Ever since I attended the wedding of this awesome couple Divya and Sandeep a year ago, I have been thinking to write about it. There have been a hundred weddings that I have attended all my life or maybe more, but this was different. This was something that only existed in my imaginations before. So, what was so special about this wedding? Read on.
I met Divya through a mutual friend during a trip to Pondicherry. A smart, ambitious, well-organized, straight forward, beautiful and a fun-loving Christian girl (There is a reason why I mentioned the faith here). When she decided to get married about a year ago, she asked me to be her bride’s maid and I quickly agreed as we had now become good friends and being a bride’s maid was on my bucket list for a long time. She was marrying her boyfriend of eleven years. A Hindu.
At a time when interfaith marriages are still a taboo in India, both the families had agreed upon hosting the wedding in three parts. A church wedding for the Christian family, a temple wedding for the Hindu family and a common reception party for both the families and friends.
On the day of the wedding we were asked to be at the bride’s place at around 7 am. Have you ever visited a bride’s home on the wedding day? Can you imagine the chaos? The paranoid parents running around in confusion, the house packed with relatives each insisting on their own ways, the frustrated bride being forced to dress-up in a certain way or perform certain rituals against her will, and all the rest. But to my utter surprise, when I reached the place in the morning, I could hardly believe my eyes. The bride had just woken up and was loitering around in her pajamas with a layer of face pack on her already pretty face. The house was quite with everyone doing their own things. Just a normal day! (Wow! I thought to myself).
Later, we all got dressed in pretty gowns and reached the church for the wedding ceremony. Divya looked her best in her white wedding gown and Sandeep in his black and white outfit as they read out their wedding vows. Even though I didn’t quite enjoy the speech by the priest who passed his rather irrational judgment on the topic of homosexuality, the rest of it went on smoothly.
After the wedding, we headed back to the bride’s place only to find everything normal again. Later that afternoon, we decided to have a photoshoot on the streets of Bangalore. Can you imagine a newly wedded couple with a bunch of friends, wandering on the streets taking pictures, laughing their hearts out sipping tea at a street side tea stall and doing crazy things while still in their wedding clothes? No right? But we did all that till late in the evening until we realized we all had to get back to our homes. There was absolutely no interference; they were individuals who had the freedom to decide for themselves. Isn’t that what we all crave for?
Now, that brings me to the point why I thought of writing this post. I believe that life is really simple, but we often complicate it because of our ego and fears. We want our religion to thrive, dominating gives us power while feeding our ego and we fear rejection form society, fear bringing bad name to our family and this supersedes all else, even the happiness of our loved ones.
This is not just the case in interfaith weddings, it also happens otherwise where the couples are forced to compromise on their dreams in the name of traditions and culture. We spend the money that we don’t possess on extravagant weddings to impress people that don’t matter only to end up regretting later. There have been instances of people losing their lives unable to withstand the pressure or repay the debt.
Religions, rituals and customs were made by us for our convenience and maybe they had some significance in the past. But isn’t it wise to do away with the one’s that no longer make sense or hinder our personal growth and freedom? I often hear people say “Oh! She/he’s from a different religion/ cast, we don’t think we can adjust”. People are so comfortable with their own practices and customs that it is almost impossible to convince them to allow someone different to practice his/her faith in their home.
But think about it, isn’t it really an intimate thing that someone different comes into your family and you have an entire lifetime to teach and learn each other’s ways and bond over your differences? Interfaith marriages don’t last they say but so does your life! But we still live and dream and hope, don’t we? Nothing comes with a guarantee card attached to it and how sensible is it to live a superficial life only because you fear failure?
If I were to have a wedding it would be a ritual-free wedding with few close relatives and friends bonding over a meal, getting to know each-others ways, sharing stories and with a man who is free from all the societal/ religious bondage, who thinks independently and is not afraid to standby what’s right and not by the rules. All this might seems too dreamy or unrealistic but I believe it can be possible and all it requires is a little change in perspective, a little open-mindedness, a little tolerance, a little less hatred and a lot more love. But if it’s going to make life a lot easier and world a better place, isn’t it worth the effort?
With a hope to have initiated a thought in your minds, I am leaving you all with a question. Do let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Wishing Divya and Sandeep a very happy anniversary and others a fulfilling life ahead.