Strange News

19 Feb

This story, via the Times of India, came across my Twitter feed today. The headline: “Groom unwell, bride weds guest in fit of rage.”

Yeah, that got a click from me. I love strange news stories, the types that catch your attention even though they have no business being in a newspaper in the first place. I’m not talking about Kardashian soapy gossip or mawkish tales meant to tug on your heartstrings. What I mean is, well, stories like this:

All was going well at the wedding ceremony of 25-year-old Jugal Kishore, a resident of Moradabad, and his 23-year-old bride Indira from Rampur. That’s until the “varmala” ceremony, where the groom garlands his would-be wife, began.

That sort of lede is going to get me every time. Give me an “all was going well…until” and I’m in. That’s pretty much how I feel about all storytellings clichés. In my head there’s a graph. The horizontal axis represents how banal the cliché is. The vertical axis represents my level of enjoyment. If you were to plot a movie like Fast and the Furious or Taken on it, there would be a dot placed all the way to the right and all the way up. I’m a sucker for that stuff. The other night I stayed up until 3 a.m. watching the latest Liam Neeson film, Non-Stop. It was between that and 12 Years a Slave. I don’t regret my choice.

All of this is a long-winded way of saying that, by this point, I was hooked. And then things only got better.

Just as he extended his arms to do that, Kishore had an epileptic fit, falling to the ground in front of the whole gathering.

Go on…

The young bride, angry that her family had been kept in the dark about Kishore’s medical condition, promptly changed her mind and announced that she would happily marry at the same ceremony a guest at the wedding, a man called Harpal Singh. The latter, incidentally, turned out to be her sister’s brother-in-law.

Wait, what?

There’s just so much going on here. So many questions that need answering. First off, how could someone be such a… I’m not sure there’s even a word for it, or at least not one I want to use in this space. But forget that for the moment; if there’s anything mankind has taught us over the years it’s that one should never underestimate its capacity for cruelty. But there’s so much more to unpack here.

How can someone not know their fiancé suffers from epilepsy? And how could that be the deal-breaker? And, most puzzlingly, how could everyone else in attendance just stand around, seemingly nod in agreement with this woman, and allow the wedding with the second dude to take place. Oh, you want to marry someone else in this room because the man you were supposed to marry just have a seizure?. You know, that makes total sense! Who you going with? Did she have pre-prepared rankings on her in case something went wrong? Where there lots of choices for her, or did her callous dismissal of her previous groom dissuade most of eligible bachelors from volunteering to step in.

Maybe those answers are about to come.  Let’s continue.

Singh, caught unawares and dressed in jeans and a leather jacket, fumbled for a moment before declaring he would willingly take Indira as his wife. This time the “varmala” was exchanged between Singh and Indira, which went off without any hitch, with the pandit reciting the mantras and asking the new couple to take the seven “pheras”.

If not for those jeans and the leather jacket, though, he would have been totally prepared for this.

I think that’s my favorite line. My favorite part: that this shotgun wedding somehow “went off without any hitch.” Apparently the original groom having some epileptic episode and effectively getting sent down to the minors, while getting replaced within minutes, doesn’t count as a hitch.

Meanwhile, Kishore, who had been rushed to a doctor by his relatives, went back to the venue after he regained consciousness to see that his wife-to-be was now someone else’s.

Did his family not get the memo that his chance had been blown?

Kishore pleaded with Indira, telling her that he would not be able to face friends and neighbours if he returned without her. His relatives, too, tried to intervene on his behalf. 

So let’s get this straight. This dude collapses at his wedding, receives no empathy from his wife-to-be, gets dumped by her without knowing it and for doing nothing wrong, returns to the wedding hall and finds the woman he was supposed to marry getting set to marry someone else, and after all that he…pleads for her to take him back? And his family was with him on this?

This girl must be REALLY hot.

Where persuasion failed, violence was used — spoons, plates and dishes became weapons as wedding guests tried to force the bride to change her mind. But all in vain. The young woman stood firm.

I’m picturing something along the lines of the Red Wedding from Game of Thrones crossed with the wedding scene from The Graduate. Only this time the woman is fighting off the grim.

Kishore and his relatives later filed an FIR at the Milak police station in Rampur district, which they eventually withdrew after elders intervened. SHO, Milak police station, RP Solanki said on Monday that cops had detained a few people who were there at the wedding.

“Both families have amicably resolved the matter,” Solanki said. “The complaints have been withdrawn. Kishore and his family have now returned in peace to Moradabad.”

And everyone lived happily ever after.

Someone needs to do a follow up here.

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