Basically, we had visited Varanasi and Patna for the marriage of Babloo, the eldest son of Nirmal, my cousin, but it has so happened that I didn’t cover that in my blogging.
As it appeared, the marriage in Bihar and perhaps in all states still remains tied up with dowry. And in the dowry market, the worst is one who lives in village. Every parent wishes to get a bridegroom working in urban area. But I feel bad when a father who has not been able to do anything significant in life, and who has not earned himself demand dowry as if by having a son he has done something great and he must get his price. Nirmal has not done anything in life. He is a PH.D, but couldn’t get himself effectively engaged. In my prime day when he had finished his Master Degree from BHU, I had got him a job in HM taking an obligation from the then President. But very soon, he left the job for a temporary job in a private college. He had to pay some donation too for that job. Some years ago, he had left that job too and now has brought a house in Varanasi. He is so younger to me and does do anything to keep himself engaged. I don’t know why I feel bad about it.
Tilak ceremony was lavishly arranged. Nirmal had a large number of guests too. I kept going back to our young days when the tilak in village used to be a great festive affair. Nirmal’s father and my uncle was famous for his excessive benevolence. The whole village used to be in the courtyard of the village house.
Marriage in Patna was hardly that enjoyable as none from the bride side requested me to bring along Yamuna, who had come with me. Neither Nirmal could understand and appreciate what we wanted. I could go to the marriage courtesy Ashok, my other cousin who works in Railways as ACP at Vadodara. We joined the marriage procession. In the marriage today, everyone of all means are trying to copy the all the functions that are held by the affluent families of metros. The procession include band party with dancing boys and girls and fireworks. Even the rural Bihar also enjoys the dancing, perhaps they get a glimpse of a ‘nauch’ girls that used to be the part of rural marriages in good old days. Garland exchange between bride and bridegroom has come from urban marriages and has become an enjoyable part of the marriage rituals. Hardly anyone attends the actual marriage ceremony that goes on late in night. After the dinner that is all getting arranged buffet style in similar manner everywhere, the guests return. I returned with Ashok to Janardan’s place where we were staying. Jana Dan had to take the trouble. Shook keeps me reminding of the marriage and Norma’s way of treating us as one of the usual guest from the village. My uncle had come all the way from village. He undertakes this risk that he should not. I spent some quality time with him that evening.
And now I realize I must not consider myself an important member of the family that I thought I belong to. That is no more alive. The fragmentation has made the families small, nucleus and selfish.