I remember so vividly sitting on the London underground on the first night I met my husband. I looked at him and thought ‘this is my husband’. Somehow, I already felt like his wife even though only a couple of hours had passed since we … Continue reading
It was a very cold December in 2012 when my life changed forever, I had just started to recover from a deep depression which had left me unhealthy, exhausted and completely depleted. I felt there was something was missing, I was suffering from a deficiency of some kind, I couldn’t work out what.
I’ve been a vegetarian since I was about fifteen years old. One evening, I felt so weak I needed to take action. I picked up my phone bought chicken from the local chicken shop, thinking it might be animal protein I needed to fill the dull emptiness.
I woke up the next day feeling awful. I looked at the box of chicken bones and let out deep sobs into my pillow, not for the remains of the bird, for what little remained of me. I took the box and, still in my pyjamas, I walked the short distance to the sea. Dawn had just broken, a heavy salty mist hung over the pebbles. I threw the box of bones into the sea and watched it float back and forth in waves for a while. I saw the misty outline of someone walking in my direction along the shore, so I left the beach and slept until the evening.
When I woke up, I tidied my bedroom, made a large cup of tea and brushed my hair. I decided it wasn’t meat I needed, it was self care, patience and time. I considered I might be lacking in protein too, I wanted to do vegetarianism better. I opened my laptop and became a member of a vegetarian forum, eager to learn more about getting the right nutrition on a vegetarian diet. Minutes after signing up, I received a message.
I wasn’t the person who spoke to strangers online, it was something I found odd and unnecessary. Usually I would completely ignore any messages from unknown senders, but for some unknown reason, I replied.
My heart started to beat faster as in no time we were discussing everything about our lives in uncensored detail. It was unbelievable how intense the conversation became with this faceless person within minutes. Trying to come with an explaination, I wondered whether we had a past life connection. As this thought crossed my mind the words, “we must have known each other in previous lives” popped up onto my screen.
These moments of synchronicity continued, it was as if we could read each other’s minds. I couldn’t believe it. Within hours we started to imagine our a life together. Had I gone mad? I realised I loved him, but, how could this be? We hadn’t met, we hadn’t even seen each other.
He was in New Jersey and I was in England. He had gone to America from India to gain his masters degree and stayed there for work. After just a week of instant messaging, he had asked me to marry him. One week after that, he had quit his job and booked a flight back to India so he could tell his family that he had met the woman he wanted to marry. The flight was via London with a long layover.
I stood as still as stone, my gaze fixed on the arrivals board. The moment came and when I saw him I was filled with joy, I can still see him coming through those double doors. We had ten beautiful hours together before he had to catch his connecting flight to Mumbai.
We took the underground to central London and walked around the street lamp lit city under soft rain, we saw the sights and talked all night. We seemed to be the only people in London. Those hours past in a heartbeat and soon it was time for us to separate. I cried hysterically when it was time for him to leave. I could feel my heart telling me to never let go of him.
Life was hard during the months after London, but he kept me going throughout. I completed my masters degree, and now it was my turn to catch that flight to Mumbai.
In June 2013, I arrived in India for the first time, only six months after our first online conversation. We had a secret marriage ceremony in a temple, just the two of us, one week later. I had found what I had been looking for.
Gorgeous Rebecca, from Scotland, is such a sweetheart. We were at Heathrow airport on our way to India at the same time. Unfortunately, during her flight from Scotland to Heathrow, they lost her luggage so we couldn’t meet. Hopefully we will be able to meet one day! After following their journey for over a year now, I am just so happy for them, their story is a big inspiration for all of those in long distance relationships. We love and dedication, you can close the distance…
Behind a beautiful red door is the home of Rebecca & Gautam, reunited at long last. Their relationship was tested, questioned and faced with unexpected long distance but nothing could separate them.
Our relationship began in 2012, we met through a mutual friend after hearing a lot about each other, Gautam contacted me via Facebook. He was living in a neighbouring town, we went for date in a village nearby. From that day until the day he had to leave the U.K., we saw each other everyday. We were so in love. We were both so happy and busy, working and spending time together. When the visa rules change, meaning that he had to leave the country to apply for a new visa, we were devastated.
