A christian, native of America, born and brought up there, fell in Love with an Indian girl hailing from a conservative family. He met her at work.
He followed her all the way to India, and was successful in convincing her parents to get her hand in marriage. Only condition of her parents was that the marriage happens in the Indian style!
He went back to USA, got his parents to India, and the marriage preperations were started.
Meanwhile his friends, wellwishers and neighbours got interested in this strange tie of cultures and booked their flights directly to India. All in all 17 families discented in Bangalore for this extravaganza.
The curiosity they all had for the culture of this land finally turned to Love, looking at the affection locals showered on them. They prepared for the wedding as if it is a celebration of this new found affection.
The Hindu bride was busy shopping sarees for not only her, but also to her in laws and their friends. Her to be husband was to be coronated to brahminism officially with the thread ceremony just before the marriage.
All went well, the groom and his party had a definitive plans to attend the marriage with utmost interest and were fully prepared to patiently follow each and every aspect of the Indian marriage.
The bride's family was nervous on the other hand; this was not only a question of the prestige of the family at stake, but also that of the country at stake! They took cautious steps in arranging for everything related to the marriage. They contacted a host of vedic exponents to learn about what sorts of procedures to be followed, what was the plan in place in sacred texts etc. And every thing was set right in time and the marriage was perfectly organised.
Right from the brilliant fusion of Nadaswara orchestra to the vedic chants mesmerised the visitors. The luncheon contained carefully chosen menu prepared by the best in the business. But not sure how much it appaled the visitors, since they came from a differnt fooding culture. Yet, they all praised the quality of food to be the best.
And the wedding contained all the ceremonies that is performed in a usual south indian marriage; the visitors participating in every thing patiently, and smilingly of course.
Now coming to the point... the "moral of the story" is, the Hindu community is changing, and changing to open itself to that dawn which never sets.
What makes me say so:
- A few centuries ago, Indians had never known of any conversions.
- A few decades ago, there was no conversions to Hinduism.
- Once converted away from Hinduism, there was no question of behaving with that person normally, lest taking him back in to its fold.
- Once the conversion to another religion happened, Hindus would not even consider drinking a drip of water from his hands!
- Even if the convert doesn't eat beaf, nor touch the non vegetarian food, he would be considered a taboo from the society.
- The converts were made to feel neither belong to here, nor to there, and end their lives in the confused state of faith, hatred and sagacity.
Such a community waking up to accepting and allowing 'others' to have a feel of its divine practices....is something miraculous. The good thing about the whole stuff here is that it happened in the Brahman community which is the most conservative of all the internal communities in Hinduism!
I totally appreciate the brave initiative by the groom and her family to honour the real essence of the Vedic living, the "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam"!
Could this well be a beginning of a change that was in waiting for a long time to take place or are the people gaining proper senses to live life like its sacred texts, finally?