For the last seven days Pabitra Nandi has been micro-managing every detail of their wedding, exactly how he did five decades ago.
From finalising the menu to ordering the garland for the bride, everything reminded him of the days when she had decided to marry him — against her family's wish.
But this time, the 83-year-old was marrying his wife of 55 years to jog her failed memory about the long journey the couple had taken together.
Gita Nandi, 81, however, barely murmured a few words as the couple exchanged garlands at their Rabindra Nagar residence at Dum Dum, Kolkata.
Alzheimer has slowly wiped off her memory over the last seven years. "As a practising doctor, she could remember details of her patients even six months after seeing them. But when the disease struck her, she could not even recognise our relatives," said Nandi.
It had been a busy life for the Dum Dum couple till she was diagnosed with the early stage of Alzheimer's disease seven years back, says a Times of India report.
Nandi, a Botany professor, remained busy with his students and Gita was involved in social service. After she retired from B R Singh Hospital, Gita joined politics.
"One day, she complained that she was forgetting things. I thought it was quite normal with ageing. But it started getting worse and I suspected it was something else," Nandi said. Over the next few years, she gradually lost every memory she had.
"We fell in love against her parents' wishes," he recounted.
The duo married at Nandi's ancestral house in Dum Dum with only Gita's cousin present at the event. Gita continued to study medicine and became a doctor three years later.
After she was diagnosed, doctors had advised Nandi to take his wife to their ancestral place in Bangladesh. But that did not help her. Then the doctor suggested him to enact their wedding and see if it aids her memory.
The childless couple have used all of their savings to set up a charitable trust that funds needy students. They have even vacated the first floor of their two-storey house for the trust.
"Fear grips me at times. Both of us have grown old. What happens if I am unable to take care of her? But when I see the hint of a smile in her eyes, I forget every fear," said the octogenarian groom, with an arm around his bride.
© 2017 - All Rights with The Financial Express