Palakkad: Though a Pakistani by birth, Maryam Youssuf fell in love with India around 10 years ago. Now, she has officially become a citizen of India and the district collector handed over her citizenship certificate early this month.
Lahore native Maryam moved to Kerala after marrying Imdad Shamil, a resident of the Dayara Street in Palakkad, in 2008. She applied for citizenship only in 2017 as the law states that a person, in order to apply for the Indian citizenship, should have resided in the country for at least 7 years. Maryam and Imdad had met each other through social media and soon they realised that they were made for each other. Imdad flew to Lahore to meet Maryam’s parents and ask for the hands of their daughter in marriage. Realising the young couple’s true love, they said ‘yes’ to the wedding.
Imdad went to Lahore again, but this time accompanied by his relatives, and the couple got married there in a religious ceremony. Receptions were conducted in Lahore and Palakkad as well.
Maryam speaks Urdu and Punjabi which was not at all a problem for Imdad. He knows Urdu well as he is the descendent of a family which migrated from Mysore to Palakkad, around two centuries ago.
Imdad, who is an employee at a private firm in Palakkad, says that Maryam speaks Malayalam pretty impressively now. The couple has two kids.