The India trip and Mangalya
Four months from now, I am going to be in Bengalooru savoring masal doses from Vidyarthi Bhavan. And already, my mom has started “reminding” me to wear my mangal sutra when I am there. Now, my mom does not attach any specific significance to me not wearing this hideous holy sign of matrimony, and neither does my FIL. But that is in the US of A, in India a new rule called “What will others say” needs to be followed (while it is perfectly plausible that the “others” might be thinking of the same thing instead of searching for the missing link on my neck). And ofcourse, being an NRI means that every time I land in the country, I have to prove to everyone that I am still “Indian” and not under the influence of the evil Western culture before I can be served some heserbele paysa.
Honestly, I think this whole mangalsutra thing was a joke that got out of hand. Otherwise, why would everyone WANT to wear a piece of jewelry that resembles parts of the female mammary anatomy right down to the “headlights”?I can imagine how it started years ago…
Once upon a time, there was a naaghty naaghty jewelry maker. When he was supposed to be making jewels for the bride that symbolized marriage, he was indulging in some antics with the neighborhood friendly Shakeela. And in a state of drunken frenzy, he vowed to make her a set of jewels exclusively crafted in her honor (and guess whose gold was lying around?). And there you had it. In the morning, when he stared at his “creation”, he knew he was in deep s**t. And he rushed to his friend, the priest to consult on the best course of action. The priest told him the only option was to pass it off as a holy sign of something, but was not sure if it will work with the “things” hanging together so blatantly. So they devised a plan where they would give one part to the bride’s family and the other to the groom’s family. It was told to symbolize union of souls or any other senti thing that would immediately send the bride’s family bawling with overflowing emotions. And so it happened. The deed was done, the “things” were worshipped and attained next to godly status that would be further strengthened with various movies like “mangalyada shakthi” and “taaliya sowbhagya”. I think the poor brides had a sneaking suspision, but they were just too confused and scared to share their views with anyone, especially when the afforementioned jewelry was assigned godly status.
And now, while I have to lug this monstrocity on my neck, The K gets to roam around scot free, without his janwara or the sacred thread ( which is very conviniently excused, and my mom always has a spare in case he has to go topless at some temple). This is so not fair!
What I choose as a symbol of my marriage is a personal choice. And it may or may not be on display for everyone to see. It may not even be a thing that I wear or something material. I can choose to celebrate my marriage in so many other ways. And if America has changed me, it is only because I let it.
Entry filed under: Random Banter.