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90 wives, still not happy

Sunday 9 May 2004

BHUBANESWAR: A 80-year-old man in Orissa has claimed he has been married 90 times and is still flooded with proposals from more women.

Udayanath Dakhina Ray, who lives in Orali village in Keonjhar district, says he first married Sibapriya Dakhina Ray, a teacher from the neighbouring district of Dhenkanal, when he was a young man.

Udaya wanted to stay with his wife at his home village after the marriage but his wife refused. She said she wanted Udaya to stay with her in Dhnekanal where she was working but he refused.

Within 15 days of the marriage, Sibapriya deserted Udaya.

This made Udaya angry and he made a vow to marry at least 100 women to prove that he had no shortage of wives. Since then, he has married 90 women, said Udaya, who was born on April 29, 1924.

"I married because polygamy was allowed in our caste and nobody had any objections," he was quoted as saying by a local newspaper.

"At present I have eight marriage proposals — three from the US, three from Japan and two from Germany. The unmarried ladies want to marry me to help me to complete 100 marriages but I am not interested," he said.

Udaya works as an ayurvedic healer and also as a mechanic. With a stick in his hand, he rides to neighbouring villages on a bicycle. He treats patients with ayurvedic medicines made of roots and leaves.

His last wife was Kuni Dakhina Ray, a resident of Nayagarh district. He has two sons and one daughter from her. He is now staying with Kuni and the children, the paper reported.

Although Uday did not remember the whereabouts of his other wives, residents of Orali claimed one of his wives lives in the same village. Her name is Basanitilata Dakhina Ray and she has two sons and two daughters. Besides, another of Udaya’s wives lives in Apanda village in Bhadrak district.

However, Udaya admitted that having more then one wife had brought financial, social and mental problems for him.

Living in a simple house made of straw, Udaya likes reading and has hundreds of books on subjects ranging from law, marriage and ancient medicinal systems.

See online : The Times of India


in The Times of India, Sunday, May 9, 2004.

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