Big fat Kashmiri weddings

It is nothing but sheer waste of our precious resources
Big fat Kashmiri weddings
Representational Image

On 5th April 2003,it was my first visit to the beautifulcity of Pune. I got stuck at the airport, as it was raining incessantlyoutside. My friend couldn't manage to reach there in time. I stayed back andsaw few gentleman wearing somewhat same kind of golden embroidered head caps. For the next 3 years, I wasblessed to have few friends from there and got a chance to know more about them which are truly things ofadmiration and respect. I am not here to discuss their faith but there arecertain practices which they follow in letter and a spirit, which arepraiseworthy and paramount need of the hour to know and if possible, should beput into practice by us as well.

They are well known businessmen of India and have earnedlaurels in hardware and construction industries. They have strong presence inBombay, Pune, Gujarat, Kuwait, Dubai and other Gcc countries. More than theirbusiness acumen, I was pleased to know that except "WALAS" with theirsurnames like Gorakhpurwala, Ginawala, Burhanpore wala, etc, as such nocastesism, no superior, inferior classes exist among them.

You will hardly find them working in a government sector andmostly they prefer to set up their own enterprises. They provide interest freeloans to the down trodden people of their community to ensure, they don'tremain unemployed and deprived of livelihood. They always stay united for thecommunity's upliftment and keep their affairs very simple but aim at an  abounding prosperity for everyone.

Mostly when their girls are studying in 12th standard, theyprefer to engage them at the young age, without any desire and demand for thehigh caste and not giving much heed to the fact whether the groom is earning or not. They trust their affairs to theAllah who is the best sustainer and will provide them the amenities of life atthe right time. By this early engagement concept, no room is left for thetemptations and indecencies. They don't restore to anything which is prohibitedby Islam. The two work for their common goals of prosperity. On the day ofmarriage, a delicious feast is arranged for the guests in community halls. Thecost of the arrangements is very affordable. They don't fake to proveotherwise. Everything is done than and there with simplicity and under setnorms only.

Now look at our marriages, it has evolved into a web ofsocial evils and stigmas. It is much more than the menu of limitless dishes,guests and the wastages. It is taking a heavy toll on our faith and we arefalling into the trap of our own ignorance and arrogance.

Kashmiris only strive for two things in life, building house(Makan) and soliciting  the Marriageceremonies (Wazwan). The earnings are spent ostentatiously on the above  priorities, leaving HAJ obligations asidewhich will be only performed when they are fully satisfied that they have metthem to the best of their social status otherwise compulsory religious obligationstake a back seat.

Right from the day one when a girl child is born, theserious cause of concern starts growing for making the arrangements for hercopper collections (Traami Sundok) Fridge, LED TV, washing machine, jeweleryetc. Marriage becomes the top priority. For years they work hard for this dayand desire to make it more lavish even if it's beyond their financial limits.

Our criteria are very rigid. We cannot accept the thingswhich are below our status and look little lesser than actually what we pretendto be .What we preach, we contradict by our actions. Without fear andaccountability, do what's not commanded by our holy book. No where the casteprivileges are mentioned in Quran. One cannot think of marrying a girl or a boywhose families consider themselves superior and blessed. It is utmost important that the caste and wealthshould match otherwise you will not be clueless about the rejections.

Now a days, we rarely see the families who don't have anydemands. Among middle class, it is mandatory, If a boy is govt employee, he willbe hitched to the girl who is also working in the govt sector otherwise he isnot ready to compromise. This tops the wishlist. The highly Qualified girls areignored despite having many merits.Here we don't have much Job avenues, for howlong should they wait? and with the result, each passing day, they are ageingto lament over the disappointments.

Forget about the expensive wazwan platters,Kashmiri weddings have become more trendy asthere should be certified make up artists, mehendi designers, decorators,cinematographers. Rich take pride in such extravagance but how can people withlimited income afford such luxurious.

As per the  reportspublished in GK on 23rd Feb 2018 by Mukeet Akmali,more than 10000 girls havecrossed the marriagable age in srinager district, reason being the extravagancetrend set by the rich. There is this Surat based business who has married offmore than 1800 girls since  2012,cannoteach Kashmiri businessmen pledge to arrange at least mass marriage of 10 girlsevery year.

But poverty is not the only root cause, there are otherrelated factors which I have discussed above and need immediate attention likeparents prefer govt employees, their castes should match, nuclear families arepreferred ones, only doctors and engineers get the edge, girls cannotcompromise on their prince charming, he should be nothing less than that, someinfamous character in the family spoils the whole show, it  depends on the neighborhood feedback as wellbut unfortunately Kashmiris are the best at bad mouthing, most Kashmiri boysstart earning only after the age of 25 years and take a lot of time to settledown. Lastly our religious leaders are not taking pains to create the awarenessas per the guidelines of Quran and least bother to talk about this growingmenace. All these, are affecting the sacredness of marriages in one way orother.

Allah hates extravagance and unnecessary show offs. Alwaysremember, simplicity is sacred and peaceful. Let's introspect, address our shortcomings first and play Individualroles sincerely to make the difference and create a breathable space foreveryone!

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