An 82 year old man, gatekeeping India’s abandoned and haunted village- town of Kuldhara in the heart of the Thar desert in Rajasthan reunited with his “first love” after 50 years.
A post has gone viral on Instagram by the Humans of Bombay where this gentleman recalled that he was in his 30s when he met Marina, an Australian woman who had come to Jaisalmer from the foreign on a five-day tour. Opening up about what internet users are calling ‘magical love story,’
“I was in my 30s when I first met Marina–she’d come to Jaisalmer from Australia, for a desert safari. It was a 5-day trip & I taught her to ride a camel! This was the 1970s–un dino, pehli nazar mein pyaar ho jata tha!”
He further narrates, “That’s exactly what happened–for both of us, it was love at first sight. Throughout the trip, we couldn’t take our eyes off each other. Before leaving for Australia, she said, ‘I love you;’ I went red! Nobody had ever said those words to me. I was so shy; I couldn’t utter a word in response!”
“But she understood & we stayed in touch–Marina would write to me every week. Soon, she invited me to Australia–I was over the moon!”
It was not easy for him he took a loan of Rs 30,000 and bought a ticket, arranged for a visa, and flew to be with her, that too without informing his parents.
“Those 3 months were magical–she taught me English, I taught her to do the ghoomar. But then she said, ‘Let’s get married & settle in Australia!’–things got complicated, he told.
However, this love story came to a dead end as both of them were not ready to leave their respective countries.
“I wasn’t ready to leave my motherland & she wasn’t willing to move to India. I told her–‘This can’t work long term,’ & we parted ways. It wasn’t easy–she cried the day I left, but I had to let her go.”
Then, life moved on. A few years later, owing to family pressure, I had to get married. I took up a job as the gatekeeper of Kuldhara, an abandoned ghost town to fend for my family. But I’d often think about Marina–‘Would she has gotten married?’, ‘Will I ever see her again?’ but I never had the courage to write to her, explains the post.
“As time passed, memories faded; I got busy with family responsibilities. And then 2 years ago, my wife passed away. All my sons were married & had moved out. And here I was, an 82-year-old man, gatekeeping India’s haunted village.”
For him lucky surprise came exatly 50 years after his meeting with her.
“And just when I thought life couldn’t surprise me anymore, it did! A month ago, Marina wrote to me; she asked, ‘How are you, my friend?’ After 50 years, she found me! Since then, she calls me every day; we have so much to catch up on!
She told me she’d never gotten married & that she’s coming to India soon.”
“Ramji ki Kasam, I feel like I’m 21 again! I don’t know what the future holds, but knowing that my first love is back in my life & talks to me every day is a feeling I can’t explain.”