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Their love braved all odds

By Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
January 07, 2006 20:06 IST
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Romance does not recognise barriers of time and age. If any proof was needed to emphasise this maxim it was provided by 105-year-old Beigh Hussain and 90-year-old Sharja.

Hussain fought as a British Indian soldier in Libya and Burma in the Second World War and survived, perhaps to fulfill his tryst with destiny this month.

Born in the Surankote village of  Jammu region in 1900, Hussain was dazzled by the beauty of Sharja Bibi, a girl in his village.

In 1942, he proposed to her, but since he had already been married twice and Sharja was still a virgin, the proposal was turned down by her family.

Hussain could not take the refusal. He left the village and joined the army in 1942, when he was 42 years old and Sharja was 27.

While Hussain kept surviving the enemy's bullets and cannons in far-off  lands, Sharja was married to a neighbour by her suspicious brothers, who knew she also secretly loved Hussain.

After retiring from the army, Hussain returned back to his village and started living in the neighbourhood of his lost love.
Sharja's husband died last year and love's fires were stoked once again. 

This time, Sharja proposed to Hussain and the couple got married in their Surankote village, despite opposition from Sharja's brothers.

Interestingly, Sharja's brothers lodged a first information report with the police in Surankote, accusing Hussain of kidnapping their sister.

Elders in the village intervened to prevent the brothers from playing spoilsport in such a wonderful love story and the couple are now happily married, according to a local newspaper.

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar