This is the story of Francesca and Raghav; the engineer couple who met at their workplace. The couple is still love and decided to marry later this year (June, 2017). Francesca is half-Black and half-Filipino and hails from Texas, USA.  Raghav aka Nelli is from Manipal, a South Indian town in Karnataka.

In June 2012, they met at their Silicon Valley workplace and fell in love. They were together for the past four years; which was, in fact, a journey through the trials and tribulations of being a multicultural couple and their world travels.

In all these years, the couple did several outings within the US, and their first visit was to Cambodia. Francesca celebrated her first Diwali in 2013, which she described as an amazing night. By 2014, she had the most pivotal meeting with Nelli’s family at Seattle. It was her first meeting with her fiance’s parents.

The meeting went well, with her all her in-laws were nice except Nelli’s mother who initially felt it difficult to make herself realize that her son got along with some girl outside their clan. By the end of their trip to the US, Nelli’s mother got adjusted to the fact and she hugged Francesca wished good luck.

Thank you Nikita for sharing our story 😊📸: @nathaliecheng #Repost @growingupguptas with @repostapp ・・・ This couple is set to be married in less than 100 days! So exactly what happens when an African-American woman meets and falls in love with a Indian man?#linkinbio #interfaith #interracial #interracialdating #swirl #intercultural #southasian #black #blindian #blasian #blackblogger #indianblogger #indianinterracial #blackmomsblog #mkbkids #sabn #lifestyleblogger #multiracial #multicultural #love #beautifulcouple #instagood #desi #instacute #photooftheday #momlife #munaluchibride #clickinmoms #biracial Thanks again @frannnelli on your upcoming nuptials! Thank you again for sharing your story and top 4 interracial/ intercultural dating introspections!❤

A post shared by Fran 'N' Nelli 🇺🇸🇮🇳 (@frannnelli) on


1) Don’t have expectations about anything.

Expectations are a recipe for disappointment. The only thing you can do is be present in that moment.  I really admire Nelli because he is a carpe diem kind of guy.  He doesn’t let one minute go by where he isn’t being productive doing something he loves.  We literally don’t have time for the naysayers.  We’re way too busy traveling, hiking, biking, or doing other fun things.  Looking back, I wish I had taken situations and people as they were and practiced more equanimity.  Naysayers will come around when they see you are happy and passionate about something (See #2).  If not, still keep being present and focus on your life.

2) If you are passionate about something – people will notice and get involved!

Enthusiasm is contagious and it makes you want to participate in experiences that your partner is excited about!  Nelli and I are both really proud about our respective cultures (African-American and South Indian).  We love doing things together like going to: concerts, watching movies, TV,  reading and discussing history books that highlight people of color.  The best experience we recently had was going to Trinidad and seeing how our histories merged – seeing how African slaves and Indian indentured servants came to the island and became integrated was so special to us.

3) Figure out what your shared core values are and stick to them.

When people ask us how do you guys do it –  Catholic vs. Hindu? Vegan vs. Meat Eater?  We say it’s easy (most of the time).  We have shared values that get us through anything. Respect.  Equality.  Adventure.  Knowledge. Compassion.  These are some examples of our values that help us when we are faced with our personal or cultural differences.  We ask ourselves how does it fit into our values?  We either both criticize and oppose the tradition, are flexible enough to make it into our own or agree to disagree and respect each other’s beliefs.  We’re really excited for our wedding ceremony because we will be picking traditions that are special to us and tailoring them so that they speak to our shared values.  Don’t just follow tradition, make your own!

Bonus:  A lot of people ask Francesca if she’s mixed with anything when she says she’s African-American but she is only half!  My mother is from the Philippines so I know firsthand what it’s like to be a multicultural kid!  I love my Filipino side but I identify as African -American woman.  A lot of people have this theory that mixed kids have an identity crisis but my personal belief is that it is not entirely true.  I’ve always known what I identified with at an early age but I became confused because of societies perception of me. Because I have straight hair, I have fair skin, I talk “white” or that I’m intelligent – they try to label me as something other than Black. I think the biggest thing that interracial couples can do for their kids is to let kids decide for themselves what they identify with (don’t have expectations see #1).  Teach your kids to be confident in themselves so they can be proud and stand up to anybody and in any situation.  To me, exposing them to both cultures (although important) comes after confidence and self-love.

Courtesy: Growing up Guptas, Fran 'N' Nelli pages

4 thoughts on “Francesca and Raghav: The Blindian couple who met and fell in love at Silicon Valley

  1. What a nice love story! You both look happy and I wish you all the best for your life.
    Still, one thing bothers me and it has nothing to do with this story. Almost all the indian men are marrying women who are fairer than them. Even this story which features a black woman and an indian man, the woman is fairer. While she identifies herself as a black, outsiders may not identify her as such because of her skin color and feature. So, she won’t face the same challenges as any individual with darker complexion and a curly hair in India. This is an actual social problem: the everyday racism in India leading Indian men rarely marrying dark skin women.

    1. Yes sadly many southeast countries have an obsession with fair skin…not just Indian males. I do recognize my privilege of having fair skin and a mixed background but I use my social platform to highlight all types of beauty! It’s also very relative because in the Philippines and even in my own family I’m considered dark. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  2. Hello Francesca and Raghav,

    Your brief story on here is beautiful to see and is encouraging. I am currently dating someone who is not Indian and my family is very against the idea of interracial dating. I was wondering if you had any specific advice on the journey with your respective parents, what hurdles you faced with family and extended family.
    It would be a pleasure to chat with you both to learn more about your story as I navigate the hurdles of a similar story for myself.

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