“Through this mobile app I got to meet my dream boy!” remarks Shweta when she begins her story.
It is a lazy Sunday morning and I have been postponing this chat with Shweta for a while. Partly because I thought this was one of the 100s of stories I hear as a matchmaker. Boy meets girl, girl meets boy and all is love in the paradise.
Let me bring my disclaimers! This is no ordinary fairy tale. This is a story of struggle, acceptance and pure play of timing that made our Romeo and Juliet hit off.
A story which tells love has no boundaries and most importantly, it has all the right ingredients for being an inclov story!
Let me introduce you to the heroes of our story: Shweta (38) who now lives in Sitapur (UP) was a stubborn child suffering from polio since birth. She uses a wheelchair to move around. She along with her parents fought with school staff members to get her admission. Astrologer by professions, she holds a BA degree which is a struggle and story for later.
“I have spoken to so many men before talking to Alok that I had made up my mind on how they think, act and behave easily generalizing that all men are the same” she chuckles.
Alok (34) born in Delhi is a tech graduate by education. He is a person who questions societal rituals, mindsets as well as his purpose in life quite frequently and to address the stigma and taboo prevalent in our Indian society, he runs a youtube channel called “Forbidden Truth’ where he tries to answer all kinds of questions which our society feels are a taboo but should be discussed to form an opinion and perspective.
In order to quench his thirst of yet another question which talks about physical and sexual needs of people with disabilities, he joined Inclov to research and talk to more people on the app about the same.
“I recall seeing Shweta’s profile and ignoring it thinking if girls in New Delhi are unable to understand my philosophy then how can I expect a girl who lives in a small town like Sitapur to be okay with my thinking and outspoken nature”. It was only months later that she sent me a request and we matched.
Kalyani: Why did you join Inclov mobile app?
Alok: I joined Inclov for my youtube channel ‘Forbidden Truth’ where I wanted to talk about the physical and sexual needs of a person with a disability which is stigmatized in our society as a taboo. Most people assume people with disability are asexual and I was curious to find my answers.
Shweta: I did not join Inclov with any specific intent. I am 36 and had very low expectations of finding a life partner for myself and Alok is yet to turn 34 so this in itself is a huge issue with regards to societal taboo. People don’t accept an older lady marrying a younger man unless you are a popular celebrity. After trying for 10 years, my parents had lost all hopes as well. There was so much disappointed that I decided to not think about this further and joined Inclov to make new friends beyond my small town in Sitapur. It was 20th December when I stumbled on Alok’s profile and we matched. Our chat started with a fight haha!
In fact, I recall sending a request to him after knowing that he lives in Delhi. I assumed he can be of help in Delhi for my business work whenever I travel there.
Kalyani: I’ve always wondered what people say after they match on Inclov chat. How was your first interaction?
Alok: Our first interaction started with a fight. It’s a funny story rather. I believe in absolute equality. We started off by asking questions to know each other better. She asked for my phone number which I gave it to her right away. After which I asked for the same to which she responded with more question which I didn’t like. I responded with “You can’t go on to ask more questions and skip the question I asked”. I guess after this we started to hit off and started chatting a lot. I remember I was unemployed at that time which gave us a lot of time to connect. We share many common interests.
Shweta: I had spoken many guys who keep asking for my phone number and I would always linger with their requests and never share my number. I thought of doing the same with Alok when he asked for my number. He instantly replied by stating how he believes in equality and asked for my number again. I sensed he is a bit aggressive and decided to not respond to him or continue our chat further. I kept thinking about it for days after wondering how confident he was and it impressed me that he had such a sense of clarity. He was straightforward which made him stand out and I decided to pursue this further. We spoke on call for the very first time that very day after which things actually started to fall in place. We started texting and calling each other every day, even in front of our parents.
Kalyani: When did you two first confess your feelings? Was marriage a decision from day 1 of matching on the app?
Alok: It was 31st December and we were talking on the phone as usual but I believe that phone call changed everything for us. We confessed that we had feelings for each other. A few days later, Shweta came to New Delhi just to meet me which I really appreciate because it is not easy for her to travel especially with her wheelchair. Sitapur is 500 km away and she coming here meant a lot to me. We informed our respective families about our meeting in Delhi. Shweta’s family responded well while mine resisted. After having a conflict with my parents, Shweta’s parents also started to question how she will sustain herself in this new relationship as well as a new city after marriage. As we give this interview today, her parents have agreed and I am still trying to get mine to accept our relationship. They have an issue with the fact that I am a so-called ‘able-bodied’ person wanting to marry a bride who is in a wheelchair.
