The year 2016 exactly hasn’t been all that positive side; from political debacles to economic woes, heavy bloodshed and raising hatred, we have rarely found reasons to be happy. And when we did, it rekindled our faith in humanity and made us believe that no matter how dark the night is, the sun will rise.
So, to wrap up the year on a good note here are few stories that will have you happy if not inspired. Stories of young women who dared to break rules, fight stigmas and break stereotypes and hit headlines for all the right reasons. These women decided to tie a knot or not on their own terms and became a voice needed to fight the axiom of ‘weaker sex’. While wedding and marriages are often the things that curtail their freedom and dictates terms, these ladies bent rules or simply resisted in style.
Here’s a look at the most inspiring brides from 2016:
1) With a rare mehr, this Malayali-Muslim bride has broken stereotypes
Any wedding is associated with a lot of rituals and customs and of course lavish spendings. But for Kerala’s Sahla Nechiyil, a post graduate in political science from the Hyderabad University, the wedding had to be more meaningful than the customary exchange of goods and golds. Nechiyil decided to demand 50 books from her fiancé as mehr, a mandatory payment in the form of money or possessions paid or promised to be paid by the groom to the bride at the time of marriage. Read the full story here
2) Telangana bride delays wedding muhuratam to appear for exam
Wedding rituals and timings are considered scared not just in India but everywhere in the world. So, when Twenty-four-year-old Rachana Alluri from Telangana discovered that her final exam for the Diploma in Education (DEd) degree and wedding muhurutam clashed, she was naturally perplexed and disheartened. Often women reach a crossroads in life, where they have to choose between their personal and professional lives, between dreams and duties – and it’s not easy. But thanks to the girl’s family and her in-laws, they not only allowed her to take the exam on her wedding day but also delayed the scared timing. Read the full story here
3) 19-year-old Muslim bride divorced her husband over phone and the reason deserves an applause
As the Muslim women fight for a stringent law to fight triple talaq, that often leaves them on the receiving end, a young bride decided to turn the tables. Reeling under pressure for demands of dowry, she decided to take charge and end her marriage. Lucknow girl Mohsina’s story went viral and inspired thousands more not bow down to norms of patriarchy. Read the full story here
4) This Kerala bride ditches gold, invites transgender to her wedding
Twenty-seven-year-old Sruthi Krishna and Ramnath got married in a quiet and simple manner, at a marriage registration office. At first glance, nothing might seem unusual about the wedding, except that everything was. Gold is not merely worn, it’s portrayed as an emotion in Kerela weddings, she decided not to have even a grain of gold on her. Instead, she wore jewellery made of cereals and grains and looked beautiful. Not just shedding extravagance, she also broke traditions by not wearing a thaali (traditional thread tied by the groom around the bride’s neck). And to make the wedding even more meaningful, as main witness to their marriage they had Sheethal Shyam, a popular LGBTQ activist and transgender in Kerala. Though their actions were more criticised than lauded, they managed to break many stereotypes to the core. Read full story here
5) This Muslim woman got married the arranged way but only after she did her HOMEWORK right!
We may have warmed up to the idea of love marriage but arranged marriage continues to be more or less like it was years ago. As our “desi: tradition goes, it is only matter of few hours before the deal is sealed and the family decides the man and the woman would be the groom and bride. But before they got hitched, over the period of two month, through emails and Skype calls 24-year-old Nazreen Fazal decided to know her husband and set things out what she expect in her partner and what she really was. Satisfied with the patient answering and matching thought they decided to tie the knot in arranged way. Read the full story here
6) No toilet in groom’s house, Kanpur woman refuses to tie knot
Government may have inititaed swachh bharat abhiyan and planned a zillion things for motivating Indians to build a toilet at their home, but nothing seemed to have altered the reality. Even powerful ad campaign by Vidya Balan could change little things on ground. In fact to many it might seem a bizarre idea of not having a bathroom at home. So, now overlooking the basic needs, she decided to call off her wedding when the would-be-groom failed to raise a toilet even after promising. Read the full story here
7) Bride cancels wedding after being forced to dance to an item song
First dance at wedding with your partner is special and romantic but to force your bride to dance to peppy numbers to entertain guests is as humiliating as it can get. Refusing to be ill-treated with disrespect and objectifying, a woman in Agra tore off her varmala and called off the wedding. According to a report by the Times of India, the groom’s family forced the couple to dance and she declined. After a few moments, the groom tried to force her again and was intervened by her uncle, who was in return slapped! Insulted the bride’s family asked the baraat to return but it all ended in a scuffle and even the police were called in.
Couples whose marriage made a difference
8) When India’s youngest single parent got married and invited 10000 homeless people
Twenty-eight-year-old Aditya Tiwari made international headlines when he fought a rigorous fight to change the adoption policies in the country and adopted a toddler with down syndrome as his boy. He again drew attention when he decided to get married in July this year. His wedding was attended by 10000 unique guests, who were homeless, aged people and orphans whom nobody invites to a wedding. Besides this animals at a nearby zoo were also feed along with hundreds of dogs in his locality. Reports by the Logical India said over 1000 trees were planted for the ocassion too.
9) This couple donated all their money saved for marriage to change how weddings happen in India
When IRS officer Abhay Deware and bank manager Preeti Kumbhare decided to get married they evaluated the among on money spent (read wasted) on triffle affairs from band, lavish menum gold and make-up and what not. Instead this Amravati couple tied aknot in July in the most humle way possible and donated all the money that was kept for their wedding. The couple donated Rs 20,000 each to ten families where their sole bread earners, a farmer had committed suicide. They provided books of competitive examinations worth Rs 52,000 to five libraries in Amravati, including at their native village Umbarda Bazaar in Karanja Lad, reported the Times of India.
Other inspiring stories by a bride-to-be
10) Bengaluru woman turned down a guy’s marriage proposal because he disliked her dog!
What could be the various reasons for which a woman would turn down a ‘suitable match’ fixed by her parents–many; but certainly one does not expect it to be your pet. That’s probably the reason why Karishma Walia’s story went viral. She turned down a guy’s proposal after he declared his general dislike for dogs and clarified his mother was not fond of the furry creatures either. When Walia clearly said it would not work out and it she “can’t abandon her dog for Anyone” the guy evidently was irked. He even went to the extent of asking her to marry her dog, Lucy! Read full story here
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines