Many a times, for senior citizens who are lonely they see another elderly person as the best companion. Being older does not mean fragile or week. For some it’s just a date in the calendar, but most of the time this age needs someone to hold them. Kudos to Suhasini and Atul for redefining the meaning of love. May both of you lead a much fulfilled life and live in abundance. Suhasini Mulay has smashed age-related stereotypes by not only getting hitched at the age of 61 but also by using the medium of the new age the internet to find her Mr. Right. The five time national awardee and popular screen mom met 65-year-old physicist Atul Gurtu online. Mulay, who has won acclaim for her roles Hu Tu Tu, Dil Chahta Hai and Lagaan, he was her Facebook friend and she met the particle physicist only after months of chatting online.
This just shows that Facebook is not just for the kids and youngsters as popular belief suggests…but it is for all kinds of people who are looking to connect with old friends and to make new friends or get in new relationships. The object of marital relationship is not only to obtain sexual gratification but it is beyond that, more so; when one doesn’t renunciate the world and instead wants to meet the challenges of life till his end. The age is no barrier nor is the backgrounds from where a man and woman hail. It is all about meeting of the minds and heart. It is not an emotional or impulsive decision – but a well thought over decision. I wish youngsters take a leaf from these two before tying the knot. This is what is called maturity. However, the society we live in is very conservative and old age people ridiculed the new steps as they set their minds with old moral parameters. Life may become drab and lonely for some who are old and many times it is another elderly person who is seen as the best companion.
Atul is a widower. He had been married for 36 years and his wife died about six years ago. He had written this article about how he discovered she had cancer. After the initial period of depression, rather than sitting and crying over it, he decided to make her as happy as he could. So, for the next 4-5 years they did everything they ever wanted to do. Learning this, hooked Suhasini to him. After bonding virtually, Mulay and Gurtu finally met. The actress, used to living alone, surprised herself and her family with her decision to marry him. She had never thought of settling down. She had started believing that she was always going to live alone. Marriage was the last thing on her agenda. She was never married but had a very long live-in relationship that ended in 1990. She then came to Mumbai in 2000 and have lived alone for 20 years, having no partner or companionship. Detachment in pain but time heals all wounds and creative person gets engaged and engrossed in his/her own world.
Her family was very surprised. When she rang up her sister, she asked her if Suhasini was drunk. After she told her everything, sister said ‘Hang on, now I need a drink’. Then Suhasini’s mother was in Mumbai and she met Atul and liked him. Her family had never in their wildest dream thought Suhasini would get married. The nature of Mulay’s work had made it even harder for her or her family to consider a match possible. Mulay has been taking all the surprised responses in her stride. At the Bandra court on January 7, people’s jaws dropped when they realised at the age of 60s the couple is getting married. They both are now settled in Mumbai. The 60-year sure has proved that there is really no age bar for settling down.
Some argue that this demonstrates that older people don’t want choices, just more reliable traditional services. Another interpretation is that choice is only valuable where a range of good, safe options is available and at least one fits the chooser’s particular wishes. Older people know that good support enables them not only to be cared for as an individual, but also to keep in touch with old friends and make new ones. It ensures their needs are met and that they can feel useful to those around them.
Anyway, there are very few examples like Suhasini Mulay or her spouse, the situation were in favour of them and also the families. The elderly population is large in general and are faced with numerous physical, psychological and social role changes that challenge their sense of self and capacity to live happily. Many people experience loneliness and depression in old age, either as a result of living alone or due to lack of close family ties and reduced connections with their culture of origin, which results in an inability to actively participate in the community activities. With advancing age, it is inevitable that people lose connection with their friendship networks and that they find it more difficult to initiate new friendships and to belong to new networks.
We are in 21st century, please allow and accept the changes. If your elders want to live with their “love” and companionship then please have heart to let them live.