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“Why Is It That Only A Girl Has To Wear It?” Couple Exchanges Mangalsutras On Wedding Day

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Couple exchanges mangalsutras: Traditional Hindu custom guides that the groom, on wedding day, clasps a mangalsutra (sacred thread) around the bride’s neck as a mark of their union and an everlasting bond. It has, however, carried charges of regressiveness to some effect, owing primarily to the fact that only the woman in the relationship is expected to bear this ‘marker’ of being married.

A young couple recently tried to reform the age-old ritual on their D-Day and their story has won the hearts of thousands.

On their wedding day, Shardul Kadam and Tanuja Patil tied the mangalsutra around each other’s necks.

Photos that have gone viral show Patil putting a black thread around the groom, as they sit beside each other in coordinated purple outfits. This was apparently an idea that came to Kadam, who describes himself as a “hardcore feminist.”

“I told Tanuja, ‘Why is it that only a girl has to wear a mangalsutra? It makes no sense!’ We were both equals, so I announced, ‘Even I’ll wear a mangalsutra on our wedding day!’,” he told Humans of Bombay

“Equal” Couple Exchanges Mangalsutras, Breaking Dated Norms

The two, who met in college and reconnected some years after, bonded over shared interests and Himesh Reshammiya, as per Kadam. They dated for a year before beginning to think marriage plans sometime September last year. When he broke the news of his decision to exchange mangalsutras to his family, there was initial hesitation. But he had an answer ready.

“‘Why do you want to do this?’, relatives asked. I told them that marriage to me was about equality.” As per Kadam, he even walked the way to suggest the bride and groom’s family split wedding costs, instead of the former shouldering the whole load.

And so the wedding passed happily. “I remember, Tanuja asked me, ‘Is it going to be a one day thing or wear it everyday?’– I said, ‘I’ll wear it everyday!’ When Tanuja and I tied the mangalsutra around each other, I was so glad. A few male relatives weren’t happy, but they didn’t say anything,” Kadam reveals.

Some applause, some backlash but ultimate triumph of equal love after couple exchanges mangalsutras

As it so happens, the internet was divided over Kadam and Patil’s take on the Hindu custom. Where a large section cheered for the victory of equality over patriarchy, a volley of sexist outrage made its way towards them.

‘Now wear a saree also’. ‘Do you bleed once a month?’ were just some things Kadam got to hear on his stereotype-breaking move. Initially, the attacks bore some effect. But the couple overcame.

“Tanuja and I can define our relationship better than anyone else,” he asserts. “…we support each other’s work, believe in each other’s dreams, and are in this journey together.”