Love-struck couple marry at old-age home

Twitteratti on Sunday tweeted congratulatory messages as an elderly couple staying in a government-run old-age home in Kerala tied the knot.

Mr Kochaniyan Menon, 67, and Ms Lakshmi Ammal, 65, met again and fell in love at the home in Ramavarmapuram in Thrissur district.

As the wedding pictures of the couple, taken on Saturday, went viral, a user wrote: "Let love cross all borders."

Ms Lakshmi wore a red silk sari and had jasmine flowers in her hair, while Mr Kochaniyan looked dapper in a traditional off-white "mundu" (sarong) and a shirt.

The wedding was attended by the state's Agriculture Minister V.S. Sunil Kumar, who offered Ms Lakshmi's hand in marriage to Mr Kochaniyan. District Collector S. Shanavas also attended the ceremony.

As the bride and groom smiled and nodded, the sound of claps and laughter filled the old-age home.

It was the state's first wedding in an old-age home.

"Kerala's first wedding at old-age home - Kochaniyan weds Lakshmi Ammal... Congratulations," tweeted a user.

The couple had known each other for about 30 years.

Mr G.K. Krishna Iyer, Ms Lakshmi's husband, died 22 years ago. He was an expert in Brahmin cuisine in Thrissur and Mr Kochaniayan from Irinjalakuda was his assistant for years. On his death bed, Mr Iyer had asked Mr Kochaniayan to take care of Ms Lakshmi.

"After he (her husband) passed away, I lived alone in my house for some years. Kochaniyan used to come home if I required some help," Ms Lakshmi told The News Minute.

"Later, I sold my house and shifted to a relative's house, where I lived for many years. Kochaniyan used to check on me often."

The duo lost touch a few years ago as Mr Kochaniyan had to travel from place to place for his cooking and catering work.

Soon after Mr Kochaniyan suffered a stroke and became paralysed. A voluntary organisation in Wayanad took care of him.

"They took care of me with proper medical treatment and I started to recover," Mr Kochaniyan told Malayalam daily Mathrubhumi.

"I informed the authorities of my wish to meet Ammal. I told them she will be expecting me as we have lost contact.

"Finally, they made the arrangements to shift me to Ramavarmapuram old-age home where Ammal was an inmate."

There, Ms Lakshmi took care of Mr Kochaniyan and with medical treatment and physiotherapy he regained partial capacity to move his limbs.

Two months ago, Mr Kochaniyan told officials about his feelings for Ms Lakshmi and the couple then decided to spend the rest of their lives as husband and wife.

"He supported me when I was alone after the death of my husband. I think it is my duty to support him in this time of need," said Ms Lakshmi.

The couple's wedding was planned under the leadership of Mr John Daniel, welfare standing committee member of the Thrissur Corporation.

The bride also had a "mehendi" function on Friday evening, which Mr Daniel live-streamed on Facebook. In the days leading up to the wedding, he also shared the couple's wedding card.

In a Facebook post, Minister Kumar called the wedding day "one of the happiest days in my life".

"Witnessing the marriage of Kochaniyan and Lakshmi Ammal at Ramavarmapuram old-age home will always be a memorable experience," he wrote. "The management, social workers, other inmates and well wishers made this marriage a memorable one.

"The groom and bride were happy and energetic when they entered the mandapam. I heartily wish that their married life is happy and peaceful."

He also shared several pictures from the wedding which have been reshared by more than 500 people.


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