The Kannada idiom Mane kattinodu, Maduve maadinodu, with the telling message of what portends anyone who embarks on the two landmark events of life, namely a) Owning a dwelling by spending on its construction and b) Giving away one’s daughter in marriage, loaded with the sentimental term kanyadan, particularly by strictly following all the rituals and customs that are taken as the compulsions of safeguarding one’s prestige in society at large as well as among the kith and kin. Even the government seems to have empathised with parents faced with all the monetary stress of meeting the worrisome cost of disposing of the daughter as it were, given the well meant but ridiculous measure tried a few decades ago in the State to act as a regulator of the wedding, particularly in cities. The civic body was required to count the number of leaves used for serving food and thrown out of the wedding venue.
One is at a loss to make out why the females were portrayed as mother while the birth of a girl was considered as a liability, a contradiction that is more pronounced in rural parts even to this day. Also, not performing the daughter’s marriage soon after crossing the teenage mark was seen as a blot on her parents as well as the family circles. The outlook may have changed marginally now.
The laudable prescription of simple marriage seems to be favoured by families in the so-called middle class section of society but hardly any parent dares to follow it in either letter or spirit, just to avoid wagging tongues. The realty sector has benefited immensely by investing hugely on constructing wedding halls that command rentals in astronomical proportions, a trend that is noticeable even in class two cities like Mysuru. The other ingredients of a marriage in urban spaces namely a) Catering, b) Flower decoration, c) Exchange of gifts, d) The music with classical instruments, e) Rituals as prescribed in the ancient texts, f) Dowry as a status symbol and so on, not to forget hospitality during reception can stump any middle class family parent of a girl child.
Meeting the outlay on marriage of the daughter(s) by most families outside the world of affluent sections of society is a typical case of some how managing. The rural scenario is a lot different in the sense that no family dare the rustics by not feeding the entire village, no matter what it costs.