Couples remake marriage rituals for modern times
The Times of India Hyderabad|November 08, 2020
EXIT KANYADAAN, AND ENTER BRIDE’S BARAAT
Sonam.Joshi

When college sweethearts Tanvi Geetha Ravishankar and Tushar Mehta decided to tie the knot in 2016, they didn’t just get married once, but thrice: a Kannadiga-style wedding in her hometown Bengaluru, a Marwari-style one in his hometown Jodhpur and a white wedding in Mumbai where they live. But each ceremony had a modern twist: there was no groom leading a baraat and both arrived at the venue together on a carriage; no kanyadaan which is the Hindu equivalent of giving the bride away; and the shlokas were modified to convey equal responsibilities rather than the groom’s superiority. Instead of a sindoor and mangalsutra, they both got their wedding date tattooed on their ring finger.

Like Tanvi and Tushar, a growing number of couples are tweaking tradition so that the marriage ceremonies reflect a union of equals rather than the one-sided skew towards the “boy’s side”.

Of course, some cosmopolitan couples decide not to fuss about the regressive rituals and just go along, but Asmita Satyarthi, director of Wockhardt Foundation, isn’t one of them. “The ceremony sets the right tone for the marriage from the get go, and who we want to be,” she says. Her father, social reformer Kailash Satyarthi, announced on her wedding day in 2015 that he would not be performing the kanyadaan. “Elder relatives were unhappy but he was firm that his daughter isn’t a possession to be donated,” she says.

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