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I've fallen for my cousin!

We used to talk a lot on the phone but that has reduced considerably due to parental pressures. I want to spend the rest of my life with him. I’m not able to concentrate on my studies and he’s not putting his heart towards his job. We are both becoming victims of our families’ whims. He’s a nice person so I’m sure that he’ll be good to me in the future. I want to wage a fight against my folks but I don’t know how!
— Dina


Illustration/ Satish Acharya

Dear Dina,
Good heavens! You are still in college and already thinking of marriage and I assume motherhood too. I am sure your parents have a reason. They have more knowledge and wisdom about life than you do. Although it may be acceptable in your culture, it’s obviously not to your family so then where will you be accepted? You can have a close friendship with a cousin but many consider marriage between cousins unacceptable. Your aunt and uncle double up as your in-laws! Medically also children of cousins are likely to suffer from birth defects. At this age, you should concentrate on your studies, rather than think of marriage. As both of you are from the same family, no one will extend support to you or your cousin.

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