Here comes the fall of winter commencing the feast of big fat Indian weddings. In India, Wedding is more an occasion of bonding of two families and not just two individuals for lifetime. It is a family festival celebrated in the most gala fashion.
Presently, India is a home to 12,000 wedding takes place in a day or 10 million marriages in a year. Total purchase of gold falls between 300 to 400 tons annually. If all the expenditure is included then Indian marriage market becomes Rs 1 lakh crore to Rs 300,000 crore annually. A family spends approximately one fifth of the savings or sometimes the entire on a wedding occasion. Eighty per cent of the bank loans are taken by people to meet dowry demands. The Wedding e industry can be called recession proof as even during recession this industry stood a tall figure of $25 billion.
The growing extravagance of the Indian wedding industry across the globe has spawned into a multi-million dollar lucrative business. In contrast to this, the true essence of marriage is getting diluted. It is certainly time for introspection with a magnifying glass to have a closer look into the details.
Marriages are made in heaven but how well and diligently are they arranged and presented is controlled on earth by humans. Indian weddings have always been known for their grandeur. The customs, festivities, ceremonies etc., form an intrinsic part of a ‘big fat Indian wedding’ and is unlike any other wedding ceremony across the entire world. Most people dream of a lavish wedding but the reality in India is that expensive wedding celebrations and heavy dowry demands end up making brides’ lives miserable and ruining their families. The very concept of marriage has been turned into a transaction, with no value placed on the people or the relationship.
The concept of Indian wedding has seen drastic changes, over the last few years. In the yesteryear, the ceremony was a brief affair, confined to an economical budget. On the contrary, in the present time, the occasion is generally celebrated in an elaborated way, with number of rituals that are conducted before, during and after it.
The Big fat Indian weddings even include performance of celebrities. Destination wedding and theme wedding are gaining importance as these really make the marriage unique. A long guest list, colorful and extravagant venue, lavish feast and a series of rituals are the key ingredients of the ‘big fat Indian wedding’.
Behind the happy images of the big fat Indian weddings prowls the unpalatable truth of dowry and divorce cases. The statistics are shocking. One woman in India dies every hour in a dowry-related case, as seen in Aamir Khan’s program of Satya Meva Jayate.
Earlier, it was only the community which mattered. Now it has become increasingly important to announce how wealthy you are and that you’ve arrived through other means. In today’s trend, most of the wedding looks like an event which has lost the warmth that was present in earlier times. It’s more about flaunting the riches than connecting at the core.
Each one of us deserves to celebrate that once-in-a-lifetime event when we pledge ourselves to another; we deserve all the joyous festivities and the merry-making. Amidst celebration, it is crucial to remember that it is not a competition or opportunity to project our exaggerated status. What it is, is the most sacred promise we’ll ever make. Let us not diminish its beauty and meaning.
However such wealthiest weddings also have a positive effect on Indian economy and community. Such weddings have given employment in shape of event management, flower decoration, tent decoration, all kind of food management the shape of catering etc.
But the question that arises here is that, is there really a need to reduce a ceremony as pious and pure as wedding into a shameful circus of wealth display? Is it the money that should take the center stage or is the two souls coming together to be one who should be given importance?
It is sad to witness that marriages of rich and mighty have been reduced to such sorry states, ultimately ending up in a vicious cycle of debt and bearing the agony all throughout life just for a day gala affair.
It’s really sad to see that on one side a section of India is dying of hunger and poverty there is this other India lacks to embrace the importance of money. A shift in India’s attitude towards weddings is urgently due. This disturbing trend is really the symptom of a larger problem — unbridled consumerism and shallow, materialistic aspirations sweeping across the country.
As we discovered, marriage is not just a state one enters into, but a life domain that needs to be nurtured, so that it may provide us what we are all seeking in life — emotional fulfillment. It’s time to answer just one question, “How do we make “marriage”, which is the sacred and important part of one’s life, a guilt free occasion?”