Thirty-four years after they fell in love, Abdul Rashid (54) and Chandni (50) got married a week ago.
A local maulvi performed the nikaah ceremony at the MM Degree College in Moradabad, 160 km east of Delhi, where Rashid works, on June 15.
Rashid, a Muslim, and Chandni, a Hindu, first met in 1975, when their families were neighbours in Moradabad’s Kathghar area. Soon, Rashid, then 20, the eldest of seven children of an artisan in the local brass industry, won the 16-year-old Chandni’s heart.
“Their parents were furious when they found out,” recalled another neighbour, Masterjee.
“Chandni’s father even shifted house to another locality to prevent them from meeting,” he said.
But the pair continued to meet secretly.
“They tried hard to convince their parents to let them marry,” said Masterjee. “Both families, however, remained unmoved.”
Unwilling to elope and cause a scandal, yet firmly committed to each other, Rashid and Chandni steadfastly refused all other marriage proposals their parents found for them. Both stayed unmarried.
It was only after both Rashid’s parents and Chandni’s father passed away that other elders in their families finally gave in.