(photo of kadalandippuzha river near Panakkad. by Jaihoon)
Couple seeks blessings of Panakkad family
MALAPPURAM: An aurally and speech challenged couple, who married recently after three years of online chat — the groom hailing from Nilambur and the bride from China — visited Panakkad, the home of the Shihab family, near here, on Tuesday.
Yi Yan Yun, the Chinese bride, stood in awe as the women and children of the Shihab family overwhelmed her with goodwill and gifts.
Mohammed Jasim, her husband, explained to her the glory of the Panakkad family as Syed Hyder Ali Shihab, the current head of the family and State president of the Indian Union Muslim League, presented them with a souvenir.
The couple reached Panakkad around 2 p.m. and were first received by Syed Basheer Ali and Syed Munawwar Ali, the sons of Syed Mohammed Ali Shihab, the Muslim League leader who died in August last year.
After interacting with the family in sign language and with the help of an interpreter, the couple moved to the house of Sayed Hyder Ali Shihab.
“I like your Beevi very much,” Ms. Yun told Mr. Hyder Ali.
She and Jasim were elated as women and children of Panakkad gathered around them.
There were no barriers whatsoever to communicate.
After seeking the blessings of the Shihabs, the couple left for Delhi.
They are to fly to China after two days from there.
The chat that bloomed into an India-China love story
Mon, Apr 19 2010
One is from Shaoguan in China, the other from Nilambur in Malappuram district, Kerala. Neither of them can speak or hear. But they did not let this or the geographical distance come in the way of their relationship, which blossomed in the privacy of the cyber world over the last three years. On Saturday, Muhammed Jasim, 26, and Yi Yan Yun, 34, got married.
They met in an internet chat room. While Yun is the president of the Handicapped Union, Guangdong, and a member of the Deaf Persons’ Association there, Jasim is the president of the Deaf and Dumb Association in Nilambur taluk.
“At video conferencing sessions, Yun and Jasim exchanged pictures of the sign languages of both countries, and thus developed proficiency in an alien language,” says Devasery Mujeeb, patron of the Deaf and Dumb Association of Nilambur.
Jasim spent long hours at the local internet café. “He would turn up at the café at the hour of opening and stay on till late night. Sometimes, the café owner would forcibly send Jasim home as the chatting went on beyond the shop hours,” recalls Mujeeb.
When Yun came to know about this, she sent Jasim money to purchase a computer and the rest of the equipment so that they could video conference without any interruptions.
The daily exchange went on for about three years. Till March 19, when Jasim failed to turn up for video conferencing for several days. An anxious Yun contacted some mutual friends from the Deaf and Dumb Association in Nilambur. She learnt that Jasim had met with a minor accident and was in hospital.
On April 5, Yun landed at the Kozhikode airport. She went directly to the hospital where Jasim was under treatment. His family was given the impression that Yun was a friend, and that she was married and the mother of a child. When Jasim was discharged, Yun accompanied him to Nilambur, where she checked into a local hotel.
When Yun asked Jasim to meet her at the hotel, his family objected. According to his relatives, Yun then threatened to commit suicide. It was only then that the couple told his family about their three-year-old relationship.
Yun also informed her family back in China. The two families then sat down for some video conferencing, with the help of interpreters on both sides.
“We saw her family weeping on hearing the news,” says Mujeeb.
“Initially I was sad about this relationship. But if both of them are close and have developed a strong relationship, I would be happy to see them together for life. We treasure our son’s happiness above all,” says Jasim’s mother Amina. Jasim is the eldest of the four children of Amina and Shoukath Ali.
The nikah was held on Saturday. “We have asked Jasim to invite all his friends for the party on Monday. Yun has promised a job for Jasim in her association’s office,” says Amina.
Family sources said Yun embraced Islam before the nikah, held with the support of the local masjid committee. “Since both the families agreed to the marriage, we didn’t want to delay the nikah even for a day. Hence, it was hurriedly held on Saturday, instead of the earlier plan to hold it on Monday,” sources said.
Earlier, Yun’s family faxed their willingness for a nikah via the Chinese embassy. While under the Special Marriages Act, an application has to be filed a month in advance, the two decided to go ahead as Yun’s tourist visa expires on April 29. She was determined not to return home without Jasim.
They have the option of getting a marriage certificate from the local panchayat, which can issue the same since the nikah was held with the consent of the masjid committee.
While efforts are now on to get her visa extended as well as procure a Chinese visa for Jasim at the earliest, the police have informed the family that they would have to arrest Yun if she overstayed. Several members of the Deaf and Dumb Association have warned that they would thwart any move to do so.