Everything comes in the way of love in this country. Religion, colour, caste, height, weight, community, geography, history – anything but the compatibility and willingness of two individuals who want to live together. After fighting most of these hurdles and happily married for the past 30 years are N Manoharan and his wife Jayalalitha
A former bank manager and now a soft skills trainee at various universities, Manoharan caught the first glimpse of Jayalalitha when he often came to collect rent from his tenants.
“Both our families were financially weak. I lost my father when I was young and my mother used to work as a maid servant. I used to make frequent visits to their one room house to collect rent. I fell in love with her back then,” recalls Manoharan seated beside his wife and his love for her is evident through the sparkle in his eye.
Shy and hesitant to speak, Jayalitha recalls how she liked the way he looked at her the first time. “He used to talk to me and then he came up to me one day and said ‘let’s get married’. I was shocked, yes. But, I too liked him and then said yes,” she shares.
Drama Part I
Coming from different families, who practised different faiths and beliefs, opposition was the unspoken truth. “My mother accepted. But her family vehemently opposed it,” says Manoharan. But getting together was the only thing in their mind. “We went to a temple and got married,” says Jayalalitha. Manoharan chips in to tell us how she got her name. “She used to look like Jayalalitha and someone shouted out that name. That’s when she got her name,” they both laugh. On a more serious note, the couple shares how Jayalalitha’s family is still reluctant to accept them.
Life and Death
Life was not rosy for this couple afterall. And the family opposition was not a big deal anymore. The couple lost one child and were struggling to cope when Manoharan got diabetic. “I was working in Warangal at that time. Both my kidneys failed and I was on dialysis. I became too weak. No donor matched my blood type and was on the verge of dying,” says Manoharan. That’s when the miracle happened adds Jayalalitha.
“Our blood groups are the same so I asked the doctor to have me tested. He rejected the request saying that unrelated kidney donations will not work. I persisted. After testing, I was the perfect match,” she beams.
Drama Part II
Jayalalitha’s family was deeming Manoharan’s condition as a good reason for her sin of leaving the family. She then shared how she was going to lend her kidney and the grand kidnap was planned. “Some members of my family told me that they plan to kidnap me on the day of the operation. I told them I had to vacate the Warangal office and that I won’t be able to answer calls. (Technology was not so evolved back then),” shares Jayalalitha whose family created a scene at the hospital once they came to know of the twist.
Sticking to the choice
Despite all this, both of them have been surviving on one kidney each for the past 21 years. “She has given me a second birth,” exclaims Manoharan. He adds that Jayalalitha has been the pillar he could lean against at all times.
They also echo the same emotion. “We are not batting for love marriage. Everything comes with their own set of good and bad and we have to understand that,” says Manoharan and Jayalalitha adds, “We have to stick to the choice we have made. Understanding each other and making compromises are part of the game.”