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Understanding The Seven Vows Of A Hindu Wedding: Of Love And Beyond!

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By Smriti Mahale:

Kaadambari’s dream had finally come true. In the last seven years, there were innumerable times that this scene had been envisaged in a simple girl’s heart that was so crazily in love. She looked at him, and he at her. Glances froze, lips dwindled into broken smiles, a rush of red filled her cheeks, love was in the air.

Kaadambari was clad in the most expensive bridal attire in town, the blush of the bride complimented the extravaganza of sparkling diamonds and rubies on her sleek body. Jeevan looked like Manhmatta.

Amidst the sacredness of a ritual revered for ages, Kaadambari and Jeevan were set to take the ‘saptapadi’ or the ‘seven vows’. The seven strides were to start from the direction of ‘Dhruva’ or the pole star, indicating steadiness and stability in the new journey of life. Jeeven held her hand, to make the first three vows around the holy pyre. The flames burnt as passionately as their seven year old relationship.

“Om esha ekapadi bhava iti prathaman”.
I will love, cherish and provide for you and our children. You will support me and offer me food.

It was a year back when Kaadambari had fallen dangerously sick. No medicines, no assurances had been able to cure her. Her parents were on a foreign tour, unaware of the situation. There were none to look after her, and she was drawing into the verge of depression and hopelessness. Jeevan made sure he was with her at every given chance. For all these years, he had seen her as an independent woman who was capable of taking care of herself irrespective of circumstances. What he saw now, was a woman who cried out for tenderness, for love, for a support. The vulnerability of a heart frail in life can be understood only by the heart that it has been given to!

He had cooked for the first time. She loved soups. Endless hours of browsing on the net for the most delicious and nutritious soups, he had managed. The vegetables were half cooked, there was excess of water, and spice was non existent. But the ingredient of love had made it up for all. She had peacefully eaten her lunch that afternoon, and had fallen into an effortless sleep in his arms as he was continuing to spoon feed her.

“Om oorje jara dastayaha”
Together we will defend our family and home.

It was two years ago, when both of them had realized that the final destination of their love would be the start of a new journey called ‘marriage’. There were hurdles. Religion was the prominent of them all. Kaadambari had vowed to learn all about Jeevan’s religion, to be accustomed to his customs, to devour her soul into the soul of his scriptures. She had resolved to marry only when she was ready, for him, for his family, for her family. She had lived up to her resolution. Two years, despite of her busy career, her compassionate hobby, she devoted time to be the perfect daughter-in-law , to carry forward the prestige and pride of Jeevan’s family legacy. When her mother-in law had seen her, questioned her, she was impressed! She knew more than any girl of their community. She had nothing to complain about.

“Om rayas Santu joradastayaha”
We will be faithful to each other and lead a spiritual life.

Jeevan had never believed in the Supreme. Whereas, Kaadambari was a staunch follower of any spiritual element that crossed her path. She meditated, she worshipped, she followed all fasts and festivities. She slowly had made him a part of her spiritual life. Jeevan had simply succumbed. He loved her pure heart, her spotless divinity, her innocent pleas before the Almighty.

“Om mayo bhavyas jaradastaya ha”
I declare my good fortune in marrying my wife. We pray for a happy life and good children filled with all health and wealth.

Jeevan and Kaadambari were from the same academic backgrounds. Both of them were toppers from childhood and had the most intelligent of brains. From the time their corporate careers had blossomed, they swam in wealth and fortune. The way they amassed their treasures were different.

While Jeevan led a life in the international corporate circles, Kaadambari had devoted her high ranked qualifications for one of the most renowned organizations for the betterment of the society.

Both of them had won many hearts in their respective fields. Even without each other, there was a streak of enchantment in their souls.
All of their friends, well-wishers and family had gathered. All of them had their own personal moments with each of them. It was a shower of blessings from heavenly hearts!

“Om prajabhyaha Santu jaradastayaha”
We for the happiness and wellbeing of our family. May we have righteous and obedient children.

She looked unhappy that day. It was the day her dearest friend had fallen prey to a zooming truck. She had cried Every time she had tried to make her friend happy by doing something foolishly funny. This time, she was helpless. Jeevan could not bear her astral face with the gloom of the violet nights. He knew what would make her happy. They had gone to the children’s park in the neighbour hood.
She had played with the toddlers. She had held little babies in her delicate arms and had crooned to them. She had meticulously hair styled pig tails of young girls. She had laughed, a laugh that reflects the brightness of a cradle of stars. He had decided then, his progeny would be the fruits from her soulful garden.

When she had seen him helping a young lad to peddle on his new bicycle, she had blushed. Her womanhood had pierced through his soul.

“Yajne home shashthe vacho vadet”
I will always be by your side in your endeavors.

It was Kaadambari’s 25th birthday. She was a simple girl and unlike the others of her age and maturity, she did not long for candle light dinners or diamond rings. It was this simplicity of hers that had stolen Jeevan’s heart. But then, even Mata Sita desired for the Maayamruga when she was with Lord Rama in exile. It was one this fairy tale desires of Kaadambari that Jeevan wanted to fulfill.

He had taken her to the park situated in the outskirts of the city. He had dwindled his whole month’s salary to make all the arrangements. There it was. It was one of the most splendid swings ever made. It was decorated with the world’s most fragrant roses and lilies. She had squealed in delight and and run towards the swing like a four year old girl. For half the day she merrily had sat on the swing and had sung the most melodious songs. He had sat with her for sometime and had spoken about life, it was a moment they would cherish forever. She had asked him where he had got this romantic idea from. He had sheepishly said the internet held the formula for the most of the love potions. Kaadambari was so in love with his imperfections.

“Om sakhi jaradastayahga.”
With this last Phera we forever belong to each other and will remain friends forever…

A very wise person had once said friendship is the first and last step of love. What lies in between is the path of marriage. It was on the same lines that their lives were outlined. When at eighteen, they both had met in their academic pursuits; they had become fast friends in a short span of time. They had for hours talked about their future, their dreams, their aspirations. Love had somewhere blossomed unknowingly. Cupid had conspired their mutual existence. They were intelligent, independent and a delight. Together they were inseparable. In what seemed liked years of undisputable friendship and love, they had found each other. She was the story of his life, and he was the life of her story!

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