Together for 50 years

He met his soulmate when he was 23 and she was barely 15. But their connection was immediate. The couple — Ponnala Lakshmaiah and Aruna — who celebrated their five decades together, took a trip down memory lane for Swati Sharma

Published: 24th October 2015 05:48 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th October 2015 05:48 AM   |  A+A-

Love and Laughter, Ever After

Ponnala Lakshmaiah, a senior statesman and former minister reveals a lot of interesting things about his marriage with Aruna. “I was hardly 23 then, still in my third year of B Tech and one day her father came to meet me in my village. Given my Engineering background I was the young and eligible bachelor that my father-in-law was looking for. My bosom friend Ramulu was at the helm of things. I was excited about marriage as any other youngster and after my friends’ persuasion, I met her at Hanuman temple in Koti. We hardly spoke to each other. She was a typical coy, shy, conservative, timid and unpretentious person and we had an age difference of over eight years. We didn’t speak to each other much, but after all these years it appears that we were two congenial, conservative souls but looking forward to life with an extraordinary hope and optimism to spend our lives together.”

Memoirs of Marriage

Just as any other Indian wedding, they too have some fond memories to cherish. “We met hardly a couple of times at the temple after which we tied the knot at the IGP quarters. It was this sense of responsibility that dominated my thoughts before, during and after the wedding and the transition from bachelorhood to family life was exciting. It is funny to note that we didn’t have a photographer or even a camera for that matter to take pictures but, my marriage brings back some fond memories like the sounds of drums, trumpets, cymbals and chanting of the sacred hymns. They made the day all the more auspicious and special for me.”

Dreams fulfilled

Aruna recalls, “Even though I was young, unaware, protected and shy, I had this penchant for reading novels and pictured my future husband to be like the protagonist I admired. Also, I wanted a home with enough amenities for a comfortable life. My husband turned out to be more than that, he gave me whatever I asked for and my home is the best place in the world for me. I am more than content and I believe we are made for each other. It is his jokes, his laughter and his good nature that I love the most and it makes my life worth living. I am indeed fortunate to have such a patient and understanding husband. You will be surprised to know that I never found a reason to confront him regarding anything”.

Best moments

Ponnala adds, “We hardly had any emotional outbursts or spontaneous reactions. For everything else, time was the solution. Aruna is quite witty and humorous and in this respect she is exactly my other half, my consort and my companion that makes my life complete. We did enjoy life and had some best moments together. While in US we had a 23-hour drive together along with our son and a few other friends which I recall as the best experience we ever had. Apart from that we also had an eight-day trip to Russia in a chartered flight along with some American friends. I love her most for the responsible person she is. She never evaded her duties in spite of many shortcomings like not knowing to drive a car in a country like US. But our family had a smooth sail for nine years there just because of her. I had 16-hour shifts at work and she never complained. She had always been family oriented, receptive and affectionate.”

Sailing the seas

For Aruna, the biggest adventure was living a life of politics in India. It was all smooth sail until they came back to India after the sudden demise of her brother and things took a different turn. For the once busy engineer, politics were completely strange and challenging despite the motivation to serve and love for motherland. They have two sons. The elder one is RamaKrishna who is married to Umadevi and have two sons, Vivek and Varun. Both of them were busy software Engineers for 17 years in the US before they came back to India. The younger son is MuraliKrishna who is married to Vaishali, they have a daughter Srushti and a son Srujan. Aruna says “I always wanted a daughter but my two sons never made me feel deprived of a daughter’s love. My daughters-in-law are equally affectionate. And my wish for a daughter I believe is granted in the form of Srushti.”

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