In the '80s, on completion of my two year training- cum- probation, I received posting orders to a remote tribal area like most of the fresh recruits to various services. No political connections to fall back upon, there was no option but to join. I joined and completed my tenure of close to three years. The public by and large liked me and appreciated my forthright manner of working and I must say I had a nice time doing my job and interacting with people.It was dinned into my ears a number of times that people were face to face with a young Revenue Officer after some fifteen years or so when one of my grand seniors happened to be the incumbant.This fact also amused me as somewhat flattering and morale boosting.
More than a year into my span of service, once I made a routine monthly field visit to do mutation work and some other inspection work.Times were such that apart from the official work , people came to seek solution to their personal problems.I was face to face with a young couple, the husband complaining that the wife was not living with him.I knew that the matter was not such I could do anything about, still I felt duty-bound to at least listen to both sides.When the wife's turn came, I asked her the reason for not cohabiting.
My query was answered with a query in Hindi 'Why should I and how can I live with him , a budda !' , meaning an old man !' When I asked her how old she said - thirty years.This irony awaited me as being on the wrong side of thirty myself, and feeling somewhere between taken aback and crestfallen, all I could afford was a wry smile.
Later I came to know that same age marriages was the norm there as against the desirable optimum difference in age at other places.
Even today, I am amused when I recall the incident.