In IFORHER’s quest to celebrate men who shatter regressive social norms and are women’s real champions, we bring to you the inspiring story of Kermin Bhot and Abhishek Mande-Bhot.
This inspiring story of Kermin Bhot and Abhishek Mande-Bhot touched the hearts. This husband voluntarily chose to keep his wife’s surname. It is amazing how Abhishek changed his last name, shattering the stereotype of women taking husband names so effortlessly.
In their exclusive interview with Yahoo a few years back, the couple revealed:
“A little after returning from our honeymoon four years ago, my husband, Abhishek, broke an important piece of news to his parents—he’d be taking my last name. While we waited for some form of judgment from either parent, all we got was a long drawn-out ‘Okay’ from his dad. Even as we waited for him to complete what we thought would be the beginning of a long monologue, he didn’t say a thing. Much to his credit, not only did he leave it at that, he even asked Abhishek how he was proposing to go about it.”
Further sharing how Kermin and Abshikek might have different backgrounds, their core beliefs paved the way for a healthy relationship,
“My husband and I have an inter-religious marriage. He’s a Hindu, while I’m a Parsi—two communities as far apart as they can get. I was raised in a Parsi household in South Mumbai on a staple of American and British pop culture and he was born and raised in the distant suburbs of the city in a middle-class Maharashtrian household. Add to that the fact that I was older and earning more than him and one might think we had a recipe for disaster. But while there were differences, there was also a lot of common ground—our core beliefs and thoughts were the same.”
Kermin further shares how Abhishek is a staunch supporter of equality:
“Also, I suspect Abhishek’s education in women’s rights and the fact that he has always been surrounded by strong women made it easier for him to accept the age and salary factor, as well as the fact that I didn’t need a knight in shining armor to rescue me.”
Focusing on the hypocrisy prevalent among men, Abhishek mentioned:
“We will fight for women who want to be independent but when the same women want to hit the beach in a burkini…we catch ourselves squirming in our seats.”
At IFORHER we do believe that you don’t need to change the name to treat women equally. But, we do respect Abhishek’s choice to use his action as a strong example for what he believes in. This kind of action in our patriarchal society is a very difficult one.
We hope every man in his own unique way will express his beliefs towards equality. Doesn’t matter how small the gesture is. Because, it’s the small things that bring the big change!