Friday, April 23, 2010

Marriage matters- Journey to the altar part 6

Sorry people, we got carried away a little bit in this journey. Happens!! right? Then realised that we left behind a lot of friends who were following our journey closely. So here we come back again.

Everything was fine despite the lover’s quarrels and my bouts of depression. I woke up feeling depressive and blamed it on my PMS . The cards had been printed and mom had sent me a bundle to distribute to my friends and teachers. ‘Who’ had sent his share of cards too, insisting I distribute his cards along with mine to my guide and some friends. I smiled looking at his green card with silver embossing; royally done. “It’s my first wedding so let that be royal”, he had said. I was a bit nervous with the marriage taking place at his church.

We belonged to two denominations- ‘Who’ is a Syrian Orthodox and I Syrian Catholic. Technically we are all Christians and believe in the same God. But when it comes to marrying, churches get over protective and possessive. No church has ever explained to me if there are different tracks in heaven to mark one denomination superior to other. However mom was happy about ‘who’ being a Syrian Orthodox which meant I need not convert to his denomination.

I was however asked to go and collect a letter from an Orthodox church in Chennai which I dutifully did. The priest seemed too spirited to give me a dogmatic lecture on joining the new clan. I was fretting over not being able to use a veil for my wedding when ‘who’ called. To have the engagement in my church the groom’s people needed a letter from their church. We had just a week for engagement. His voice was wavering. He was weeping and kept blabbering “don’t leave me”. It took me some time to calm him over the phone. And to think of this was the same guy who had left me once. “Don’t hate me for this but I am told I am not a Syrian orthodox, I am a Malankara Orthodox”. This would look like just two words to many but to me the sky fell that instant.

Catholics pride themselves being the largest section of Christians. They differ from Protestants basically in three ways. 1)They follow a leader- Pope. 2)They believe in saints and have lots of them. 3)They have church practices and hierarchy outside bible.
‘Who’ and his denomination is a group that cannot be classified Catholics because they don’t follow the pope but they have a different leader in Antioch, a place in Turkey. But since they believe in similar practices and have common origins as Catholic church, marriages were possible between these groups initially. Like all political group a recent split within their church made our church cancel these mixed marriages.

I always asked ‘who’ about these stuffs and he assured me he was a Syrian Orthodox. But when I insisted to confirm he called up his dad’s place only to realise what he believed all these years was wrong. And now with cards printed he was hysteric that I would leave him under parental pressure.

The marriage was not impossible all I had to do was to convert to his side. But that would mean I won’t have the engagement at my place and all would know something was wrong. Moreover it would be breach of trust. ‘Who’ could not help yelling at his father who took the matter trivial and said if the girl has to come to our place let her convert.
My mother took it rather well and said let’s see how we can repair the damage. To top it all we were all in four cities and trying to sort things over phone.

Who’ decided to marry at my church to save my mother from embarrassment. She had already gone ahead and agreed for my wishes and ‘who’ felt his father was at wrong for repeatedly saying they were of a different denomination. What irked me most was how unaware they were of their own religion and if it meant nothing to them why were they furious and adamant about marrying from same community? Why did it boil down to the girl always? We take up new names; surnames sometimes even convert to a new religion because that’s what the society prescribes.

But here ‘Who’ had decided to turn tables. We were on voice conference with ‘who’s’ brother when mom called me up. She joined the voice conference and said “who’s dad had called now. He asked her what mom’s opinion was on calling of the wedding? He said he would not let the wedding happen.

Who ‘went silent? He once told me if he had to choose between me and his parents, he would leave both of us. I was angry at the vehemence of his parents who believed they could impose anything they wanted because they were the groom’s party.
“What do you plan to do?” asked mom.

For a moment I wished I was dreaming. I tore the first wedding card. I did not want this whole fuss, I could not dream of entering a new life, a new family in this chaos.
Are you planning to leave me? ‘Who’ asked. “I think we should call off the wedding and think and give some time”, I said.

3 comments:

jils said...

ithenna orumathiri detective novel kondu poi nirthunna pole nirthiyekkunne.... ini ithinte adutha part varan naalu maasam kazhiyanaarikkum ;)

~moonstruck~ said...

I agree with Jils!!

next part ASAP please............

bhuji said...

ok guys now it wnt delay but jus be patient