By RAN JAI As the bookseller, Rishi Kapoor had no conscience about his sexual orientation.
His family was aware of his homosexuality but they did not press charges.
But, he did not let it bother him.
“No one was pressuring me to marry,” Kapoor said.
“I just wanted to be loved and loved my wife.
But I could never get married because I had no choice.”
It was in the late 1990s, when he was in his early twenties, that Kapoor came out to his family.
The following year, his wife, Anupam, who was a member of the same religious family as his parents, married him.
Kapoor was one of the few Indian men who had married outside of his caste.
The only difference was that he was married at a younger age, so Anupams family was not aware of it.
It was a big decision for Kapoor and it changed his life forever.
“We never really talked about the marriage because I did not have a lot of friends,” Kaporki Kapoor told me.
His mother and older sister, who were also married at the same age, were not aware either.
They only learned about his marriage from newspapers and social media.
Kaporka’s wife was not interested in marriage.
“She would just say ‘we do not want to be with a man who is gay’.
She told me, ‘it is not a big deal’,” Kapoor recalled.
Kapoor said he did get married to Anupan.
But he was not happy.
“It was just because I was so excited.
I did feel so happy because I could finally have someone who loved me.”
It is one of several stories that illustrate the ways in which the Indian society is still not tolerant towards homosexuality.
This is the story of Rishi, who had no qualms about marrying an Indian.
The story of Anupas family: ‘We did not want him’ In an age when most people are trying to get married, Kapoor’s marriage was not considered a big issue in his community.
“We did have some family members who were against it,” Kapuris brother, Vipin Kapoor, told me in the same interview.
“They told me it was not a bad thing.
But then, when I was younger, I did hear stories from my relatives.
And then I had my own family member.
It did not help that I was born in a village in Madhya Pradesh.”
It didn’t help that Kapur and his family lived in a small, remote village in central Madhya.
When Kapoor finally got married in 1991, he was happy.
But Anupa, his younger sister, was not so happy.
Kapur, too, had no objection to the marriage.
“We were not against it.
My sister wanted it.
I was very happy for her and my family.
We did not talk about it,” he said.
Kapooi said he wanted to have a normal life with his wife.
He was not married.
“In our family, if somebody wants to get divorced, he can get married.
But not me,” he added.
In 1999, Kapur was called into the local police station to give evidence in the case of the couple.
Police officers, however, told him that the marriage would be annulled, and that they were not interested.
Then, Kapao was sent to jail.
Kapoi said the police told him to stay at home and not to speak to anyone.
He had no idea that he would be in jail for a year.
“This is when I decided to get into journalism and did not tell anyone about it.
Nobody knew what I was going through,” he told me later.
But his jail term did not deter him.
In the next few years, he published four books, including The Family, which won the National Book Award.
Kapoir has been working as a journalist for over 15 years now.
His books have become bestsellers.
And his story, which touched so many people, did not go away.
It has been told in many ways.
For instance, his sister Anupum is now the chief editor of the Hindi edition of The Times Of India.
“People told me to write this book because I am gay.
But it was actually my family and my friends who did not accept it,” Anupama said.
I am also happy that my life has been transformed.
My wife has become a great lady and my son a great father.
It has helped me to grow as a person and as a man.
I am glad that I have found the courage to share my story.
I will never forget this moment.
Read more: Anupam and Rishi’s life in pictures: The story of the gay couple in Madras’ SrinagarToday’s headlinesOpinion: Anupals marriage