'Does caste matter if we love each other?'

Updated: Dec 14, 2016, 08:39 IST | Dr. Love

I am 23 and my girlfriend is 21. We love each other a lot and have been together for 7 years. We both live in Mumbai and belong to middle-class vegetarian families. We have been studying together in the same school and college too. The problem is caste

I am 23 and my girlfriend is 21. We love each other a lot and have been together for 7 years. We both live in Mumbai and belong to middle-class vegetarian families. We have been studying together in the same school and college too. The problem is caste. She says her family won't agree and thinks we should end this relationship because of how things won't work out in the future. We have been fighting a lot about this too, because she is under a lot of pressure. Her family keeps harassing her about this, which makes things harder for her. I keep trying to explain to her that they are only concerned about her future, which is normal for parents, and will come around to accepting us when we graduate and start earning money, but she isn't convinced. After being influenced by the wrong people, she hasn't spoken to me in over a week now. Please help. I don't know what to do.
— Sagar Y

I suppose the best thing for you to do is wait, to be honest, because worrying about marriage when your girlfriend is 21 doesn't seem like something you should do, especially considering the fact that the two of you live in Mumbai and aren't under the kind of pressure young people are usually under in the hinterland. Yes, caste will always be a problem in this country, unfortunately, but there are millions of people who have broken free of its shackles, empowered by the fact that our courts allow us to marry anyone we choose to without discrimination. It's understandable for your girlfriend to not go against the advice of her family and friends, but it really is her prerogative too. She is the one who needs to be convinced about a future with you. If you continue to be her friend and not pressure her into making any decision, she may come around to your point of view. Until then, all you can do is hope

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