A South Tyneside couple whose love for each other has overcome many obstacles have celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary.
Dr Shobha Srivastava, 81, and husband Triloki, 89, faced family disapproval when they married in India in 1955.
The couple, who now live in South Shields, met in the city of Lucknow, and fell for each other. However, several family members were left upset, with arranged marriage common in the Asian country.
Shobha said: “In those days in India, and even now, nobody liked girls and boys to meet and marry the way we did. He fell in love with me and chased me, and I fell in love with him as well.
“My family was upset for a while, but my dad was very understanding and said I knew what I was doing.
“Some of the other relatives said they would give us six months, and here we are now more than 60 years later. To marry by my own choice was a very big deal.”
Some of our relatives said they would give us six months, and here we are now more than 60 years laterDr Shobha Srivastava
Shobha came to England in 1975, but visa issues meant she could not be joined permanently by Triloki, or their three children. That led to a 10-year spell when the pair lived apart, although Triloki did make several, extended visits to the UK. As Shobha explains, their love for each other remained strong.
She added: “The secret to such a long-lasting marriage is having trust in each other, understanding how the other person is feeling, and supporting each other.
“He is a wonderful man, and even when he was in India with me over here, there was never any question of me not trusting him. When he joined me here, he gave up his work for me and became a house husband. Not many men would do that.”
Shobha worked in Manchester, London and Aldershot before moving to South Shields to become a consultant in the town’s hospital in August 1981. She was eventually joined permanently by her husband in 1985, when their children were all settled and had jobs.
The couple, who also have seven grandchildren, fell in love with the town.
Shobha said: “I decided to come to South Shields, and I don’t know why. As a Hindu, I believe in reincarnation, and I think I was here in my previous life. That’s why I have so much love for this place.”