The Intolerance to Love episode moved many of the show’s viewers to share their own stories of struggle and triumph. But in all these stories, one thing was common—the thread of parental approval which is an important part of India’s social fabric. This is especially observed when it comes to selecting a life partner.
When Riya, a Bengali Hindu girl, fell in love with Kabir, a Kashmiri Muslim boy, the first thought that struck her was the difference in religion. But this did not deter her from following her heart. It was only when it came to her parents’ approval that she felt nervous. “I had decided that I would either never get married or kill myself,” Riya wrote on our website. "But when my parents came to know about Kabir, they accepted our relationship instantly! They did not care about religion, society or relatives. I am so proud of them."
But all relationships aren't accepted so easily. The wounds of rejection fester for many years and leave a deep scar on both parents and children. Bharti and Venkatesh belonged to the same religion and caste, but Bharti’s parents and relatives severed all ties with them after their wedding. “Fourteen years have passed since my marriage, but my maternal side has not accepted my husband as a member the family. I have been totally abandoned by our relatives,” Bharti wrote to us. "Those who have mistreated me like this and rejected me, are they sure that their children will not undergo this ordeal?"
However, some parents are keen not to repeat this cycle of intolerance. Mrs Zaveri, whose parents had not approved of her choice of partner, finally married according to their wishes. When it came to her son, she was initially against him bringing his girlfriend home, till her husband reminded her of her own experience. “What’s the difference between your parents and you?" he asked. "You don’t have the right to pick your son's love, whatever the caste, religion, country or gender. All we can do is support him in whatever he does." Mrs Zaveri, who wrote to us from the U.S.A., said she agrees with her husband. "My hope is that every generation learns to accept and support the future generations in their choice of partner."
The names used in this article have been changed to protect their identities.