Ramadan Special With Feroza Coelho: Love Knows No Religion
- JWB Post
- July 16, 2015
Even though inter-faith marriage is not a new concept, it is considered a taboo in our Indian society. Where, on one hand. we totally enjoy Bollywood movies where the hero and heroine belonging to different castes get married, we boycott family and friends who support the idea in real life. But as they say, love knows no religion and boundary walls. JWB got to know about this Jaipur based couple where the wife is Muslim, and the husband – Christian.
And since we’re celebrating Ramadan special series, we decided to write the story of this Muslim woman. We can’t wait to spell the magic of love on you through her story! Read…
We aren’t biased being a woman’s blog and wanted to meet the husband of Feroza Coelho too. However, he could not turn up because of work commitments. A mother of four children, Firoza sounded like the happiest woman while talking about her marriage and relationship.
As we proceed, we hope to bring a little change in our readers’ minds regarding inter-faith marriages.
Love cannot be confined to boundaries. That is true! Was it a difficult decision for you to marry in a different religion?
No, it was not difficult; but yes, it took a lot of efforts and time to make our families understand it. Though, my husband’s family always favored us. Once we made our decision firm, we decided to not look back. We haven’t regretted this decision even once in 22 years of our marriage. Touchwood, our families support and love us.
When your families met personally, what was the reaction?
I decided to marry my husband for the person he is, not because of his family or religion. My parents understood this thing and were convinced. But they were a little concerned about me, which was natural. They wanted to make sure if me and my husband were comfortable with our respective religious choices.
What kind of things did you discuss before getting married?
Marriage requires two people to be respectful, responsible, honest and sincere. We had a pact that we would trust and understand each other no matter what. This was only possible with open communication between us.
What adjustments have you made to make things easy?
Once you start living together, there are certain adjustments you have to make. However, I will not call it the adjustment. I tried to do what a normal wife would do in any marriage. To begin with, we decided that none of us was going to be converted. We believe that every person has an identity associated since birth. We love each other for who we are.
How do you mange following both the religions?
We celebrate different festivals with same spirit. Whether it is Christmas or Eid, our family is enthusiastic about every festival.
Was it a Nikah or a Christian wedding for you?
We had a court marriage. But after the birth of my second daughter, we decided to have Nikah. Now we are planning for a Christian wedding on our 25th anniversary, which is three years from now!
Did you learn anything new from Christianity?
Every relationship goes through ups and downs. Would you like to share yours?
Initially, our financial condition was not sound. I remember one incident when even feeding my children seemed tough. Once a cat spoilt the milk I had kept for my daughter when she was small. I couldn’t feed her the milk inspite of watching her cry out of hunger. I am extremely thankful to God today for everything we have.
What do you have to say about your religion – the mix of two rich cultures?
My parents have always been open about religious issues. They have taught me and my siblings to respect individuality and religious beliefs of every person we come across. They have never forced me or anyone to follow one particular religion. That’s why even after being a daddy’s girl, I feel closer to Islam. I keep Rojas during Ramadan along with mummy.
How do your friends react when they get to know about your unique identity?
My full name is Farheen Maryum Coelho. My friends find my parents’ story very exciting. I tell them how happy and proud I feel to be a part of two different cultures.
What religion do you want your children to follow as Feroza and not as Feroza Coelho?
I want them to adopt the goodness of every religion. I want them to decide what religion they want to follow. It depends on them whom they want to marry. The only thing I tell them is – be wise while choosing a life-partner.
How’s your relationship with you extended family and friends?
Everyone is happy for us. They are proud of how we have emerged.
How’s life after marriage?
Many people do not know that Muslim religion and Christianity have many similarities. Both the religions believe in one God who created the world. It is very important to remember that all the religions teach the same basic goodness. Life is just the same, just that the love has increased ten-fold.
It was a happy conversation. If you have a beautiful story to share, write to us at email@example.com!
Photo Courtesy: Shashank K Tyagi