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This was due to a case of jitters – not our own, but a qazi’s.
Although the qazi initially agreed to marry us, at the last minute he had second thoughts and gave us an ultimatum: either I convert to Islam or he’d have no part of it.
When I returned from Melbourne, our little flat was adorned with drawings (depicting our reunion at the airport), streamers, and colourful cut-out letters on the doors, saying sweet things, like “Welcome Home, Princess.” I was so happy I cried.
Sherpa’s mother was remarkably calm when we told her we were getting married – in two days’ time.
She has accepted me as part of the family, each of whom are incredibly independent and kind.
Sadly, I’ve not met his father, a professor of Islamic Studies in Chittagong, because he passed away while Sherpa was still in high school. As it turned out, Sherpa and I didn’t get married two days later; nor the next week, or the one after that.
This was tough, because my parents had never met him; we lost that opportunity when Sherpa’s applications for an Australian tourist visa were denied.
Ironically, the immigration officials – who I’d put money on as being the toughest in the world – didn’t believe our relationship was genuine.
It’s taken us a few months to get there, but by the time you read this, we’ll be hand-in-hand in Kolkata. It was established in 1990 and strives to assist newly arrived men and women who are struggling to make a new life here with their families.But even though it took us very little time to get ready for the big day – I wore my favourite Bangkok jumpsuit, a simple one-piece attire – somehow we managed to arrive half an hour late, and found the lawyer bristling with impatience.Refusing to delay things any further, we signed the marriage certificate before our close friend and witness Shahnaz had the chance to return from where she’d been waiting for us.This put us in a pickle, as I had no religion to convert from.But fortunately for us, a friend in-the-know persisted with his inquiries and found us a lawyer in Motijheel and we hastily scheduled a date.