Meet couple that fell in love, got married at mental health institute

Mahendran and Deepa, recovered patients at IMH, Chennai, India, get married.— NDTV video screengrab
Mahendran and Deepa, recovered patients at IMH, Chennai, India, get married.— NDTV video screengrab 

While marriages are often believed to be made in heaven, a unique couple in India met each other and fell in love at the 225-year-old Institute of Mental Health (IMH) in India’s Chennai.

IMH is Asia’s oldest and largest mental hospital where the two patients were destined to meet and tie the knot

Mahendran and Deepa both underwent treatment at the institute and decided to get married on the premises of the building with doctors, nurses, and other IMH staff.

Solemnised by Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma Subramanian, their wedding took place on October 28.

“This is one marriage that is on a different level, and the first such one in my life,” Subramanian was quoted as saying by NDTV. He praised the medical staff of the hospital saying that they behaved like family and reported that the ceremony was conducted in the presence of a priest and family members.

The couple received lots of gifts, among which was a surprise from the minister who appointed both of them as ward managers at IMH on a monthly salary of INR15,000 each. 

“This was their decision and we are very happy,” Dr Poorna Chandrika, the director of IMH, who called the ceremony a “family marriage”, said according to a report by the BBC.

The 42-year-old man was treated for bipolar disorder while the bride, 36, had taken help for stress after her father passed away. For Mahendran, it was a case of love at first sight when the two met in 2020. On the other hand, Deepa took her time to respond to the proposal.

“I could not reply immediately and so sought time. And when I said ‘yes’ he was excited,” Deepa said, according to NDTV.

Deepa said that her husband always wanted to work for the patients at IMH. He was serving at the hospital’s daycare centre while Deepa was working at the cafe run by IMH patients.

The two were living in the “Half Way Home”, which is the hospital’s residential campus for those who have recovered.

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