Below is a full transcript of our podcast episode, titled Finding Yourself, Sikh+Muslim Interfaith Marriage, Online Dating, Stereotypes, Raising Children, and More.
Scroll down to see the transcript and/or listen to the episode here.
[00:00:00] Kamran: Welcome to the PlanEvents.ca podcast. This is your host Kamran. And today we have our guest, Inder. She came on to our episode, to our podcast, not episode. She came on about six months ago in episode 15, um, where we kind of dove into the initial impacts on her, um, her as a wedding planning professional, and kind of dealing with COVID and today we, um, brought her back on for something completely different.
Um, we’re going to be talking about her personal journey, being an Indian woman. Um, and kind of forging her own path on how she wanted, how she wants to live her life. Um, and how that tied into her, uh, experience, um, in the marriage process, uh, personally, so kind of high level, um, what we’re going to be talking about is, um, we’ll have inter who’s on, give her, give a quick intro, um, for those who, who have not, who might not know who she is.
Um, we’ll also talk about, or I say, she’ll also share how she met her husband. Um, also her individual journey, like really getting to know herself and how, if she didn’t take that individual journey, she may have never met her husband ever. Um, and then we’ll kind of go more into details on that topic.
And also some of the more, I think, detailed discussions around, um, The experience of, you know, raising a family and so on. Cause I think, um, often before getting married, uh, folks, you know, even me might have certain expectations of what married life is going to be like before we’re getting married and. I think it, I would not be surprised if, you know, expectations pre-marriage have to change or evolve over time, way after.
So hoping to get some awesome insights from Inder. And with that said, I’m going to stop talking and I’m going to hand off to Inder to give her intro.
Inder: Awesome. Thank you. Come run. Um, yeah, so my name’s Inder and. Typically I’m a destination wedding planner, but COVID decided to, um, change my title for 2020.
So, um, I’ve kind of just been, you know, focusing more on myself this year and getting the back end of our business kind of going and I’m kind of organized. Um, but yeah, so we’re here to chat, um, not about the business side of things or the work side of things, but something a bit more personal. And I just hope to kind of share a little bit about, um, how I met my husband and how, um, just going on my own personal journey, kind of set the stage for being ready for that next stage of marriage.
And I just hope that the conversation we have today is able to help somebody or somebody is able to take something away from this. And if anybody has questions, feel free to DM me as well. I love getting deep with people and like, you know, chatting about life things. Um, so yeah, just, um, I hope this is something that can help someone.
Kamran: Awesome. Okay. So before we jump into how you met your husband, can you share a little bit about your upbringing? You know, both like how you were raised practically, but it also want to get insight on it. I assume there was a point in your life where family and community members may have started. Um, Hinting on, on marriage, um, that may or may not be true.
You can, you can fill us in on that and also kind of share, like, what was your living situation like? Um, you know, like, did you move out at some point on your own? Um, what are you to move on? So on. So why don’t you give us kind of the context, um, in that sense.
Inder: Sure. Yeah. Um, so yeah, I grew up, um, Indian, typical household, um, Indian parents in Abbotsford, BC.
Um, and I was an only child for like the first 10 years. So, um, after that time I got a little brother, um, who’s like my best friend now. And, um, so yeah, it was a typical upbringing and I really, I had a good upbringing. Um, I definitely had a sheltered upbringing, um, and. I say that because like, you know, my parents, um, they wouldn’t let me really go out.
I wasn’t really going to school dances. Um, and, but I always like wanted to do that stuff. So I definitely was like that sheltered, um, you know, perfect on paper, a little girl, um, in that sense, um, really. Did everything by the book. So I, I was that perfect little girl, child and daughter, I should say. And I I say this, um, not to brag in any way, because you know, doing that.
Individual journey and this process of learning about yourself, um, you see how that kind of affects [00:05:00] you even later in life, trying to please others so much and living up to expectations. And I think that’s something that all Indian girls, um, experience to some degree is living up to some kind of expectation.
Um, so yeah, in that sense, I had that typical upbringing, the expectation was, you know, do well in school, listen to your parents, get good grades, don’t talk to boys and, um, go to university. And, um, yeah, like the boy thing, it was definitely no boys allowed, like that was like the taboo, everything else was kind of like, okay.
So in that sense, I never like did anything bad, but like, obviously like. Like every Indian, typical girl, like I might’ve had a boyfriend or something. Um, but, um, yeah, so that was that, but, um, It was really typical my upbringing. Um, it wasn’t until like, I think I hit about like 25 where I did a lot of like self-reflection, um, and went on this individual journey, like, okay, this is not about pleasing other people.
What is this about? And that’s probably the first time in my life, like around 25 when I took the time to learn about myself and yeah. That was so huge.
Kamran: Awesome. So I have some kind of follow-up questions and I don’t want to derail us too much. So I’m curious to know the, the types of rules and restrictions that were placed on you, where those types of restrictions placed on your, on your younger brother, or did he have more freedom growing up?
Inder: Yeah, I think he absolutely – it was my brother and I have such a different relationship too, because of our age difference. Um, him growing up, like, I always felt like his mom in a way, because. Uh, you know, we had the immigrant parents. So I went through school. I was meeting with his teachers, is that like 13 years old? Like, you know, it was, I was at communicator of English between them and like that next professional person.
So I really had that like mom role, um, with him. And when he, when he was doing all these things, like it would be like, he would have to ask me, like, can I go out with my friends? Like, can I go to the dance? Um, and I knew what that was about, so I never stopped him from that. Um, but of course, as a boy, he just naturally gets more freedom.
So I think once, like I grew up. The pressure from my parents was also gone. Like, okay, she’s grown up. Like, he’s a boy. They were just chilled out.
Inder: funny. I mean,
Kamran: I had, um, I had not had, I should not say I have a brother and, uh, he’s younger than I am by few years. But growing up by the super sheltered. To like, until I moved out, I moved out for college when I was 18.
But, um, even when I was 18, I was still like sneaking out of my window to like go out. And I mean, at a certain age I was getting caught and I just, I didn’t care. And I grounded break the rules anyways, but I wasn’t able to go to school dances or anything like that. I never, I never went to prom or anything like that.
