Minds Are Like Parachutes, They Only Function When Open

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Blind Date - Strictly for Elders

There were two elderly people living in a senior citizens’ home. He was a widower, she a widow. They had known one another for a number of years. One evening there was a community supper downstairs, and the two sat at the same table, across from one another. He gathered some courage and asked her, “Will you marry me?”
A few minutes later she answered. “Yes. Yes, I will.”

The meal ended and, with a few more pleasant exchanges, they went to their respective rooms. Next morning, he was troubled. “Did she say ‘yes’ or did she say ‘no’?” He couldn’t remember. So he picked up his telephone and called her, “I forget things easily noaways and I don’t remember as well as I used to. Last night when I asked if you would marry me, did you say ‘Yes’ or did you say ‘No’?”
“Why, I said, ‘Yes, yes I will’ and I did mean it dear”, she continued, “I am so glad that you called, because I couldn’t remember who had asked me.”

Cheerful news is hard to come by these days, and that’s why I want to highlight this particular one. VMAS (Vina Moolya Amoolya Seva - Priceless Precious Service, literally), a non-profit in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, is arranging India’s first marriage-convention, for seniors. India’s first senior blind date convention will take place on October 12th in Ahmedabad. For women participants, the registration comes with a gift of a railways fare, free local transportation, and complementary lunch.
VMAS, a marriage bureau that offers free services to those above 50, has so far garnered 600 male registrations and about 60 female registrations. Most of the male registrants are widowers or divorcees. Several
female registrants, however are first-timers. Most of those women first-timers have led selfless lives, sacrificing their years for their families, younger brothers or sisters, elder parents or relatives, working to get others educated, staying home to support the elderly and the sick within the families. Now, with those responsibilities borne out, and at a juncture where their own lonely lives could afford the warmth and comfort of a companionship, these seniors have come forward, albeit shyly, to seek what they have missed so far.

More than a hundred years ago, in 1893, Dhindo Keshav Karve founded India’s first marriage bureau for widows. That institution became an ashram, a shelter for those Indian women who were outcast by society, and after a century of service to the Indian women, turned into India’s first women’s university - SNDT.

Just the other day, I wrote about the rising divorce rates amongst India’s newly married. Something tells me that the seniors gathering in Ahmedabad on October 12th, are not giving a hoot about that statistics. At a time when the elders in India are having to look ahead to lonelier lives away from their sons and daughters and in an era where the number of joint families is declining at a rapid pace, anything that brings happiness to our seniors is a heartening news. It surely lights up a romantic candle or two, giving hope to those who need it most, making their days and evenings a lot less bluer and a lot, lot brighter.
The author(s) of this article is(are) not known but the site www.indiatime.com has some very good alternative viewpoints on various issues affecting India.

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