Love conquers handicap too

Published: May 28, 2004
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PUNE: Shweta Narang, a pretty girl from Indore , overcame stiff family opposition to tie the knot with her boyfriend, Captain Malay Acharya, a Paraplegic, in the city on Friday morning.

Shweta is Punjabi, while Malay is Bengali.

The ceremony was attended by close family, friends and relatives. The two had met in Indore over two years ago, when Malay, an artillery officer, was visiting his Indore-based sister on vacation.

They took a liking to each other and began a steady correspondence.

Six months later, in February 2002, Malay suffered a spinal cord injury, which paralysed him waist downwards, in the course of the army’s ‘Operation Parakram’ along the Pakistan border.

Several surgeries later, Malay was shifted to the military hospital, Khadki, for Rehabilitation.

Despite these upheavals, Shweta kept writing to her injured boyfriend. Months later, Shweta announced that she would marry Malay.

Her parents and close family were distraught. They felt Shweta was making a big mistake.

However, the brave girl stood her ground and tied the knot with Malay at the Shiva temple in Khadki on Friday morning.

After the priest had taken the couple through an abridged version of the traditional Hindu marriage rituals, Shweta told this correspondent, “My family was not in favour of the marriage. However, I was very determined. I like Malay, because he is a very good human being.” Malay said, “She was a major source of inspiration for me. She kept writing to me when I was down and out. Her decision to marry me speaks of her character. Very few girls would support you in hard times.”

If Shweta’s family was against the match, there was no sign of it at the temple. Instead, there was much laughter and joy all around. Said Shilpi, Shweta’s mother, “We were very worried about Shweta and how she would cope. But today, we are very proud of her.” The couple have discovered some common interests.

Says Malay, “Shweta is a very good cook, and I love to eat. So we should do well together.” Her mother Shilpi interjects, “Yes, she won Malay’s heart with her chicken curry in Indore .”

Malay and Shweta will live in Khadki, where the Captain is now posted.

RAHUL CHANDAWARKAR
TIMES NEWS NETWORK