Love stories are always expected to be full of excitement, thrills, lovey-dovey scenes, parental hurdles, defiance and breaking away. But all this applies to fiction, be it through poetry, drama, music or films. But what do you expect when a six-part web series invites you to listen to and watch real love stories, and introduce you to the people who fell in love, got married and are living happily ever after?

These are documented stories narrated in the first person. They stress on the ‘uniqueness’ of the marriage between two intelligent adults who have stayed beside each other, while breaking social barriers, emotional conflicts and breaking age-old rules that sanctify marriages in India.

The six episodes are inspired by 'India Love Project,' a social media community that celebrates love in its various forms founded by former journalists Priya Ramani, Samar Halarnkar, and Niloufer Venkatraman. Each episode narrates a different story and has a different director.

The first episode, ‘An Unsuitable Girl,’ directed by Hardik Mehta, explores the obstacles that Aekta Kapoor and Ullekh N. P. experience in their lives. What “rules” have they challenged?

Aekta Kapoor is from a modern, urban and educated North Indian family. When her first marriage is dissolved, she is left with two small girls. She falls in love with a Malayalee man. The problem is less about the parents on either side, than the severe objection from her growing daughters who take years to accept their mother’s second marriage and the new father.

Aekta’s lovely personality invests this story with a charm of its own, marginalising the significance of the other issues like second marriage for the wife to the happiness they find in each other and in their children.

Director Vivek Soni's 'Love On Air' is no less a charming story set in Meghalaya. Two radio jockeys fall in love and decide for once, to marry despite severe objections to their union by the girl’s parents. There is an age difference, and the man has been in an earlier marriage, has kids and suffered severe problems with alcohol.

It depicts their mature transition from commitment phobia to genuine attachment. Nicholas Kharnami, from Shillong is Christian, while Rajani K. Chhetri is from a conservative Hindu family.

Though it took a long time for Rajani’s parents to agree to the union, for Nicholas, it was the fear of being ostracised by the Church forever for marrying a non-Christian. But they get over these blocks, marry and have a son.

Shazia Iqbal's 'Cross Borders' takes us on a long journey in love through severe obstacles when both the one-time lovers and now married couple, both Bengali, share their story as they walk through their past spaces of nostalgia. The Muslim wife hailed from Bangladesh and the husband is a Hindu from India.

The couple fell in love during the uprising in Bangladesh in 1971, and are still going strong. Their skins wrinkled with age and struggles, hair all awry, but faces lit up with bright smiles of togetherness even at the end of their lives.

The past is recreated through faded photographs of them as young kids, then as a young married couple. The happiness is punctured at times because of their respective families, specially the Muslim Bengali woman’s. Her parental family cut off all ties with her, till she goes back to her home in Bangladesh and sheds tears with her ailing and estranged younger brother.

The story among the six I liked the most is 'Raah Sangharsh Ki’ directed by Akshay Indikar which depicts an intercaste marriage between an IIT graduate, Rahul Banerjee, a Bengali engineer from West Bengal and Subhadra Khaperde, a Dalit young woman. They met when she was an activist in the Narmada Bachao Movement in 1991, and fell in love.

The girl, now a young woman, is now middle-aged but she says that she was hesitant before agreeing to marry Rahul as she did not quite depend on marriage at all. Rahul too, was interested in activism to assert the rights of the disadvantaged people in Chhattisgarh where Subhadra originally belongs. Though he repents about being cut off from his paternal family, he says he is happy with Subhadra and does not regret his decision.

Mostly love ends with marriage, but maintaining it requires a lot of effort. Archana Phadke's 'Faasley' depicts the power of love via the story of Dhanya, a Kerala native, and Homayon, an Afghan national, who met while studying in Moscow. The pair has faced numerous challenges throughout their two-decade marriage, including making ends meet in war-torn Afghanistan.

‘Faasley’ is the most unusual story among them all. Dhanya, an intelligent, educated girl from Kerala met and fell in love With the Afghani national Homayon at Moscow where she had gone for higher studies and Homayon was about to submit his Ph.D. thesis.

Dhanya, who had decided to marry Homayon come what may, went back to Kerala to make her parents agree to her decision because Homayon also insisted on the parents agreeing to their marriage. “It took me a four-year-long wait for my parents to agree,” she said.

But by then, the Taliban had stopped all free action in Afghanistan where Dhanya insisted on joining him and lived together amidst terrible, life-threatening struggles, also being blessed with motherhood during these troubled times. Homayon, now aged with his children grown and flown the nest, still sits beside Dhanya to watch the sunset together.

This writer happens to have met and interviewed Tista Das, a transwoman who married Dipan, when she had been the protagonist of a documentary on her long struggle in her fight to assert her identity as a woman though she was born male. The documentary ‘I Could Not Be Your Son, Mom’ was directed by Sohini Dasgupta more than a decade ago.

Their story lightens the mood of love though there is the most difficult struggle to first, accept their gender identity distanced from the one they were born into, and second, to find acceptance by people of their own creed, by the mainstream and by their parents.

This entertaining episode called ‘Love Beyond Labels’ is directed by Collin D’Cunha. Now married for three years, Tista works as an activist for people like her. She and her Dipan have stepped into both the mainstream society and their community, and are living happily ever after.

There is a use of actors in some of the stories to depict the characters when they were young, but they blend well with the actual characters when they grow up. There is neither any sentimentality nor melodrama, so they touch the heart rather than the head.

‘Love Storiyaan’, through choosing love stories from different parts of the world, takes the audience through varied, colourful visual landscapes ranging from Afghanistan through Moscow to Kerala, to Bangladesh, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Kolkata. It broadens the horizons of the stories making for a wholesome yet optimistic journey through love and life.

The stories represent that when one falls in love, the whole world may turn against you, but the couple can remain unshaken in their love for one another and the determination to live happily ever after, till the end.