We woke early and went to Edinburgh, from there Gautam would get the train to London and fly home. We enjoyed every minute of that last day. We enjoyed it so much that we lost track of time and forgot to buy suitcases for Gautam’s new clothes, we had to beg a shop to open their doors and let us in to buy some and then we nearly missed his train to London! When he got on the train, I didn’t want it to move, the train conductor was blowing his whistle at me, telling me to move away from the train trying to leave. I was in floods of tears, I couldn’t believe this was happening. I dropped to the floor, we didn’t know when we would see each other again.
Two days later my Indian visa arrived in the post, so I booked my ticket to India. As the news of my trip spread, I lost a lot of friends. The sad part of intercultural relationships, not everyone agrees and many people question your love. The negative comments wouldn’t stop me, I was doing what I wanted for a change, for happiness and love. My mum was my rock during this time, as I watched relationships around me break down, she was there beside me. I left for India alone, a very scared girl.
My visit to India was great, those memories will live with me forever, I spent three weeks with my husband and in-laws. There were still difficult times, language, cultural, religion, jealously, touching the feet of elders, the water spray in the toilet, squat toilets, bucket showers and only eating vegetarian food. At that time, I knew nothing about Indian culture or traditions.
Our wedding day was perfect, I truly felt like a Gori Rani, my lehenga was beautiful and the long week Vermont was amazing. I didn’t plan any of it, I hadn’t a clue of the traditions, Gautam and Daddyji organised it before I arrived. I know one day I will plan our British wedding which will be more my day, I see our Indian wedding day as Gautam’s day. In India, I had a normal family where two parents lived together, with lots of love to give. This was really special for me, coming from a broken family.
I returned to the U.K., miles away from my husband and my new family, I was heartbroken. The new visa rules hit us again, for Gautam to be granted a spouse visa, I needed to earn £18,600 per year. I was a student working part-time, not earning anywhere near that amount, and if I were to leave college I would be working for minimum wage, still not earning enough. It got too much, so I left my job to focus on college so I could get a good qualification and start earning decent money. Three weeks later, I couldn’t stand the distance anymore, I booked a ticket back to India. Life in India was good, temperatures were high and our love grew stronger.
When I returned to the U.K. a second time, I gave college another go and we didn’t see each other for over a year. It was a difficult year, but I made new friends, friends who supported my intercultural marriage and who were happy for me. This time I was determined to complete my college course, I used the pain of the distance to drive me forward and motivate me to work harder. I never chose to be in a long distance relationship, it was overwhelming to be so far from the man I love. We survived with persistence, dedication, broken FaceTime calls, costly phone calls and most importantly with our love.
I took an au pair job in Ireland and we started to plan his visa file, it wasn’t easy and Gautam did the majority of it, I helped him with the legal things and certain laws. We kept it a secret, just incase new issues arose, we were scared. Thankfully, his visa process was straight forward, he was granted his visa, I was over the moon and extremely impatient. When in a long distance relationship arguments are difficult, you can’t kiss and make up, you just have to forget and move on (my impatience caused many arguments). He finally booked his ticket to Ireland, I was so excited. It was so hard to keep my mouth shut and people started to guess he was coming! Gautam first flight was cancelled, so yes, more waiting but it was so worth the wait, all the long distance pains were over, he was finally coming!
Waiting for Gautam at the airport was everything I had dreamt of. I wore a traditional Punjabi suit to Gautam’s surprise, he loved it and so did passersby. I had many comments of how beautiful I looked and I even made one woman cry after telling her our story. When I looked through the double doors, there was my man, looking perfect. I ran to him and gave him the tightest hug, I burst into tears while he comforted me telling me everything was fine now, we were together! My dream comes true! Life has never been better, we moved into our own home where we can cuddles besides our open fire, behind our beautiful red door.
When you want something and know it’s worth it, you will fight for it, in my case it was love. I’m a lover not a fighter but I will fight for what I love!
Rebecca write an awesome blog at http://GoriRani.blogspot.in/
I will be moving to India in three weeks!! There have been so many changes to my plan in the past couple of months but the plan is finally finalised. I have my new passport and my new visa. I … Continue reading