#LovePossible - Newlyweds Shilpa & Danish Mahajan are setting serious couple goals
In our special month-long coverage around Valentine's Day, we bring you the story of newlyweds Shilpa Kashyap and Danish Mahajan.
It was her simplicity that struck Danish Mahajan when he met Shilpa Kashyap for the first time over a year ago. Shilpa was a volunteer with an NGO in Delhi, where she was based, and Danish met her during one of his visits from Pathankot, where he lives.
Danish, who works in a government department, is a well-known figure in the disability rights movement and the founder of Radio Udaan, India's first Internet community radio run by people with visual disabilities.
"I liked her instantly", says Danish. " I found her simple, soft-spoken nature very attractive and the most important thing for me was that she was aware of the disability field, so we were of the same mindset."
Shilpa, on the other hand, was drawn by the fact that his nature was so different. "Danish was very open, and frank and I liked that", she recalls. "I am a quiet person and he talks a lot. Most of all I like how he explains things so well, especially if there is a problem".
Danish is not a man for long waits and was determined to marry soon. "I am not one of those people who believes in long courtships, so you can get to know the person well. Even earlier, when I had received proposals, I had made it clear that I wanted to marry soon because we had the rest of our lives to understand each other".
Their families met and agreed to the wedding but there were some negative comments regarding Shilpa's disability. "Some people told me things like why you are marrying a person with Retinitis Pigmentosa because there are some myths like their children will have the same disability. This is not true, but few people are aware. Understanding is the biggest challenge and that is why I wanted to marry someone in the disability field".
Shilpa too faced many naysayers. "I was also told 'why are you marrying someone who is blind, how will you manage".
Finally, their own conviction and the support shown by both families won the day.
Shilpa's family was very supportive and did not ask me a single question regarding my disability. Questions like 'how did I become blind', 'how will I manage', etc., never came up. As a disabled person, family support matters a lot and I liked her family's attitude. But there were hesitant as she would have to move from Delhi to Pathankot, where I live and work. They were protective about sending her far away and that was understandable. Some friends convinced them, and they agreed. - Danish Mahajan, Founder, Radio Udaan
After fixing an auspicious date, Danish and Shilpa got married in late 2018. The newlyweds say the changes are many but are happy with the turn their lives have taken. "I like it here in Pathankot", says Shilpa. "His family is very loving and supportive and what I like most about him is the understanding he shows when I share personal matters with him."
For Danish, who was doubtful about finding a life partner who would see the person and not the disability, there is comfort and joy in being able to share his life with someone.
"She understands my financial condition and the pressures I face as well as the issues relating to disability. We are compatible on many important matters and that is good".
Here's wishing the newlyweds a lifetime of happiness.
Read the other stories in our #LovePossible series: