The Strange Sindoor Saga

Kabir sat fuming. Preeti was getting married today. The girl he was madly in love with, refused to acknowledge his existence. When he proposed to her, she turned him down.

Why couldn’t she love him? He was handsome and well-off. No girl had ever rejected him, before this. Usually, they flocked around him vying for his attention. but he had eyes only for Preeti. Sadly, she refused to accept his love.

Today, it was going to be over. She was going to be someone else’s. Some chap from the army. He switched on the television in frustration. Devdas was being telecast, a story of a jilted, drunken lover. It fit with his mood. He changed channels in frustration.

Deepika Padukone was mouthing a dialogue,

“Ek Chutki Sindoor Ki Kimat Tum Kya Jaano?” 

(This translates to what do you know of the value of a pinch of Sindoor?)

The Universe seemed to be taunting him. He switched to a meaningless soap opera instead.

The scene unfolding, was a wedding scene. The bride and the groom were seated at the Mandap. The bride was hiding her tears because she was being married against her will, to the groom. Her true love, the groom’s best friend, stood adjacent to the Mandap, masking his feelings, ready to make a supreme sacrifice for his friend.

Never miss real stories from India's women.

Register Now

A grandmother figure hobbled with a plate of red vermillion towards the holy fire. She lost her balance, and the plate flew in slow motion. The friend dived in and caught the plate, but in physics-defying motion somersaulted by accident, and emptied it conveniently on the bride’s forehead. The bride felt her forehead, looked at her scarlet-coated fingers, and gasped. The reactions were amplified by dramatic music.

The grandmother shook her head solemnly and declared bride and friend, husband and wife. It was God’s will. The sindoor had been applied, and she belonged to someone else now. The groom accepted this fate reluctantly. The bride smiled and blushed at her new husband.

Kabir ruminated for a second. Of course! The solution was simple.


Kabir took a swig of liquid courage; he would need lots of it to pull off what he had planned. He reached the venue. He hoped none of Preeti’s brothers spotted him. When he had tried stalking her to express his affection for her, they had cornered him and warned him to stay away.

Not that it ever stopped him.

When he had heard the news of Preeti’s marriage, he had begged her to break it off and elope with him. The girl broke his heart by declaring her love for her fiancé, Major Vikram.

“You are delusional. Get your head checked!” she had retorted.

Kabir smirked. Once Preeti married him, she would realize the depth of his feelings for her. Else, he would knock some sense into her. What is love without a bit of tussle?

The bright decorations and flowers blinded him. There were big banners of ‘Preeti weds Vikram.’ That was going to change, soon. His hand went to his pocket to check if his pouch was there. It was.

Kabir made his way slowly but surely to the mandap. Preeti was dressed in a beautiful pink lehenga, wearing a necklace of green emeralds. She seemed to be very happy. He felt a pang of jealousy. Sitting next to her was her groom, Vikram. Six feet tall in a golden sherwani and a turban. Kabir had to admit it; the man did look dashing.

“Preeti!” he screamed.

The shehnai stopped playing. Guests look up worried. Preeti went pale, and her eyes grew wide. Her father went red with rage.

“You scoundrel. Who let you in?”

“As if anyone could stop me from meeting my Preeti.”

“Stop it. I don’t have any feelings for you. Now or never. Go away!” Preeti screamed.

Kabir was enraged. He took out his pouch and walked towards her. Preeti’s brothers tried to stop him, but he pushed them away. He opened the pouch and emptied the vermillion over Preeti’s forehead. Preeti shrieked and the guests gasped.

“I have married Preeti!” Kabir announced proudly.

Preeti sobbed helplessly and hung her head in shame. She kept rubbing her forehead.

Kabir didn’t see the punch coming. He didn’t realize that an army man could be this strong. There was a dull crack and warm liquid started oozing out of his nose thanks to Vikram’s iron first.

“Hey, you can’t do that. Preeti is mine.”

Major Vikram scoffed.

“You think you married her just because you put something on her forehead, and that too without her consent? I punched you once, but I think I will punch you again.”

“No, once is enough!” Kabir croaked.

He put a hand on his bleeding nose and looked around, hoping someone would back him up. This was the point where the elders were supposed to chip in and declared him and Preeti married. Instead, he found them staring at him with a combination of revulsion and disgust.

Vikram held Preeti’s hand lovingly and comforted her. His sister handed him a bunch of wet tissues. He wiped off the errant sindoor deftly.

“Marriage is the union of two hearts, not some random person applying sindoor, you moron!” Vikram’s grandmother scolded Kabir.

Et Tu, Dadiji? What happened to tradition? Kabir thought.

Preeti was looking at Vikram with adoration. Kabir winced. Things hadn’t gone as planned. He might have to leave very soon. He was humiliated, and worst of all, Preeti was still getting married to someone else. The Sindoor attempt was an epic failure.

As he turned to leave, Preeti’s brothers stopped him.

“Please don’t go, have food before leaving.”

“Err it’s fine, I will leave.”

“We won’t let you leave!” they snarled.

Kabir soon found out that they were not going to feed him food, they were going to feed him to the wolves. The police arrived and handcuffed him away.

After that minor distraction, the wedding celebrations continued in full swing. Preeti and Vikram completed the rituals. Vikram applied Sindoor to Preeti’s forehead and whispered to her,


Preeti mumbled, “I love you,” and folded her hands in gratitude. Vikram smiled back and folded his hands too, for he considered her his equal.

The photographer captured this lovely moment, the moment where their happily ever after started.

Author’s Note

This is a satirical fiction based on a true incident where a jilted lover tried to forcefully marry a girl by applying Sindoor. He was thrashed and arrested by the police, and the original wedding proceeded without a hitch.


About the Author

Lalitha Ramanathan

Lalitha is a blogger and a dreamer. Her career is in finance, but writing is her way to unwind! Her little one is the center of her Universe. read more...

42 Posts | 61,469 Views

Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!

All Categories