Updated: Jun 27, 2021
Story by Rahul Malde, Sushant Chibbar
HOPE, in my understanding, isn’t just an expectation, it's the essence of one’s life events. Life inherently cannot be deciphered but what makes this roller coaster somewhat facile is the fact that for every instance, the associated hope makes it more bearable.
Life in London wasn’t any progressive since school days; bullying, being called names were the constant in my high school life.
University exposure had not only allowed a more amiable and social understanding at large but also induced the necessary Queerness exposure needed for me to understand life at large. It was only later that I was able to identify myself as a gay man. I came out to my family and friends and they undoubtedly were the most accepting since then and were always around. My mother didn’t react positively initially but her constant efforts to change her perception and unlearn quite many things in order to be there for me made it a more effortless journey for me.
With passing time I became more aware and understanding of the queer circles at large I sought to look for a suitable companion. Meeting new people post work for walks, drinks and dinner became a routine. But nothing substantial came my way and this patchy hunt lasted for no less than four years. What accompanied these years was a depressive instinct that made me long for a partner, even more, a companion to confide in.
Just like most good things come unexpectedly, so did Sushank came into my life. We met on a dating application and this was quite coincidental as most Asian men I ever matched with weren’t great initiators. From talking over texts, I was soon sliding onto his phone records for good. But what made this even more weird was how we couldn’t meet for a good long while due to unforeseen circumstances.
We met on the New year’s eve 2017, we ended up chilling at Shushank’s apartment. We had a great time knowing each other and I ended up staying at his place for the night. After I left, he wrote me a long text about the time he spent with me. This made me feel a certain special way. It was soon we started hanging out with each other more. And before we knew we had planned our first vacation to Barbados.
It was in July 2019 when I visited New York to spend a week with his family and that's where he finally proposed to me after three failed attempts of planning. The proposal was a dream come true in the most ecstatic and euphoric ways- scenic Fireworks at a yacht. And that's when we finally took a step closer from being boyfriends to fiancés.
This was soon marked by a good long-distance relationship for the next 1 year since March 2020 as Sushank’s Visa expired and they had to leave for the states and coincidentally the Pandemic lockdown came into the picture. Since then we’ve been distant. We finally have decided to settle in 2021 by tying the knot of holy matrimony. And with great enthusiasm, I say this that despite a long struggle and a constant search for my man, I finally have him and I’m glad.
What makes Sushank perfect for me is the subtle ways in which he compliments me or as I shall say, completes me.
We’ve as a couple always tried to bring about a positive change in and around our surroundings making queer relationships a normal and acceptable option in an already existing heteronormative setting. It’s quintessential for us to understand that normalcy isn’t defined by one person’s ideologies of a society.
Normal as a term is subjective to various thresholds and peculiarities which are people specific and situation specific. We have our own normal ideas of identity and it is important to understand that its normal for others to maybe not align their normal with ours but it’s their responsibility to respect the idea of normal people have for themselves. And that’s how we have tried to make homo-normative couples a more normalized fashion in the 21st century society.