However, now they have been forced to legalise their relationship after a bureaucrat from their area refused to give a caste certificate to their grandchild, says a News Minute report.
The couple met for the first time Kottayam district in 1973, when he was 19 and she was 18. Her family was against their marriage, so a year later, the couple eloped and started living together. There were financial troubles and social hurdles, but the couple fought them all together. Holding strong views against the institution of marriage, they lived together without any legal approval for forty years.
On 7 November 2014, the couple decided to legalise their relationship so that their grandchildren don't suffer. The News Minute report quotes Kunjukunju, "It was our ideology to live like this, but it should not affect our children's future, society won't allow us to live in the way we want". The couple's grandchild was denied a caste certificate for there were no legal papers to prove his parentage.
The couple decided to give up their fight against societal norms after they realised their rebellion was making life tough for their children. "If there is no legal marriage certificate, my wife and children might lose the right over my property after my death", Kunjukunju fears, says the News Minute report.
Kerala Sambavar Society, the community the couple belong to, hosted the wedding in a grand style. Interestingly, most of the community members didn't know that the couple weren't married till then.