With the groom in a wheelchair, this is a story of true love
It was a moving moment for everyone gathered at a wedding here when the groom, Rahul Singh Diwakar, started taking the pheras around the holy fire in his wheelchair, with his bride Anamika Bhartiya, resplendent in red, following him.
The wedding of Diwakar, a quadriplegic, and Anamika, who has no disabilities, in the city on Monday, was one chapter in a journey of love triumphing over trauma.
Both 29, they had known each other since 2000 from the age of nine, when they were neighbours in Fatehgarh, Uttar Pradesh.
When disaster struck
In 2008 they realised they had feelings for each other and things were going well when, some years later, disaster struck. “I used to meet Anamika every day, but on that day, March 13, 2016, I was in a hurry as I was going for a competitive examination and didn’t get to see her. I was riding pillion on a friend’s motorcycle when it slipped and I fell, injuring my back,” said Diwakar.
When friends took him to hospital, he realised he has lost the use of his limbs.
With tears in his eyes, he said, “Anamika did not once let me feel I was disabled when my lower half was completely paralysed.”
She took care of him during the day when his father, an Army officer, and mother and sister, both teachers, were at work.
Even when Diwakar and his family moved to Lucknow in 2018, “distance could not part us, and I used to talk to Rahul for seven to eight hours on the phone daily as he was very depressed and I tried to keep his spirits high,” recalled Bhartiya.
Soon she realised she had to make a big decision. “I went to Lucknow without telling relatives at home and tried to convince Rahul’s family to let me marry him, but they didn’t agree. I went again last year but for his father it was a firm no”, said Bhartiya.
Later, with much convincing, however, his family agreed.
About Diwakar’s disability, her response is: “What if he had suffered the injury after our marriage? Would I have left him then?”
A bigger family
Today, Bhartiya, after marrying Diwakar, is part of a bigger family as she lost her mother six years ago to bone cancer and her father some years later to brain haemorrhage.
Interestingly, it was the Chandigarh Spinal Rehab Centre that hosted the wedding and took care of all expenses.
“Rahul came to Chandigarh in September for treatment when he got to know about the centre through the internet,” said Nicky P Kaur, founder and CEO of the centre.
A BTech who has been hired by an MNC, Diwakar is undergoing training there. “I wanted to make sure their wedding is as grand as the one I organised for my own children and we have allocated a furnished room for them, where they can stay for as long as they want to,” Kaur added