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“I was so angry that I shrieked, and we ran after them. Then seeing that I was not going to go, he apologised.” Another time, a group of men sneered as they passed by the young couple: “? )” My friend Neha Belvalkar’s first visit to India after two years in a film school in the US was “appalling,” in her words.
Chris, her American boyfriend, had accompanied her.
For many interracial couples, this is perfectly normal. We expect the jokes about how our skin colours (mine brown; his freckled) look different on the beach.
We know people will be curious about how our families feel about it (absolutely fine). But when that veers into nasty looks, comments or even outright abuse, it becomes something no couple should have to deal with. It’s plain racist and it’s time Britain outgrew it once and for all.
By the fourth day of our vacation on the islands, we had got used to being stared at.
But when curious glances turned to quizzical looks, we began to realise that we were considered an oddity: A brown woman with a white man. ” one of the two women asked me as soon as my husband left my side.
One day when walking on a street in Pune, Neha’s hometown, a biker slowed down near the couple and almost hit her. She said she sensed a mix of repressed fury and lust in the man’s tone, when he hissed back: “I will f*** you.” To many Indians, the idea of a mixed-race couple is alien, repulsive even.
Nicholas Chevaillier, my friend Aarya’s French-American husband, has been asked more than once in India where and how he “picked up” the woman he was with.
And there’s the drive towards conformity: The ugly head that raises itself at the sight of anything that dares to deviate from the norm.
The Big Short, the film adaptation of Michael Lewis' book of the same name about the causes of the financial crisis, opens in UK cinemas this weekend.
How will the story stack up against the greatest films about business?
Other friends tell me they don’t even bother telling their relatives about new partners if they’re not the same race.
One jokingly refers to her boyfriend as her "vanilla secret" as her extended family in India have no idea he exists.