Saturday evening, and I was trying to arrange some messy drawers of my cupboard, when I chanced upon some pictures of my Rokka Ceremony held 18 years ago. I looked gloomy in those pictures. Why? Why was I not happy about getting hitched?
Honestly, my wedding was the most stressful event in my life. It took me down the memory lane and I recalled that it was no less than a war that I fought with my parents to get me married to the boy I loved.
I came from a conservative middle-class family. Conservative enough that a mere phone call of a male classmate scandalized my parents and they were worried till hell that the young girl might slip from their hands. I could hardly be friends with any boys or could attend any offsite events in school or college, knowing that my traditionalist parents were very much against it.
During my graduation, as destiny had it, I unknowingly fell for a boy who was very charming. At least I found him charming though I had no idea of what “charming” meant when it came to boys back then.
Marriage was completely out of my mind since I knew my parents will never agree to get me married to a boy who does not belong to a Brahmin household. Still, I enjoyed his company as we spent a lot of time together. My parents got to know about my frequent meetings with this boy and started to find a suitable match for me. Not because they wanted me to get married but they couldn’t digest that I had a boyfriend.
As my father decided against our relationship to be taken any further, however, with a lot of persuasions, he agreed to meet him once. His fancy job and ambitions towards his career were strong reasons, my father considered him a prospective match. Finally, he agreed to meet him. The meeting went well and my father seemed satisfied enough. He decided to discuss the matter with his family since this was going to be the first inter-caste wedding in my family.
As the conservative Brahmin family was transforming to a modern one, they raised no objection to my choice, yet insisted that my father must match the horoscopes in order to ensure a happy married life ahead. So, the younger brother of my father, who also happens to be a horoscope expert, took a profound look into my horoscope and declared me “Manglik” while the boy’s horoscope came out clean with no “manglik dosh”.
The boy was out-rightly rejected for no fault of his and the chapter was closed until my father found me adamant not to even meet other boys or consider any other proposals. I was 21 by then and the very purpose of my parents’ life was to get me married before I cross the benchmark of “marriageable age” or other people get to know about my “love affair.”
They had done all to make me understand that I am a Manglik and guaranteed that the marriage will not work. It was hard for me to understand this since I thought that compatibility is the most important factor in any marriage to work. Though at that point I was not sure that we were a hundred percent compatible, still I knew, a strong bond connected both of us. How can the position of mars in my horoscope decide on how my married life will be? Let Mars be angry, who cares? Without realizing I had already fallen in love with this boy and wanted to marry him.
After a strict warning of “no support” and “no come back” my parents agreed for our marriage. In order to ensure that marriage of a Manglik girl with a non-manglik boy does not fail in the future, a lot of pundits were consulted for suitable upaay. After a lot of consultations and discussions, they reached a conclusion that I should first get married to a tree or God so that the mangal dosh first falls on them and does not affect their prospective son in law. Suddenly my alleged boyfriend who was still not a Brahmin became more important than me. Anyway, who can challenge the almighty God, leave alone the mangal dosh.
A day before the start of wedding functions, I was married to a small idol of God in a secret ceremony with only family members present and I was happy that it’s all over now. I still do not know which marriage is valid under the law since I married twice. Hence, I ensured that my husband’s name was endorsed on my passport as soon as I got married to him.
Finally, we were married and I entered the new house with my husband with all new hopes, and also a lot of apprehensions. Amidst all rituals of a new bride, my mother in law came to me and said that there was an upaay advised by their pundit which I must do in order to clean my manglik dosh and to ensure that her son has a long life. I respected her and her fear and readily agreed so that she also has peace of mind.
First-year and we had numerous fights. Both of us were very strong-headed. I expected my husband should feel obliged since I fought with my parents to get married to him. For a while, I thought that Mars has done its job well, each time we fought. However, as few months passed by, both of us learned to adjust to each other. Initial few years and there were a lot of adjustments from both ends but life took off from there.
We loved each other, respected each other’s feelings, had our own space, yet remained transparent to each other. I feel more than the upaays I did, all these factors were directly responsible for making my marriage work. We have had our own share of lows and highs but most importantly, we were together in all circumstances regardless of the position of mars in my horoscope.
In a few days of my marriage, I got to know about the troubled marriage of my cousin, who got married just a year before me to a Brahmin girl with a perfect horoscope match. I asked my parents, “Do their pundits not have any upaay to make the marriage work in this case? They must be knowing the ways to control stars other than Mars which are responsible for this trouble considering their horoscopes proved perfect compatibility.” Unfortunately, nothing worked and they were separated in a few years.
We were blessed with our daughter within 5 years of our marriage and going strong for 20 years now while planet mars are still angry at me and keep imposing the mangal dosh in my kundali.