Sundeep Bhutoria

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ess bee

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Royal wedding and a Royal engagement

The news of the engagement of Prince Williams, son of Prince Charles and Late Lady Diana Spencer, to Kate Middleton is all over the television channels. The Prince was dating her since 2003 and had reportedly proposed to her in Kenya in October.
There is also a Royal wedding closer home at Rajasthan of Prince Shivraj Singh of Jodhpur, son of erstwhile Maharaja of Jodhpur Gaj Singh ji and Maharani Hemlata Rajye, with Princess Kumari Gayatri of Askot in Uttaranchal.
The wedding is at Ram Nivas Bag in Jaipur and the reception at the famous Umaid Bhawan Palace on November 22, 2010. Umaid Bhawan Palace is one of the most beautiful palaces which can be seen from the air when the flights land in Jodhpur.
The last time I stayed there was about five years back. Every part of the Palace reflects the royalty and dignity of Jodhpur Raj Gharana. The last time I met the Prince was when I went to see him at the hospital in Jaipur with vice-president Bhairon Singh Shekhawat after he had a major accident while playing polo.
The royal engagement and the royal wedding made me think of the cultural and social differences in both parts of the world. Despite globalisation and modern thinking it is a fact that marriages in India still happen between families and not individuals. You may have foreign degrees and other qualifications from abroad, but when it comes to marriage it is always the same caste, religion and tradition and above all the same status.
On the other hand, in the West, marriage is totally a matter of individual choice. When I think about this love engagement and arranged marriage I only see the vast difference between the mindset in two distant parts of the world. There is very little to hide about the two individuals and only a mere formal official announcement is made to the public who already know much about from the media.
In one world, dating, living together with normal citizens is very common even among the members of the royal family. On the other hand, in this part of the world, just one meeting arranged with a chosen girl in front of relatives are the stuff arranged marriages are made up of. There is always a collective decision behind a purdah which is formally announced and not declared individually.
I wish both the couple eternal marital bliss.
ess bee

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