“Love– it sees no gender, no religion, no nationality. It just…happens.”

“Back in 2014, my friends invited me to a spoken word event called ‘Coming Out Muslim’– that’s where I met Bianca. We immediately clicked and spent the whole evening talking; there was an instant connection. She was a DJ and invited me to her friend’s show the next night. From there we started hanging out regularly. We’d share our playlists and surprise each other with concert tickets. That became ‘our thing!’

But despite everything, we hadn’t made our relationship ‘official’; we were both trying to ‘play it cool’ but failing miserably. But everything changed when we took a trip to Bali– we realised we were in love.

Effortlessly, we become a part of each other’s lives. We were nervous about ‘meeting the parents’– she’s Christian and I’m Muslim. Her father is Indian while my family’s from Pakistan. But when our families saw us in love… none of the cultural differences mattered.

I knew I wanted to marry her, so I started looking at rings. We were in Colombia when Bianca insisted we go for a walk on the beach. I was reluctant because I’d met with an accident a week back, but when Bianca said, ‘It will be the best walk of your life,’ I agreed. While walking on the beach, she halted, held my hand, slipped a ring on my finger and asked, ‘Are you down for this?’ She caught me off guard. But she was right, it was the best walk of my life. No one went down on a knee, there were no photographers; it was simple; it was us.

The madness began when we told our families. We wanted an intimate wedding, just a one day affair. How silly of us to think we would get away with that?! From a dholki night to a mayoun haldi to a mehendi– we had it all! It was a unison of two culturally rich countries after all!

I even had my own Baraat led by my dog Sahara, while Bianca entered in a Doli. When I saw her like that, I teared up. All my life, I never imagined finding the one, let alone watching my beautiful bride entering in a Doli. But it was happening, it was real. That day we were pronounced wife and wife!

It’s been more than a year since. A year of many firsts– we signed Christmas postcards and celebrated Eid as a married couple. We also celebrated our first wedding anniversary in quarantine. She built a blanket fort and prepared dinner, it was so thoughtful; she makes the mundane extraordinary.

When I’d realised I was gay I knew my life would be different, but our different is beautiful; it’s filled with love. And that’s the thing about love– it sees no gender, no religion, no nationality. It just...happens.”

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