Short Story: The Marriage

indian wedding

He stands there, resplendent in hid traditional white kurta and mundu. He is getting married. His beautiful bride, clad in her gorgeous traditional silk saree and bedecked with shiny gold ornaments, sits next to him. The cameras flash, her numerous necklaces and bangles twinkling bright, but her radiant eyes unmatched. I stand beside them, their best friend for years, a smile plastered on my face. But the storm clouds are gathered in my heart. I don’t let it show, because it’s their day. Their hour of victory.

His mother, effervescent in her abounding joy, stands proudly behind her soon-to-be-daughter-in-law, whom she has known for close to twelve years. The elders in the family tell them what to do, fulfilling their self-assigned role as guides. The couple follows their every word, lest they make an errant mistake. The groom fumbles with his mundu as he stands up. Everyone titters indulgently. He gives his bride a hand to help her up. We friends cackle as the bride blushes and gives us her trademark deathly glare. As he takes the fine golden chain in his hands, his mother holds the bride’s hair back. Even though a part of me wants to put an end to this farce, I know I can’t. I shouldn’t. So I don’t. He ties the knot and we shower them with flower petals. They exchange heavy garlands of flowers in rainbow colours. They are married. The groom grins. The bride breathes a sigh of relief and smiles. The elders share mirth, and we youngsters laugh and joke with the happy couple. I smile, despite my misgivings.

So what if he likes dicks and she’s a dyke? Since they aren’t allowed to be with who they want to be, why not find happiness in each other’s company, friends as they have been for so long. Now that they have placated society’s desperate need to chain a single man and woman in the shackles of marriage, they can finally have some personal space. So what if they enjoy their honeymoon as best friends, the best of relationships, and then find solace in their lovers? So what if he goes to bed on his first night to his boyfriend, and she to her lover of four years? They will be happy, and that’s all that matters. And since now the world can’t peep into their private lives, which they consider their right otherwise, without violating the ‘sanctity of marriage’, they can find peace in their own private lives as a big, unusual family. So what if, when asked by his mother for a grandchild, he impregnates his wife in a clinic? The child will be loved more than any, with its two fathers and two mothers. What’ better for a child, if society is to be believed, than two fathers as providers and two mothers to look after and pamper him? Isn’t that something? Isn’t it alright in the end?

So I smile. I smile with all my heart. I bless the marriage.

Arjun Unnikrishnan
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