What’s the bravest thing you have ever done?
My parents had an arranged marriage. 11 and 13 when they first got married.
My sister Shanti was due to have an arranged marriage as well. Things didn’t work out and she ended up marrying a white man (who is amazing).
But as you can appreciate - within the family these were all cultural shockwaves because my folks had been born (and raised) in a different time.
My brother married an Indian lady; and the expectation on my part, given all the men in my family (this is still the case today) had bought home Indian girlfriend’s who became wives - that it would be the same for me.
I’m 29 now - I remember meeting my parents in Uxbridge (my family’s local town in West London, England) one day for a cup of coffee.
I was 21 at the time and had finished up with uni and it had been around 18 months now. I was so worried and nervous as to what to say to my family. My sisters (three of them) all ended up marrying white men, and I think hope remained with my father that I would make him happ(ier) by bringing home an Indian lady.
It was the world he knew and understood, and as I got a little older I understand that it made sense for him - and I’d never truly understand his journey so how could I really judge.
My heart raced, my brow perspired and yet my mouth was dry. I held my breath as I stood there, holding hands feet slightly apart as I stood ready for…the unknown. I had NO IDEA what would come.
But it had been a long time and enough was enough. I no longer wished to keep such prominent things in my life from my family.
They strolled into the cafe.
Me: ‘Mum and Dad - meet Milly!’
A French-Ghanaian (and so black) girl stood in front of them smiling nervously. hopefully. I stood there petrified, not knowing what would come. Worried that my father would be so so upset and my mum would just ignore here.
I didn’t want (but did expect) a first meeting like that.
My parents paused and stood for what felt like eons.
My father broke into a half smile. My mum began.
Mum: ‘So FINALLY we meet the girl you’ve been hiding from us! Well come here - give me a hug then. Don’t just stand there!’
I breathed. And smiled
Me: ‘Haha so dad how was…’
transcribed from bravest thing you have ever done