Chitra | Aged 74
Lewisham | November 2015

Originally from Trinidad, Chitra was raised in the Hindu faith and, aged 18, was expected to accept her family’s proposed suitor and begin an arranged marriage. Various young men were suggested, one in particular who was to train as a doctor but, when Chitra was informed she would have to give up her own career dreams, she refused to see any more potential husbands. Headstrong in her determination to be independent, she moved in 1963, unmarried, to Clapham London to pursue her teacher training qualifications.

At the age of 29, and content in her blossoming career, Chitra was finally well and truly bowled over by the “good looking fella” she met on a London bound train. Back then it wasn’t a simple matter of exchanging mobile numbers and their early courtship is a list of forgotten meeting places, as well as a wrongly addressed postcard that could well have ended their romance before it began. Chitra had all but given up when they did finally manage to get together; Ron turned up unannounced at Peckham Girls School, where Chitra was working. Having to be on his best behaviour whilst waiting for her in the staff room, his arrival set a few tongues wagging! The rest is, as they say, history.

After a short romance of just three months, Chitra and Ron were married, enjoying two separate ceremonies on two separate days, one Hindu and one civil in Wandsworth Town Hall, giving Ron the problem of having two wedding anniversaries to remember! They were together for 15 years before Ron passed away aged 58, Chitra was only 45. Losing love at a young age, and after she’d waited so long to find it, Chitra felt angry and says she used to quarrel with God. Although she doesn’t keep any photographs of Ron on display, she remembers exactly what he looked like and can clearly recall the butterflies and jitters she experienced during their wondrous years together. Now at peace, Chitra laughs whenever she thinks about the years she had with Ron.

To find out more about Chitra and hear her advice about love and careers watch the video below: