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Love Is All They Have: The Beautiful Story of Rahul and Shiv

Pride Month Special: A day in photos with Rahul and Shiv.

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Love Is All They Have: The Beautiful Story of Rahul and Shiv
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Is love a spectrum? Well, from the perspective of Rahul and Shiv, it is. They have defined it to be unconditional. They believe that a relationship doesn’t have to rely on faith or trust, it is like a mother’s love for her child, unconditional.

Rahul and Shiv were introduced by their common friend, but they hadn’t met each other till that meeting at a bus stand in Panipat. Shiv had gone to collect a document for Rahul.

A little banter over tea.

(Photo: Ribhu Chatterjee/The Quint)

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As strange as it may sound, both readily agreed to marry each other in the first meeting itself. Later, they both shifted to Delhi as it was difficult for them to stay away from each other.

Now, it’s been four years and both of their parents have accepted their relationship.

Shiv is the one who does most of the household chores.

(Photo: Ribhu Chatterjee/The Quint)

Rahul, 22, is from Amritsar. He says,

“I already knew that I was attracted to boys, but I wasn’t aware of my sexuality till class 10. I liked Barbie dolls and Powerpuff Girls and dressed like them. I had a very feminine walk and whenever I tried to adjust my gait, I used to fall. It was never toxic for me as I was open to my mother and sister.”

Both Rahul and Shiv love to dance.

(Photo: Ribhu Chatterjee/The Quint)

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Shiv, 21, from Bihar, understood his attraction but couldn’t show it.

“I was into singing and dancing in class 5-6. I was even selected for 'Indian Idol', but dad never allowed me to participate. At home, I always helped my mother in her daily chores. At times I used to wear her with makeup."

But he didn’t fit in with his two brothers. He was clearly different from them. He was slapped by his father for putting on lipstick. Taunts such as, ‘tum larkiyo ki tarah chalte ho, tumhari chaal waisi hai’, was common in school. All he could do was avoid such people and situations.

Shiv always dresses up Rahul when they step out.

(Photo: Ribhu Chatterjee/The Quint)

Once his mother understood and Rahul came into his life, things became normal for Shiv. Slowly his father and brothers also came around.

In the initial days of their marriage, though it’s not legal yet, they faced financial struggles. So, they did part time jobs, tuitions, and continued their studies.

Shiv and Rahul give tuitions every day.

(Photo: Ribhu Chatterjee/The Quint)

Rahul and Shiv teach kids every day.

(Photo: Ribhu Chatterjee/The Quint)

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“No relationship is perfect; people can only try to make it perfect with time. I gave the access of my life to him, shared my thoughts, and involved him in every decision making," says Rahul.

“We are like any other couple. Our morning ritual involves Shiv making tea while I get him updates of all the current affairs,” he adds.

Getting ready for a Pride parade.

(Photo: Ribhu Chatterjee/The Quint)

Shopping is their favourite pastime.

(Photo: Ribhu Chatterjee/The Quint)

From bathing to dressing up, Shiv takes care of Rahul’s every need.

He has saved Rs 20,000 which he wants to spend on Rahul and fulfil his every wish. They also take tuitions for five hours daily.

What to wear for the Pride parade.

(Photo: Ribhu Chatterjee/The Quint)

The Metro ride back home.

(Photo: Ribhu Chatterjee/The Quint)

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Even after abrogation of Section 377, same sex relationship is still looked down upon in India, but Rahul and Shiv are just happy that they have each other.

Just another day in Shiv and Rahul's life.

(Photo: Ribhu Chatterjee/The Quint)

Shiv is doing his Hindi honours from Deshbandhu college and aspires to become a CA while Rahul who dropped out of college twice, hasn’t given up on his dream of doing an MBA.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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