“We started dating, but kept it a secret; Mayur was from another caste”

“I was 15 when I met Mayur, he was my neighbor. We’d spend all our time together. So when 3 years later, we moved houses, I’d miss him terribly. We spoke through pay phones. Soon, I realized I liked him. I guess he liked me too, because one day, he showed up with a rose and said, ‘I love you!’ I was over the moon!

We started dating, but kept it a secret; Mayur was from another caste, I knew it would be an issue. So we’d meet in parks. But when my parents found out about us through someone, everything changed.

My family forbid me from seeing Mayur ever again. But with my cousin’s help, he reached out to me. I snuck out, and met him at the train station. There he said, ‘Let’s run away and get married!’ I took that train! Everything that followed was a whirlwind. We got married, and although it took some time, our families finally accepted us. Soon, we welcomed 2 girls.

Life was beautiful, and we were truly happy. But happiness like that doesn't last. One day, Mayur went into such a deep slumber that he never woke up… He was just 35! I felt like my life was over! I wasn't ready to accept that my best friend, my husband, was gone; I didn't know how to go on. My family was my rock during that time.

I was a single mother at 32, and I was so scared about raising two pre-teen daughters alone. Soon after his passing, my daughter said to me, ‘Papa will never leave our hearts. But we need to move forward in life!’ I realized she was right. I started over from scratch; I learnt how to drive a car and manage finances, I educated my girls and took care of my family the way Mayur used to.

7 years passed, and I never considered finding another partner. Then, at a family wedding, I met Mukesh. He was from my village, and we knew each other as children. After a very long time, I enjoyed talking to someone. We stayed in touch. I’d often run into him at functions. Mukesh expressed interest in me, but I was apprehensive. I asked myself, ‘What if I’m not ready? Will he be good to my daughters?’ But Mukesh pursued me. He said, ‘I’ll wait as long as it takes,’ and then added, ‘It’s you or no one else.’ His conviction made me fall for him, and we got married within six months.

This time around, love was different, it looked more like companionship. Mukesh knew everything about me; he understood that I might never forget Mayur, yet he accepted me and my daughters. He’s gone above and beyond to ensure we’re all comfortable. And my girls love him! All their lives, I've been their go-to, but now, it’s Mukesh.

Since our wedding a year ago, Mukesh has made every moment memorable. We all live like 4 best friends, teasing each other and gossiping about silly things! In the past year, Mukesh has gone all out for all our birthdays, surprising even me by decorating the house and spoiling us with presents. Meeting him has taught me one thing–if you’re lucky enough to get a second chance at love, don’t waste it!”

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