By Prasad Sampigekatte
Madikeri: Torrential rains in Kodagu has not only caused floods and landslides but also destroyed marriages. Soon after the rainy season (monsoon), the Shravana begins and with that, the marriage season which is suspended during Ashada, begins again.
Whether one is rich or poor, months and years of planning goes into a marriage in our country but for a labour family from Makkandur in Kodagu all the planning ended in a heartbreak.
If all had gone according to plan, Makkandur’s resident Sumitra’s daughter Ranjitha’s marriage should have been performed with much fanfare on Sept. 2.
The owner of the farmland, who had helped the poor labourer’s family in all respects too, were ready having booked the local marriage hall.
However, as the saying goes ‘Man proposes, God disposes’ and the rains turned villains to the poor family as also to the land owner. The rain’s fury destroyed overnight the poor family’s dreams of getting their daughter married, the girls hope of a new family and the land owner lost his estate. The gold and other items purchased for the marriage with loans were all buried under the mud.
The owner who had come forward to help the poor family, lost his estate as the landslide swallowed it. Now, the labourer’s family and their owners are both in the relief centres and trying to cope with life.
Sumithra is lamenting over the unfortunate turn of events in her daughter Ranjitha’s life. She said, “We had been living in Makkandur Ratemane Paisari since the last 20 years and just one month ago, we had got the Title Deed of the house. We were all so happy. As we had got the ownership of the house finally everyone was rejoicing. This was followed by the marriage offer for our daughter.” Ranjitha recounts with tears in her eyes that Sept.2 was her marriage but fate had willed otherwise.
Another marriage broken
There should have been a marriage chapra (a green coconut frond thatched decoration) in front of the house. The marriage invitations had already been distributed. Bride Manjula should have been moving around the house with all excitement. However, the scene that presents now is a bleak one.
Manjula, a resident of Makkandur, was to get married on Aug.26. Gold jewellery, silk sarees and other items had been purchased for the wedding. Now all of that is buried under think mud and rock. The family is taking shelter at the relief camp in Madikeri with only their clothes as they rushed out of the house just as their house caved in.
Speaking to one of the media persons present, Manjula said: “We are happy that various organisations have come to help us and later the Government might even help us rebuild our lives. But one thing that can never be erased from our memories is the fury of nature and our misfortune.”
After seeing all this tragedy unfolding before my eyes, I feel now that I never want to get married. We have lost everything and all that is left now is our breath. – Manjula, Bride
Rotary Madikeri comes to brides’ aid
Meanwhile, seeing the plight of both the brides Ranjitha and Manjula and their families, the Rotary Club of Madikeri has identified the families of the bridegrooms, both of whom are from Kerala and convinced them to go ahead with the marriage. Once the situation eases in Kodagu there will be a simple marriage ceremony held in the presence of the Rotary Club members.