This Bride’s Father Has Gone Into Debt Feeding The Groom’s Family And Baraatis Stranded Due To The Lockdown. Why Couldn’t They Pitch In?
It’s good to be nice to people, but not at a cost that will leave you with your finances and self-esteem in tatters. We are a country that screams “Atithi devo bhava” and maybe when this brand statement was made, it was relevant. But today, it has become a sasta concentrated mix of what used to be. Firstly, most people love their privacy and we don’t want guests overstaying their welcome. Secondly, they cost money. Like most people don’t like distant relatives staying with them, suddenly acting like family after bitching about us to other relatives, right? Still, we keep a smile on and continue to serve them because we couldn’t possibly dare to fail the biggest policy of our country. Then, of course, there are guests who will take the phrase so seriously that they will refuse to help you out or stay like kings for weeks because who wants to miss out on an opportunity like this? So what is really left of this phrase?
Yet, a family in Bihar is religiously following the concept and serving their guests even if it means they fall deeper in debt. A newly-wed bride, Salma Khatoon’s family is facing some serious consequences of the lockdown as the baraatis couldn’t return home and are stranded in her village.
The groom, a resident of Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh apparently made an appeal to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to rescue them as his father-in-law is under debt, trying to find all of them in the lockdown. “Guests too have some dignity and decorum to follow. In all fairness to the Indian culture, it is beneath the dignity to overstay our welcome at the host’s house. CM Nitish Kumar may understand the helpless situation we have been facing. We are in a dharmsankat sir,” said Mohammed Abid, the groom.
The groom and his family reached the Mathiya village on 19th March and their nikaah took place on 24th March. As the lockdown was announced, the baraatis got stranged in the village with no means to go back home.
Bridegroom’s father Akhbar Miyan sympathized with the bride’s father saying, “If my words are reaching the leaders and especially chief minister Nitish Kumar sir, I’d like to request them to treat our case as an exception. My samdhi is in a bad state. He has taken a loan to feed us and provide comfort. It is embarrassing for us to see him like this.”
However, the bride’s father Anrul Miyan is still giving the baraatis the best of treatment because for him, it’s a matter of honour. “They are my samdhan- samdhi and son-in-law’s relatives. For us, making them compromise means our respect gone,” he said.
He further explained his crisis, “We did not have enough to feed ourselves for the first 14 days of the lockdown. Sensing the imminent crisis, we approached our village headman but no help came through. I had no option but to borrow money from my co-villagers.”
Thankfully, the bride’s family is receiving some help now from the block officials. “Entertaining his request, we are looking forward to help him by providing food grains,” said Raghvendra Tripathi, block development officer (BDO), Narkatiganj.
But seriously, my point is why does the bride’s father have to incur the cost of feeding all these people for so many weeks? I understand if it’s a couple of days or just a couple of people. But it’s no joke to accommodate so many people for so long. The least they could do is pitch in financially. It’s only fair. Instead of being a martyr and getting into debt, the family could have kept the pride aside and just ask everyone to pitch in.
But then again, we don’t know the dynamics of that group. Maybe the father is afraid the bride’s in-laws will find it rude. Is it reeking of sexism? You know, how the bride’s family is supposed to pay for things and all that. But here’s hoping it’s not like that.
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We come from a culture that has so many grey zones, it’s difficult to tell. Maybe it’s really, really high time to take care of ourselves too and not feel guilty asking people to also give and not just take.