#LovePossible – Jab Krishna Tashi met Stanzen Nyentak, a love story from Manali
Our story today in the #LovePossible series comes all the way from scenic Himachal Pradesh, where a young artist met a man who encouraged her to believe that love was here to stay.
As a young girl growing up in Lahaul in rural Himachal Pradesh, Krishna Tashi Palmo was always told she could never look forward to getting married and having a family of her own.
While her friends planned their weddings, Krishna never allowed her mind to dream of such possibilities for herself.
Krishna, who has 90% disability in her legs, was up against not just family attitudes but social stigma as well. Superstitions about disability are widely prevalent in this region.
So when fellow art student, Stanzen Nyentak said he liked her, all Krishna felt was resistance and suspicion.
I was studying traditional Tibetan art at a school in Patilkhul when I met Stanzen. He was not disabled and I never imagined that I would get married, as I knew what society thought. People would tell me openly that I was weak and imperfect because I was disabled, and my grandparents were traditional-minded and always discouraged me from having such thoughts. – Krishna Tashi Palmo, Artist
Long distance love
Stanzen persisted and they spent 10 years in a long-distance relationship, as he had to return to his village after they finished school. Krishna stayed on in Manali. They could meet just once a year, when he would bring her colours for her paintings, but they ran up huge phone bills because of the long conversations every day that only confirmed the depth of their feelings for each other.
“I was very unsure and scared”, admits Krishna. “The distance and the disapproval was very hard to take, but my husband was ready and open. We knew society would not accept us, but we loved each other and gradually I became confident”.
Krishna and Stanzen got married in 2017, with the full approval and support of her family, although they were doubtful of his motives at first.
“They were curious as to why he wanted to marry me when I was disabled, but once they realised that he loved me, they gave us their backing”, says Krishna
Stanzen’s family, however, is still unaware that they are married and he plans to tell them over a period of time. Today, they both work as full-time artists and are based in Manali.
“A lot of people ask me questions like, ‘Are we really married and whether she has a lot of money’. They are surprised that I chose to marry someone with a disability. Initially I would get angry but now I don’t bother. People even follow us around sometimes when we go out in public, but this is the general mindset and we have learned to ignore it”, says Stanzen firmly.
Read the other stories in our #LovePossible series: