(Assam): If their respective ages were to be added up,
they'll date back to India's first war of independence in 1857.
So, when 120-year-old Hazi Abdul Noor tied the knot with
60-year-old Samoi Bibi, the 500 guests at the wedding ceremony
were bound to be left gaping.
A former contractor, Noor of Assam's Satghori village Sunday
married Bibi, a resident of North Foolbari village in adjoining
Over 500 guests, including religious heads, gathered at the sleepy
Satghori village in Karimganj district, around 400 km from Assam's
main city of Guwahati, to witness the rare marriage ceremony.
"Homemade sweets were passed around when Maulana Khairuzzaman, a
senior Madrasa teacher, asked for a 'Kubool' (agreeing to marry)
and a smiling Noor replied in confirmatory by nodding his head,"
said Saiful Ahmed, a local government school teacher who was one
of the guests at the ceremony.
"Noor might very well be the oldest person to get married in this
part of India as far as my memory goes," Ahmed told IANS.
Displaying his documents, Noor said: "My age in the electoral list
of the election commission is 116 years, but I am 120."
In fact, this is not his first marriage.
Salima Khatun, Noor's first wife, died in 2005. "I married Salima
when I was 40," he said.
Today, he heads a family of 122 members, including two sons, three
daughters and numerous grandchildren, most of whom are married.
Noor's eldest daughter is 79.
The centenarian used to work as a contractor in southern Assam
during the British regime. He met with a deadly accident in his
50s, the pain of which he still carries in his back.
"Soon after my mother's death, my father asked us to find him
another wife who would look after him as he needs full-time
support," said Noor's eldest son Hazi Azir Uddin, a retired
"With the help of one Abdul Hamid of Tripura, we found a new
mother, though she's half his age. She was married once. Long back
her husband died and she has no children," the son said.
Hamid, the match-maker and also a relative of Noor, has
interesting stories of his own to tell.
"So far, I have arranged 14 such marriages in which the ages of
all the 28 brides and bridegrooms were 60 or above. The first such
marriage was in 1984 in northern Tripura in which the ages of the
brides and bridegrooms were 65 and 90," he claimed.
"For arranging such marriages, I've never sought any money or any
favour. This way, I acquire happiness," said Hamid, who works at a
government office in Tripura.
(Sujit Chakraborty can be contacted at email@example.com)