Choosing heart over mind

Able-bodied man sets an example by marrying a para-powerlifter

Choosing heart over mind

Manpreet Kaur with her husband. A Tribune Photo

Ajay Joshi

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 10

‘Manpreet weds Manpreet’ engraved on the wedding invitation cards of Manpreet Kaur (32), has given the bride an ever-lasting memory. While she is an international-level para-powerlifter, her husband, Manpreet Kumar (30), is a mechanic in Bahrain. Her dedication and hard work to excel in her game made Kumar fall head over heels, compelling him to know more about her.

Contrary to the conventional choice of partners, the groom not only made a difference in society but also in his family after he decided to tie the nuptial knot with Kaur. He now stands next to his wife, with all his support to make her dreams come true.

Crippled due to polio, Manpreet’s journey as a para-powerlifter seems nothing short of a fairytale. While she has already represented the country in several international championships, within 20 days of her marriage she moved to her practice ground at the Sports Authority of India, Gujarat, to clear the two remaining qualifying rounds for the Tokyo Olympics. She competes in the 41-kg division.

Everyone asked me to think twice before making this decision. After watching her videos on social media, I was determined to approach her for marriage. Despite having disabilities, her hard working and vibrant nature attracted me more towards her. It's even harder to believe that with the incapacity she not only completed her education but also became an international player. It took me a year to persuade my mother and other family members, before they gave their nod. —Manpreet Kumar, Manpreet Kaur's husband, who is a mechanic in bahrain

“My family had been looking for my suitable match for last four years but only rejections came my way. While I was ready to marry a physically-disabled man, my dependency on a wheelchair was accepted nowhere. Surprisingly, when I had come to home from Gujarat around three months ago, my friend told me that there is a man who wants to talk to me for marriage. Considering him an able-bodied man, I initially didn’t pay much attention. However, later I got to know that he was serious and wanted to marry me,” she blushes. Thereafter, the heavens hitched them together on December 12, after he convinced and proposed her for the wedding in the month of November.

A resident of Dhadday village in Phagwara, she was a distant relative of Kumar, who’s a native of Randhawa village in Gorayan. She met him around seven years ago at a common family function and the thought of marrying had never occurred to her.

From going against his family’s wishes of not letting their elder son marry a physically-challenged woman, Kumar said, everyone asked me to think twice before making this decision. “After watching her videos on social media, I was determined to approach her for marriage. Despite having disabilities, her hard working and vibrant nature attracted me more towards her. It’s even harder to believe that with the incapacity she not only completed her education but also became an international player. It took me a year to persuade my mother and other family members, before they gave their nod,” added Kumar.

Kaur’s brother, Daljit Kumar, double-checked before marrying his sister off. Now, he, his uncle, Sohan Lal and aunt Parveen Bala are happy that she is happily married. The couple has been receiving appreciation from the well-wishers at their villages.

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