At the Lohana Mahajan Wadi marriage hall in Kandivali on Sunday morning, 65-year-old Mukesh Mehta was introduced as a businessman from Jamnagar looking for a housewife, who will consider both his daughters as her own. Mehta, who owns a business in wood, lost his wife three years ago. “My daughters wanted me to remarry,” he said.
At a grand matrimonial meet-up on Sunday, over 350 senior citizens gathered to look for a spouse or a companion through an initiative by the Anubandh Foundation.
Mehta lives alone at his Jamnagar home, while his daughters are married in Rajkot. “My family realised I am alone. I need a wife who will treat my family as hers,” he said.
On Sunday, as organisers read out a biodata of each person, men and women were asked to note registration numbers if they were interested, and then initiate a conversation over lunch. Each person’s name, address, business, family background and requirements for a partner were detailed.
The first such event took place in Nagpur. “Men and women over the age of 50 years do not necessarily look for marriage. Some want only companionship. We encourage them to meet and try to live in together, so that they have support in their old age,” said Milan Doshi, one of the organisers. Doshi, a widower, married through a similar process two years ago. “My life is so much better now,” he said.
The organisers also encourage senior citizens to come up on stage and share what they are looking for in a life partner. Those interested were then introduced.
Uma Narayan Desai, 63, said she had already attended such matrimonial gatherings three times — in Nashik, Baroda and Mumbai. “My search is on. I want a non-smoker and non-alcoholic man, who does not have the burden of any loan,” she listed out her criteria. “But I have undergone a knee replacement surgery and my height is short. Finding a groom is difficult,” she added.
Uma, a retired teacher, was divorced in 1988 and lived with her in parents in Mulund until their death. At this age, she said, she only needs company, if not marriage.
Rekha Arvindlal Tolat, an advocate practising since 1971, was looking for a groom. Now 75, she never married due to family problems. “I am not sure if at this age I can find someone who will fit into my life,” she said, even as her biodata was read out. The CP Tank resident also attended the same gathering last year. “But I could not find anyone.”
The organisers said while the hall was booked for 250, over 350 attended the event.