Story of a Hindu Girl, Debjani Chatterjee Alam, who is happily married to a Muslim Boy.
When it comes to inter-caste marriages in India, there is actually a war zone. The parents go crazy, the society gets a hot topic which gets heated up day by day and the lovers are left to take a heavy step. In some part of our country, India, the inter-religion or inter-faith or inter-caste marriages are considered an offense.
It is saddening to know that the society boycotts them, the parents abandoned them and when they take a step against their odds, they are accused and brutally assassinated.
In our today’s story, we have a Woman of Courage who has not only had a peaceful inter-religion wedding but also has a loving happy family. Her story is total opposite to what we hear and come across. It is unlike the usual.
Meet Debjani Chatterjee Alam (see her profile at https://goo.gl/unMzDk), A Hindu girl who married a Muslim man and are happy in their inter-religion marriage with the happy approval of parents.
Residing in Kolkata and belonging to a joint family where everyone stays together in the ancestral house which was built 175 years ago, Debjani belongs to the older part of the city. She is her parents’ only child and she stayed at Kolkata till her completion of graduation in botany.
Then she shifted her career and did masters in rural management. And then she worked with United Nations. Today, she is food blogger at Debjanir Rannaghar. You must visit her website if you are looking for delicious food recipes that you can prepare at home. (https://goo.gl/unMzDk).
For her love is a kind of an adjustment between two people who are supporting each other without asking a single question. She and her husband were friends and then it was the start of their love.
They initially met each other through Orkut back in 2006. At that time Debjani was in her masters and he was in his architectural school. They were very close friends and that was the time when Debjani was going through a very bad phase of her life.
She had ended a relationship because the man didn’t want her to work after her completion of a study. And that made her step out of the relationship. She wanted to work, have a job and be focused on her career. And he also didn’t like her traditional house at Kolkata. And that incident, the break-up led Debjani to forget everything and just focus on her studies.
She appeared for her exams and was one of the university toppers. And when her Masters’ were done, she took up a job in the remote area of West Bengal and at the same time her husband completed his architecture and shifted to Delhi for opportunities.
And at the period of time, staying away and far from each other, they realized that it is not just friendship. There is something more to it. They started having telephonic conversations and they themselves knew that it is going to bring in lots of complications.
Back at that time in 2008, Kolkata just had witnessed a case of Hindu-Muslim marriage which ended with death. Debjani and her then partner, now husband, took all of their time and gave their individual career a priority so that they can support the future well.
It was then that she took a job in Bihar at a remote area, almost untouched from the facilities of a metro city and lived there for two years. She was a volunteer with United Nations and gave her services there.
And then it was the period when the couple had decided to confess about their relationship status to their parents. Debjani’s parents were initially shocked. And that was but obvious reaction one can expect on acknowledging such a fact.
And one thing they had been very firm since the beginning and had informed both the families that no one will emphasis on change of religion and that was indeed another culture shock for the families.
“One thing I must say, whatever we have seen in Hindu-Muslim families, and actually we didn’t face that kind of problems and issues with our marriage. They were shocked and asked us to think thrice but there was no that amount of objection from the families,” she says.
They neither had their marriage with Hindu rituals nor with Muslim rituals but instead had a simple court marriage. Their parents had a simple ideology. “This is your life, your decision. If you feel you can go well with this person, you have to go lifelong and with respect for the institution of marriage.”
Their parents were not extremely happy and excited for the wedding but at the same time, they didn’t even oppose which brought these two souls together. Debjani and her husband both were established with their career and had a strong foot on a ground which was another reason for their parents for not opposing. Debjani continued working in Bihar even after her marriage for around a year when her husband was settled in Delhi NCR.
And yes, in life, if we are focused and established with our career, everything is served to the plate with a smile. They were equipped financially that they could support their marriage.
Getting married in 2010, the couple was blessed with a beautiful daughter in the year 2013. They decided that the baby would have no religion and they named her Renaissance, a name carefully chosen which means “Rebirth” and is the specific historical movement, the culture that bridged two historical periods. She uses both her parents’ last name with her name, forming Renaissance Chatterjee Alam.
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They decided to give their daughter the flavors of both the religion. Even when she was born, she had her rituals done with both the cultures and traditions.
“I personally think these things are over hyped. With every religion, there is something good. You take Bible, you take Gita or you take Quran or the Adi Granth, each holy book has its own richness. It is just that people don’t realize what the books are about,” she says when asked her about her feelings over humanity divided over religion and caste.
The couple has always had a cooperative and understanding neighborhood which led them to live their happy peaceful time. People may have discussed but they didn’t face many problems.
Debjani says that her husband loves the food she cooks. Some, if not all, credit for this understanding between couples goes to delicious food that Debjani prepares. You may have a look at some of her best food recipes here (https://goo.gl/unMzDk)
They were accepted happily in both the families and everything is going on happily even today. They both are working and behind them, their daughter is taken care by both families. They have helped the couple in enormous ways and that keeps them head high today in their all aspects.
“Basically Hindu-Muslim marriages mostly witness a negative side. I don’t know if we are an exception, we didn’t face anything negative. Everything was simply normal, alike every Indian marriage” she states.
On asking her about her about her love angle she says, “It was just an attraction. No one can actually define love. One thing I knew that this man is flexible, who supports me and whom I can also support. Because the way I live, my life, my schedule, my husband is enormously supportive.”
Being an all time food blogger, food photographer, and food critic apart from working as a financial analyst full time, Debjani has a strict schedule to follow and her husband has always forwarded his support. Her daughter is equally supportive and plays the role of positive catalyst.
Her life mantra is: “Live & Let Live”. In just a few words she described her passion for working and living with a happy loving family.
“After a night, there is a day, which brings in light and takes away the darkness. So think positive and be optimistic,” this is what she firmly believes in and works as her boost.
Her message to the audience: “Religion is not a reason behind a successful marriage. A marriage has to be between two person and two families. Let us take and imbibe the good from the religion and have a beautiful life.”
Far different from what we come across. This is an example to all the people to know and broad up their mentalities to accept the love that flourishes in.
Debjani Chatterjee Alam is Woman Of Courage because she has set an example for not only women but to all Indians. She had that courage which helped her to remain positive which in turn made every situation simpler for her and her husband.
Team Women Of Courage wishes her great luck in all her endeavors.
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