While the coronavirus pandemic has forced many to stay away from their loved ones, love bloomed for an elderly Kolkata couple as the pandemic spread its wings around the country. Tarun Kanti Pal, 66, tied the knot with 63-year-old Swapna Roy at a small function on November 25, after they decided to take their friendship a step ahead. Both had lost their spouses over the last decade.
Our families were aware of each others’ existence, having lived in the same village of Bhattanagar, but the couple themselves had never met until about two years back, Shayon Pal, the groom’s son, told indianexpress.com. It was Pal who had first tweeted the news with a photo of the couple in wedding finery surrounded by family. “I’m glad that he found love again!” Pal had tweeted.
So, my Dad got married the day before. The ceremony was (mostly) masked and just with close friends & family. It was both surreal and fun. After 10 years of being alone since my mom died, I’m glad that he found love again! pic.twitter.com/qGaD3u5CuA
— Shayon (@shayonpal) November 27, 2020
Pal said the two struck a conversation at the Ramakrishna Mission Math in Bhattanagar, where they met during Maa Sarada’s birth anniversary celebrations about two years back. But it wasn’t until months later that she called back and something clicked, he said, adding that the two have been talking over the phone since then.
“Since my mother passed away, she is the first person he has formed a personal bond with. With me out of the country and his friends physically inaccessible, he had been feeling lonelier than usual,” explained Shayon, who was in Canada, at the time.
As the conversations grew and the relationship became stronger, she proposed and he said yes. “The couple fell in love during the pandemic, and also decided to get married during the pandemic. They wanted to spend time with each other asap,” Shayon added on why they chose to get married rightaway at a time where others were postponing such functions.
In a small intimate ceremony, as close family and friends looked on, they signed the papers and exchanged rings. “Given the fact that we have no idea how long it’s gonna be before the vaccines are available, we decided to go for it,” he explained.
The newlyweds were glad that almost everyone from both sides was supportive of their decision. “There were the usual detractors from within the extended family and outside, but they were too few,” Shayon said. Although Swapna’s daughter’s side of the family was a bit skeptical at first, they too came around soon.
As their love story created a buzz online, the groom had a message for all, highlighting how precious life is. “Life is a long journey, and it takes someone to accompany in his/her journey. If unfortunately one partner fails to get along for whatever reason, one may choose someone else as a partner during their unfinished journey,” Tarun Kanti Pal told indianexpress.com.
Pal added: “A person feels the need of a partner as he becomes older since no family member is available to help with chores or to share emotions. A person has got every right to lead his life in his own way and belief. He himself should decide his destiny, nobody else.”
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