Love in the twilight years
Deccan Chronicle| Swati Sharma
There's no age-bar for romantic love. Society cannot dictate at what age one should cease looking for a soulmate.
Rumour is that Tollywood director Dil Raju, a widower, is preparing to re-marry. The news has raised many eyebrows. But is love in the autumn of one’s life so unusual? Or improbable? When we look around, we see many instances that prove the contrary.
Dil Raju is not the first to take the matrimonial plunge after his wife passed away. The late Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N.T. Rama Rao got married at 70 to Lakshmi Parvathi. Actor Krishnam Raju remarried. Congress leader Digvijay Singh was 68 when he married his long-time sweetheart, TV anchor Amrita Rai. Actor Milind Soman re-married at 52.
Examples of late-blooming love can be found all over the world. Take the cases of George Clooney and Eton John. Take Jennifer Lopez and Saif Ali Khan.
Ask Neena Gupta, who tied the knot at 54. Princess of Pop Kylie Minogue found romance at 50.
Love is all around. All you have to do is find the right person. That’s what Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg wrote in her book, ‘Option B’. The 50-year-old Sandberg recently announced her engagement to Tom Bernthal, co-founder and CEO of the strategic consultancy firm Kelton Global. She posted a brief note on Insta and Facebook: "Engaged!!! Tom Bernthal, you are my everything. I could not love you more."
Love is not circumscribed by age. No one knows this better than retired assistant security commissioner, RPF, SC Railways, Parimi Rajgopal. He fell in love after 50 and married the woman of his dreams despite strong opposition from her family. "Love can happen at any age, be it in the 50s or 60s or 90s. It depends on intentions and understanding," says Rajgopal.
Talking about his second wife Indira, now 58, the 65-year-old Rajgopal says, "Thirty-six years ago, Indira’s mother had wanted her to marry me. However, that couldn’t happen. She had to marry an elderly person 20 years older to her. It was his second marriage. Indira’s first husband died in 2014. She had to wait for 36 years to marry me. Her brother and elder sister opposed her second marriage and they formed a group in the village and made sure their relatives and villagers boycotted her."
When designer Deepthi married M.V. Balagiri, MD, GV Films, her daughter Vithika was 18 years old. She reveals that she had her first small glimmer of hope when she met Bala. "Life knocks on your door just when you feel you’re done. You don’t need to go finding someone special. Your someone special will knock on your life’s door at just the right moment. When you really love someone, age, distance, height and weight are just numbers."
The beauty of getting into a relationship when you’re older is, you already know what you want from it. Bani (54), who married Dr Shobit Chawla (58), says, "Blessed are those who get a second chance in life. I’m amongst the lucky few who found a partner who had gone through almost the same trials as I had. Truly, I believe it’s destiny which brings you together in the second half of your life. If you are honest, sincere and well-deserving of each other, you find one another. There are plenty of sacrifices, adjustments and patience required to settle down once again. In fact, more so; but it’s the caring, love and affection which make it possible to sustain and enjoy the relationship."
A mature love
People evolve from the mistakes they make, feels celebrity relationship expert Dr Nisha Khanna. As one grows older, one is able to understand better what his/her partner wants, what his or her choices are. A younger person may not have such clarity. "In this process of evolution, we keep improving ourselves as individuals, and definitely, each relationship teaches us something or the other. From the lessons we learn, we realise what we want in a relationship. When we are 50 years or more, we may meet someone who our hearts tell us is the person we want to spend the remainder of our lives with. Sometimes it will be about common goals. The emotional stability factor is very important too. I believe that every person looks for a companion, and when we’re older, companionship and support are what we need more of."