When Reema Kallingal and Aashique Abu decided to go out together, that itself was a chance for the Karan Johars and Simi Garewals of Kerala to wring their hands and buzz around in excited (and exaggerated) horror. When they decided to move in together, the Facebook/Twitter traffic from Kerala rose substantially. They were referred to as the ‘Romeo and Juliet’ of Malayalam cinema, the ‘Couple who decided to cut their own paths’ and were endowed with many other less than complementary titles. However, when they decided to get married on 1st November 2013, people where in for a shock – not because of the obviously-in-your-face-inter-religion thing, but because of their decision to skip the ‘Big, Fat Indian Wedding’ and opt for a simple register marriage. On his Facebook page, Mr.Aashique Abu issued a statement declaring that they’ll skip the imperative wedding extravaganza and the reception that follows every celebrity marriage and instead will donate the amount to Ernakulam Govt. Hospital’s cancer wing.
And that was the beginning of the rebirth of register marriages. In my childhood days, register marriage was a scandalous affair. It was synonymous to elopement, to scandals and what not. No ‘shareef ghar ki ladki/ladka’ would ever opt for this abominable practice. Even if one did resort to it, it was all hushed up before ‘people heard’. There where only two kind of people who let this happen – couples deeply in love (mostly of different caste/religion) whose family refuse to bless their union or communists. It is difficult to say which was frowned upon more by the society. And for a society that has been comfortably set in this rut dug by their forefathers, Reema and Aashique’s move was a jhatka indeed.
As for me, I was thrilled to the core. Now I’d be lying if I said this was something I wanted to do. Nope, I had never even thought about it. But I loved the idea of not spending lakhs of hard-earned money on a bunch of gold that you, in all probability, will wear just once in your life (more on that later). But deep inside me, I had this nagging thought that it was all cool because they were celebrities. I mean, would someone from a well-off family, sufficiently educated…would they think of chucking away a chance to show off their “stuff” and do the socially “OMG” thing? I didn’t think so.
But I was proved wrong (and gladly so) by a certain Najma and Jerry, people I don’t know at the slightest. Educated, smart and very much in love (personal inference, that one is :P). And, this I found very interesting, both Catholics. No inter-religion/caste here. 2 people who could’ve gotten married at any church they wanted but chose to get married the way they wanted. *Standing ovation*
And again, just today, my dad’s colleague called up to say that his son was getting married. But we aren’t invited, no sir. They are to register their marriage at Trivandrum and donate the amount set aside for it to a charity. Oh, did I mention that this colleague uncle is a conservative Brahmin?
Here’s to hoping that this trend will catch on like Sania Mirza’a nose-ring!