Uh, I always had to be home by before way before sunset, my brother. Uh, went to prom with all the dances, traveling to New York with his class, like just kind of did everything that I wasn’t allowed to do. So I totally feel like I was like the experiment. And then like, my parents were like, it’s not worth the stress.
Let him let the other one do whatever.
Inder: Yeah. And like you say, the prom thing, like prom was such a huge deal like me. I like, I never really asked to like go to dances or anything, but when it came to prom, I was like, okay, like I have to go to prom. Like, this is like what all the TV shows are about, you know?
And it just has to be perfect. So I literally didn’t even get my dress to like a week or two before, but it was picked out months in advance. Um, and I just remember, like, it was like this big day and I had to ask my dad, like he had to allow me and I like, it was like, literally, I was like, dad, And he still remembers this conversation.
Cause like, he always says like that day when you said that, like it just broke my heart. And like, I was like, it was such a big conversation for both of us, but literally I was like, dad, like if I don’t go to prom, like I’ll never forgive you. I’ll never forget. It was just so dramatic. And um, yeah, he said I could go and.
Yeah, it was just crazy. But even like to the point of like, wearing like a distress, like, I just felt so weird. Like, thank God. Like no one, like my family, my dad didn’t like see me off. Cause like I got ready at my friends, but it was just like weird. Like we just didn’t um, experienced -our relationship.
Wasn’t like that. But I say this like loosely too, because like my dad [00:10:00] really treated me like. He always says, like, he treated me like a boy, but like sometimes I get that and I don’t. And after like reflecting now back, like I see like, he definitely, like, he’s always respected my opinion and really like.
Well, when I sit him down and have a conversation, he always understands. And I think my dad and I are actually so much alike and I I’m able to realize this so much later on in life. But, um, yeah, it’s just crazy. Like I just didn’t take, make the effort to be like, I want to go to the dance or like, I just wanted to be that good girl.
I wanted to live up to their expectation, but yeah. When it came to prom, I was like, okay, no. And you know, I was prom queen, so good thing-
Kamran: Did you tell your parents?
Inder: I don’t know. Like, I don’t even know if they would know what is that like, I want to go through all of that, but, um, yeah, it was funny the way it worked out. So. Yeah.
Kamran: It’s funny. So, um, eventually like, yeah, you mentioned, you kind of started your personal journey at 25 where you were still living with your family at that time, or did you move out by that point?
Inder: Yeah, no, like once I graduated high school school, I would say like, I was like really like sheltered up until, and in once I hit high school, um, that was when my really gave me any sense of freedom. Like when it came to like going to university and whether it was what I wanted to study or where I wanted to work, or they always.
Have supported me, like, in that sense, I think it was just there, like fear of me getting through high school that was like really huge for them. And in a way now I look back and I’m really thankful that they were sheltering me in that way, because I see like, as. Teenagers. Like our minds are so fragile and we’re so easily influenced.
And like, they were just looking out for me. So like, I get it now, but like back then, it was like the worst thing that could ever do to me. And like, you know, that’s all you think life is when you’re so young.
Kamran: That’s definitely true. I couldn’t even in high school, I, I could not envision anything past high school.
Yeah. I wasn’t even sure if I like the idea of graduation, just, just seem unreal.
Inder: Yeah. You just don’t know what is after. Okay. You know, it’s just, it’s weird. It’s so tough. And like, Oh, I feel for kids now, because like now having to deal with social media and everything, along with the normal stuff that a teenager deals with is probably just so much, so yeah.
Kudos to the teens of today, um, for hanging in there. But, uh, yeah. It’s, it was interesting. That was, yeah. So once I hit high school after high school, um, I really got that freedom. I was able to go to like university, I didn’t live on campus or anything. Um, but like they got me a car. I had like a cell phone that they knew about now and these kinds of things, it was just more freedom in that sense.
I could be out all day long. Um, and they wouldn’t question me. I would just be like, this is where I’m at. And maybe I was there. Maybe I wasn’t, like I had the freedom at that point to be like, okay, not questioned by my parents. Um, and I was, yeah, they trusted me. Like I had work that I had to travel for a lot.
Um, and they let me go on these trips. They really encouraged me. They actually sent me to Australia by myself when I was 14, too, but it was actually like a punishment.
Kamran: Usually people send their kids to India as punishment, but yeah.
Inder: Yeah, no, my, my mom’s family’s on Australia, so they were like, I got in trouble at school for something and they’re like, okay, you need to go away somewhere.
And, um, I had really like proper cousins who like my grandma. And everybody always say how good they are. And so proper. They’re like thinking I’m like going crazy off the deep end. Like she needs to go there, but like, it wasn’t even anything, like, I wasn’t really such a good girl, but, um, yeah, it was just funny.
They sent me to Australia, so they’ve always like allowed me to go places. And I think like, Because they sent me away by myself, like that huge journey. I remember like my layover was in Honolulu and it was like long flights. And I was like, wow, like, I’m so grown. I’m like doing this by myself. And actually, no, it was actually when I was like 13, 14, I don’t know.
But I was just really young. And like, I think that really played a part in me going solo traveling because like I knew what it was like from a younger age.
Kamran: Yeah, that makes, that makes sense. So I guess, um, so when, when you, when you decided, so when you, when you hit around the age of 25, what prompted you?
Um, I also want to know where there, what are their pressures also at that point to start, you know, looking for somebody settled down [00:15:00] or what, what was that experience?
Inder: Yeah, so my dad, like growing up, like. There was always the expectation that one day I’m going to get married, but never did they ever like present me with somebody or like, you need to think about looking for somebody or so-and-so has a son, like, they never really encouraged marriage to me ever, but it was just always like this end goal of one day.
It’ll just happen. Um, so I don’t really know, even to this point, what they were thinking. Cause I say to my mom, like sometimes like you guys never, ever like talked to me about getting married and so it was just like, yeah. Okay. Like what is that all about? And she’s like, I don’t know. And I don’t know. I think my parents just, I dunno why I still don’t have really an answer for that, but it wasn’t that scenario where like at 22, they’re like trying to marry me off.
