The Vintage Love Gurus
They have celebrated fewer Valentine's Days than most of us, but if you want to know the secret of an everlasting marriage, these much-in-love couples will happily share it with you
Posted On Friday, April 27, 2012 at 08:59:25 PM
If you thought everlasting love were just words buried in yellowing pages of old romantic novels, you must meet these happy couples. They'll reinstate your faith in undying love. For they have withstood the vagaries of time, celebrating the triumphs and braving the tribulations together.
There was a time when holding hands was part of our romance. Now, when we hold hands, it is to support each other," says Ramanlal Desai, 98, winking at his wife Shushila, 94. Married for 75 years now, the former station master is full of praise for his wife, the only "best friend" he has.
Married in 1960, they have faced several ups and downs in life. But that has only brought them closer. For four years of his life, Ramesh, a former class-I officer, worked out of Gujarat, leaving Anila alone to look after their children. Her only grouse is that their elder son chose to become a sanyasi.
"I was very upset. I am his mother and it was very difficult for me to come to terms with it. But my husband made me understand that our son was doing it for the society's good. It still hurts sometimes, but I have accepted it."
Asked what they appreciate most about each other, Ramesh says, "She ensures that nobody visiting us leaves without having food, even if it means inconveniencing herself." Anila is in awe of her husband's "large-heartedness". "Due to my age, I am not able to do the daily chores as effortlessly as I used to. But he is always ready to help me. Besides, he never complains."
"Our second son was detected with cancer at a young age of 25. He battled against the disease for three months before we finally lost him," he says.
"It broke the family, but my husband and I stood strong. It was the most harrowing experience of our life," she says.
Unfortunately, they do not have their wedding pictures. "My family thought hers would get the photographer and her family thought mine would. So, there was no photographer on the most important day of our life. We plan to get our pictures clicked on Sunday," says Manhar.
The couple also has some advice for youngsters. "It is easy to give up, but difficult to stick together. The incidents of divorce are increasing because couples are no longer tolerant towards each other," says Kokila.
"My family wanted me to get married to her elder sister, but I was keen on marrying her. Once we got hitched, people would tell me that she is jabri. Well, she actually is," he guffaws.
Talking about their courtship days, she says, "We are from the same village. He stayed near the temple I used to visit every day. I saw him several times, standing near the well of his house, brushing his teeth. But we spoke to each other for the first time only after our engagement."
Pursuing activities together is also a great way to bond with each other, believes the couple.
"We make sure that we go on trips frequently. Though we have been to religious places more often, every trip is a new honeymoon," says Jayendra.
What irritates him is her "laughter when it is not required". What she doesn't like about him is his short-tempered nature. "I do not react when he gets angry. Only after he is calm, I point out his mistakes. He accepts them, but not always," she says.