Love blossoms in Orissa burial ground

February 13th, 2009 - 11:13 am ICT by IANS  

Bhubaneswar, Feb 13 (IANS) Death might part people from their loved ones but this Orissa couple is an exception - their love blossomed at a burial ground. On the eve of Valentine’s Day, they can clearly recall those days over nine years ago.
“Many say people fall in love during good times but my relationship with my wife started while burning dead bodies in the burial ground in Jagatsinghpur district,” Ajay Pati, a resident of Jajpur district, told IANS.

“Post the super cyclone of 1999, hundreds of dead bodies were laying scattered in Erasama block of the district. I was there as a social activist to bury and burn dead human bodies and dead cattle.

“Sanjukta was doing the same work along with a group of her friends. The same working style and compassion for people attracted us towards each other. It may sound trivial to many but my love story is unique,” Pati said.

While Pati had helped perform the last rites of 508 corpses, his wife has buried 300 bodies.

“Our relationship definitely took shape in the graveyard but the work we did was for a greater cause. We still feel sorry for those thousands of families who lost their loved ones during the cyclone,” said the father of two.

When asked about Valentine’s Day, the 38-year-old micro-finance company worker blushed.

“I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day but I don’t complain if anyone is celebrating. For me and my wife, April 22 is Valentine’s Day. We got married on that day in 2000,” said Pati, a law graduate and a postgraduate in economics.

The deadly super cyclone of Oct 29, 1999 killed over 10,000 people and damaged houses and properties of thousands of families. Tens of thousands of cattle were killed too.

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