It is a common saying that the key to a person’s heart is through their stomach. But this adage turned true for Yash Swaroop and Bodhi Ghosh for whom love blossomed over a hearty fish meal. Bodhi, who is a human rights and criminal law lawyer, met Yash, a chef, through a dating app. “We soon connected on social media and realised we have a lot of common friends,” he told indianexpress.com.
For the couple, however, it wasn’t love at first sight as the duo started off as friends and began hanging out, which eventually got them close. “We felt we connected a lot. Being from the queer community, we both had our fair share of struggles, along with not being a heterosexual couple. But then, we just survived through it and are together,” Bodhi said.
Like any other queer couple in India, where the LGBTQ+ community is struggling for acceptance, it was not easy for Bodhi and Yash too — individually and as a couple. Talking about the same, Bodhi said, “As an individual, I am a queer. Growing up femme, you do go through a lot which normally heterosexual boys don’t. You are always mocked for your sexuality, the way you talk, etc. Growing up, it’s a challenging thing every queer youth faces. Even Yash experienced homophobic behaviour from various institutions.”
However, we both stuck to each other and made it happen, he proudly emphasised.
But what is it that actually attracted them towards each other against all odds? “What connected us was our shared love for food. As I mentioned, he is a chef so he loves cooking and experimenting with food. I also love Indian cuisine a lot. That’s how we bonded. I am a Bengali and he’s not. I still remember how he cooked a beautiful fish meal the first time he cooked for me. Our ideas, ideologies and views toward society also matched on many levels. That kind of also brought us together,” he answered, fondly remembering their initial times together.
Bodhi also revealed that his family is quite accepting of their relationship and absolutely loves Yash. “I am very close to my parents and they are quite accepting toward us, as a couple, and also individually. Yash did receive some backlash from the personal institution, but not exactly from his family. Dealing with any kind of homophobia shuts you down. It’s a very bad thing that you need validation and acceptance from others to be yourself. From my end, I tried to be with him as much as I could. My family really loves Yash,” he shared.
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As much as their love story left us in awe, so did Bodhi’s unique sartorial sense! One look at his profile and you can see him donning an array of stunning ensembles, ranging from elegant saris to gorgeous suits. But, fashion for Bodhi is more than just clothes! “Fashion has been a defence mechanism for me. Growing up queer, fashion was something nobody could beat me at. People would always bully me for being me, but with fashion, I derived a lot of confidence. As an androgynous person, I have experimented with saris and I love wearing them. I think the sari has no gender and it shouldn’t be limited to one either. For me, fashion is an expression of my sexuality, orientation, and me, in general,” he said.