Athar Amir Khan may have lost the first place in the UPSC exam to Tina Dabi but he clearly won her heart. Uske liye pehli nazar mein pyaar ho gaya (For him, it was love at first sight),” says 2015 UPSC topper Tina Dabi. They met in the morning at a felicitation ceremony in North Block’s DoPT office and, by evening, he was knocking at her door. Athar Aamir Khan floored Dabi with his wit and charm. “I thank Aamir every day for his perseverance. He is a wonderful person,” said Dabi.
You often find love in strange places. The genius couple has just been struck by the cupid, and it’s the perfect match by all stretches of imagination. And now, the two is all set to tie the knot soon. While it was love at first sight for Khan, Dabi was charmed by his perseverance a few months later.
However, while the majority shares their happiness, Dabi and Khan have also invited a lot of criticism from certain quarters, questioning their love in the name of religion. “We are in love and very happy . But I must admit that I get very disturbed when I read stuff about us. We have stopped googling our names and reading news about ourselves. I think it is a small price to pay for being in the public eye,” she says.
She added: “As any freethinking independent woman I am entitled to certain choices. I am very happy with my choice and so is Aamir. Our parents are happy too. But there will always be those elements, that small minority who will always pass negative comments about dating someone from another religion. It is just that 5%. The majority are very happy. You would have seen in my Facebook timeline that most of the comments are encouraging. In fact, I am overwhelmed by the support and congratulatory messages. I thought ‘yeh to achcha hai” (this is good.).”
When asked how she felt about being an icon for Dalits, she said: “I don’t think I can be an icon yet because I am yet to do something concrete. By hard work, God’s grace and some luck, I managed to top an exam. But at the end of the day it is just an exam and I still have a long way to go. I still have to go on the field and do something. I still have to prove myself. I know that there is so much social stigma attached to being a Dalit that it is unthinkable for many Dalit students that they can ever top the exam. So if I can encourage any student to do better, I think it is wonderful.”