COVID snatches away his friend but he gives new meaning for their 13-year-old friendship
Chamarajanagar: At a time when many cordial family relationships have broken due to COVID and its aftermath and at a time when many couples have parted ways unable to bear the post-pandemic trauma of living in a relationship that no longer values dignity and mutual trust, here is a man who married a woman, his best friend’s wife, who was finding it difficult to come to terms with her husband’s death.
The woman, 30-year-old Ambika from Hanur village near Chamarajanagar, with a seven-year-old child, lost her husband Chetan Kumar (41), a resident of Mullur of Kollegal taluk. They got married eight years ago and were settled in Bengaluru where Chetan Kumar was working at a private factory.
The family led a cordial life until COVID second wave struck and Chetan Kumar contracted the virus. He was admitted to a private hospital in Bengaluru and after a battle between life and death for 15 days, he breathed his last. Ambika lost all hopes in life and as Chetan was the sole bread-winner of the family, she had no means to make ends meet.
Seeing her plight, Chetan Kumar’s friends decided to support the family and this too came as a noble gesture as normally friends and relatives do not come to anyone’s rescue when in crisis. The friends pooled in money to support the family financially.
Deciding to stand by the mother and son, 36-year-old M. Lokesh, a resident of Nanjadevanapura in Chamarajanagar — who was close to Chetan Kumar — offered to marry Ambika. However, Ambika refused as she was yet to come to terms with her loss. She went into depression too.
Lokesh, however, pursued the matter and took the issue to Chetan Kumar’s parents and also convinced Ambika’s parents and his elders. The families readily agreed so that Ambika and her little son can lead a good life, with Lokesh’s support. Though the families had agreed, Ambika refused and only after months of counselling and advice, she agreed to tie the knot with Lokesh.
The marriage was solemnised on Jan. 27 in Bengaluru at the Sarpabhushana Shivayogi Mutt premises on K.G. Road. Mutt Seer Sri Mallikarjuna Swamiji expressed happiness over the wedding and said Lokesh’s intentions were a model to the society. The marriage took place in the presence of Mallikarjuna Devaru, Siddalinga Swamiji of Hamsabhavi Mutt and other religious heads. Lokesh said that he and Chetan Kumar were friends for over 13 years. “I felt terrible after losing Chetan to COVID and wanted to be a support to his family. I first confided with friends and later with the families. Now all have blessed us,” he said.
A visibly happy Ambika’s 7-year-old son too was a witness to his mother’s new life.