DEV, 30, and Nil, 32, met for the first time six years ago and discovered straightaway that their “brains were different”. Dev says, “When it’s two guys, certain things are more ‘male’ and hence there are some clashing points. You learn to make adjustments.” They are completely secure with being two men in a committed relationship, but for their families, it has been a different story. Since Dev came out of the closet a year ago, his everyday interactions with his parents have been strained. “They are not involved in my life, but they wish the best for me.” Nil adds, “Dev’s parents were actually quite fond of me before we came out to them.” Meanwhile, Nil’s coming out was less fraught. “When we appeared as a couple in the Kolkata Times, my mother called my father in the office and warned him not to react to gossip without reading the article. Coming out to my mother was the best thing possible. She understood me more. Hiding didn’t help anyone,” Nil says. However, Dev bears no grudges against his parents. “I never blame my folks for being from another generation. I don’t expect them to accept everything,” Dev says. Now, they run a fashion house called Dev R Nil out of Kolkata. Dev identifies the teething problems their label faced. “When Nil suggested anything, I would immediately disagree. We used to yell and shout like kids. The whole office would be left in an awkward silence,” Dev says. “It took a couple of years before we agreed to disagree. But that did not affect our personal relationship,” adds Nil. The stability of the relationship informs Dev’s sense now that they “are going to grow old together, because this relationship is where we find the most love”.
Photo: Sayantan Ghosh