JWB Discovers The Love Story Of A French Girl And A Jaipur-Based Sikh Boy
- JWB Post
- September 22, 2015
All of us have admired the novel and movie, 2 states. Haven’t we? The story where a girl and a boy from different cultures, states, and backgrounds come together for the love that they have for each other.
I had a chance to meet a real couple of such kind in person. The twist in the story is that these two come from two different countries.
Yep. You heard that right. Scroll down to find out how a French girl and a Jaipur-based Sikh boy found love. Say hi to Diane Singh and her husband Supreet Singh.
(At Diane’s jewelry store: Concept French Jewelry Boutique)
Me: Tell me about yourselves.
Diane: My name is Diane Singh. I am into the business of silver jewelry designing since the past 7 years.
Supreet: I am a biker. I conduct tours across India on Royal Enfield.
Me: Whoa! Both of you come from pretty different professions too! How did you both meet?
Diane: We randomly met at someone’s house party.
Me: Oh, so this was in France?
Supreet: You know, sometimes it so happens, that you meet someone and you instantly feel a connection. When I met her, I knew in my heart for sure that there was going to be something between us.
Me: So can we call it a ‘love at first sight’ sort of thing?
And here I was not sure if that smile was just a smile or he was blushing.
Supreet: I am a zero-romantic! But just three days after we met, I made her shift right opposite my house in Raja Park. She was staying in a hotel then, and I got her a studio apartment the very third day.
Me: So Diane, what brought you to India initially? Were you on a tour?
Diane: No. I came to India for an internship. I was working and learning under a wholesale jeweler. After that I set up my own business. It was almost after a year and a half that I met Supreet.
Supreet: After her first visit to India, when she went back to France, she was like ‘I am not going back to India ever again!’
Diane: I had no local friends. The ones who at all made conversation were just to flirt…
Me: What bothered you the most about Jaipur?
Diane: I guess… what I didn’t like was the way women were treated…in the sense of the attitude towards working women. Whenever I used to go to the bank, or to my agent, or at any government place, I never saw any women. In fact, people didn’t take me too seriously when I told them that I was a businesswoman.
Supreet: That mentality prevails in our city even today. A lot of people think that ‘oh the wife is bored so the husband has opened up a boutique for her’. But that’s all nonsense! All this that you see around is her hard work, her dedication. She also has a factory at MI Road. She started from scratch and developed all this, my contribution has been just back support.
Me: So what got you back to India, umm, Jaipur specifically?
Diane: A friend of mine told me to come back. Plus my employer also insisted that he wanted me back so I thought I should give it a try!
Supreet: And that was the year we met.
Diane: You know, it is funny that a year and a half before we met, both of us were in the same party in Pushkar. There were 50 people at that party, and we all were there in the same surrounding the entire night, but both of us just didn’t see each other then!
Supreet: I guess that’s a bit of destiny’s role there! Everything happens at the right time and right place. Maybe destiny wanted us to meet a year and a half later at yet another party.
Me: Maybe there really is a thing called destiny. So, what happened next?
Supreet: We were dating. And after some time, we moved in together in a live-in relationship in an apartment close to my parents’ house.
Diane: However, we exchanged rings.
Me: How was your family’s reaction to the move?
Surpreet: Oh there was a big drama! However, my parents never told me ‘no’ for marrying her, but they had their concerns about living together without marriage. Log kya kahenge and stuff.
Diane: My grandmother had some apprehensions because she thought he was a hard core Muslim. She knew about Hindu people, but she didn’t know about Sikhs. Once this misunderstanding was cleared, my family had no objection.
Supreet: We got married in Pushkar in a gurudwara. Her family had flown down; there were 20-30 friends from different countries. And you know today my parents are more close to her. We are building a top floor at my parents’ house for us. My baby is on the way. It is a merry feeling.
Me: Many congratulations to you both for the soon-to-come baby! Speaking of your marriage, Diane, how were the Indian traditions for you? The pheras, the customs…
And the husband and wife looked at each other, and a shy smile mirrored on their faces. I guess they had time travelled back to that moment.
Diane: Yeah. My father-in-law translated them for me and my family in English.
Me: And what did you wear on your wedding? I’m so excited to know how the Indian wedding experience must have been for you!
