The great Indian-Australian travel love story amid pandemic
Alappuzha: Anju Aham, a native of the district, describes his marriage as a cricket match between India and Australia. “Sometimes, Australian sledges and then I will become Dravid. In the Test of life, we hope to draw.”
The 32-year-old homestay owner married 30-year-old Adelaide native Kerry Budd after a great Indian-Australian love story.
It was in 2019, Anju, a licensed tour guide, started homestay business. Kerry arrived here on January 4, 2020. She arrived in Kerala for a short project after completing internship in social work in Nepal. She stayed at Anju’s homestay for two days. As Kerry was scared to go to beach alone, she sought the company of Anju and became good friends.
The next day, Anju showed Kerry the ‘classic Kerala technique’ of booking seat on heavily packed KSRTC bus by throwing in the bag and booking seat when she was going to Thiruvananthapuram.
Later, though Kerry went to Rajasthan and Goa, they kept in touch.
She asked Anju to come and meet her before she leaves for Australia. Despite being the peak tourism season, Anju went to meet Kerry. This led to Kerry cancelling her return ticket against the advice of her parents and the two spent over a month travelling all over India.
Kerry then returned to Australia to convince her parents of marriage with Anju. Soon, Covid pandemic surfaced and subsequent lockdown was declared. She tried for visa in all Consulates including Adelaide and Sydney and mailed Indian Ambassador in Australia.
After nine months, the India entry visa was opened and Kerry obtained visa within a month.
Kerry flew to India and five days back they got legally married.
For the next six months Anju and Kerry will be in Manali. Once Kerry’s parents arrive in India, a small ceremony will be held in Alappuzha.
Anju Aham is the vice president of DYFI Mullakkal unit.