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Never too late

Radha Darukanawala talks about being widowed at 37.. and remarrying at 44.

sex and relationships Updated: Mar 16, 2009 14:40 IST

I married Kareem Jamal at 23. We had studied together in school. He was my best friend and our friendship developed into a full-blown romance.

My parents opposed the marriage. My father is Rajput and my mother a Bengali. She came from a royal family in Burdwan in west Bengal.

But I was adamant and walked out. Kareem’s parents supported us, especially because I had walked out on my parents. My father refused to come for the wedding. My mother did. It was a happy marriage. I tried to be a good bahu but things changed after Kareem died of alcohol addiction. I was widowed at 37. My children were six and 11 then.

Saas-bahu drama
Saas-bahu problems started soon after that. I’m glad they did, otherwise I wouldn’t have moved to Pune with my daughters and become independent. And I wouldn’t have met Aspi, my second husband. Although my children use my first husband’s surname, I filed an affidavit and declared them Hindus. I taught them our rituals.

Tasneem was 15 and Shaheen 18 when I remarried. I had some problems over family property. A friend recommended that I approach Aspi Darukanawala. It was a sticky problem and took him a year to sort out. He felt responsible for me because I was a widow who lived alone, with two little girls.

Unconventional woman
Aspi was a bachelor and a friendship developed between us during that period. He was always concerned about the girls and me, and often called to check if we were okay. He was devoted to my daughters. They told me that he liked me but I just laughed it off.

My parents were also very fond of him. My friends tried to convince me that he really liked me and coaxed me to marry him. That’s when I gave the matter serious thought. One day, Aspi confessed his feelings for me. Then he wanted to know when I would marry him. I’ve always been unconventional but I wasn’t interested in marrying again.

Karma connections
I only wanted to provide good education for my children and was content with my social work. I ran a nursery and a school for special children. Now I’m glad I married him. It’s good to see my daughters so loved. They love him and call him dad. My younger daughter doesn’t even remember her biological father now.

It also feels nice to have a man look after you and handle your financial matters. Aspi is a very loving and caring husband. But the quality I love the most in him is the fact that he sings like Englebert Humperdink, my favourite.

We are like-minded people. He’s a fabulous cook, so am I. We enjoy cooking for friends and entertain a lot at home. Maybe it’s my karma that I met the man of my dreams so late in life. Now I’m convinced that it’s never too late to find love.

I’m happy being Aspi’s wife. We’ve been married for eight years now. He’s still so loving and giving. We are one big happy family.

(As told to Prema K)