“I hope in the future no one has to think twice before showing affection in public.”

“I met Inder at a pride fundraiser event. He had a stall of his own and I’d seen him look in my direction a few times, so I went over to say hi. I ended up staying for an hour, just chatting away. It didn’t seem like our first interaction. I loved how passionate he was about the community. So, we exchanged numbers and soon after, we began texting. The pride parade was a week later; a day before the parade, Inder asked me out.

It was the greatest first date, we even went to the after party together. He was so easy going, he even got on well with my friends. But Inder was to leave in 2 days–He was a Mumbaikar while I lived in Bangalore. I wasn’t sure about the distance but I didn’t want to let go either… So, we decided to give long distance a shot!

We’d fly out every other month to see each other and virtual dates became a part of our routine. But it wasn’t enough. Within a span of 6 months, I’d come to love Inder and I wanted to be around him all the time. And then one day when I received an, ‘I wish you were here!’ text from Inder, I decided to relocate to Bombay! For Inder… for us! I responded with, ‘You better be worth it’ text and within a few weeks, we moved into our home! But getting this home together as a gay couple was tough. We’d pretend to be just friends and sometimes even related. And even then, we had to be very careful. I couldn’t do something as simple as holding Inder’s hand in the building; it really bothered me but what choice did I have? my parents would say, ‘He likes it. He can do whatever he wants as long as he isn’t harming anyone.’

But, I was just so grateful to have found someone like Inder and living with him was like living a dream! He’d wake me up with coffee in bed and on most days I’d come back to a hot piping meal prepared by him. Honestly, it was the happiest I’d ever been. And then a year later, while on a vacation in Goa, Inder proposed! It came out of nowhere–we were just walking by the beach and looking at the stars and the next moment, Inder was on his knees, asking me to be his! Of course I said, ‘Yes’!

But now that we’d decided to be together forever, we had to tell our families. They didn’t even know we were gay. I thought they would be disappointed, but to my surprise, when we told them, both families showed immense support. And so, in the presence of our loved ones, 2 years later, we made ‘us’ official!

But despite being officially together, it pinches me that I cannot call Inder my better half in public. I hope in the future no one has to think twice before showing affection in public. Until then, I’m just grateful to have this life with the boy I love! We recently adopted a dog and started our family. And now we’re planning to make this a family of 4 by adopting a baby. But all in due time!”

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