(This story is republished from Inclov’s blog page, which features the “I Am CapAble” series. Inclov strives to provide equal and inclusive opportunity to everyone looking for love.)
My rendezvous with the world of medicines and hospitals began right at infancy. As a child, before I could barely take stock of my surroundings, I had to fight to merely survive. I was diagnosed with Bronchitis, a mysterious gastrointestinal (GI) problem with high fever and vision troubles. Whilst growing up, as most women battled with their self-image issues and fought for the attention of men, I fought to just be accepted and to fit in.
I’ve always been treated as an outcast; the little child who was turned away because nobody wants to play with a physically weak child who keeps falling. The girl who nobody took notice of because my lack of vision was horribly equivalent to my core existence in itself. I shunned company, and withdrew inwards, dealing with my health issues and gaining comfort in my solidarity.
Books and writing saved me. It was my form of my refuge, my solace. They understood me, and soon enough, I developed a connection with the world of fiction. My romance solely existed in the books I read, and the fantasies I weaved around them. I moved forward to attain two masters’ degrees in English Literature and Geography. I taught as a lecturer in high school, and as I felt like my feet touched solid ground, everything around me collapsed. My brother met with an accident, and he passed away. Losing him was heart-wrenching because he was the only male member of my family. He was the backbone of my family, and he took immense care of both my mother and I. Just as I felt that I was incapable of dealing with this crisis, I met Vijay.
Vijay is a Chartered Accountant, and he got my contact through a mutual associate. I was under the assumption that he wanted to correspond with me to acquire details about Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), but turns out, he had taken a fancy to me. He had a similar condition that I did, and thereafter, our phone conversations began.
To put it simply, we were besotted by each other. I found him at the time I needed him the most, and he handled me better than I could envision. There was something inside of me that drove me towards him. I couldn’t really understand what I felt for him, because I’d honestly given up on the idea of finding love and being married to someone. But with him, I felt complete. It felt just right. I felt this surge of urgency to move forward with our relationship so I forthrightly asked him to come, see me. And he did.
My favourite memory of him was on Valentine’s Day, where I met him at a railway station. I was extremely shy, and he stretched out his hand for a firm handshake.
As I shook his hand, he coarsely asked me to give him a firm, authoritative handshake and not a meek one. This was alien to me, because this was the first time a man touched me, and he did not shy away from me. He wanted me to be in my element, to be fierce, to be alluring, and I loved him instantly for all of that.
We got married in a simple ceremony on October 6th, 2011, and it was an inter-caste marriage. I am a Punjabi Khatri and he is a Tamil Iyer, and we realised that in love, none of these flimsy exteriors mattered. Not money, not designations, not caste, but just what we felt for each other. I was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer, and Vijay left his job, moved back and forth, taking care of me constantly to give me a fighting chance to survive. For most couples, the first year of marriage is a honeymoon period, but for us it was about fighting desperately to live, to exist. It was painful, but the only reason I fought cancer was because I had him by my side.
We made a conscious choice not to have kids, but having children is a good idea if you are mentally prepared and equipped for it. We realised that we wanted to spend our lives with just each other, building on our connection, falling in love deeper, watching movies, and traveling together.
I’m blessed to have found Vijay. We support and balance each other perfectly. I think, the most important advice I can give anyone is to just follow your instinct.
If you stumble upon him, and he treats you right, if it feels right, just go for it. Forget your inhibitions and just fall in love. I’m glad I trusted my instincts. I’m glad I found him. He is everything I could have asked for. We make each other happy.
-An original story of Upasana Vijay Kumar
Written by Meghna Prakash
For everyone who has considered love an impossibility, there’s Inclov, the world’s first matchmaking app focusing on people with disability, and with health disorders to find love. Over the last few months, the team at Inclov has come across many who are afraid that they are incapable of being loved or accepted. That they are too different.
Inclov wants to break this stereotype with the “I Am CapAble” series. We now belong to a society of modernists, of socially accepting people. Everybody wants to settle down with an ideal partner who caters to their every need and understands them. Inclov is releasing a series of love stories of ten couples over the next ten Sundays, who are unique, both in their abilities and the intrinsic nature of their relationship with their companions. What they wish to demonstrate is different kinds of relationships exist, and against our preconceived notions and fears, all of us can find love. All of us can find a soulmate. All of us can be happy.
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