Storymakers brings an unconventional love story of Minal Vijay Pendse and Nand Kishor Kumawat who are breaking gender role stereotypes in their daily practices. A crazy love story shared by Minal of how they met, fell in love and are now cherishing it.
How it all started…
I was trying to get out of a long and toxic relationship. I had then made a conscious decision to go on an online dating app. I had looked at a lot of profiles and by the time I had gotten to Nand Kishor’s, I had developed an ability to read between the lines. His profile came across as very genuine, honest and to the point.
The journey to Jaipur…
A day after we matched on the dating app, we started speaking on phone call. The conversation started at 9.15 pm in the night and ended at 4.30 am in the morning. It was quite unusual to come across someone who genuinely seemed to care. We couldn’t stop talking to each other day in and day out for almost a week.
I am from Mumbai and he is from Jaipur and as the days passed by, I got restless, curious and I couldn’t stand anymore to not see him. I made up my mind and purchased a one-way air ticket to Jaipur. I was about to board the flight to Jaipur and he was speechless when I told him that I was on my way to meet him. On reaching Jaipur, when I walked outside the airport and saw him, I felt all this energy that I couldn’t even begin to explain. My instinct was saying ‘Run! Give him a hug, but of course, my brain said go slow & steady. When I reached towards him, he smiled; I couldn’t resist and gave him a hug. I told him to hug again as he couldn’t hug me properly at first since he was nervous and so he did it all over again with a big smile. I thought he is cute! I was so in trouble! The connection was instant. I was drawn to him so deeply that he felt like home to me. The night before I left Jaipur, I felt that our journey had truly begun and that reaching the destination was just a matter of time.
Love conquers all…
He is a non-Brahmin and I am Brahmin by caste so my parents were apprehensive about me getting married to him due to vast caste & cultural differences, however, none of this ever mattered to us as individuals.
What mattered to us then and even now is being on the same page on all the levels including spiritual, mental, emotional and physical.
Geography of love…
As a woman, I feel safe and protected in Mumbai and there is no way that I was going to leave it and I had expressed it clearly to Nand Kishor during our very first conversation. His job and plans for future were rooted in Jaipur and it was a big concern that we had to address but we decided to leave it to fate. What we had was so beautiful and divine that we could not even think of letting it slip away because of the geographical concern.
In the meantime, we kept shuffling between Mumbai and Jaipur. His family and dreams were there and my life was here but slowly he got used to Mumbai and decided to move here, which people found extremely odd.
He started looking out for a job in Mumbai. During an interview, when he mentioned that he moved to Mumbai without a job so that he could be with his wife, the interviewer laughed! But, no matter what he never expected me to compromise because I’m a woman – he didn’t ask me to leave my life in Mumbai and that’s something I am eternally grateful to him for. I feel love knows no boundaries including the geographical ones as well.
Making our own rules…
There was never a moment where we felt uncertain about our relationship. We got married in July 2018, made our own rules to nurture our relationship. I performed the “Grahapravesh” for him when he moved in with me in Mumbai. Usually, “Lakshmi” in the form of a newly-wed woman is welcomed into the household but in our case, I welcomed my own “Narayan” in my life in the form of Nand Kishor.
The most unique part of our relationship is the fact that we practice immense gender neutrality. There are no set rules for who has to do what, when & how. The only guideline that we follow in our relationship, is to have immense understanding, love, support, and compassion for each other. So be it cooking, handling household chores, whether indoors or outdoors, as a couple we both are at it equally without any gender-based apprehensions. Togetherness is eventually what matters to us, no matter who does what.
In our relationship, ownership and healthy boundaries hold the key to our growth. I believe that when we grow as individuals, we certainly grow as a team and in this relationship, we take the onus to be the best version of ourselves while nurturing the other.
We understand the importance of individuality and we pay attention to not step into the space that the other individual seeks. In essence, it is very important to have healthy boundaries in place even in a loving relationship.
My relationship with him has introduced me to every emotion on the spectrum. When it comes to love, I am spoilt silly by him shares Minal with Storymakers.
Love is everything, it is everything!
Interviewed and written by- Raavya Sarda