Saturday, February 6, 2010

so much for a marriage!

On 3 February 2010, police arrested a 23 year old youth at Thakurli railway station, Mumbai, for allegedly abducting and killing a 13 tear old boy. It was reported that the accused abducted the boy and demanded a ransom amount that he planned to spend for his marriage.

One life was ended and another was ruined along with that of many amongst the relatives of these two individuals. And that too, to have a lavish marriage! Was it so necessary to have that marriage so lavishly when ample money was not available?

This reminds me of another story that happened few years ago. My neighbor was a 24 year old rickshaw-puller. The only other member of his family was his mother. She was working in a coal factory. I came to know that Sanyasi, the rickshaw-puller, had been saving money since last seven to eight years for his marriage. His mother had also been doing the same for the marriage.

I still remember the day when Sanyasi got married about seven years ago. He did not look like a poor rickshaw-puller from any angle. On the contrary, being dressed in a well-fitting suit, he looked so handsome that even the best looking people in the locality envied him. On the same day, another middle-class businessman also got married. But, Sanyasi was praised by everyone for providing a spectacular dinner to the guests. The businessman failed to earn compliments.

The next day of the marriage, I heard Sudashna, Sanyasi’s mother, talking to my mother. She said that they had spent everything they had for the marriage. They had also spent the amount that they received as dowry.They had also taken some loan for the marriage, for which they would take five more years to pay back.

After the bride-groom’s proud mother left, I asked my mother whether their house was a rented one or they owned it. She said that it was a rented one. I was sure that with all that money they spent in that marriage, they could buy a bigger house than they were living in. In addition, if the marriage had been a little less lavish, the tension of paying back a loan for five more years would not have remained. They could concentrate fully on nurturing the children and creating a base for their future.

Now, Sanyasi has two sons and one daughter. He is living in the same rented house struggling to provide a manageable education to his children. His current monthly income is equal to the amount that he had spent for crackers that were fired during the wedding procession.

Truly, how much a lavish marriage costs to poor people!

1 comment:

ShaK said...

I think a lot of this has to do with the bizarre fixation people - regardless of their economic status - have with the concept of "you marry only once in life". This is most prominent in all sects of the middle class. Hence, folks, like Sanyasi here, go to great lengths to make that one wish come true whilst ignoring the consequences of something as volatile as money spent. As I have always maintained, it never matters how or where you get married as long as you know you married for the right reasons. Something, as is evident here, that got completely lost in the sham shindig called "The Great Indian Wedding".

Thought provoking piece, this,