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Dia Mirza broke some barriers at her recent wedding, having a woman priest officiate, and her groom's daughters from an earlier marriage walk her to the dias.
Dia Mirza broke some barriers at her recent wedding, having a woman priest officiate, and her groom’s daughters from an earlier marriage walk her to the dias.
Dia Mirza recently got married to businessman Vaibhav Rekhi in a traditional Hindu ceremony. A true feminist that she is, Dia made yet another bold statement by a unique gesture on this occasion.
The wedding was an intimate event amidst family and close friends at Dia’s Mumbai residence. What caught the paparazzi’s eyes in the wedding photos shared by the actor on Instagram was that the ceremony was presided upon by an elderly female priest.
Dia is half German on her biological father’s side, half Bengali Hindu on her mother’s, and half Muslim on her step-father’s side, whose name she uses. She is also one of those Bollywood celebrities who is known for giving befitting responses to any voices raised upon her for making unconventional choices in her life.
She has never feared the questions or judgements.
Our patriarchal society has always had rules to conveniently suppress the women in our culture. It is the outcome of this orthodox mindset that even though Hindu holy books do not explicitly ban women from becoming religious leaders, we rarely find women conducting any auspicious ceremonies in our country, though it is something that is happening recently in pockets.
There are a few institutions in Pune that have started offering courses to female Hindu priests. Examples of women who have taken up priesthood as their occupation have been making the news lately.
By having a woman priest for tying the knot of holy matrimony, Dia has also busted the age-long dominion of the male-concentric society. She also is a divorcee, and her husband is also a divorcee with daughters from an earlier marriage, who walked Dia to the wedding dias.
Women are often judged on the decisions which they make or do not make, in a hypocritical society that is excessively discriminatory towards women.
Dia Mirza has opened up to media many times and shared her experience on how women tagged as being a divorcee face social censure, and often given titles like ‘home-breaker’, who can never hold the ends together.
Men and their choices being considered the default, a remarriage for a man does not raise as many eyebrows; in fact, they are often expected to remarry – whether a divorcee or widower. If he would like to remarry, good for him and his children if he has any from the first marriage. After all he needs somebody to take care of him and his family.
So do the same judgements that Dia faces apply to Vaibhav Rekhi as well, since he is also a divorcee who is getting remarried to Dia Mirza?
Well divorced or not, married once or more than once, is an individual’s decision to make. It is high time now that our society stopped poking its nose into a woman’s life for living life on her own terms.
Dia Mirza is a living example of how you should not cease to take a second chance post divorce, if life gives you that chance for happiness.
To quote her words on her Instagram posts, “Love is a full-circle that we call home. And what a miracle it is to hear its knock, open the door and be found by it. May all puzzles find their missing pieces, may all hearts heal and may the miracle of love continue to unfold all around us”.
We wish her all happiness with her new family!
Image source: Instagram
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Shows like Indian Matchmaking only further the argument that women must adhere to social norms without being allowed to follow their hearts.
When Netflix announced that Indian Matchmaking (2020-present) would be renewed for a second season, many of us hoped for the makers of the show to take all the criticism they faced seriously. That is definitely not the case because the show still continues to celebrate regressive patriarchal values.
Here are a few of the gendered notions that the show propagates.
A mediocre man can give himself a 9.5/10 and call himself ‘the world’s most eligible bachelor’, but an independent and successful woman must be happy with receiving just 60-70% of what she feels she deserves.
Darlings makes some excellent points about domestic violence . For such a movie to not follow through with a resolution that won't be problematic, is disappointing.
I watched Darlings last weekend, staying on top of its release on Netflix. It was a long-awaited respite from the recent flicks. I wanted badly to jump into its praise and will praise it, for something has to be said for the powerhouse performances it is packed with. But I will not be able to in a way that I really had wanted to.
I wanted to say that this is a must-watch on domestic violence that I stand behind and a needed and nuanced social portrayal. But unfortunately, I can’t. For I found Darlings to be deeply problematic when it comes to the portrayal of domestic violence and how that should be dealt with.
Before we rush to the ‘you must be having a problem because a man was hit’ or ‘much worse happens to women’ conclusions, that is not what my issue is. I have seen the praises and criticisms, and the criticisms of criticisms. I know, from having had close associations with non-profits and activists who fight domestic violence not just in India but globally, that much worse happens to women. I have written a book with case studies and statistics on that. Neither do I have any moral qualms around violence getting tackled with violence (that will be another post some day).