They may have experienced the highs and lows of marital life before, but these young-at-heart seniors did exhibit the trepidation and reservation of a kind that a romantic liaison demands.
The participants, a mixed bag of divorcees, widows, bachelors and spinsters, all of them 50 and above, some even in their 70s, were accompanied by their children and grandchildren.
Besides city-based elderly, some silvers travelled from neighbouring Karnataka, Gujarat and other parts of Maharashtra in search of their soulmates.
“Children get busy with their lives, grandchildren who grow up on granny tales get busy with careers.
This leaves the silvers with an extremely lonely life. An event like this helps them find company, which is what they crave the most at this age” says Mahendra Joshi, president, Rotary Club, Mumbai North West.
No mushy music playing in the background, no candlelight dinner and an ambience that’s anything but romantic.
However, for more than 500 silvers, who attended a matchmaking event on Sunday, which was more like a speed date, none of this mattered.
These lonely seniors were driven to the venue more in search of companionship than anything else.
The daylong event at Malad, Senior Citizens Parichay Mela, organised by the Rotary Club of Northwest Mumbai in association with an Ahmedabad-based organisation, aimed at introducing an assorted group of senior citizens to the idea of companionship and marriage.
To elicit more participation from women, Shah says the orgnaisation provides for their travelling and even gives them token gifts. We have held silver matchmaking events in Bangalore, Surat, Baroda, Kota and Ahmedabad in the past,” says Shah, a former government official from Gujarat, who started the organisation in 2002 after the Kutch earthquake, for the benefit of those silvers who lost their life partners in the tragic calamity.
Joshi admits that the idea of holding a silver match making event did face hiccups. For the silvers it’s not much about physical attraction.
They just need someone to talk to, to share their feelings with. So all participants were given number coupons and were asked to briefly introduce themselves.