The kanyadaan was purposely excluded from my wedding rituals. Because even back then, my parents didn’t believe that their daughter was parayi. Not did they consider me dhan.
It was a beautiful winter evening in New Delhi. Dressed in the best wedding finery, my heart thumping with the excitement and anticipation of starting a new journey with the love of my life, I entered that ornately decorated mandap as a young bride of 25.
Admittedly, the rituals that followed were a blur to me; I was too busy chattering away to my soon-to-be husband about a multitude of unrelated things.
I suppose I must have seemed a little unconventional to most onlookers, since brides are supposed to be shy and reticent. I, on the other hand, smiled, laughed, and even made eye contact with everyone who came to bless us. Definitely not usual behaviour for a bride.
If my lack of timidness raised many an eyebrow that night, then you can imagine what happened when the wedding rituals were finally declared concluded by the priest.
‘What about the kanyadaan? They didn’t do the kanyadaan!’ one well-heeled aunt furtively whispered to another.
‘Did the pandit forget? How could he miss the kanyadaan?’ This was from a gentleman in a suit who had until then, been too busy dancing on the makeshift dance floor with a plastic glass filled to the brim, to notice anything else.
Well, my parents didn’t feel the need to answer any of those questions that night. The wedding was concluded and frankly once dinner was served, most people were too busy congregating around the chaat counter to take any further interest in whether the kanyadaan was carelessly forgotten or purposely excluded.
The kanyadaan was purposely excluded from my wedding rituals. Because even back then, my parents didn’t believe that their daughter was parayi. Not did they consider me dhan. I was, am and always will be, simply, their daughter.
I saw the Manyavar advertisement the other day and I have to say that it made me smile. Even as I said to myself that the advertisement indeed conveys a powerful message in a refreshingly simple manner, I couldn’t help thinking that it was the same message that my parents had conveyed to me all those years back. The advertisement makes us think, allows us to question, and urges us to change. We need more advertisements like this one because to put it candidly, a society that doesn’t think, doesn’t question, doesn’t change will ultimately be a regressive one.
And so, let’s say it one more time. “Na main parayi hoon, na dhan! Kanyamaan!”
Image source: rajeshkoiri007 on pixabay
Rrashima is a senior corporate analyst with over 20 years of experience in the corporate sector. She is also a prolific writer and poet and her articles, stories and poems are regularly published in leading read more...
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