aroon colored Kanchipuram pure silk sari was draped around her which accentuated her fair complexion. Gold jewelry embellished with precious stones adorned her. Her eyes bore thick kohl and lips was painted with light pink lipstick. A bindi decorated her forehead and the diamond nose-pin was desperately trying to overshadow the flawless beauty of her face. A huge dangler on her ears shamelessly lay kissing her neck. Flowers were tucked in her hair which was plaited long. Numerous bangles adorned her hands and big finger rings cried for attention. The hip-chain further emphasized her slim figure. Her anklets made feeble jingling.
She looked most beautiful that day. Like an Indian Goddess. Like an Angel. All the expensive and well-crafted jewelry went unnoticed. Thanks to her eternal beauty.
As she walked towards the mandap, all the eyes were on her. But her eyes were fixed to the ground. She glided like a dream. Looking at her, the groom almost forgot to repeat the mantras recited by the Brahmin priest.
But she walked slowly, yet angelically, towards mandap unmindful of the stares and ignoring the crowd’s admiration for her.
After all, she was fuming from within. She was angry at the world for forcing her to get married at the age of 18. She was angry that her own parents failed her; that they forced her to discontinue her studies and abandon her dreams. She was angry at herself for being so helpless. She cursed herself for being born as a woman. She wondered when people would change and when they would realize that woman have heart too. She hated everybody in that mandap; from herself to all others.
Yet, she proceeded towards the groom and sat beside him. Her eyes were still fixed to the ground. She didn’t want to look at him -s the 32 years old balding man. She didn’t want to stare at his bulging belly or the pan smeared tooth. She didn’t want to self-pity herself. The thought of living a life with him seemed unbearable; punishing.
It was her parents who chose him for her because he was rich and was old enough to take care of her. But she desperately wished that they let her grow up first so that she was old enough to take care of not only herself but her family too. She wished she was allowed to study, earn and live her life in her terms.
As the groom tied the sacred thread around her neck, she closed her eyes. No she was not shy; but in disgust. Sadly, she knew that he would rape her that night. After all, he owns their marriage certificate; the license to sleep with her and bear a child soon regardless of the fact whether she is ready for it or not.
A tear slipped down her eyes. And she heard others comment that those were tears of happiness. After all, so lucky she was; marrying at the age of eighteen to a rich and affluent man!
Yes! Very lucky, she though ironically.