Recently, in the June end, I attended my best friend’s wedding, who is a Marwari. As she belongs to a very wealthy family she had sent me a very precious looking wedding card. Since she is my best friend I reached her place 10 days before the wedding date to help her out with the preparations and practice for the dance of the Mahila Sangeet Function, which is held in the evening before the wedding day. They had called special choreographers for that function and paid them around 6 lakhs only for teaching dance to all the members and relatives of the family and friends.
Functions other then wedding started 5 days before the wedding date. Every day a celebrity host or a singer or a dancer or performer was called just for normal functions. From this, you can figure out, to what extent they must have gone to show off their wealth on the wedding day and on Mahila Sangeet function. Dancers and performers from abroad stay for countless number of guests in the five star hotel in Udaipur. Pick up and drop facility for all the invitees, giving away laptops and expensive mobile phones as winning gifts for the games they made us play, infinite food items, and the extra ordinary entry of the Bridegroom in the Space Shuttle on the wedding day. OH MY GOD!! That was way too much. The worst thing is yet to come. That is giving of loads and loads of dowry. The total expenditure they did on wedding including dowry was around 5-6 crore.
But the admirable part is that, there are many Marwari’s, who are becoming alert on this issue and taking positive steps against this. Like in Kolkata, 80 Marwari associations announced that they have decided to be less flashy about the weddings. Right from the wedding invitations to the Bidai they will have simple arrangements but big celebration. They have decided to boycott every marriage where dowry is accepted and have also decided to revive the traditional system called ‘four-rupee milni’. This meeting was attended by various social activists including dignitaries. This decision has been accepted and appreciated by international, national and local associations and many more. The Marwari community has also come up with an idea of seeking help of the religious gurus on this matter as they have greater influence on the society.
The aim behind this strict decision is to build a progressive Marwari Society. If one community has started this tradition others should also follow it. This seems to be just the beginning and the same can be followed by other communities in India. It is believed that a lot can be saved and this money can be channelized for some philanthropic efforts by the bride and the groom. For example choosing eco friendly wedding invitations will not only save money but it will also reflect how much you care for the environment and the nation in particular.