During my study tour of Britain recently, I was lucky enough to visit one of the happiest couples I have ever met, living on a farm in Northern Ireland. I was told about the couple at a visit to a nearby grammar school where, after giving a brief talk on “junk food and obesity”, I met a local journalist, Mr Bill, who wanted me to meet the happy couple and write about them in Indian newspapers on my return to India.
It was my pleasure and I was interested to meet the couple and learn the secret of their happiness, which was the talk of the area. They might have an unusual story, so my journalist friend wanted me to meet them and perhaps publicise their story in my country for the benefit of others.
Mr Bill accompanied me to their nearby large farm set in glorious green countryside with tomato crops and cows grazing freely.
We found two small children playing in the orchard with a beautiful farmhouse surrounded by apple trees. As we entered the orchard, one of the children ran into the house, calling his father. I saw a middle-aged woman of about 50 in the corner of the orchard with some goats. When she heard the car driving into the farm, she approached us with a sweet smile on her face.
“Hello Bill. How are you? And who is this Indian gentleman with you? Please come inside.”
My friend Bill introduced me briefly as a writer and a lecturer and his good friend.
And she invited us to sit on wooden chairs arranged around a wooden table, and called out,
“Scott, please come here, darling… your friend Bill is here with a new friend.”
And a young and smart gentleman of about 25 years of age came there to sit with us with the child who had called to him on our arrival.
Perhaps the young man called Scott was the father of the children, and the son of the smiling woman, I presumed.
We sat on the wooden chairs, and the middle-aged woman brought us some water in a jug. After greeting us, and curious as to why a stranger was visiting her farm,
“ Bill, how is everything and why is this Indian gentleman with you? “
They had very few visitors around without a special reason, and hardly any Indians were seen in the area. Perhaps I was the first Indian to visit their farm.
Bill introduced me to them, “ This is Dr.Kerai from India and he is a lecturer and has come to give some lectures in grammar schools of England who had come to the nearby school, and I have brought him especially to meet you people”.
The woman was pleased to hear that. She asked me some questions about life in India, and in particular farming in India, and after listening to me for a while, she excused herself. Perhaps she had gone to ask her daughter-in-law, Scott’s wife, to prepare coffee for us?
While she was out, I asked my friend about Scott’s wife, where Mr Bill laughed.
“Dr. Kerai…, you will be surprised but the middle-aged woman who has gone to prepare coffee for us is Mrs Scott, the loving mother of these two children and the equally loving wife of the young gentleman Mr. Scott you are talking with.”
And then I understood perfectly Mr Bill’s idea for me to meet the happy couple, and draw attention to their situation.
Julie, as Mrs Scott was known, had remained alone after the death of her first husband some ten years before. She met Mr Scott some eight years ago when he had come to renovate her farmhouse. The renovation continued for a long while, and in the meantime, both became very fond of each other, leading from hugging and kissing to sexual love. Even after completion of the renovation, Scott used to visit and stay the night with Julie often. He was very helpful to her in all respects.
And so they married in the nearby Church – the middle-aged land-owner thus became the wife of young Scott, who was hardly 20 at that time, and Julie about 48… They became the parents of two lovely children within three years of their marriage.
Since then, they have shared the ups and down of their married life with smiling faces and no regrets. They have never experienced any difficulties in their lives caused by the age difference. The older Julie loves her young husband with all her heart.
And the young Scott looks after and loves his wife with all his heart without ever thinking of their age difference. He is the proud husband of a wife of his mother’s age, and Julie is the proud wife of a husband of her son’s age.
The couple were soon going to celebrate ten years of their happy marriage in the nearby town inviting all their relatives, friends, well wishers, and of course, me from India. I thanked them for the cordial invitation and wished them all the best with heartily congratulations. I very much wished to attend their ceremony if I was around at that time.
I took some snaps of the couple with my friend and also with me as a good memory and to show them to my friends in India.
And I thanked the couple for giving me their time, and my journalist friend, Mr Bill, for giving me good material to write for the weekly edition of the Indian newspaper.