K stands for : Kanyadaan
Pic credit : weddingokay.com
Kanyadaan – This hefty word has been very very hard to digest for her mind , since childhood .
The word Kanyadaan has inflamed Rekha’s mind whenever it has been used . She still remembers when a day before her marriage , she had overheard her Papa whispering tensely to her mother ” The groom’s family wants us to keep atleast 200 gm of gold in Jamai Raja’s hand at the time of Kanyadaan ” And she also has a fresh picture in her mind when her Papa had actually placed a folded cheque along while placing her hand onto the the Rajiv’s hand . At that moment , Rekha’s mind had started questioning itself again , as it had been questioning since childhood .
Since childhood , Rekha attended many weddings with her parents . At every wedding , she always saw Pandit G reciting some mantras , asking father of the bride to keep his daughter’s hand in the groom’s hand , and then after pouring some sanctified water on the couple’s hands , the declaration made “Kanyadaan Sampann Hua “. Although she was a child at that time but not so little that she could not translate Kanyadaan . When the innocent mind translated , it used to stir up her mind , every time . Rekha grew up from a child to a mature educated girl but the age old Kanyadaan is still the same , it didn’t grow up . She still has to face the questions her mind asks, the pressure that the word Kanyadaan creates, while witnessing any wedding . Apart from that hefty word Kanyadaan , another moment which she finds disturbing is when she sees the bride’s maang filled with red sindoor .
These two rituals , Kanyadaan and Maang Bharo , trouble her mind . Kanyadaan – as if the girl is donated and is now alloted to someone else ? Donated ? We donate things/objects , Do we donate human beings too ? And why this donation is only of daughters ? Do I sound wrong ? And the second ceremony of Maang Bharo as if the groom is putting his new ownership mark on the bride .
Is SHE an object which you are Donating , under the ceremony name Kanyadaan ?
Is SHE an object on which you are putting your ownership mark , under the ceremony name Maang Bharo ?
At every wedding , it is always the groom objectifying the woman . Why never a bride putting an ownership mark on the groom ? From the day one , a married girl can be identified by her red bangles , Maang filled with sindoor, mangal sutra , bindi and what not . These are ownership marks that the patriarchal society has made for the woman . But is there any identification mark for a married man ? Answer is NO . But Why NO ? Because , the society considers only the woman as an object . History has its proof . Shouldn’t today’s women should also create few such ownership marks for the married man? Like tattooing an ear with with wife’s name or putting a mangal sutra kind of bracelet 😎
On Rekha’s own marriage when her father had placed that folded cheque to cater to the new family’s gold demand , there was a question -answer session within Rekha’s own mind . “Two hundred gm gold ???? Do they know how much it costs ? So much Dowry ??? And they are demanding it as if it is their right ? Or is it that they are shopping at a mall and asking compensation on receipt of a defective item ? Am I a defective item ? ITEM ? How can my post graduation in science make me an item ? And that too defective ? And What are my own parents doing , why are they fulfilling groom’s every demand ? Are my parents bribing for throwing away their defective item ? ITEM ? What nonsense ?
It’s been 5 months that Rekha’s parents did her Kanyadaan and also fed the new family’s mouth with dowry ( Dowry or Bribe ? I don’t know ) , the word Kanyadaan is still not leaving her #Astitva . Rekha’s ears still get the irritating dose of taunts like : ” Khaali haath hi aa gyi , Log to apni beti ke kanyadaan par itna kuch dete hain ” or ” Maa ne rasoi ka hunar sikhaye bina hi daan kar di Kanya ”
My thoughts on the word ‘Kanyadaan’
The word ‘Kanyadaan’ literally is a unite of two words Kanya (daughter) and Daan(donate ) . It is a main ritual of Hindu marriages . I don’t know much about the religious importance of Kanyadaan and I don’t even want to hurt anybody’s feelings , But this word ‘Kanyadaan ?? Doesn’t it raise lot many questions in your mind ? Do you really donate your daughter ? Why can’t the couple just unite without the girl being donated to a man ? We talk of breaking free from the patriarchal society but at the same time , we just don’t want to leave this custom of Kanyadaan , which is objectifying the woman . Isn’t this custom like watering the patriarchal society ? Is your daughter just an object that you donate ? No she is not an object . She is the one who loved you more than anybody else. She is the one who chirped in your life and made it sweeter . She is your soul . Then how can you even think of donating her ? Have you ever thought of Putradaan? No ? Why not ? Just because our minds have been conditioned so . The society’s minds have been conditioned that even today woman is considered the weaker sex at many instances. She needs a man’s hand on her head always , she needs a protective environment , blah blah blah . When I read my daughter’s hindi book, I still see the synonym of Nari as Abla . What the hell ? Which century are we living in ? Abla , Kanyadaan , Such words need to be extinguished , not just from the dictionaries but from the minds . No need of Kanyadaan ; If there has to be some daan , let it be Ego daan to the Hawan Kund and let there be Respect daan to each other . You may want to keep the Pandit rituals same but atleast come out of this age old terminology and mindset .
Want to read my post about Woman – Is she really independent ? Click Here