New Delhi: Subhash Sood, a communications expert and Monika, have been family friends for over three decades. But it was only eight years ago that their friendship turned to marriage when Subhash was running 60 and Monika was 50-years-old.
"The only cause for the delay could be attributed to my ambition. But we still got married, thankfully because of her commitment," says Subhash. Monika adds, "It didn't feel strange to be getting married so late. We are very happy now."
Monika fell in love with Subhash when she was just 14-years-old. But was too shy to ever express it. And Subhash's career made it difficult for them to keep in touch. But years later, their paths crossed again.
Two solitary souls finally decided to get married and share memories. Today, they spend their time catching up on lost times, discovering each other and enjoying their newly-wed status.
But happiness at this age, comes at a cost. "I don't regret anything except, I wish we had kids," says Monika.
The Soods are not an exception. Infact, in some communities like the Parsis, late marriages are quite common.
"Specially in the case of men, the age may be forty-plus or even beyond. But what is peculiar about the Parsi community is that there is no community censure for sons and daughters marrying late," says Ava Khullar, a trustee of Delhi Parsi Anjuman.
And today, it's a trend thats fast catching up. "Between 12 to 20 per cent elders are on matrimonial columns, even on internet sites. In Gujarat, there are infact few agents who work specifically for elders and are earning good incomes from doing this," says Chief Executive of HelpAge India, Mathew Cherian.
Uday Zokarkar of Bharatmatrimony.com agrees that old-age wedding are on a rise: "Last year, we had 2,000 profiles. This years the numbers have crossed 3,000. This year there is an increase of 50 per cent. Out of these most of the people are widowers and divorcees."
Take 67-year-old V K Bajaj for example. After the death of his wife, this lonely Delhi-based businessman registered himself online and is now flooded with responses.
"When I registered, I got a lot of support from my children. They said papa, you must have a life partner," says Bajaj.
Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be — these lines from a classic poem perhaps define the hopes of love in winter of marriage at twilight.
Today, there are many husbands and wives for whom being young is only a matter of the heart and marriage a journey to be shared together.