Shweta: We never said, ‘I love you’ or anything as such. We became best friends, shared all our secrets – good and bad experiences and made our connection strong. After sharing a lifetime of experiences I started to realize that he had all those qualities I was looking for in my life partner. It had been only 11 days since we started to chat.
Then came New Year’s Eve and we were sharing each of our plans for the year 2018. I remember mentioning to him that if we ever decide to be together then he cannot bring up my flaws and issues later. It was also because of my insecurities and past experiences that I had to mention this. He said he accepted me for who I am and wanted nothing more. After talking for a while I ended up asking if he liked me and he said yes. To reconfirm I asked again to which he said he was serious and I replied with an affirmation as well.
He mentioned he doesn’t have a job (back then) and I remember telling him that if our feelings are true, I am ready to wait. Luckily after 7 days of that conversation, he got a job and I knew that I wanted to be with him and if we ever decide to get married then it will be to each other only and no one else.
Kalyani: Alok, you mentioned about equality being a strong foundation of your relationship with Shweta. Let me ask – who proposed whom first?
Shweta: There was no formal proposal. I was so comfortable with him right from the beginning and I didn’t feel the need to propose as such. It was the connections that we shared which matters more. In our society, no man wants to know about a girl’s previous relationships. They want to be her first which I never felt with Alok. I could easily tell him about my past. He even went on to tell me “when we go shopping in a mall, we try different things in different shops. Then why can’t we do that with relationships and see what suits us the best before settling with it for a lifetime”. An experience of being in a relationship is very important to know what we want and what things we can adjust to. This understanding is far better than any proposal for us.
Alok- Haha yeah, no one proposed. It was more of acceptance. We both feel that more than anything accepting each other is important. Most people talk to people with disabilities but are afraid to take things ahead because of what the society will think of it. We are no different but we were very honest about our feelings. We need to understand and accept what comes to us naturally, which is better than any kind of proposal. A proposal is just conceptual, what we did came from our soul and we didn’t even know what we are going to say next.
Kalyani: How do you define your relationship today?
Shweta: I will say it is more of friendship than anything. We did not start talking with an idea that we have to end up together. We both are extremely honest with each other from day one. The purity of emotions and our connection rested on it.
Alok: In our society, many relationships or people in them are bounded by expectations and family pressure. We don’t know what we want and expect the other person to give their all. I fully accepted Shweta for her past experiences and she did the same for me. What works for us is that she understood the way I think and work which exactly matched with what she was looking for.
Kalyani: What challenges did you two face when you decided to tie the knot despite social inhibitions and societal pressure?
Shweta: When my mother got to know about us, she didn’t take this well. Stress and sickness took over. Apart from the initial shock, she was also worried about how I will manage to live with him because marrying someone would now come with new challenges which she didn’t want me to go through. She also wanted Alok to move to our city for the same reason. But gradually they accepted us as I was sure that I loved Alok and wanted to be with him. Alok met my father for the first time directly on our engagement and I could just see them hit off instantly. My father came to me and said, “This guy is so innocent. He reminds me of my engagement day” and today he is a proud father.
Alok: My family is not accepting our relationship as yet. They never supported our connection and I had my share of arguments with them on this matter. They will not be staying with Shweta and me after our marriage. We will have to now live on our own and start afresh. Thankfully, Shweta’s parents are supportive which gives me hope that one day my family will accept us as well and we all will soon live together.
Kalyani: Any special plans after marriage?
Shweta: Our wedding is on this weekend. Shopping is done. After moving to New Delhi, I want to work on my astrology business and even learn youtube from Alok for the same. I want to support my husband as much as I can and I want to walk with him as equal, shoulder to shoulder.
Alok: I am looking for a house for both of us. I work as a teacher in a computer center and planning to start my own business in the future.
Before we end this entire conversation I and Shweta would like to add something.
We met on Inclov mobile app and since then we have been recommending everyone – with or without a disability to join Inclov. People didn’t listen at first but now when they look at us and see how happy we are, they all have started to use and experience Inclov. We also support other couples like Shweta and I and try to help them to make their story possible. We will always keep promoting Inclov and we can’t thank Inclov enough for making this platform and helping us in finding our soulmate.
Shweta and Alok are all set to tie the knot on 21st July [this Sunday] in a small ceremony 500 km from Delhi in Shweta’s hometown; Sitapur. Team Inclov wishes them all the luck and love for their future together.
Liked this story? Read Anjali and Arpan story of love here.