We Spent On 151 Cataract Surgeries Instead Of Band-Baaja At Our Wedding
I am a Marwari girl, he is a Kayastha boy. My dad is a doctor, while his father is a retired army officer. My family is based in Siliguri, West Bengal; his in Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh. But love had its own way to make us meet. We met, fell in love and after some resentment from our families, we finally got married on December 10, 2017. However, in this short and sweet love story of ours, the most beautiful part is the way we got married.
Marriages in India are a thing! Every Indian parent dreams of a “big, fat Indian wedding” for their children. Undoubtedly, our marriages are very colourful and culturally rich, but the needless waste of money, time and effort is something that has always bothered me. So, instead of getting indulged in the typical “band, bajaa, baraat” genre of marriage, our parents planned for an “aadarsh vivah” in the lap of the Ganga in Haridwar.
Shanti Kunj, the hub of the All World Gayatri Parivar in Haridwar, is where we got married.
Here are some noteworthy points regarding the process in which marriages happen in Shanti Kunj:
1. The bride and the groom submit an application that they are getting married with the consent of their families and have not eloped.
2. The parents of the bride and the groom submit the letter of consent that they agree to get their children married at Shanti Kunj.
The parents need to submit these applications in person at Shanti Kunj. By doing so, they agree to abide by the principles of Shanti Kunj which say that there will be no exchange of dowry in the marriage, and that the marriage will happen without any “band, bajaa and baraat”.
Our marriage was a private affair with close family members and friends being a part of the ceremony. There were less than 80 guests from both the bride’s and the groom’s side. It took less than three hours for us to get married.
However, the best was yet to come. On the occasion of his daughter’s marriage, my father sponsored the cataract surgeries of 151 underprivileged men and women at Greater Lions Eye Hospital in Siliguri. We were truly touched by this gesture of his. Instead of spending wastefully on the needless pomp and show of the marriage (which, by the way, nobody really cares for), he chose to do some good to the society and make a difference in whatever small way he could think of.
My entire motive to share the story of my marriage is to let people know that marriages like mine can also be very beautiful and are a dream come true. This could be the new definition of the “big, fat Indian wedding”. And if we could inspire even one couple, I would feel this story was worth sharing.