A literary investigation into India as a society in transition through the lens of forbidden love, as three young couples reject arranged marriages and risk everything for true love in the midst of social and political upheaval.
In India, two out of every three people are under the age of thirty-five. These are men and women who grew up with the internet and the advent of smartphones and social media. But when it comes to love and marriage, they’re expected to adhere to thousands of years of tradition. It’s that conflict between obeying tradition and embracing modernity that drives journalist Mansi Choksi’s The Newlyweds.
Through vivid, lyrical prose, Choksi shines a light on three young couples who buck against arranged marriages in the pursuit of true love, illustrating the challenges, shame, anger, triumph, and loss their actions and choices set in play.
Against the backdrop of India’s beautiful villages and cities, Choksi introduces our newlyweds. First, there’s the lesbian couple forced to flee for a chance at a life together. Then there’s the Hindu woman and Muslim man who escaped their families under the cover of night after being harassed by a violent militia group. Finally, there’s the inter-caste couple who are doing everything to avoid the same fate as a similar couple who were burned alive.
Engaging and moving, The Newlyweds raises universal questions, such as: What are we really willing to risk for love? If we’re lucky enough to find it, does it change us? If so, for the better? Or for the worse?
Mansi Choksi is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism and two-time Livingston Award Finalist. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker,Harper’s Magazine,National Geographic, The Atlantic, and more. She lives in Dubai with her husband and son. The Newlyweds is her first book. Follow her on Twitter @Mansi_Choksi.