“I am not concerned about her face. She is a sweet person.”
In the superficial, dating app-focused world in which we live, it seems like appearances are everything.
Even if you have the most beautiful personality in the world, someone may swipe-left on you if they don’t like your look. It’s brutal.
But for one Indian couple, rather than love at first sight, it was a case of love at first sound.
Lalita Ben Bansi and her now husband Ravi Shankar Singh fell for each other’s voices after she dialled a wrong number.
He called her back and they ended up talking on the phone every day.
It was all the more poignant for Bansi as she is an acid-attack survivor – she was attacked by a relative in 2012 and had to have 17 surgeries.
The attack happened when she was visiting her home town Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh for her cousin’s wedding, The Hindu reports. Her younger brother and cousin got into a fight, and Bansi stepped in, slapped them both and asked them to stop fighting.
At the time, she was set to have an arranged marriage in five months. 15 days before it was meant to take place, her cousin threw acid on her face as revenge for slapping him.
It’s estimated there are 1,000 acid attacks in India every year, and many go unreported.
“Who would have thought an acid attack and 17 surgeries later I would find love. But it happened,” 26-year-old Bansi told the Hindustan Times at the ceremony in Thane.
She and Singh, who is 27, married near Mumbai this week – Bansi said finding love felt like a miracle.
“Ms Bansi had accidentally dialled my number about three months ago. I called her back after 15 days,” said Singh, who works for a CCTV company.
“We spoke and I fell in love with her voice. Our conversations continued on a daily basis and in the process, I proposed to her,” he said.
Although they’d never met, Bansi told Singh she was an acid attack survivor, but that doesn’t matter to him.
“I told her I was in love with her and would like to get married,” Singh said.
“Many couples fall in love with their partners’ face and eventually get divorced. With her, I am not concerned about her face. She is a sweet person. I wish God blessed us for a lifetime.”
Various Bollywood stars attended the couple’s wedding, including actor Vivek Oberoi, who’d first met Bansi at an event for acid-attack survivors.
Oberoi said Bansi is “a true hero” and commended Singh for his attitude to love and focus on what’s inside.
(Previously published at Independent.co.uk)