Diane: I was asked to pick a dress. So I chose this traditional outfit whose churidar had a white base with pink patches. But they told me I couldn’t wear it because a bride wasn’t supposed to wear anything white in the wedding. But I wore the choodas for a month.
Supreet: It is funny how white is a happy color in the catholic culture and a sad color in the Indian culture.
Me: But, I’m sure you must have wished a white wedding somewhere in your heart.
Diane: Oh yes! I want to get married again the catholic way!
And Diane funnily elbowed him.
Diane: I want my baby to attend the wedding, so maybe some years down the line when the child grows up we will have a white wedding. By the way, we did exchange vows at our Sikh wedding. Not in the gurudwara, but at the reception party.
Supreet: We went for our honeymoon on Royal Enfield from Jaipur to Kerala.
Diane: Yes! We both have a love for travelling in common, among other things.
Me: Wow! That is so cool! While we are it, tell me about your reception into the new family…how was everything in the beginning?
Diane: Umm, in the beginning it was a bit difficult because I couldn’t speak in Hindi. I took classes and learnt to read, write and speak hindi because my mother in law doesn’t speak English. We weren’t able to communicate. Other than that, his relatives coming from the village accepted me with open arms. They are so organic and full of love.
Me: You can read and write Hindi! Awesome! Let’s change the language of the conversation then!
Diane: Noooo! I’m very shy! My hindi is bad!
Me: So, Supreet can you manage to speak French?
Supreet: I understand French, but I can only speak a few words.
Me: Let’s check! Both of you should say something to each other in each other’s language.
And this part of the conversation was the best! I have to admit I was brimming with excitement here!
Diane: Mai Hindi samajhti hu kyuki vo mujhse English nahi bola.
Diane: Tum bohot sundar hai. (This was the translation.)
Me: Diane definitely scored more than you, Supreet. You’ve been sitting quiet. Tell me about your reception in your new French family.
Supreet: When I go to France, people look at me all astounded. Because they have never seen a guy with a turban…
Diane: When we visited my grandma in the hospital, everyone there was curious to touch his turban and see what it is.
Supreet: But you know, there is this thing about the western culture. People don’t value the concept of family much. There’s more of individualism. Children grow up and move out. The elders are left alone. Nobody cares much about each other… whereas in India, there’s so much warmth in relationships. No matter what, family always forms the first priority.
Me: What do you think Diane?
Diane: I agree with him. This is the best thing about India. The culture, the diversity, the character of people. Also, I like that the people here are tolerant as compared to people in France. I feel safer in Jaipur than in France.
Me: *Stunned* Really!?!
Supreet: You see, in Rajasthan, people staring at you, having bad thoughts about you, are the most scaring people. You shout at them and they’ll run off. But at least here people don’t have guns.
Diane: When I go somewhere here in Jaipur, I never have the fear that someone will steal my purse or hit me. But when I am in France, there is that fear. Also, the life there is very challenging. I don’t tell my French friends that at the age of 25 I have a maid here. They’ll be jealous. There, having a maid is a sign of luxury.
Me: Haha! Incredible India! So, to sum up the conversation, I just want to ask you Diane, wasn’t it difficult? Wasn’t it a leap of faith moving from your own county to here to marry an Indian guy?
Diane: I didn’t move here for him first. I moved for my work. It was extremely difficult to NOT be working. I could have never pursued my jewelry designing field in Europe.
Supreet: There, it is very difficult for people to do what they actually want to do. India is a very very free country that way.
Me: Diane and Supreet, trust me, sitting here listening to your story is such an overwhelming experience for me. I am so happy for both of you and your soon-to-come baby.
Diane and Supreet: The pleasure is all ours.
Me: So, will the baby have a French name or an Indian name?
Diane: We have decided to keep an international first name and our Indian surname.
Supreet: And of course, the baby will have an Indian soul.
On that note, I took my leave. The #PerksOfMyWork led me to meet this amazing French-Indian ‘Jaipur woman’ who is such an amazing source of inspiration to us! The way she has embraced our culture, the way she has ignored the loopholes of our society, and the way she is continuing to pursue her passion of jewelry designing through her store is praiseworthy! Isn’t it?
PS: Hearing about my city from a foreigner’s perspective makes me love my city more!
Visit Diane’s jewelry store: Concept French Jewelry Boutique
Picture Courtesy: Pallav Bhargava