CHENNAI: Subiksha Subramani and Tina Das had the wedding of their dreams on Wednesday, in the city, in a private ceremony with close friends and family.
While setting an example of how there is more than just one way for a wedding to happen, this couple also had their rituals done by a Mumbai-based queer Sanskrit scholar and teacher, Saurabh Bondre.
Subiksha, who moved to Calgary, Canada when she was 18, discovered she was bisexual during her teens. “I’ve been very privileged and blessed all my life. When I was 19, my then-boyfriend/best friend gave me the courage to talk to my parents about my sexuality. They didn’t react bitterly; they just thought it was a phase and that it would go away,” chuckles Subiksha.
Did Tina have the same privileges? “My Bangladeshi parents are very conservative. When they knew I was a lesbian, they looked at me like I was riddled with disease. And the medicine to that illness was marriage. They got me married when I was 19 and I moved to Calgary with my husband,” says Tina.
After an unhappy marriage, Tina found the courage and divorced her husband of four years. It cost her family, but she says the decision brought her closer to her individuality. After years of dating, the couple met each other on the dating platform ‘Her’ in 2016.
“We met at a coffee shop and hit it off instantly. We just kept talking and spent time getting to know each other,” Subiksha says. “I was very scared because this was my first date with a South Asian woman. I didn’t know what to say or ask. But as the evening progressed, I felt at ease. It was surreal. I was going to drop her off at the metro station, but I loved the connection so much that I decided to drop her off home,” Tina smiles.
The couple says that they both were in for a long-term commitment and wanted to get married. Talking about who proposed first, Subiksha laughs, “When we were talking to our friends about the proposal and planning what to do. We had coincidentally picked out the same day to propose. Our friends very inconspicuously wanted us to pick another date. They told this to us later.”
The couple proposed to each other in 2020 and decided to get married in India. “I tried getting in touch with my family. We wanted their blessings and I really wanted them to meet Subiksha. It meant a lot to me. After much deliberation, the family finally gave us their blessing,” Tina recalls.
Subiksha’s father was hesitant when the couple announced they wanted to get married in India, but complied anyway.
“The wedding was perfect- from the décor to the ambience, people. All of it was perfect,” Subiksha says.
Tina wished her family could make it to the wedding and to fulfil their absence, her cousin brother along with his friends made it up to her. “In the morning, when the decorators were putting up the flowers and as the light filled the room, I realised that I’m getting married. The happiness is indescribable,” Tina smiles.
Offering words of encouragement to closeted couples, Subiksha says, “If you have the ability to be yourself and live your truth, please do. You will inspire other queer people live openly or let them vicariously live through you.”