various nationalities are seated around an improvised table on the stage in the Events Hall, interpreters behind them, some with texts in front of them, some without, and while it looks as if they’re at an ordinary meeting, they are, in fact, at an exceptional one, one that could be called a performance.

10+ mins read
World Literature Today
Autumn 2020

It's Only My Opinion

Daytime’s most outspoken columnist!

5 mins read
Soap Opera Digest
October 19, 2020