Nagpur/Yavatmal: Boy meets girl and girl meets boy, we hear this very often. Here’s a story that we do not get to listen to often. Meet Hrishi Sathawane and Vinh, a couple based in California. The couple met in October 2016 via an online dating website and got engaged in a few months. Hrishi’s parents resisted on getting married in their hometown but Hrishi wanted to conduct the ceremony back in his hometown and convinced his parents for the same after which, the couple got married in Yavatmal on December 30, 2017.
Hrishi, a 43-year-old Marketing strategist was born to a photographer based in Yavatmal, Maharashtra who completed his schooling in Yavatmal and higher studies at IIT Bombay. He came out to his parents in 1997 and they eventually took 5 years to accept him. His parents proudly marched with him in San Francisco LGBTQIA Pride march in 2007 and were the first Indian parents to march in an LGBTQIA parade. 35-year-old Vinh is of Vietnamese origin and holds a Bachelors Degree in liberal studies and has been teaching in schools across Uzbekistan, China, US and few other countries. He shifted to the Stockton, United States with family in 1990 when he was 8-year-old and completed his schooling and higher studies there.
A glimpse of the couple’s Haldi ceremony
The marriage ceremony was a closed affair between Hrishi’s family from Yavatmal, friends from Mumbai, Pune and Delhi. “I prefer calling it a commitment ceremony and not marriage. For me it’s more important that I share vows with Vinh in front of my loved ones,” says Hrishi.The couple tied the knot in a simpler way which included an exchange of rings and garlands as the Mangalashtak (a form of mantras as per Hindu tradition) was played online. “India always had a very liberal and inclusive culture. It was the British who laid the colonial law of Section 377 which still continues to affect LGBTQIA lives in India. Something like this should not exist” expressed Hrishi.