Kerala’s own Kuch Kuch Hota Hai

Never too late for love Kerala woman helps mother reunite with first love 32 yrs later
news Second Chances Monday, July 25, 2016 - 17:24

A woman’s wedding day is the happiest day of her life, goes the clichéd refrain. Many women don’t think of their wedding day with such devotion anymore, but for one woman from Kerala, a wedding day was indeed her happiest ever. Except she wasn’t the one getting married. It was her mother.

For Aathira Dathan, the solemn wedding of 68-year-old G Vikraman to her mother Anitha Chembuvilayil, aged 52, brought to a close months of emotional upheaval, and the most satisfying resolution to a 32-year-long love story.

Recounting the story on Facebook, Aathira writes of the love story of Anitha and Vikraman, which was nipped in the bud when they were young, but bloomed into happiness several decades later on July 21, 2016, when they were finally married.

In 1984, Anitha was studying in class 10 at Ochira, near Kollam. Her father was an Assistant Engineer in the Army, a man who put his family’s dignity and his own status above all else.

Vikraman was a teacher at a tuition centre, and also a member of the CPI (M). He used to meet Anitha often at party events.

Anitha and Vikraman fell in love, but her father would have none of it. He thought that marrying his daughter off to a much older man, a teacher and a CPI (M) activist, was beneath his status.

She was pulled out of school, and intimidated into giving up on the relationship, having been told that Vikraman’s life was in danger if they went ahead and got married.

Anitha obliged, and never met him again. She was later married off to another man chosen by her family.

A heart-broken Vikraman dumped the saree and thali he had bought for their wedding at a friend’s place in Ochira, and left the city. He moved to Chavara, where he spent decades as a political activist with no family or relationships. He did not take up any other job, and dedicated his life to the party.

Anitha, too, had lost a part of her to the failed love story. She never smiled wholeheartedly, ever again says Aathira.

When Aathira was just 8-years old, her father got drunk and killed himself. Aathira was too scared to even touch the body. Anitha fought the whole world to bring up Athira and her sister, and educated them in spite of family members asking her not to.  

Years later, Vikraman came back to Ochira to retire there. But he was asked to contest in the panchayat polls and during the campaign he met Anitha again.

Aathira writes, “Mother told me about him. I couldn’t sleep that day. I felt like meeting sir, I came to our native place soon after that. During the panchayat elections, he was the candidate from our ward. That’s how he returned to his native place after so many years. When we first met, we talked a lot, cried a lot.”

“I wished that sir and mother unite before my wedding. I wished that he be in my father’s position at my wedding. I tried a lot, but sir was adamant. He said he would think about it only after my wedding,” writes Aathira.

But Aathira wanted them to get married soon, so she decided to get married early herself. “My sister supported my decision. Two months ago I got married. After that we began to discuss their (Anitha and Vikraman) wedding. Close friends, neighbours, the party and a very few relatives supported us.”

On July 21, when Vikraman married Anitha in her house, the thali was given to him by the man who wanted to kill him 32 years ago – Anitha’s father, now 82 years old.

Vikraman and Anitha with daughters Aathira and Ashley.

“I am really happy now, I don’t know how and what to write because of my excitement.,” Aathira writes.

“We need to know and respect our parents’ aspirations. I grew up watching my mother suffering for different things. I only wanted to bring her some happiness. Only kids can strive to make their parents happy. July 21 was the happiest day of my life,” Aathira told TNM.

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