Skip to main content

The Missing Bride: Loyalty - A Different Perspective


Recently, I connected with Nabeel, a young man of a particular community through a mutual interest in comparative religion. This happened as a result of our meeting through a WhatsApp chat group. This young man is of Indian origin and extremely erudite. He is very well-versed not only in the Holy Qu'ran, the scripture followed by the various Muslim communities, but he has also read and studied the Holy Bible (King James Version). It isn't difficult to track down people once you know certain contact details about them and I soon discovered my invisible friend's Facebook account. I took a good long look at his photographs, both past and recent. It appears that through the maturity which comes with age, my distant friend, who resembled a Bollywood hero just a few short years ago, has now 'got religion' in a big way. His appearance fairly screams his religious affiliation in a way that it didn't just less than three years ago, when he took unto himself a wife, as the Bible would say. I found the wedding album on Facebook.

There's nothing as nice to look at as a handsome bridal couple, I always say. Well I looked and I looked. The groom was all present and correct, as they say. Absolutely perfect, not a thing wrong with him. But something was missing. Something integral. Can you guess what it is? There was no bride to be seen anywhere. No women either, in any of the wedding pictures. I was quite shocked, I can tell you. 

So I got on FB Messenger and asked the gentleman about the missing bride. The answer I eventually received was a revelation. He told me that his wife considered that her beauty was for him alone and not for everyone to feast on.  I replied that that was absolutely fine as long as it was her choice. I respect people's choices. But seriously, no criticism intended, what's a wedding without a beautiful bride? In India, well, usually in India. as well as Ireland, the bride is the centre of the whole party. There can't be a wedding without one. 

But it got me thinking. An attitude like that comes from a mindset which is totally alien to the thinking where I grew up. Okay, I'm an old girl now, although I still scrub up well when the need arises. Like, on a good day, when I've had my sleep, my vitamins, the required amount of water and a little makeup to repair the damage, I can pass for being in my (late) thirties if the light is good. But even when I was young and a bit better than average looking (so I've been told), it wouldn't have occurred to me that my "beauty" was for "himself" alone. I met him when I was 23, so I guess you can say I managed to 'trap' him when I was the best-looking I've ever been. Yes, I even had blonde highlights back then, long gone because I'm unable to maintain them in India owing to the scarcity of blonde hair dye in my city. But I digress......

A few years ago, I switched on the television and found myself watching a religious discourse. They're on the television here around the clock and probably everywhere else too, owing to satellite. An earnest gentleman, with a wispy looking beard and a skull cap, was pontificating on the place of women in society. He was defending the fact that men in his community were allowed to have more than one wife. He explained that in a society where men are scarce, he would rather see his sister as the second wife of a devout man than as a single lady. Because according to him, no single lady can be virtuous, she is simply a 'public property', particularly in the western world. What an assumption! We don't wear veils and we speak freely with people whether they are male or female, so we western women are, if unmarried, 'public property'. If I'd had something heavy nearby, I'd have thrown it at the television screen. Such nonsense! That person should understand that women from western countries, whether or not they prefer to wait until marriage to enjoy intimate relations with someone (their choice), have standards and don't just go with anyone.

I have a close friend, Nasreen, who has helped me in so many ways. Nasreen, for me, is an ideal woman. She's beautiful, dignified and although she belongs to the community in which many women cover up, she never covers her face. But the truth is, Nas doesn't need a veil to cover herself. Women who have dignity and self-respect have a virtual veil in any case. Nobody can just move into their personal space and start treating them like public property.

Nabeel's wife may, because of the social customs in her community, feel that not showing her looks to the world is a special gift, a way of showing loyalty to her husband. But it's entirely different for most modern women, as the mindset is different. Limiting our interaction with the outside world means that we can't contribute to society as effectively as we'd like to do and from that, our husbands would gain absolutely nothing. We don't need to wear a veil to prove our loyalty to our marriages. But in societies where the ethos is different, it's another story. And it's sad that many people who live in cultures where veiling is the norm judge women from other cultures so negatively. Well, some do.

As Nabeel himself very reasonably says, everyone has their own thinking.

