PS I Love You.
Niharika Pandit speaks to three couples who have been married for decades now. They share their joys of love and the secret of a happily ever after.
At this day and age, when marital discord is on the rise and young couples seek counselling to retain their relationship, these couples, who have been together of decades epitomise the idea of ‘happily ever after’
Even after years of togetherness, petty arguments and disagreements haven’t lessened their love for each other. No matter what the misunderstandings and confusions, it was being together that mattered. They never let go of each other even when times were bad.
Married for 55 years now, Roopchand Bhambhani, 87, and Duru Bhambhani, 83, do not recall having serious arguments with each other.
Three years back a sudden paralytic attack had paralysed Roopchand’s left side of the body. But this could never cripple their bond. It is intact. In fact, stronger.
“Back in 1977, we had gone to Nepal. Films shows and adventurous trips together make it the most memorable trip with him.” recalls Duru.
“He is very helpful. Be it relatives, friends or even acquaintances, he is always eager to help others financially or otherwise. I admire this in him the most.” she says.
Duru and Roopchand have five children; three daughters, two sons and eight grandchildren.
Duru has an immense interest in needle work and sewing. “Back in 1973, when I had planned to start my own boutique to sell baby frocks, skirts and blouses, he never questioned but supported me.”
“He has always been a fun-loving and a very naughty person. At times I do feel bad for him. Such a generous person like him could be in such a pitiful condition. But that’s what strengthens our bond.” she smiles indulgently.
Duru also has some advice for youngsters, “Relationships are easily to break but difficult to maintain. One must learn to adjust and respect each other.”
Anand Kumar Sapru, 84, and Pushpa Sapru, 76, had seen each other for the first time only after they got married in the year 1959.
“I belonged to an orthodox family of Lucknow while his family was based in Mumbai. With my in-laws I never felt the need to adjust. They were all so loving and more than just a family to me.” reminisces Pushpa.
Anand, who worked with HUL then, had to go out on frequent tours. In the initial years of their marriage, the couple hardly lived together. But that only brought them closer.
They believe that mutual respect for each other has strengthened their relationship. “Ups and downs are a part of life; sometimes sacrifices become important for happiness. And this is the secret of our happily ever after.” says the couple in unison.
Asked what they appreciate most about each other, Anand says “She is the cutest girl in the world.” to which the wife smiles coyly.
“He has always been very supportive throughout. Even today, he never asks me not to do anything.” says Pushpa. “But I don’t particularly like one thing about him; he never points it out if I forget to add salt in sabzi or dal. Instead I have to ask him to say it out loud.” she further adds.
Mr. Sapru has immense affinity towards teaching while Mrs. Sapru has involved herself in social work.
“We had gone for our first movie Leader starring Dilip Kumar, on the very next day of our wedding ceremony.” the Ramchandrans recollect.
K. Ramchandran, 76, and Mangala Ramchandran, 67, had met only once before they got married in 1964.
“The toughest time was when in 1974, he was posted to Nagaland in the special armed forces battalion but later on I had gone there for a month.” recalls Mangala.
When asked what they admire most in each other, K. Ramchandran says, “She is very outspoken, she never hides any of her feelings but sometimes that can be hurtful to others.” Mangala truly admires her husband’s simplicity and his jolly nature.
Unravelling the secret of their relationship, the couple says “If we have any difference, we don’t argue. We both sit together and try to find alternatives for the problem.”
The couple believes that the best way to cope with individual differences is to spend time talking about issues which bother each other. “Nowadays, couples leave each other for petty issues without even trying to resolve problems.”