Not all love stories blossom in a college, park, shopping mall, or subway. Some, like that of Shantanu Kumar Das and Manju Sinha Roy, happen in old age homes.
On Wednesday, some 2,200 people turned up at the Mother Old Age Home in Guwahati to see Das (73) marry Roy (63).
The Home authorities arranged their wedding after they discovered in March that the senior citizens had an affair going for more than two years.
"Their traumatic past made them lonely. Loneliness brought them together, and they said it was love at first sight," the Home's secretary Monika Sarma told HT on Thursday.
"We decided to formalise the companionship of the love-birds and began networking to make their marriage happen," she added.
Das and Roy came to the home in 2012. While the former is the only male inmate among 20, Roy was the third to move into the home.
"I am a retired engineer. I felt my life had no meaning after my wife died a few years ago. We did not have any children and I was living in a rented house until Sarma brought me to this home," said Das.
Roy was a spinster who was thrown out by her sister-in-law after her brother died five years ago. She eked out a living by working as a domestic help.
"It feels good to be married and have a companion who cares. God has replied to those who used to say I was doomed to die a spinster," said Roy.
Sarma said the old age home had spent Rs. 1 lakh for the wedding, providing the bride's ornaments. Friends and well-wishers donated generously to ensure the guests – 200 more than budgeted for – did not go away without relishing a vegetarian spread.
Das felt his romance-to-wedding trip was surreal.
But he admitted, "Love stories do have a happy ending."