Pics: Jeevan Kolalagiri
Udupi, Oct 27 : In India, marriage is conceived to be life-long bond. It envisages fusion of two souls and pledge of sharing of challenges and joys together. Selfless sacrifice and understanding each other is the essence and soul of the relationship that is created through marriage.
Of late all of this is changing. Many a time we come across couple who get fed up with each other within a few years of their marriage. The patience, perseverance, excusing each other and overlooking the mistakes needed to make the marriage work are often lacking. The couple in course of time might decide to part their ways or lead a life in which they become opposing entities living under a single roof out of compulsion. Amid these developments, here is a contrasting report from Shirva that is very rare and heartening indeed.
A couple from Shirva near here has been celebrating 70 years of togetherness. Both the husband and wife are enthusiastic about celebrating platinum jubilee of their marriage. They are Pascal Noronha and Bridget Mathias.
A candid smile appears on the lips of these two elderly people when a mention about their marriage is made. The man is 94 now, and the wife, 88. Both move about with agility, and whenever they venture out, they hold each other's hands to support one another. They were 24 and 18 years old when their arranged marriage was conducted. Because of old age, they are unable to recollect exact dates. At present, they are living in the affectionate company of great grandchildren.
The sharp recollection of utter poverty of yesteryear brings tears in the eyes of the woman even now. She says that her husband worked in a small bakery at Mumbai even when he was very young. After working there for about 20 years, the couple settled in their native place here and eked out a living by growing vegetables together. They too have minor fights occasionally, which end quickly. None of the fights have been extended so far as Pascal readily offers to strike a compromise, she confesses.
For their age, the couple is quite active. Pascal goes for a walk every morning. He cannot do without a newspaper thereafter. He also does Yoga practice, washes his own clothes, prepares coffee for his wife, and does other errands. He has not lost interest in working even at this old age.
Bridget in comparison, goes through some ups and downs in health condition. Otherwise, she too happens to be active, does domestic work without problem, and narrates interesting stories to great grandchildren. Guests visiting their house can feel the warmth spread by the radiant smiles of the couple without fail.
The couple has six children. The couple had provided them good education in spite of poverty, and all of them are in good positions. Eldest among the children is Thomas Noronha, while the second one is no more. Third is Fr Francis Noronha, fourth one is Ronald Noronha, fifth is Mabel Noronha, with the last one being Suneetha Noronha. All of them live happily with their respective families.
The couple has proved to be very loving and caring grandparents for their grandchildren. They also have found comfort in caressing and cuddling their great grandchildren. They have seen four generations during their lifetime. There can be no two opinions about the fact that this couple stands out as an excellent model for the modern day people. In their company, one realizes that mutual trust increases the depth of bond between individuals.
In this era of technology and mechanical life, human relations are taking a beating. There is a need for the parents to educate their children about the need to build a fulfilling relationship like that of this couple.
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