Celebrating the Golden Years of Joseph and Angeline D’Souza as they prepare to usher in their 58th year of married life. By Oriana D’Souza.
By Oriana D’Souza | Opening Doorz Editorial | May 22, 2020
“Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)
Golden Years: Celebrating Joseph and Angeline D’Souza
Looking back on the life my Grandparents have spent together, these scriptures come to mind. Spending 56 years together as Husband and Wife is not an easy feat but Joseph (89) and Angeline D’Souza (75) have experienced first-hand this scripture come alive in their lives… in their ups and downs. Through it all they have sailed and continue to sail.
Interviewing my grandparents for Opening Doorz was an eye-opener for me. I knew them, but after I prodded them to understand the meaning of true love, of weathering the storms of life, of sticking together, I understood them even better. They have have shown me that in the end, love is all that matters. After reading about their love story, Roxette would want to rewrite their lyrics… “It must have been love… but it’s only love now!” As they prepare to usher in the 58th year of Holy Matrimony on June 16, 2020, they allow me into their life, their source of strength and also throw light on what it takes to be truly married.
In the beginning was Joseph, a 14-year-old in 1947…
The turning point in Joseph’s life is the founding of his company Osworld Scientific Equipment Pvt. Ltd. But to get there he had to first go through the grind. Joseph’s story, like many at the time, was one that started with migrating to Bombay from Kaudoor, a village in Kaikamba (Mangalore) in 1947. He came in search of work. He was just 14 years old!
With determination in his heart, through the loneliness, he worked odd jobs before finally starting out on his own. A few years after working with others, he started trading in glassware and chemicals for pharmaceutical companies. This venture is what led him to his soon-to-be wife Angeline. She had just moved to Bombay along with her family and was residing in a house in Kondivita, Andheri. It was sometime in 1962. Ironically and much to his luck her house was bang opposite what would in time be one of his first factories, marking their meeting as predestined.
Joseph weds Angeline: June 16, 1963
When asked about who approached whom with a proposal for marriage, Joseph looks perplexed. He explains that he discussed it with her father. Nothing like the modern, ‘bent down on one knee’ proposal with doves flying at the sound of an orchestra in the background. Angeline recollects her first impression of him as being futuristic, and instinctively knew he was capable of taking good care of her and her family.
She recollects that his mother had come to Bombay to meet her before the marriage. What is noteworthy was her ability to agree to marriage despite the uncertainty of future funds. At that point in time, Joseph had just begun starting out a venture on his own. After marriage, she recalls, he would paint her a prosperous future, a future, now realised! As she speaks, reminiscing about those tough days and the faith she had in him, Joseph smiles his trademark broad smile.
Full house, then a fuller house…
After marriage the two moved to Mahim into a house of their own. Then followed the kids, four in all! “Although our house was small, there was never a dull day,” recalls Angeline. They eventually fell into a routine—while she stayed home teaching and taking care of their four children (Oswald, Olivia, Osbert and Oswin), Joseph worked tirelessly to make ends meet. What was most trying for them initially was Joseph’s goal of starting a business, which meant uncertainty and periods of low income. But Joseph, like the Biblical one, was a dreamer and he set out unperturbed, knowing well that the Lord was in control. Along with his oldest son Oswald, he began to manufacture his own pharmaceutical equipment.
Angeline recalls of the early days with her fours kids as being very fulfilling. She speaks of how even though they lived in a small house her children played to the fullest unlike most of the current generation who are stuck with their smart devices to the palm of their hands! Yes, there were tough days as a business meant no constant flow of income. Joseph says that when he would come home from work, he would watch his children playing from afar and that is how he dealt with his stress. Watching his children play made him the happiest.
The gradual rise in fortunes
In 1986, when the business began growing, they moved to an apartment on the third floor in Sher-e-Punjab, Andheri. Upon moving, Angeline joined the local gymkhana and went on to spend more than three years working as a manager. She was recognised for her social work by the then MP, late Mr. Sunil Dutt and then MLA, Mr. Suresh Shetty. As the business grew, Joseph went on to win a Lifetime Achievement Award for Pharmaceutical Leadership (2010) at the hands of the then Governor of Maharashtra, Mr. K Sankaranarayanan. That also marked a time of great growth for his company, with the inclusion of both his youngest sons, Oswin and Osbert, as the company went on to export equipment overseas. In time, they welcomed their daughters-in-law and a son-in-law along with five naughty but adorable grandchildren who lived with them for eight long years.
Happily ever after
Fifty-six years of marriage and their memory of those early days is still as fresh as though lived just yesterday. They have embraced every experience, choosing to focus on the good and not the bad, being thankful for everything they had and also being proud of the success of their children. Oswald pursued a career in Corporate Law and is currently the Group Legal Head at L&T Hydrocarbon Engineering Ltd; Olivia, their daughter, is currently the Principal of the Stephen High School for the Deaf and Aphasic, a school for Children With Special Needs, while Osbert and Oswin continue to make Osworld Scientific Equipments Pvt. Ltd., successful globally.
Footnote: When asked on what advise they would have for those who are planning to get married, on what it means to be in love and committed, Angeline says those looking to get married must learn how to understand each other. They should be willing to cooperate with each other because both always do not agree but they should see the good in the decision, whoever has made it, and be open and willing to sacrifice one’s needs for the good of the family.
Joseph on the other hand, still talks business. “They should start a business,” he laughs!