Historically, Indians and Pakistanis have been one people, but geopolitical differences in the last 70 years have bred hatred and animosity for one another that a major segment of the population continues to uphold.Back in our countries, Sai and I would have legitimately feared for our lives and our safety if our families and communities didn't accept the relationship.My ideal partner would be a Sunni Muslim, in the upper-middle to rich socio-economic class, fair-skinned and from a "respectable" family. But deep down I knew checklist man was not right for me — no matter how much my family tried to convince me otherwise.He wanted to put the expectations of his parents above everything else and follow the life path they had laid out for him.
In Canada, I could quietly end a relationship that, from the outside, looked like a match made in heaven.
My parents would belittle Sai at any opportunity they got.
We eventually cut contact when things got really bad — an estrangement that lasted over a year.
Sai's parents were also less than welcoming towards me, but because they lived in India and had little control over what Sai did in Canada, their power over him and his decisions were limited.
We had to fight with our families to be with one another and to show them compassion and understanding when all they had for us were sarcastic remarks and empty threats.