Story by Yulia Aslamova
Born and brought up in Russia, I left home 6 years back, for work. I have been living in India since then.
I came to India as the Russian representative for a particular project and met the Indian representative. It all began from there. Never did I dream of ending up in a marriage with him. I didn’t know anybody then and was all alone. So when I was down with dengue, he was the only person who took me to the hospital. He invited me to stay at his place as I was weak to live alone. Despite being from two parts of the world, we constantly kept in touch. With time our acquaintance grew into friendship and later love. We acknowledged, accepted and appreciated each other for who we are and where we came from.
However, convincing my family was really hard. They were sceptical of our marriage since I had to move out of the country. And, with him being married once already and this being my first marriage, my family did not approve of my choice. My mother started crying. It was a dramatic day.
But this was my life!
So, I asked my mother if she was willing to take responsibility of my life 10 years from that moment: if she would take the blame, if I ever found myself in an unhappy marriage or remained a spinster. She became silent and let me be. I was an independent woman, taking charge of my life.
Surprisingly, things seemed easier on his side. They were okay with the marriage. His family was different and accepted me. I have been living with my in-laws since then and I am very happy about it. They are very supportive of me, what I do and my career. They even look after my daughter.
Living in India has been different, for the obvious reasons. It was not at all easy, but I never gave up. The hardest part was finding a job and remaining independent, as I was sure of not wanting to be a “housewife”. Sometimes I felt lost and questioned myself where is my home ?
It took me 2 years to see India and my new house as my home. After all, my husband is Indian and my daughter was born here. Therefore, I see India as a land of happiness and opportunities. I still miss my friends and family but I have also found my answer, “My home is here, in India”.
To be honest, I would never say I married an Indian; rather, I married the man I loved. For me, his nationality was not the pertinent factor but his personality was.
I’ve lived in India long enough to understand it’s conservative, traditional ways and have seen and heard about how foreigners with partners of Indian origin are treated. I really hope that changes.
Having said that, my husband and I, have luckily never faced any issues being an interracial couple. Because I live in a family that is accepting, we follow the rule, live and let live. Being flexible and adjusting to each other’s needs has helped us avoid any situations of uneasiness. This has helped me focus on my goals and career, without worrying about anything. I am a successful entrepreneur today.
Our dream wedding was supposed to take place this year. We had promised each other the day we registered our marriage that, after 5 years, once we were stable, we would have a wedding to celebrate with our family and friends. We have postponed our plans for now but we are happy to have each other, especially in this pandemic.