Disabled Indian woman’s quest for a life partner- My Take by Payal Kukreja
In My Take this week, Payal Kukreja, 27, who works with Metlife shares her story about how she has not allowed being orthopaedically challenged from living life, kingsize.
My mother brought me up with a fairytale picture of a marriage that is perfect and happy. I believed it to be true and looked forward to it. I wish she had also enlightened me about the stereotypes around this term, especially when it comes to a person with a disability. The reality turned out to be hard to swallow.
"Just because I am orthopaedically challenged does not mean that my heart is vacant of desires. I too long to have someone special who loves me and makes me feel special.
When a girl or a boy enters adulthood, their family starts talking about marriage, and relatives come up with suitable matches. I never saw my relatives having such talks about me. Does it mean that guidelines (be it any) differ when it comes to the marriage of people with special needs?
Only my family and a handful of close friends seem concerned, which makes me feel that at least they empathize with me. I have always wanted to marry someone who is differently-abled because I think that he will understand and empathize with me more.
However, my thoughts did not sync with the reality when proposals came my way.
The first guy was good looking, educated and in a managerial position.Talks began between the two families. We discussed likes, dislikes, and mutual expectations.
"Things went smoothly for a week until I faced my first rejection. Since my hands remain engaged with the rollator, I would apparently not be able to cook, serve food or drive him around."
And that got me thinking. My could-have-been ‘mother in-law’, you should probably look for a cook then. And in the times of Ola and Uber, how can driving be an issue? As far as cooking is concerned, a domestic help could assist me.I would not have kept your son starving.
I was feeling low in the face of my first proposal and rejection.
After a month, came the second. We spoke every day but when I wanted to take things further, he would change the conversation. I found myself getting distant.
"He confessed he wanted me as backup in case his family was unable to find a 'normal girl' I wanted to say to him that he should have had the moral courage to correct his family.”
None of these guys asked me about my expectations It all appeared to be a one-way street. I was disheartened because these rejections came from disabled people themselves or their families. They are no different from the rest of the society which alienates us.
The next day I saw a blind couple in the Metro pampering their baby. A little later I saw newly weds, both on wheelchairs. This made me realize that there are people beyond these stereotypes. Maybe it was a sign for me to not give up hope.
And my search for a partner still continues...