Like, I don’t know.
Kamran: No, it sounds like it sounds kind of like a good deal.
Inder: Yeah. They never, they never gave that expectation that I need to go. Um, so yeah, it, it was really organic in that way, um, to the point where I felt uncomfortable telling them I want to get married. Cause like they’d never said go get married.
Um, yeah, actually. Yeah, it was really interesting. So yeah. And like to touch on, like, I did actually move out kind of a little bit. Um, I was living in a house for then I was living in downtown Vancouver for like a couple of years, um, around 24, 25 when I like, started to go on this little individual journey.
Um, yeah. And so all of that, they, they gave me my space. They definitely didn’t as I got older to do what I wanted.
Kamran: No, that’s, that’s nice. So then I guess what prompted you to kind of go out, you know, on your own and I guess, figure out who you are.
Inder: Um, it was probably like a major break up, um, or like a couple of them
You know, I was just like, what am I really doing? I’d never really had that point of like truly just being myself. There was always somebody else in my life that like, whether it’s like my family or my friends, or like a partner, just somebody to. Run everything by. And, um, I don’t think up until that age, I ever made a decision alone and that thought was just like crazy to me when I realized it.
And I was like, what the heck? And then by that point, um, I had been working in travel for a couple of years and. I just, I wanted to go, I wanted to explore, I wanted to see what the world was about. Um, I was just a sheltered little girl from Abbotsford, BC, and thought that moving to downtown was gonna
Inder: Like, just, even just like that, that you made it when you did that. Like that’s what life was about at that point. Right?
Inder: And then, then it was like, okay, then what? Like there has to be more to this shit than this, you know, like yeah. Just being locked up in a box and then walking to your job and then walking back up to your box.
It was just weird to me that we’re all just doing this and at five o’clock, the sidewalks are packed and like, you know, it’s weird. So yeah, it just sent me.
Kamran: Yeah. Sorry. No, no, I’m sorry. I interrupted go, go for it. I thought you were, you were done.
Inder: They just sent me on this. Like what are we doing here, I guess?
And that was when I decided, okay, like literally I quit my job. I decided I wanted to work for myself. I didn’t really know how, or like what that was going to be at that point. But like, I was just like, there’s just more to this. And that was when, like my whole journey of like manifestation. And what is your life?
Look like, what do you want it to look like? What does it take to build that life? And a lot of self work and, um, Self-help books and motivational quotes and all that kind of jazz. Um, so yeah, that was that.
Kamran: Yeah. I don’t want, I won’t derail it because I think this is going to segue to ultimately like where you went off to, um, and how you met your husband.
But I did want to add, like I grew up in a, in a very, uh, so I was sheltered as well, but I also grew up in a very small town. So like, um, when I was in high school, I always had this vision of like, Living in the city, living in a high-rise, uh, you know, just like imagine myself, like having brunch on the weekends, dressed nice,, just like walking on sidewalks in the city. These are the [00:20:00] things I envisioned and, you know, once I got into the city, I mean, it, it, it, two weeks later, I mean, it gets old and you just like, you get your material, it gets old.
Inder: to carry your groceries or getting parking tickets everywhere.
Kamran: And that, I mean, I think, yeah, that it was a good, that is a good experience, but it was nothing like what I had envisioned it. So I thought that was funny, but yeah, I want to, I’ll give you back the mic so you can kind of continue on.
Inder: Yeah. Um, so yeah, at that point I was just like, okay, quit my job. And I went to Southeast Asia.
I like, I always say like, I’m. I, I don’t know, like it’s like, uh, organized chaos. I describe it in my life as, so even though, like, I was just like quitting my job and leaving at the same time. Like I knew when I got there. Okay. Like, this is how I intend to earn income. And this is like the job that I’ll do.
And this is what my plan will be for the first like couple months. Um, so it’s always like, you know, sometimes I think people go, um, Like, Oh, like, how is this possible? And like, I can’t just quit my job. And like, that just sounds so erratic. And at that time, everybody thought I was crazy, but like, there’s an organized way, a thought out way to go about things to still take chances, but like calculated risks.
And I think that is like the key to all the craziness is like, you always have to have like some kind of calculated risk and, um, yeah. So like you can quit your job. You can go just like have that plan. Of what you’re going to do when you’re there. So, um, yeah, I just want to touch on that. Um, but yeah, I’ve got to, I went to Singapore first because I had a cousin there, so I wanted to go just like, before I go off on my own, just know that I have somebody that’s like within vicinity.
So I spend a few weeks with her. Um, and she was like off working. So I would spend my days just like going off on my own, exploring Singapore, all the different areas. Um, And it was just really cool. Um, that was like one of my favorite times, because that was literally the first time I’ve been off on my own doing things.
But then I still had a little sense of security knowing like came my cousins there and like, you know, we’re good. And then once like a few weeks passed, I was like, okay, I’m ready for the next destination. And, um, at that point, Thailand is where I was going to go. Cause I had, um, kind of like a job lined up there, but.
It was just really interesting because I’m like thinking about it now. Like I’m like, wow, I cannot believe I did that because I think as we get older, I dunno, we are, we get less or like, I guess more responsibilities, I guess now than I did at that point. So I took more risks, but, um, yeah, basically I was just communicating with this company online.
Um, basically they were going to pick me up from the airport when I arrived and they would have accommodations for me. Um, like I checked out the company as much as I could, but at the end of the day, like there’s only so much I can do. And so, like, I had my people, like I was going to check in with when I arrive, when I’m like in the taxi.
Uh, but thankfully everything was proper and everything was not a bad scenario, but always, always do your homework. Don’t just like jump in random cars and things like that. I’m not condoning that. But like just calculated risks. Um, always like have a fun. And as a girl, obviously it was another thought, like I’m in this country by myself, like what to accept, expect.
Um, but yeah, working in travel at that point for a couple of years, I had known that like, Thailand should be a good place for a solo female traveler. Um, I looked into a few places at that point and yeah, I was confident that Thailand would be a good place for me.
Kamran: So. Okay. How long did you stay in Thailand?
Were you there for a couple of weeks? A couple months?
Inder: No. So I was there for like six months. Um, and I met, um, in like the last two weeks of my trip. So I was like by myself for like the entire time up until the last two weeks. Um, and what kind of. Happened throughout that process of like those first six months was like, what I really needed was just to like spend that time, making my own decisions, relying on myself, um, getting to know myself, learning my instincts, my intuition, my limits.
What kind of decisions do you make when no one’s looking like, do you know, like, do you know how far you’re able to like get pushed or push yourself or what’s not for you and what is for you? Like. You’ll face everything going into like a third world country by yourself. Like, you know, and especially a tourist country, like Thailand, it wasn’t like, it was just Thai people.
I was around. I got to know like that whole lifestyle, but it’s like a, it’s a tourist city, like Phucket, where I was, um, there’s people going in and [00:25:00] out from all over. And the job that I had specifically was working with tourists. So I got to have so many conversations with people from all over the world.
Like Europe, Australia. New Zealand, South Africa, um, anywhere. It was just really cool. So being in like that one epicenter allowed me to kind of expand myself in so many other ways too, which was really cool.
Kamran: Yeah, that makes sense. Yeah. From, and this is completely random, but from what I understand, there are a ton of people, um, from Australia, they go to Thailand and like, it geographically, it makes sense, but like, it never clicked in my head.
I was like, Oh, why are there so many white people in Thailand? And it’s like, Oh yeah. Australia is just like a hop, skip away. I mean, if you’re on the West coast of Australia.
Inder: Well, even all of Europe and all that. So they all also that’s like their beaches and destinations, Russians love Thailand too.
Kamran: Oh, interesting.
Kamran: That’s interesting. So, um, so yeah, I think, I don’t know if people caught it, but you that’s your last couple of weeks in Thailand. It’s basically like your six months stay you met Ahmed. Ahmed, I assume. Is your husband?
Inder: Yeah. So, um, also I should mention like the six months ended up being six months, but it was completely open from the beginning and up until like the last week, I probably booked my ticket a week and decided that that was enough time.
Um, I don’t know why, but it just felt like it was, and. I decided to go back home, but kind of going back, um, Yeah. So I met, um, so how did we meet? Is that what you asked me?
Kamran: Yeah, yeah, exactly.
Inder: This is kind of funny. I’m like, okay. Like, do I tell the real story or do I, you can tell whatever appropriate version of the story you’d like to tell?
Kamran: Uh, yeah, totally.
Inder: That’s not the real one because I hate when people go on a podcast and say a story that isn’t real. And then later on you find out like, Oh, actually this is how it actually was. And I was just trying to like nuts. Okay. Okay, we’re going to do this. Okay. So there was a coup happening in Phuket.
Um, and basically the military has taken over, so everything would shut down at like 6:00 PM. And if they found you on the street, the military with guns would like take you home. So everybody would go off into their homes at six o’clock and everything was shut down. Like gas stations, food, you can get anything.
And, you know, a time like this would get lonely for some. So I was shocked up with, um, two friends. So we each had our own places, but because of this like lockdown, I guess, that we were experiencing, um, we decided to, we would lock down together. So every evening we would stay at one girlfriend’s house. And, um, yeah, that’s what we were doing.
And so we were found that was like, I, I call it like my sorority time, because I never got to go off to college and like live in dorms and like experience that life at that age. So it really felt cool to like, have that moment with those girls, um, um, who are still great friends. So it was really cool. So yeah.
Um, yeah, so Tinder. No. Okay.
Kamran: Yeah. I mean was Tinder around back then? I mean, if you and I are of similar age and wondering if it wasn’t around back then.
Inder: You know, it absolutely was. And I was that person. So this is, um, what year was, this is 2014. Okay. Okay. And prior to this, I was the person who just talked so much shit about Tinder.
I was like, Oh, this is like the worst thing. I’m like, I can’t even believe it’s resorting to this because like, You know, like I’m like just this hopeless romantic, and like had this whole different vision of love. And like I’m a fricking wedding planner. Like, you know, this is like, love is just supposed to be so something else.
And Tinder was just not what I thought it was. It was so I was like the most vocal person. So my two girlfriends actually were playing the Tinder game and I like, I was probably talking so much shit like. And like my words now, which is probably why it’s so uncomfortable for me talking about this, but yeah, I met my husband on Tinder, um, and how that went about, because like, I still feel like I have to protect myself.
I don’t know why. I’m sure in the way of like, How I got on Tinder was actually because my girlfriends were talking to other guys and they’re like, we want to see if those guys talk to you and what they say. So we were trying to like catch guys. You know,
Kamran: Damn. That’s really good insight.
Inder: So it would be like the three of us. And we would be talking to like the same guys. Like they like, ha look what he said to me, like, say this. And like, it was just like [00:30:00] this big game and, Oh my God. Was it ever entertaining? Um, especially like during that time where we had nothing else to do.
And so. Yeah, it was, that is how then I happened to get matched up with this guy. Um, and we just talked, we just tendered for like two weeks. Um, I think we even had some phone conversations and that is how we met.
Kamran: You know, it’s funny. Um, so I’m 34. So I started using the internet when I was like 12. And, um, I remember in high school when people started like, and college people started meeting people online. I definitely passed a lot of judgment about it. I was thinking, you know, like, why can’t you just meet somebody in person and how do you know that person is real? And I think I met my fiance in 2013. So it’s like, I remember like pretty much like starting a around that same time, like a year after him.
Cause by when I met my fiance, I understood Tinder is this is how you get laid. And so. I was like, okay, well, that’s, that’s, you know, if I’m, if, if I’m interested in relationship, then definitely don’t go on Tinder. But then, but then like one or two years later, more and more people started to actually meet their partners on Tinder.
Then they, then you started having all these other dating apps come out. And, um, now it’s like super common. It’s been completely normalized. And so I feel like, um, If I was a single person, I would absolutely go on those apps. It seems like the fastest, most quality way to meet the opposite sex. No. Why? Why not?
Inder: Yeah. I mean, totally like that is how people can meet each other nowadays. Like, especially just like the pool of people, I guess, and finding the one that works for you. Like back in the day, I guess it was just really limited to the people, you know, and the people that they know and that’s it.
Kamran: I was going to ask. Uh, so specifically, uh, so you were in Thailand, so was Ahmed, was he also in Thailand or on vacation or was he actually in South Africa?
Inder: No. So he was also, uh, living in Thailand at the time for a few months. And, um, he was doing Muay Thai there.
Kamran: Oh, at Fairtex or what?
Kamran: Did he go to the Fairtex gym?
Inder: Uh, no, he went to Dragon, I think.
Kamran: Okay. I only know because I used to be into MMA like long time ago.
Inder: Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, well, you know, there’s this road. Um, I can’t think of the name of the road, but it’s got all the gyms on it. It’s got Tiger. Are you familiar with it?
Kamran: I dunno. I only know Fairtex because they had really good gear that was expensive, like in like 2004.
Inder: but yeah, there’s this road and it’s literally like tons of Muay Thai gyms and like health food, and good food. And it’s like, people just come there from all over the world and fight all day and eat good food and kind of get on this like health movement. And so he was kind of there living there, there, and yeah, we, we tendered it up and then like I, from his, cause he also had some family there at the time.
And so everybody that he knew, like I turned into Tinder Inder. Oh
yeah. So yeah.
Kamran: So, did you, the two of you ended up physically meeting up while in Thailand during this lockdown or no?
Inder: Yeah. So we did, we, after a few weeks of just chatting online, we met up in person. Um, and it’s so funny because if someone is like familiar with Thailand and Phuket.
Um, we have this ongoing joke that we’re going to, okay. I don’t even know if I should tell this.
Kamran: No, no rules this podcast.
Inder: So there’s this club called Seduction and it’s on Bungalow Road. So I don’t know if you’re familiar with Bungalow Road. It’s like. The trashiest road in Phuket. And we were just like, laughing, like, okay, this is like, we met on Tinder and now let’s meet, where are we going to meet for the first time?
Like we have to meet on Bungalow Road. Where on bungler road? Oh, obviously at Seduction club. And so we were just like, we were just running with this trash.
Kamran: That’s pretty funny.
Inder: Yeah. So we met on Bungalow Road at Seduction, um, on Tinder. That is how we met.
Kamran: That’s awesome. Um, I, uh, I definitely have a version that I tell my friends of how I met my fiance. And then I have a version that I, uh, tell my parents and family members. And I will say like, definitely like the way my fiance and I met.
It was a lot more like, um, the way you and I met, met a minus, um, [00:35:00] minus the Tinder. Um, but yeah, that’s funny. Um, Yeah. So I’d be curious to know. So then you kind of both parted your ways. Yeah. What happened then?
Inder: We, we went on our first date and like, um, it was really good and we just hung out. We would just like vibe really well.
And then we literally spent like the rest of the days together. I think there was like maybe one day in the week. We didn’t hang out. Um, Yeah. I was just really obsessed with him. And, um, yeah, I felt like at that time, like, You know, I knew myself at that point. So we had hung out for a couple of weeks and I was like, you know, okay.
I didn’t have any expectations out of it ever. It’s so weird because like, I go back to that time, like I literally had no expectation. I had no idea that this person was going to turn out to be my husband and then my baby daddy. And they’re going to build this life together. Like I had no idea and we were just having fun.
We were just. Hanging out enjoying being ourselves. And like, that was like, I think the biggest thing, because I had been on my own, like on my own, like completely like from all the outside sources that were dependent or I was dependent on for any insight into my life. And he was also on his own for a few months.
And this is actually, um, I feel like this is, I, I wanna like really highlight this because. Um, we were both on our individual journeys and we met at a point where like, we were both so free in ourselves and I’m so thankful that that’s the period in time that we found each other, because like, I felt like I was whole and he was whole, and we were able to come together with the right mindset, I guess.
And yeah. You know, we it’s always just been this like understanding between us. We actually have never had this conversation, like, okay, like we’re dating or like we’re boyfriend and girlfriend, or like now we’re like exclusive or in that sense, like, it’s just. I dunno, like I always make fun of him to this day.
Like, you really never asked me to be your girlfriend. It was like, we met, we hung out for two weeks. He went to South Africa. I came back home and we just had this long distance relationship for like a few months. And then I went to South Africa for like a month. And then, which was like in October later that year.
Um, and then he came to Canada for a few months. Um, and then on our one-year of meeting anniversary, um, he had asked me to come back to Thailand with him and then he proposed. Yeah. So it was like, we just, we did like the long distance for a year. And then, and like, I don’t think I’ve ever said this to him, but like, you know, ideal.
With so many, I don’t want to say situations, but like I have really good girlfriends and like, you know, we chat and like, I know some of them are like dating and like always like going through these situations, like with guys these days. And like one thing, like, I just appreciate, like, he, he saw what he wanted and he locked it down and like, I appreciate him for that for not playing any games in that way with me.
And yeah. I want girls out there to know, like, you know, expect more from the person that you’re going to spend your life with. And, you know, some girls date guys for like years and years and years. Um, and don’t really like have that, I guess. Um, what am I trying to say? Like stability or like, you know, um, cause girls need that .
Yeah, it was really nice of him to do.
Kamran: Uh, I, I’m kind of on a similar boat. I see my friends that are still looking for a partner and they might be with one and I’m like, man, I’m so glad , I shouldn’t say glad. I’m so grateful that I did not have to deal with that with who I’m with now, it’s always been. Like the, from day one that I met her, I was pretty straightforward with her.
And there’s no, like, there’s no like this weird game of like, Oh, maybe I should wait two days to call her. Maybe I should delay responding. None of that, you know, just stay to it. Um, and, and, you know, the only reason we took so long is because our parents. Took so long to come around because like other, um, religious and, you know, to some degree or ethnic differences, you know, we’re both from yeah the same general region, but linguistically we’re not the same. Um, so I, that, that brings me to another point. Like it did it did. So, so, you know, you kind of went back and forth over the course of a year. At what point did you share with your parents? Kind of like the full details? Hey, like this is somebody I met, um, [00:40:00] and I’m seeing him and he’s also, you know, different than us, you know?
Like what was that like?
Inder: Yeah, I think, um, I think my mom definitely found out from somebody, um, which, you know, I, I wish that she didn’t have to, like now as a mom, I’m like, I should’ve just told her, but we, like I said, my parents, I never had that relationship where I knew that when I would ever bring somebody to my parents, it was going to be the person I marry.
And until I was ready to do that, I never. Felt like I was going to do that. So I guess I was expecting to get engaged and then come back and feel like, Hey, I mean, I don’t know. I didn’t even know I was going to go get engaged, I guess. I don’t even know. So it was just like, um, my mom knew there was a boy when I left to go to Thailand.
Um, she knew about homage. She knew he was Muslim and, um, Yeah. She was just like, you know, just be, be mindful of what that means. And she never, ever said like, don’t do that. Or like, you’re not allowed. Um, but it was just like, um, you’re going to have to deal with a lot and. I get it now. Like I get what she was meaning from, because what we have gone through, hasn’t been easy by any means.
Um, and there’s a lot of people who probably still don’t accept it till this day, not my immediate family, but maybe like a sense of family or whatever. Um, People just always have something to say, right? Yeah, absolutely. I got so many good stories. Yeah. You know, but she was just like, just be mindful of what you’re getting into.
And, um, yeah. Other than that, like, that’s basically where it was at. And so when I got engaged, I called her, I was like, Hey, like we’re engaged. And she was like, you know, congratulations. And at that point I didn’t tell my dad because, um, My dad, he actually also knew that I was dating Ahmed at that point.
Did he, uh, I think he did that.
Kamran: You might have to ask him,
Inder: um, yeah, anyways, but like, anyways, I didn’t feel so comfortable telling my dad at that point. Um, so I was like, I’ll just tell him when I get back. Um, And so, yeah, I got engaged. And then, um, at that point it was like, um,
it was a lot, there was a lot happening there, like my, so, okay.
Okay. So. Okay. You know what? It went down in a really not good way. And I feel like I have to just say how it went down, because like people deserve to take something from this and it wasn’t easy. Um, I didn’t feel comfortable telling my dad that I got engaged. Um, and my dad at that time was dealing with his own issues in terms of like alcohol and there was just so many other things.
Um, and so. Basically when I got engaged, um, all of my family and everybody knew that I was engaged except for my dad. And everybody in my family was kind of scared to tell my dad, um, they didn’t know what his reaction was going to be. And obviously you hear all these stories about, you know, being the good girl.
Good, proper girl that I was, um, I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t like the pleasing daughter that I was or wanting to be like, just felt that this would, like, I assumed he was not going to take it well, and I say this because looking back on it, I know I absolutely could have told my dad, but this was my own self feeling.
Like I couldn’t, um, And I don’t know, I guess I just had to go through that process that way. But, um, yeah, now, like from a parent’s perspective, like I know how much parents love their children and they just want them to be happy. And my dad has totally blown me away in terms of the way he’s accepted my life and the way I choose to live it.
And. Yeah, it’s just been really weird. So basically it didn’t tell me that when I got engaged or married, actually, um, everybody in my family was a little bit, um, I guess they were, they didn’t know what to do that. They didn’t know how to tell my dad, they, I guess maybe also instilled that fear cause they were fearful of my dad.
So this is where like I kind of go back to. You know, I had done my journey and I knew what was right for me. And I came [00:45:00] back home and again, I had all these other influences telling me what I needed to be doing. And it allowed me to again, see, like now looking back on it, you have to learn to trust your own intuition, um, and see what’s right for you.
And if I didn’t have those outside voices, like. Maybe I would have gotten that courage to tell my dad, if I had been able to sit with myself and like, you know what I mean? Like, but I was back home now and like, everybody was like, Oh my God, she’s engaged. What are we going to do? Like, he’s Muslim. How are we going to tell dad?
And then. Eventually, um, my grandpa was like, okay, well, you’re engaged now. Maybe it’s just best. Like you get married and like, get your court, marriage dine and start your life. And we support you. We’re here for you. And so basically I had the support of everybody, but my dad, but my dad didn’t really have a choice.
To get to support me. So I wouldn’t really know ever my dad would have supported me at that time or not because I didn’t give him the option. And. I wish I had. Cause like, as a father, like now being a parent, I realized like, wow, like that’s important to him too. So I see why he had those expectations of me.
And he only wants me to be happy and wants the best for me. And he absolutely deserved to be a part of that time. And obviously he had his own issues that he was dealing with. And so it played out the way it was supposed to. Um, and now he and I have just like such a different appreciation and bond where, like, I know my daddy loves me and like, not that I had any doubt, but like, he has really shown me what unconditional love looks like.
And, um, I needed to go through that because I had a lot of anger towards him for his issues and what, how he was dealing with them. But through my own journey, I’m able to see like his life too, and what he went through and why he went through all that and how he’s coped with it the best way that he knows how, um, but that doesn’t take away from his heart and what his intentions are.
Um, he just might have some bad coping mechanisms and like, we all have our shit, so it is what it is. Right. But.
Kamran: Yep. I agree. I wasn’t, I just want, I had a couple of thoughts and I don’t want to derail too much, but I will say like the story that you’re sharing and I’ve spoken to many, many girls who, who within the same constant context, similar circumstances who had to, to have had to deal with that.
Um, and you deal with that. And even, um, with my own fiance, I kind of tell her, I said, Hey look, um, you’re, you’re an adult. And you aren’t that you respect your parents, but you cannot put decisions, whether they’re about us or about your own decisions on hold because of your, have your parents. Either you have to kind of, um, live out your own decisions because you’re going to be the one who has to live with the consequences, not your parents.
And so, and, and I think, um, going back to, and I have two more thoughts. I go, this is the second. The next thought is I think this whole idea of you going on your journey. If you came back and completely relapsed into the, into suddenly becoming a function of other people, then I feel like you would have.
That, that entire journey would have come. It would have the purpose would have made it. So I feel like this journey home and closing the loop with your, with your dad, I get the sense that that is, you know, a part of bringing that journey of, of becoming yourself and an individual feeling that journey and then complete side note.
Yeah. I mean, even for my fiance and I there’s people, I’m going to try to anonymize them. So not as to throw anybody under the bus, but there’s people. Um, in her, we’ll say community. Um, and I think one day, uh, my fiance was like, Hey, have you heard of a honeytrap? And I’m like, no. And he’s like, yeah, it’s this thing where like Muslim guys in the UK going like sexually groomed, like these secrets, I’m like, Basically coerce them into like becoming their slaves.
And she’s like, people in my community are worried about that. And I was just like, look like, I don’t know. Yeah. I’m like, I don’t know. Where are you guys getting this news from? Not saying that it’s not true, but what I will say is this type of stuff is not common knowledge in my community. And for some reason it’s very common knowledge in your community.
I don’t know which WhatsApp newsgroup like your families are listening on to, but it’s all like, um, there’s such, um, painting of Muslim men as being like super, and I’m not saying that it’s not true in some cases, but it just seems like, like Muslim men are like patriarchal, forced you to convert, have four wives, uh, make you wear a scarf.
And I’m like, dude, that is totally not who I am. So, yeah.
Inder: And it’s funny that you say that because. You know, you [00:50:00] would think that it’s more from like the older community, but I was surprised at how much, like people, my age were asking me.
Yeah. And I was just like, Oh, that’s just crazy. Like, you know, um, it’s just, yeah, it, it sucks. It sucks. It’s these weird stereotypes, um, that. Yeah. That don’t mean anything.
Kamran: I know we’re almost coming up on time, so I didn’t want to kind of , bring things to a close, but I am curious, kind of like, Um, talk about like the, the wedding, the ceremony.
Did you have one? How did you like, for example, one debate is like, is there alcohol or no alcohol? Cause of my there’s many people in my family that will not even step into a room with I’ll call versus my fiance’s family. It’s it’s it could be offensive to not have alcohol. Um, did you have religious ceremonies?
Did, did the Muslim side come to the Gurdwara? Did you do like the whole ceremony themselves or like how did that all work out?
Inder: Yeah, we, how we got married was we did a court marriage and it was super small and intimate. Just like my family. He was here from South Africa by himself. So none of his family was there and it was just like, you know, doing reading the vows.
Um, it was outside in Stanley Park. And then we did like a little dinner with our friends afterwards in the evening. And then our plan was a few weeks after that we were going to go to South Africa. And at that point, um, when we’re going to go to South Africa, we would be, we were already engaged. And so our plan was so we were engaged, but we had done the court marriage, but it was like a secret marriage.
Like nobody knew about it, like publicly, just our immediate family. And so when we went to South Africa, our plan was that we’re going to plan an engagement party to celebrate the engagement. But at this point we were married, but nobody knew we were actually married. So we were like, okay, we’re going to plan an engagement party.
And that’s kind of how it started as, and then as the planning kind of started, the, party’s getting a little bit bigger, like from a backyard party, dinner party, we’re going into like venues and like doing, you know, it’s getting bigger. So then we were like, okay, we’re already married. Um, and the reason we were doing this was because my dad still did not know about any of this.
Um, and it just felt weird having a wedding without him. So we were like our plan going into, it was we’re going to do the court marriage and then we’ll have, we’ll spend a year planning our wedding and then we’ll do like the big wedding over the year. And over the year, we’ll be able to like, you know, get my dad on board.
Like that was how I really saw it working out in my head. But like stuff never goes according to what you work it out as. And so when we got to South Africa, it went from planning and engagement to, okay, let’s just turn this into a bit of a wedding because, um, you guys were already married and like you were going to spend the year planning and we’re going to, you know, it just, it was just, it made sense.
Um, so we had like a wedding and Islamic wedding, um, a Nikah in South Africa and nobody from my side was there at that time. It was just like his side of the family, but it was like a pretty big wedding, um, like not a huge wedding, but it was like quite big and like a proper wedding. And like I wore a white dress and like, you know, all of that.
So that was cool. Um, but like also, I it’s funny cause like, How I pictured my wedding is like so different from how it actually happened. Um, and I feel like I want to touch on this because a lot of COVID brides are experiencing, um, altered wedding reality. And for some of. Some of them are having a tough time.
Like I know some of my brides, I know two of my best friends were getting married this year. One, which decided to go ahead with the smaller function one that’s decided, no, I want my big dream wedding and I’m waiting a year. And so like, I’ve gone through all those motions. And like, it’s kind of funny because I am able to relate to these COVID brides because.
As a wedding planner, like a wedding, like that’s why I’m a wedding planner. I’ve dreamed about weddings my whole life and then going to my own wedding. Um, I think like literally the only thing I picked on my own wedding was tablecloth and I was so adamant. I have to have sequence table class. Otherwise it’s like, this is not happening.
Um, you know, I was, that was the one thing I wanted. And then the rest of it, like everything was just according to what was styled by my planner, which was also my lovely sister-in-law. And she basically took care of everything and I just showed up and I picked my dress, which I found like a week before the wedding.
And yeah, it was literally put together in such a short amount of time, but at the same time, like the [00:55:00] amount of love and the amount of like, And like the energy that we got, it was just everything that it needed to be, you know? So it’s okay. Like for your vision, not to come out exactly the way you want it, because, um, at the end of the day, it’s about the two people and what they share after the marriage.
And, um, we’ve put so much emphasis on the wedding that sometimes, you know, brides forget and especially in our culture, um, it’s such a big deal, so yeah, definitely. Um, Be flexible with your wedding and what it looks like for sure.
Kamran: That makes sense. I have one last question before we wrap up and, um, you can kind of answer this as generically or non generically as you’d like.
So like common question. I think. Especially interfaith couples might be faced with is like, how are you going? Like, what religion is your kid going to be? And I don’t think we have to get into those specifics. I’d be curious to know, like, what did those challenges look like in terms of, um, kind of figuring out what’s the best way to raise our child?
