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After 40 Years, Love Finds a Way

November 07, 1986|ANN HEROLD

When politics kept Wazifullah Khan from marrying his beloved, he had no intention of breaking off the engagement. "He who tries to forget a woman has never loved her," Wazifullah Khan told the Hindustan Times as he made plans to join his betrothed after a 40-year separation. Visa in hand, the 70-year-old shoemaker will soon leave India for Pakistan and his 55-year-old fiancee, Khurshida. The couple, both Muslims, were engaged in 1946, a year before the British divided the subcontinent into the two countries, also effectively separating the couple. Khurshida's mother refused to allow her daughter to emigrate from Pakistan to India, where Wazifullah Khan had set up a shoe business in Bombay. Wazifullah Khan, who was born in what is now northern Pakistan, was unable to relocate his business to Pakistan. The couple, who exchanged many letters over the years, apparently found it easier to remember than to forget.

--A great-nephew of the late Sir Winston Churchill was fined the equivalent of $3,000 and given a two-year suspended jail sentence after pleading guilty to cocaine possession. The Marquess of Blandford, 30, heir to a fortune estimated at nearly $100 million, has been undergoing treatment at a private clinic for cocaine addiction. The marquess, who will inherit the 11,500-acre Blenheim Palace west of London, reportedly spent $450 a day on his cocaine habit. A friend interviewed by one newspaper said Blandford's need for cash led the marquess to steal silver and antiques from the family estate and to pilfer the bedrooms of guests, prompting his father to ban him from the palace.

--Human rights activist Anatoly Shcharansky has become the father of a baby girl, 10 months after his release from the Soviet Union. Avital Shcharansky gave birth to the infant at Jerusalem's Misgav Ladach Hospital the day before her 36th birthday and the day of her mother-in-law's birthday. The baby, who has not been named, weighed 5.5 pounds and is the first girl in the Shcharansky family in at least three generations. "My mother and wife dreamed to have a daughter and a granddaughter," Shcharansky said. "Today at least, on the 78th birthday of my mother, she got her present."

--A black granite tombstone honoring Sharon Christa McAuliffe as "wife, mother, teacher and pioneer woman" was placed on the grave of the shuttle crew member killed in the explosion of the Challenger on Jan. 28. The marker, 7 feet long and 3 feet high, was set in place at the Concord, N.H., site along with a wreath of red, white and blue flowers from President Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan.

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