With the season of weddings in full bloom, we get to witness, and reminded of, the rapidly changing physique of this ceremony in Kashmir. Although it has been such a widely discussed and deliberated issue in the corridors of our society of late, the texture of our weddings is just not coming to terms with what would befit our demographic identity and status, or any healthy society for that matter. You come across debates on the issue in our media every now and then, hosting religious scholars, social workers, intellectuals and people from other walks of life. But the state of this “auspicious” event, as is so generously printed on our invitation cards, largely (if not wholly) continues to be a source of undue extravaganza. And unfortunately for the economically weaker sections of our society, this prodigal show-off of wealth by the rich and rich wannabes is a nightmarish menace and a dangerous trend-setter. It comes to haunt the former.
Whenever the thought of getting their children engaged in the nuptial bond occurs to them. As such it is increasingly becoming more of a burden for common people to discharge this essential duty towards their children.
Sadly we are en-route to adapting and molding our perception in favor of this malice, so much so that we are becoming deathly oblivious to its demerits and repercussions.
Our mental state is such that a person who attends a couple of such ceremonies tends to compare the number and varieties of dishes and delicacies served at one place to that served at the other, instead of taking a stand against this senseless lavishness. Comparisons are also rampantly done on the basis of who had donned more costly dress and who had gotten more expensive jewelry; who had rented bigger shaamiyanas and who had put on more decorations. As well as the different forms of “entertainment” that is provided alongside the feast. And hence such things have essentially become the touchstones of one’s social standard here. Notwithstanding the loads of goodies wasted in the process.
The consequences of the practice for the two sides vary though. For the grooms-to-be, there may be some exemptions, and some “shortfalls” might be tolerated. Thanks to the still prevailing traits of ‘male chauvinism’ in our genes. But the bridal side must live up to even the overtures of every single trend that is followed or innovated in preceding weddings. Both from the guests’ point of view as well as from that of the groom’s family. Not to mention the disease of dowry that has only managed to get amplified over the years, and the vileness of which seems to have eroded off from people’s minds. In totality, it amounts to a huge sum of money that the parents have to spend so as to get both things done: satiate the appetite of the guests and that of those at the other end of the wedding.
There are, however, instances of marriages wherein both the sides agree to carry out the wedding in a simple, fair and reasonable manner, and in accordance with the traditions of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him). Such acts, however isolated in number, need to be encouraged, owing to many merits that they present. We need to inculcate this sense of responsibility towards our society in every mind, to a level where it will be the only logical way of managing our weddings; wherein the medium is cordial enough for both the parties.
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