And they lived happily ever after….

“You cheated!!!!”  Ankit accused his best friend as he lost yet another game of Chess.

“No I did NOT!”  Sayan feigned outrage “You just suck at it.”

“I don’t want to play chess anymore. It’s boring.” Ankit pouted.

“Fine. Let’s play Mario, but you are still going to lose.” Sayan grinned as he put away the chess pieces.

The two 12 year olds had been best friends since pre-school.

The first time they met, Ankits Grandfather had dropped him to school. Sayan was curious and had asked him why his father was so old. That’s when he learnt that Ankit was an orphan. His parents had both died in a car crash and he was being raised by his grandparents.

“It’s ok! I have an extra pair of parents, you can share them with me.” The 5 year old Sayan had said as he hugged his best friend for the first time.

Ankit did not believe him at first. Only when he came over to his house the first time did he learn that Sayan was not lying. He indeed had two moms and two dads. They all had a hearty laugh at his incredulous face when he found out.

Sheila and Shabnam had been living together as flatmates in Mumbai, when their parents in Guwahati found out about their relationship. Sheila’s parents were determined to marry her off as soon as they could. As it happened, her closest friend, Vinit, too was gay and in a live-in relationship with a muslim boy, something his parents would never accept. The four agreed to a secret arrangement and that’s how Sheila and Vinit got married.

Soon after, they took a flat in Mumbai and the four of them started staying together. Initially the arrangement was only meant to be temporary, until they all could be totally independent and one day tell the truth to their own families. But as years passed, they grew more comfortable staying together and their bond deepened. It became almost inconceivable for them to consider living separately.

Then the day came when they finally made the decision to come out to their parents. Sheila’s parents made a scene at their house trying to get Shabnam and Mallik thrown out. Sheila cut off all ties with her parents after that. Vinit’s parents were utterly confused, but after a while they accepted their decision, comforted by the fact that at least their relatives knew he was married to a girl. Malliks father told him never to call them again, and never made contact. Shabnams parents, as it turned out, already had an idea about their arrangement, they had realised years ago that their daughter was gay, and had tried to understand what it meant. They accepted their decision wholeheartedly and blessed them, promising that their home was open for all four of them.

It was a few years later that they mutually decided to bring a kid into their lives. As Sheila and Vinit were already related by marriage, they decided that Mallik would donate the sperms and Shabnam would donate the eggs while Sheila would be the surrogate. That’s how Sayan was conceived.

As the two 12 year old boys noisily played video games in the bedroom, the four of them exchanged looks of content. Amazed at how despite the thousands of doubts and hurdles they managed to put together their unconventional family.

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