A crisis, no matter how big, inevitably has a silver lining. Which has a way of presenting itself in many beautiful ways.
In Anil and Neelam's case, it was through their marriage. But that's not it, what's even more amazing is the fact that their love story also started during the lockdown. This is how things went:
Anil, a driver for a realtor in Kanpur, used to go and distribute food to the needy. That is when he first met Neelam, who was thrown out of her house along with her mother, by her brother and sister-in-law.
As Neelam puts it:
My father died long ago. My mother suffered a paralysis stroke. Brother and sister-in-law used to beat me up and one day they threw me and my mother out of the house. As we had nothing, I started begging on the footpath with others. The lockdown made life even more miserable. But it had a silver lining too. During lockdown, Anil used to come every day with his employer to distribute food to the poor.
Soon, the two started talking and Neelam shared her story with Anil. Overwhelmed, he asked her to quit begging and a few days later, proposed her for marriage.
Anil started talking to me when he came to know about my circumstances. And then one day, he convinced me to give up begging. We started interacting daily, and developed a friendship which blossomed into love. He then proposed to me and we got married at an ashram while maintaining social distancing.
Anil's boss also talked to the Times of India, and noted:
Anil used to distribute food to poor and needy amid lockdown with me. He fell in love with the girl Neelam, who used to beg. He told me about her. I told him to take care of her and her mother and provide them food every day. Then Anil himself started cooking food and giving it to the girl and her mother. I somehow persuaded his father to agree to their marriage. By the grace of God, both are happy.