Only the names have been changed in Dipika Kohli’s e-book, The Elopement, which chronicles her own elopement in Tokyo to her college sweetheart, Akira Morita, and the aftermath of that decision.
The Elopement is book two in her four-volume series (she’s starting off Star Wars-style) called Kismuth – “destiny” in Hindi. The other three books chronicle stories of life, love, chance and loss, with volume three, The Dive, available October 10.
“When I first wrote it, I figured that the people who would want to read it most would be those who are in interracial marriages and relationships,” says Dipika of The Elopement. “But there are a lot more people who are interested in it. Because, you know, marriages are hard and it’s not always the interracial aspect of it. It’s more of a universal story of choosing to come together in union for life.”
Following the small wedding on New Year’s Day 2001 - only Dipika’s Japanese in-laws and were present for the ceremony - the couple decides to start a new life in rural County Cork, Ireland. There, she comes to terms with breaking away from her past and her parents, who had immigrated to the United States from Delhi with high hopes for their American-born daughter.
“I think I just wanted to challenge norms with my elopement,” Dipika says. “I just saw my parents for the first time since the book came out. And I was worried, because when I eloped, my father didn’t speak to me for three years. But I really missed them [in Ireland]. There was pain on both sides, but without that, you don’t learn anything.”
Dipika and Akira run a brand-messaging studio called Design Kompany out of their home in Durham. They are celebrating the release of the memoir on August 26 with a Tweetup at Bull McCabe’s to bring a bit of the Ireland they knew to the Bull City. During the event, guests can enjoy 20 percent off fish ‘n’ chips, $4 Irish beers, a reading by Dipika at 6pm and participate in an Irish-themed costume contest. Folks who buy The Elopement in advance here receive tickets to a VIP lounge book discussion with Dipika.
Dipika adds, “My wish is for people to get something out of my story and have a connection."