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Bonds sans bounds

Posted February 14th, 2018, 10:49 AM IST

Bonds sans bounds

Where do you find your partner from, if all Indians are your brothers and sisters? Once in a lifetime at least, this question would give many a good laughter. Looks like, these people have answered the US, Armenia and Germany, leaving the questioner flabbergasted. Love bloomed across continents, and the couples wanted not to let go of it, but make it a reason to stay together in life forever. The youngest and latest in this story is the just-married Minu and Haag. She was in the final leg of completing her M.Phil thesis at the University of Kerala in Thiruvananthapuram when the lectures of Professor Joseph Michael Haag from the US came to her help on YouTube. “I used to comment under his videos that later became conversations. He helped me with the thesis when we were friends. We were in a relation for a year and a half before thinking of taking it to the next level,” Minu recaps.

The online meet-ups continued. “After about six months, my parents suggested we meet. Mine is a family with liberal values having many cross-country couples among our relatives. We both had a programme to attend in Sri Lanka, where we met for the first time. He was in Kerala for two months for our wedding and returned to his place later. When Malayali women immigrate to their husband’s place, he loves India and wishes to stay here in future. He is a polyglot with knowledge in 12 languages that gives him a brownie point to be anywhere in the world,” says Minu.





Akbar Sha Manjappara and German native Martina Wocko had a courtship and a living together culture before getting hitched. That the son had a love interest was sensed by his very loving mom. “My mom was identified with breast cancer and doctors predicted not more than one year for her. I was the only son of hers left to get married. I slinked away from the alliances my family found for me. Martina and I were in Delhi that time. Finally, I had to confess to my mom and we got a customary wedding in 2011. Mom was alive for three more years after our wedding,” says Akbar, a businessman in Kochi. They are parents to two boys and a girl.

Akbar and friends were running a coffee shop in Ernakulam when Martina came over there for an internship in 2008. Love for travel kept them together for the years that followed. Post wedding, Martina adopted the husband’s family name to her surname to become Martina Manjappara. Valentine’s Day is still so special for Lucy Iskandaryan and Dr Lohya Sabu in Kochi. They have been celebrating the day since their sophomore days in China with a quiet dine out, a romantic walk in a park or shopping in some mall. Until last year, their little son used to accompany them; this year, the Indian-Armenian couple will be joined by a three-month-old daughter too.

The Indo-Armenian love story occurred in neither of these places, but in China. When Sabu was doing his MBBS, Lucy was pursuing her masters in social psychology there. She went to a hospital one day with her wounded leg when they had an unprecedented meeting. “I was about to burst for not finding anyone who could speak English and understand what my real problem is. I worried if they would chop my entire leg off! Then he came to me and I explained to him what I had and he replied to me in English. Our colleges were in the same small city that made many meetings possible,” she remembers. In 2010, they got married in both Indian and Armenian way. After touring many countries, the family is settled in Kochi.

It’s not too long ago had singer Grady Curtis Long entered many a Malayalis’ heart with his beautiful rendition of Aayiram Kannumai... So many years ago, he actually had made his way to the life of Suja Paris Long, a Kerala-born girl raised in the US. Grady was regaining his health after some sickness when Suja strolled down the memory lane. Than rushing into things, theirs has been a patient wait for the families’ nod. “I felt like the most amazing guy in my life has come. I loved his music. We fell in love. For two years, we talked but never dated. He came over to my aunt’s house. We just prayed for things to work according to our wish and got married. We adopt the best in each other’s culture and come up with something our own. He cooks Indian food and has a fascination for Indian music in Hindi, Tamil and Malayalam,” she says. That is one ‘Long’ story, having two daughters and a son, and three YouTube channels -- Grady Long Music for him, Suja Rocks from the couple, and ‘It’s a Long Story’ for the whole family

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