It was a testimony to the tenacity and endurance of true love.
Ashok and Asha Sharma married each other on Friday, 40 years after they had first decided to. A day later, 63-year-old Ashok and 58-year-old Anita left for Ashok’s home in Gurgaon.
They had fallen in love when Ashok was 15, and Asha 10. They wanted to marry in 1969 — as soon as Asha turned 18. But their families would have none of it.
Asha refused to marry anyone else, remaining a spinster for four decades. Her adopted daughter Ankita said: “My mother kept her vow of not marrying anyone once her parents turned down the marriage proposal sent by Ashok’s uncle.”
Ashok was not quite as steadfast. After his proposals to Asha were turned down, his mother badgered him and he agreed to have an arranged marriage with Vinita. The couple have two sons, Gaurav and Rohit.
But Ashok never forgot Asha. When Vinita died in 2007, he began to search for Asha. It took him a year to get her phone number. His sons encouraged him.
“My mother was wary when Ashok uncle got in touch,” said Ankita. “She was afraid of social disapproval for marrying so late. But when we all encouraged her, she agreed.”
“I could never forget Asha,” said Ashok. “I would have ended up a lonely old grump if I hadn’t done this.”