London:  Hitting the headlines after celebrating their 86th marriage anniversary on Saturday, an Indian-origin couple who married in Punjab in 1925 and moved to Britain in 1965, became the longest married couple in UK.
   
Karam Chand is 106 years old and his wife Kartari is 99.    Living in Bradford, Yorkshire, the couple has eight children, 27 grandchildren and 23 great grandchildren.
   
Britons who turn 100 receive a congratulatory message from Queen Elizabeth, and Kartari is looking forward to receiving it next year.
   
Karam Chand was born in Punjab in 1912, and was married to Kartari in 1925.
   
Karam Chand enjoys a daily cigarette and whisky, but advises moderation: "Eat and drink what you want, but in moderation. I have never held back from enjoying my life."
   
Kartari said, "We have always eaten good wholesome food, there's nothing artificial in our diet but things like ghee (clarified butter), milk and fresh yogurt are what we like.
   
We know that being married for 86 years is a blessing, but equally we will be ready to go when it's time, it's all up to the will of God, but we really have lived a good life."
   
The couple lives with their youngest son, Satpal, his wife and two of their four children.
   
Satpal said, "We really feel blessed that our parents are still here with us and every day is a bonus. I think that keeping the minds of older people active is the key to them staying alert and healthy".
   
He added, "If you have been given the privilege to look after your parents you must involve them fully in family life and never get angry with them, keep them happy and they will then look forward to getting up the next morning."
   
Kartari said that she and her husband enjoyed doing many things, such as eating meals together and going to the temple, but old age affected some activities.
   
She said, "My eldest son died and that was hard for us because you don't expect to outlive your own children. We have seen many other close family members depart and that's something we just have to live with."
   
Karam Chand is now unable to walk any distance without assistance, but Kartari remains active and still has her own teeth.
   
She said, "When you get so old your eyesight and hearing starts to get weaker and you ache more when moving about. But considering our age and the hard work we have undertaken during our lives, we're not doing so bad."

(Agencies)