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How this queer couple’s wedding beside Kerala’s Vembanad lake made Indian traditions their own – VOGUE India

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It is peak gay culture: you are either jaded by the mundaneness of dating apps or you find dating too stressful. Ananth Ramaswamy was jaded and his now husband, Alexander Drapkin, found the idea of dating so stressful that he never dated at all. And yet, dating apps, for all the power they still wield over us, ended up playing an integral role in their journey. When they connected in 2018 in London, Ramaswamy did not want to do the whole texting game, lest it fall into generic conversations about top/bottom preferences and ‘likes’ that usually go nowhere on most of these apps. They did not text into the night and instead decided to meet straight for brunch on a Sunday.

“I had to agree. After all, I had to meet some people,” quips Drapkin.

“And Alex was so well-dressed, as he always is,” adds Ramaswamy.

Both of them went into the brunch with a slightly different approach—Drapkin, admittedly shy, was primarily interested in finding out if Ramaswamy was vegetarian. Ramaswamy, on the other hand, dived straight in: his fourth question was about Drapkin’s coming-out story. And so the afternoon lengthened, on and on. This was an anomaly for Drapkin: he takes two days to text back and the idea of meeting new people exhausts him. But that was 2018, and within six months, they had both exceeded their usual timelines—meeting each other’s parents and cousins. Things were moving fast, but it was the pandemic that set things in order.

They had planned for Ramaswamy to move in with Drapkin in the second week of March 2020, and when the lockdown hit, they had no choice but to be with each other, in the same space, for almost a year. The period built the foundation of their relationship. Fighting, arguing, loving, fighting again, loving again, learning things about each other, learning things about themselves. At the end of it, neither of them had any doubts about what they were doing—they had to get engaged and married right away.

“Being the Capricorn that I am, I had to plan everything. So I chose an engagement ring from a friend at Humphrey Butler, who had gone to school with Alex,” Ramaswamy explains. “I went to see the ring with my best friend and it fit perfectly. It was so unusual; it was shield cut diamonds set in black platinum, which is something I’d never seen.”

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