Shunting out what is futile!
Ever since the advent of mankind, man has witnessed numberless revolutions which changed both the face of and fate of the society. Whereas some revolutions were abrupt and sudden, the others were well thought out and planned. The causes of these revolutions though differed marginally, the atmosphere pre-revolution has almost remained to be the same and that is restlessness, anxiety, insecurity and fear among the masses with regard to the social, political, moral and geographical ills & spheres.
Kashmir with respect to its culture and traditions has changed dramatically and there is no escaping to this fact. But the question that stirs the mind is that how far have these changes been feasible and favourable for us as a society. We must embrace the facts and be ready to bring about the changes that need to be brought about.
Marriage ceremony is always a mouth-watering moment for Kashmiris. The stimulus of a marriage ceremony here is so strong that it attracts us like a magnet. We don’t waste time in making plans when the marriage ceremony of any of our friend, relative or a family member is around the corner. Looking through both the prisms i.e moral and social, it is not out of place to mention here that marriage actually is a pious and sacred bond that is tied by a thread of trust, understanding and love &neither religion nor the law forces us to stretch the ceremony for years. Unfortunately it has become a saga of events starting from pledge ceremony going into a dozen more ceremonies and finally the marriage is finalized.
So many superficial customs have been introduced that it has actually become a matter of stress for the ones who have to wed. We are never sure how much we may need to spend and after the marriage fire turns into ashes, seeing the fathers running in huge debt is common here. Isn’t it a shame that we are taking loans for getting our children married? And do these customs really make our marriages special? Don’t we need to ask such questions to ourselves? I just wonder who taught us that we must serve the marriage guests in an embroidered plate, cup and the saucer? Who made this hierarchy of “JUICES, DRY FRUIT BOWL, SWEET PACKET ETC” an integral part of our marriages? So much money, food and other items are wasted that I am afraid that this useless squandering will subsequently turn us useless in many ways.
Now all said & heard, where to locate solutions? The solution lies in yet another social revolution which has to be brought by all of us and the onus of that must be put on the youth (boys and girls). We being educated and very much aware of our financial instabilities owing to the unemployment and political turmoil here must nip this evil in the bud. We must break the rule of “PHI CHAKRAS SOUN WASS TE RUPYAS PAANCH HATH” (An ornament and a cash payment of Rs. 500 on every visit to the bride’s home & vice versa). Greatness doesn’t lie in following the traditions with the shut eyes but in moulding the stubborn and turning the sour into sweet. We have to pave way for making marriages an easy affair and that is possible only, if we begin from our own marriages and those inventing different kinds of novel customs must be put to the task and dealt with a will that deters others from repeating the same. I am not unmindful of the fact that it is a huge stereotype but there is a scope of changing it favourably if not breaking. We need to talk to all the cross sections of the society. We must deliberate on it and success surely won’t be far. It won’t go in an instant rather will take time. So, we have to be patient but do it because if not we, who else will?
(The author is a former teacher & presently works as a banking associate in J&K Bank. [email protected])