Manish Bengani doesn’t believe in celebrating Valentine’s Day. He thinks, it’s just another endorsement for greeting card companies. Well, he doesn’t need a separate day to show his love for his three-year girlfriend turned wife, Payel Nasrin. The couple are married for just about two months and presently living in Delhi. Payel is a lawyer, born to a Muslim family, where education has been of prime importance. Manish, belonging to a Rajasthani Jain family, works as a career consultant in Delhi at present. A postgraduate from USA, Manish dotes on Payel to the point that he adores her inexperienced cooking experiments at home. Payel practised law for a year before marriage and at present is playing the role of a homemaker, while trying to pursue her interests and ambitions as well. She is preparing to go ahead with postgraduation from the USA as well.
The match between a Muslim bride and a Rajasthani Jain groom still seems unnatural to most people. But unlike the expected issues from both families, this marriage was both peaceful and agreeable. Payel has bonded tremendously well with her mother-in-law, who dotes on the girl’s long tresses. Payel’s father, Anisuddin Sardar, is a man free of superstitions and stigmas. He believes in humanity. Love, compassion for people and being by their side at the time of need are his belief and rituals. No superstition or ritualistic practices have ever touched the Anisuddin or his family. A businessman by profession, Anisuddin lives in Jagachha, Howrah. The family’s roots in Howrah date back to over 300 years.
Payel and Manish’s wedding was a gala event. The rituals were held partly in Howrah and partly at a star hotel in Kolkata where like-minded relatives and friends from both sides mixed effortlessly. It was another Indian wedding, grand and gorgeous, celebrating two people truly in love. Anisuddin is a happy man, because his daughter has gone to a family that shares similar thoughts and ideas. “I believe humanity is the most important religion for the human race. Of course, this is my personal belief and I have ingrained these values into my children as well. I have inherited this from my father and grandfather. They were also open-minded individuals, even though they belonged to a different generation. I believe this comes from education and I have never compromised on my children’s education.”
Payel and Manish met on the Internet. She first fell in love with his writing on his own blog. At that time, Manish was in USA. Love bloomed over social media and telephonic conversations. Later, Manish came to India to see his lady love. Incidentally, he had made up his mind not to marry, after a previous heartbreak… until Payel happened in his life. When he proposed marriage, Payel insisted that he must do it the conventional way…with a ring! Belonging to families with no religious rigidities helped their love bloom and finally, they tied the knot in December 2018. “I faced no problems with the family. No one asked about my religion,” said Payel. “I have been brought up very liberally. My father never objected to me having a boyfriend and they accepted Manish instantly,” added Payel.
“Manish’s family is very secular in thoughts and ideas. I was overwhelmed to meet likeminded people and that my daughter was going into their family.” Sardar’s family is truly a mix of many cultures. His daughter-in-law comes from a Bengali Hindu family. She, too is a lawyer practising at Calcutta High Court.