When North and South Collide - Saurabh and Anjana's Story

If marriage is considered a holy union, the why on earth did people decide to go and make the process so difficult? Unless you believe there’s a God somewhere comparing the bio-data of potential couples, it seems pointless to oppose a match based solely on where they were born. But that is still the reality we live with. We’ve come a long way towards overcoming the taboos around inter-religious, inter-caste and inter-community marriages, but even now it can be quite the challenge to overcome this mindset. Nobody knows these struggles better than Saurabh Srivastav and Anjana Krishna, who battled the odds and their regional differences to get married at The Courtyard House this July.

Saurabh hails from Uttar Pradesh and Anjana from Kerala and when the two met in Bangalore three years ago they were both working as IT Professionals at Capgemini. When Anjana joined his team, they never imagined their professional relationship would soon blossom into something more. Anjana was always reserved and quiet, but one day when work prevented her from returning home for a family event, Saurabh offered his consolation and a spark was lit that neither could ignore.

When they first started talking, they didn’t give much thought to their cultural heritage, their similarities far outweighed their differences and they found easy conversation talking about books and movies and revelled in the food and festivals of each other’s culture. Their relationship progressed gradually, and by the time they were actually dating their hometowns didn’t seem to matter anymore. However when Anjana suggested they take their relationship to the next level the realities of their situation came crashing down and Saurabh had his doubts. For over a year the two separated but eventually their love won out and they decided to tackle their family issues as a team.

Saurabh decided to break the news to his cousins and siblings first and quickly gained their support. His mother had her doubts and like all mothers, the biggest worry was about food. She was very concerned about whether he’d be able to adjust to South Indian eating habits but as he told her ‘If I am happy what do traditions matter. We both know how to cook so what’s the problem.’ Reassured she gave the couple her blessing. His father was more conservative and unwilling to accept the union since Saurabh was the first person from their family to have a ‘love marriage’ but after a lot of discussion he too was convinced. Persuading Anjana’s family was the next order of business and though they are very traditional, they decided not to stand in the way of the couples’ happiness. One of their fondest memories of their journey was when Saurabh’s mother simply said, “It is your wedding, do it in your way.”

Sometimes it doesn’t matter that you don’t share the same language, food or traditions, sometimes all that counts is the future you see together. Though older generations may have had many reasons and wisdom behind their belief but in a modern world, mutual respect and love are the new champions of the matchmaking process. “Things which were good in old times may not be applicable now, it should be keep on changing but at the same time core of it should not be left out.” Says Saurabh. There are so many couples in Bangalore and across India who have been through similar experiences many have fought tooth and nail to win their family’s approval while others chose to elope and deal with the consequences. Their advice to other people facing problems is simple. Smile, be patient and talk it out, as long as you face the world as a team there’s nothing that can’t be conquered.