Do we want to raise them one way or another over another, do we want to give them the opportunity to have visibility into, you know, both of our traditions or, you know, it’s one of us, you know, cause you might have like one person and that relationship to just doesn’t care about the religion. And they’re like, it’s like, I’ve seen that and it’s completely acceptable and they let you know the other partner kind of run with it.
So I’d be curious to know like what was that like for you?
Inder: So I think, um, Basically like just going on my own self journey. Um, my relationship with God, I kind of established it in a way of like, um, it’s something that I’ll be on for my entire journey working on it, building that relationship to be closer to God. Like that’s what I aspire for.
And I do believe that there are so many paths to that. Um, so just as a person, I think I went into it like as a really open person, um, accepting like a new religion. Yeah. And I. Uh, when we did get married, I did want to convert, um, just the belief that I had personally, even prior to finding someone that I want to be with.
Um, I’ve just always had this as I do believe in unity as a family. And I say this too, because this is not for everybody. Um, again, you just have to see what you like and what works for you and what fills your cup. So for me, like, I love having that unity as a family. So it was also important to me for all of us to be the same religion and when it came to converting, um, it wasn’t really like a big question for me because like I do have that faith in God and, um, and I want to learn more by no means when I converted, did I know a lot about Islam and no way am I any expert right now? But like I said, it’s my lifelong journey.
So I was really open to converting. And my son, he is Muslim. He’ll grow up Muslim and yeah, that, it wasn’t really like a point of contention for us. And then when it comes to like traditions, like we’ll celebrate everything. Like I have cultural things. And even when it comes to like religious stuff, like, um, you know, the, while you just happened and it has religious components, like we’re super open.
Like it’s just, you know, we celebrate in that way. Um.
Kamran: Yeah, no, that’s, that’s cool. I, um, you know, I’m not religious nor is, um, my fiance, but I kind of set the set and this is, like I said, people have a vision of how the like raise our children before they get married and then like things evolve, you know, to kind of conform to reality later on.
But yeah, kind of the way that I, the way we see things is like, Hey, like, You want to take, if the, if you want to take the kid, you know, to some sort of religious ceremony at the Gurdwara, you’re more than welcome to if for some reason I felt compelled, you know, to go to the mosque, which I don’t really go to.
I could take the child to as well. And that, and the child, um, is, you know, if they indicate interest in one over the other, like that’s, we give them that agency and you can make the argument that. Kids aren’t born with like, um, a compass or one orientation over the other in terms of like religious beliefs, but that’s kind of our, um, take on it so far.
I’d say like, uh, definitely like I had to really sell my mom on like the Sikh religion. Um, To kind of, because as you know, like in Islam, you’re not supposed to marry technically outside of, um, the people that we booked. So like you can go as far as Christians and Jews. Yeah. But, um, but no further than that.
And then of course preference is like Muslim. Right. So I kind of sold my mom on like, yeah. Like, you know, Sikhs have like this [01:00:00] thing concept of like the oneness of God and all this kind of stuff. So like it’s not completely different and it’s definitely, it’s, it’s not. To be conflated with Hinduism, because even among my own family, they didn’t know really the differences between the two, the two groups, two faiths.
And so that’s been definitely an interesting journey, but yeah, I was curious to know what that looked like for you. So I think, um, before we, um, and the, the podcast I wanted to touch on three things. It’s kind of briefly one. Yeah. The first thing. Is there any, any key message you want to get out to, um, can you share, um, kind of your latest project that you’re working on and three, how can people, um, get ahold of you?
And if you forget these, I can remind you. Just let me know.
Inder: Yeah. Um, so. I guess the key message is um… working with couples. I, you know, you see so many relationships and just people tend to come to me with their relationship, um, lives. Um, I don’t know why, but I love love. So it’s just happens. And one thing I can definitely say, like, I just hope I’m like, From like a young woman’s perspective and like how we are raised.
Um, you know, we do a lot of self-reflection. I went into do my self reflection in my twenties, and I think it’s definitely something that we can instill in our girls from a younger age. And giving them those goals of learning about themselves and being who they are and supporting them, um, and just building them up.
So when they are in their twenties, they know what they want and they don’t have to go through this period of confusion and not knowing what they want or what they should allow into their lives. Like all these things just to really be and know yourself when you jump into sharing your life with someone.
So that is. Does that make sense? Um…
Kamran: Yeah. No, it totally does make sense.
Inder: Yeah. And, um, and that way, when you are there, you’re able to handle it because like, life is crazy. Life will throw so many things at you and like, you just need to be able to have that person that, you know, you can take on anything with and know who you are and your limit.
So. That is one take away. Um, and just Beach Bouquet, um, you know, um, I plan weddings. So if anybody is interested in a destination wedding, definitely hit me up. Um, and you can find me on Instagram at beachbouquet and. Yeah. Um, that is kind of our wrap up, I guess.
Kamran: So, yeah. I’ll and for those listening, I’m going to drop Inder’s Beach Bouquet, Instagram handle.
So if you have any questions, whether it’s about wedding planning in general, or specifically her services or everything we just talked about in the last hour, just shoot her a DM. I’m sure she will respond. Um, But yeah, I think, I think that is it.
Inder: Yeah. Cool. Well, it was so fun.
Kamran: Yeah. No, thanks. Thanks for making the time.
I’m really glad you came back on. And for those who are not aware of, we’ve been trying to put this together for months. So happy, this finally happened for sure.
Inder: I’m a Scorpio I hate talking about my life.
Kamran: It’s okay. It’s all good. Thanks for sharing.
Inder: Yeah, no, I just hope that somebody is able to take something and learn something or it can help them.
Um, I just hope that can happen from this. So that’s what motivates me right now to do this. There’s some important things to talk about, so, yeah.
Kamran: Awesome. Well, um, thank you for your time. Uh, I will, uh, follow up at some point once this is published.
Inder: Cool. Thanks so much, Kamran.
Kamran: Thank you, bye.
Inder: Okay, bye.
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