Are Marriages Really Worth the Drama, the Bias and the Money?

Posted on July 1, 2011 in Society

By Anushri Saxena:

Truly, a marital union in the house calls for a huge-scale celebration. It all gets started fifteen days from the marriage as relatives start pouring in from everywhere. There will be a group of youngsters making merry, getting mehendi designs on their palms, and on the other hand can be seen the pre-occupied elderly going beyond their means and making arrangements for the big day.

All right till now, it is your child’s marriage; you have the liberty to make it happen your way. Call as many people as you want. The more the merrier; but am not saying that!

Now, comes the bias. How is it fair for only the bride’s parents to cover for ALL the expenses incurred for the hospitality of the groom’s relatives, in addition to their very own? How CAN the guy’s side take it so easily, don’t they feel ashamed? On one side you are getting a lovely girl for the rest of your life (conditions apply!) and on the other you ask for dowry? Can anyone give me one good justification in its defence?

These days, 70% of women are financially self-supported. So, it cannot be like, “Oh I’m the guy; I’ll be taking charge of her from now on, paying her bills and stuff. So, dowry is my right! Compensate me for the future now.”

I’m only trying to suggest that the task of arrangement should be equally divided amongst both the parties. It becomes a huge burden for the bride’s parents. Agreed that it is widely practiced, but however rich they are they always have to go ‘beyond their means’.

It’s time I get back to our wedding guests. Remember them? They had come over, brimming with joy, in an ‘all-party mood’! Now, why need they be personally served? Technically, it should not make a difference to them. They are all well-off and weekly restaurant visits are fixed for them. Who cares for real blessings these days? Everyone comes to have a gala time, with free buffet, DJ et al. Next year, how many of them really wish the newly wedded couple a ‘Happy Anniversary’? Like it matters, I know, but little observations do help in painting the whole picture.

I just came up with a bit of a solution. Why not share your joy with those who will value it even more and to whom it actually makes a difference! It may sound all far-fetched and impractical but there is always a beginning. I’m just giving an example of an orphanage, for instance. Imagine, those kids enjoying a day different from their regular lives, when they get to savour delicious food, dance and play around. Arrange a wedding party in a place like that.

In the name of prestige and honour, parents of the bride are ready to go beyond their ability so as to secure her a smooth future. Oft times, the family-in-law mistreats the girl if they find themselves dissatisfied with the amount of dowry or marriage arrangements.

Similarly, the familial relations are to be pleased. This is to get the public discussions in their favour. People are best at talking and making stories, “Did you see the diamond-engraved watch he got from his in-laws?”, “The girl has only received a gold-plated chain!” But I blame none. Some things can never be changed.

While at such an occasion, that I described earlier about the orphanage, you can also invite your guests to dispense their blessings over the young couple and also the kids. A side-advantage of this for everyone is to be able to at least earn some karma points.

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Apoorva Puranik

Marriages, in its true sense was just a set of Mantras and havans in earlier times. However, it is the influence and infusion of different cultures, people, beliefs etc, marriages have assumed the shape of a commercialized and commodified entity. More the drama, better the marriage. It’s sad that our society uses a ritual like this which inn fact very important as means of wealth display. Nuptual ties are tied with crisp currency notes today.


Marriage is auspicious union of two souls and it must be understood by the society well. The traditions and customs are part and parcels but they should not become a burden on anybody. Earlier, girls were not very educated so the parents used to compensate that part with the dowry. But today they spend so much on their good education and grooming and make them independent…So I want to ask , where is the need of Dowry. Dowry was meant for well being of the couple to start a good life but today both are earning well then where does the question of Dowry arises. It has to be understood by the society that marriages are to be celebrated and is a merry time for both the sides.So ,in my opinion it should be made a trend to divide the expenditure equally between both the parties. I wish to witness this trend.


Wellll great article …a traditional marriage in India …has all the elements to re establish the inferiority of the women… leave the “dowry” which is social..all the rituals in the ceremony itself…are all oppressive and insulting to women..Kanyadaan means..the women is a “possession” which is passed on from one man(father) to another man(husband)…Somebody mentioned vermilion here…It NOT a sign of what you think..It is sign that a girl is taken( Lost virginity as first sex has blood (conventional) and the vermilion is RED) Hence ,In my opinion, I find it oppressive..AND NO THESE ARE NOT PERSONAL CHOICES…it is the conditioning of the society which keeps women in illusion of being it a personal choice (same in case of burqa )…why i am saying this is because NO SUCH THINGS EXISTS FOR MEN..No surname change,no vermilion,no kanyadaan!!!and a progressive society for me is a society which is egalitarian!!!!!!! Till the time we will keep endorsing these in the name of culture and tradition..the equality between men n women will never come….And till the time we shun these….we should not tlk about equality..if you are doing any of these…you are promoting oppression of women in my opinion…and you are NOT AGAINST IT!!!

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