This summer, 21 years on, I found myself sitting in an office discussing with my wife-to-be how to circumnavigate the bureaucracy. Like everyone else, I had lost the old fatalism—the assumption that everything had to be this way.
"You have the documents?" asked the Marriage Officer.
"Which documents?" Then it turned out that because I was, in technical terms, a Christian, we could only get married in India under the Special Marriage Act, 1954.
"Birth certificate duly attested by gazetted government officer, attested affidavit on ten rupee stamp paper detailing appropriate information, stating you are not related within the prohibited degree of relationship as per the Act, attested copy of ration...