As for hiding our beauty? Personal choice of course, but we should not be too proud of our looks. Physical beauty is temporary in human life, inner beauty is forever. I love this verse from Proverbs 31:30 (NIV translation)

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.


Image courtesy of pixabay.com
Banner courtesy of canva.com


I have recently resumed blogging with the Loose Bloggers Consortium, a group of bloggers who post on the same topic/prompt every Friday. I'm an old member of this friendly group and delighted to be back. The current blogging members of this group are: RamanaChuck and Pravin. Thanks to my dear brother Ramana for the topic/prompt 'Loyalty'. Sorry I'm late with the post this week, guys.





Comments

  1. REally interesting - imho your best since returning to the LBC. I find myself in agreement almost completely and especially chuckled at your comment on the missing bride.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Chuck. I do hope I came across as balanced and reasonable, not as picking on a particular community.

      Delete
    2. you were fair and balanced and that is usually the best but I do believe on occasion both barrels are called for - LOL one issue I have encountered is that while I try to respecteveryone's religious stance I find many elieverd have no respect for my "non-believerbut still questionong" stance

      Delete
  2. Interesting approach to the topic and a perspective from one angle. Quite balanced as well. No amount of our writing or talking about it however, will change these mindsets.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ramana. That is a good reply. However, one lives in hope that things will change eventually.

      Delete
  3. Really interesting post dear friend!

    the reply from missing bride made me smile !
    actually it is all bout the way you look at the world and specially the way you look at yourself.
    our self respect and self confidence and attitude create space around our [women] personality and it let the know others that how we must be treated by them.
    glad to know you friend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello, thank you for visiting and appreciating my post. It is really nice to see you over here.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Thanks for visiting me. Please let me know you were here

Popular posts from this blog

Good Intentions

I had great intentions for this week.  I'd write a thousand words every day, review six books, get my Loose Bloggers Consortium (LBC) post up well in advance.  And did I?  No, no, no.  I wrote about two hundred words per day and have been trying to read and review two books and still not finished reading.  My target of 19,000 words until today by now is around 15,000 on my 100kWords in 100 Days Challenge.  It seems I'm just not cutting the mustard.

I have the intentions.  I just don't seem to have the mojo to carry out the things I want to do. So many intentions, not enough time.  I've not been sleeping well lately.  Probably very tired.

So - my intention now is to try to get more sleep.  Then carry out the original intentions.That' what I intend to do.  As of now.  Meanwhile, my post is up one day late.

I had to go out to the bank this morning to get some pending work finished.  I clicked the above picture en route.  It seems that after a three week winter, we're…

Global Peace - Is It Possible? LBC Post

I can't believe it's Friday already and time for another LBC post.  The Loose Blogger's Consortium (LBC) is a blogging group consisting of about half a dozen of us who blog together every Friday on the same topic.  We are indebted to Ramana (aka blogger Rummuser) for this week's topic.  Instead of just giving a straightforward topic like anyone else would, he posed a question instead.  Is global peace possible? he asked.  I decided to answer his question in a Tweet sized sentence.



Is global peace possible?  Of course it is. If everyone gets in harmony with each other.   But will it happen?  How on earth would I know?


As we say in Ireland (well, as they used to say when I lived there two decades ago), that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Thanks to All-Free-Download for the photo.  Thanks to Lettercount for their character counting facilities.  And thanks to my LBC group for being there every Friday in blogging solidarity.

April Fool (LBC Post)

One morning, when I went to school in 1977, or was it 1978, when I was a first or second year student in the Irish secondary school system (which is 7th or 8th Class in India) I noticed something very odd indeed. It was a notice pinned to the notice board. It read as follows:

THE INTER HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO LACK OF INTEREST

'The Inter' or the Intermediate Certificate Examination as it was known then, now the Junior Certificate Examination, was a pretty crucial examination. It's called the 'Class Ten Board Examination' in India and the High School Certificate elsewhere.

I knew something was wrong, but couldn't quite figure it out. The notice sparked a minor frenzy. When the date was revealed to be April the 1st, everything made sense.

It's strange how the 1st April can take some people by surprise.

I haven't noticed anything unusual this year. Except that today, I have a rather horrible toothache. But I'll have to go get it sorted.

April Fool jokes are…