Women empowerment. Women becomes a fighter pilot. Women to space… Women this women that. Ah! I would rather say this is the ‘womensera’. But have you noticed those wedding banners during Indian weddings. It always says Sana Weds Karan, Nilam Weds Praveen and Sandhya Weds Rahul. Why not go for a change and reverse the order? Not possible right? After all isn’t it the brides parents who sponsor the marriage. So obviously they have the right to have their daughters name first.

From the moment a girl child is born the primary concern of the parents is to get her married at the right time. They starts working harder and keeps apart a portion of their savings labelled as ‘marriage expenses’. Dad’s invest in real estate. After all “Shouldn’t, I give my daughter a house when she gets married?  Mothers buy jewelry for the child. Her old jewelry a part of her past becomes replaced by brand new ones.” Varma had given a new car as a gift for his daughter’s marriage. Its time that we worked harder. Shouldn’t our daughter’s marriage be also talked about”- such conversations become a common scene in the houses. Comparisons occur expectations rise and the limits are raised. Meanwhile the poor girl child clueless of what’s happening around her studies, gets a job and reaches a well settled position.

Then starts the process of matchmaking. Marriage portals, newspapers and marriage bureaus enter the scene.  As Chetan Bhagat says in Two States (with a slight change in order): Boy sees the girl’s photo, girl sees the boy’s photo

Boy’s family meets the girl’s family, girl’s family meets the boy’s family.

Boy likes girl, girl likes boy.

Boy’s family likes girl’s family, girl’s family likes boy’s family.

And at last the marriage is fixed.

The next phase is that of marriage negotiations. How much money does the groom’s family need? What all do they need? The amount of gold, the model of the car, flat or house and so on. Meanwhile the word dowry does not enter the vocabulary. Everything is given for the bride, for her secure future. On top of all this the bride’s family is supposed to bear the brunt of all the expenses.. Venue, accommodation, travel arrangements, refreshments, food and if there is an additional engagement ceremony then the expenses for that too.  The plight of the bride’s parents does not end with the marriage. The next few days are meant for accepting feed backs from the groom’s side. Nobody is ready to appreciate what the parents have done  but are ready to provide free criticisms.

It’s time that we put an end to this discrimination. Why shouldn’t the groom’s side take the responsibility. At least couldn’t they offer to share the expenses. Of course there might be exceptions but it is still one among the rarest of the rare cases. An ordinary everyday scene that’s what I am talking about. A Mr M Weds Ms S.

Published by Parvathi Vijay