“Father, I want a typical Bengali marriage ceremony for me. I want to perform every rituals that a typical Bengali girl performs on her wedding. I want to honour my custom from the core of my heart on the very special day of my life” declared Sohini to her parents. She was having a candid conversation with her parents after lunch in their living room.
Sohini was really excited to have imagined herself in Bengali bride attire. For she has not been to many Bengali weddings, her idea of Bengali wedding was not complete but she really adored Bengali marriage ceremony with her fragmented but vivacious ideas from her very little encounters with Bengali Hindu weddings. Moreover, she had another reason in her mind.
Her parents were very open-minded and wished to marry they their daughter in a way that she liked. There was no reason for them to contradict or suggest any other way. They were very happy when she informed them about her boyfriend Gaurav couple of months ago. The boy was also working in the same company with her and they knew each other since first year of college. They though it relieved them from looking out of a suitable for their daughter which would have been much lengthier and clumsier process. Sohini and Gaurav were very good friend since college days and moved into a relationship during final year in college. Her parents knew Gaurav for a long time now and it did not take much time for them to accept Gaurav as their future son in law. Sohini’s parents had a court marriage back in their time. Her father was a Brahmin and her mother was from a lower caste family. They were in a relationship for long time and wanted to have a social marriage just like any other couples back in their days, however, Sohini’s grand father disapproved the inter caste marriage and disowned her father. Her father moved to Kerala and never returned to Bengal to his family. After five years of their marriage Sohini came to this world. She knew these details from an early possible days but never wished to go to his grand parents place event at their death or after. For her, Bengali was a language spoken by her parents and Bengali marriage was either depicted in a Bengali movie or some rare Bengali marriage ceremonies that she attended for a very short period of time.
Last week , Gaurav’s parents came to meet her parents in person and they decided on probable dates of marriage. Since then her marriage has become a daily topic of discussion. This day was of no difference. Her father also invited a priest to their house in the evening to explain all rituals to her in detail.
In the evening, the priest came to their house. He explained a lot about Bengali wedding to Sohini and left his contact details for them to remind him a day before marriage regarding the occasion.
At night, Sohini’s father was reading a book in his study room when Sohini came in and sat beside him. Distracted by her sudde appearance at this time, he stopped reading the book and stared at his daughter.
“Father, I do not want a Bengali wedding. Court marriage followed by a small get together will do. I’ll also ask Gaurav about it. They are not stubborn to have a Punjabi wedding in their way. I do not think it will be much of a problem” said she in a determined but low voice.
“Why? You wanted a Bengali wedding, wasn’t it? What happened all of a sudden?” asked her father perplexed by sudden change in his daughter’s opinion.
Sohini looked in her father’s eyes and said in a firm voice “Father, the priest said that the Bengali wedding ritual involves Vridhi in very beginning. It is a ritual dedicated to our ancestors. It is to remember them and only to start a new life with their blessings. Do you really think your parents would have approved my marriage if they were alive for they were so brutally against marriage to other castes? Does it make sense to start my marriage with a ritual that I know will not bring blessings to my new life?”