“True love deepens over time. When you are together for ages and still miss the other person, I think that is love,” says Rani Sarma

‘It is impossible to love and be wise’ – Sir Francis Bacon. More than falling in love, it is staying in love that is important. You will find mature couples invariably agree that sustaining a relationship is far more difficult than getting into one. And that the mantra lies in agreeing to disagree.

Over the years, the definition of love has taken a new dimension. But, for couples who have been together for decades, the story is entirely different. They share simple elements that continue to bind them for years.

It was 33 years ago, when this cheerful couple met for the first time in the traditional arranged marriage system and agreed to spend the rest of their lives together. G.S.N. Raju, Andhra University Vice-Chancellor and his wife Kanaka Durga say that they enjoy each other’s companionship as much as they used to three decades ago. “She is absolutely undemanding, adaptable and committed. And when she listens to every word of mine, I am left with no other option than feel protective of her. And yes, she is a wonderful cook,” says the V-C, flashing a smile.

The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. This was true in Ms. Kanaka Durga’s case as she says that Prof. Raju is a food-lover and gets annoyed when the curry turns out to be a disaster. Guess what the V-C uses as the whip? “He maintains silence which becomes unbearable,” confides Ms. Kanaka Durga. Both of them say that it is the respect for each other’s preferences and profound understanding that tie them together.

Coming from different educational background, another romantic couple E.A.S. Sarma, former Union Energy Secretary and Rani Sarma, a writer and environmentalist, say they are quick at reconciling their differences by communicating.

‘Sharing is important’

According to them, the secret of togetherness lies in learning to share and nurturing common interest. “It has been 47 years since we got married. Difference of opinion in any relation is a healthy sign. Apparently, it is important to agree to disagree with your spouse because it clears the air and gets you back on the track,” feels Mr. Sarma.

“True love deepens over time. When you are together for ages and still miss the other person, I think that is love. Space plays a role for a relationship to last,” adds Rani Sarma.

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