The new Perk ad caught my attention because for a second there, I felt it was so out of the 1990s! The girl says her father started crying when she told him about her boyfriend. Then the couple decided to elope, and what happened next was really funny. Why it felt like the 90s was because these kinds of scenarios of “bhaag ke shaadi karenge” used to happen back then. Not anymore.
But maybe I am wrong. Cos soon after I finished laughing over the ad, I received a call from a friend. She was calling to invite me for her wedding. She was marrying one of our classmates from college. It was a typical cute love story – two best friends, who did not know they loved each other, till they knew they loved each other. They just sort of – fell into it… But she did not sound as gleeful or as “giggly” as gonna-be-brides sound. She sounded serious, anxious. So I asked her if something was up. If parents were cool with it. She said no, her dad was not “cool with it.” Nor was he attending the wedding. I am not quite sure how things are on the groom’s side.
Such things still do happen, even though this is not the 90s. There is a stigma attached not only when a couple marries for love, but even before the nuptials actually take place. There is a certain section of society that looks down upon people involved in relationships. Needless to say, it is usually the woman who has to bear the brunt of the society. If a girl is involved in a bad breakup, she’s still considered “damaged goods.” No one sees her broken, bleeding heart. In fact, the Keralites have a very fruity (read – degrading, derisive etc.) word for a girl who has “dated”: Thullichi. Translated into something on the lines of “jumpy” in a derogatory way (and told to me by one of my teachers because my best friend in school was a guy. best “friend” – no more, no less, and yet!)
Due to all these reasons, it is rare that a girl would take a bold step to claim her beloved and tell the world she is going to marry him. But there are chances that her family would feel “betrayed”, “ashamed” to have a thullichi for a daughter. Sometimes, when I ignorantly believe that parents these days are a lot more accepting than the days of their parents, I hear such stories from all parts of the country. It is like one set of Indian parents revel in the happiness of their children, the other set opposes it and both sets are not aware of the other’s existence!
Kudos to you, my friend. May you have a lovely life ahead with your groom