Do we marry a person or a name?

Why is a woman expected to change her name or religion to fall in line with social or religious norms, even in a so-called love marriage?

Roopal Kewalya | Posted on 14 Dec 2016
Name change post marriage - Still a reality for Women? | Bonobology

So we all know Yuvraj Singh fell in love with Hazel Keech but did you know that he ended up marrying Gurbasant Kaur?

Hazel’s name was changed so that the bride and groom could marry in a Gurudwara as per its rules. Women in India are vulnerable to this split identity disorder that hits them right after marriage and continues until death do them part.

If the groom was so hell-bent on rituals and religion, then why didn’t he marry a Sikh woman in the first place? That’s what arranged marriages are for. And it’s a perfectly normal way to be. (Or so we are told.)

However, a love marriage, at its bare minimum, calls for acceptance – for who you are and what you believe in.

It seems to me that just like us, Yuvraj and Hazel are also products of strong cultural conditioning. So we are allowed to fall in love with whom we want, but God (on the groom’s side) forbid if you practice your beliefs after you get married. Because marriage in India asks the woman to be subsumed into the beliefs of the man and the family she is marrying into. And changing her name is only the first step.

Don’t misunderstand me. Gurbasant is as beautiful as the blooming yellow mustard fields in Punjab, but so is Hazel. And if the two were to meet, it would be a fusion of rock and roll with Punjabi dhol. Rock and dhol, perhaps?

But the music of love is not a fleeting moment. It takes years to create a symphony and find a rhythm until both partners have absorbed each others’ identities, so much so that by the end of it they have hopefully changed for the better and created music, not noise. And it’s always teamwork in the end.

And I see an opportunity lost in this situation.

Yuvraj Singh is a celebrity with fans in the heartlands of Punjab, a state we all know could do a lot better if it sheds its obsolete patriarchal norms. He could have lived up to that blazing red Sikh turban had he put his foot down and said he wouldn’t want to change Hazel in any way, least of all her name. Now that would have been a ball hit for six right out of the stadium.

As for Hazel, I think she was playing it safe in the ‘name’ battle, because the family is already mired in controversy with the other bahu.

Yuvraj and Hazel’s Goa wedding video is going viral and it says ‘Cultures unite…love triumphs all.’ But does it, really?

Marriage should be a fusion. You know what they say, that specific music is a marriage of funk and jazz. How much funk and how much jazz, would be defined by what sounds great to the ear and the soul but in the end it would be neither funk nor jazz. It would have a new name and that’s what a modern marriage should be.


Comments : 5

DeepakMenon: Good thoughts - I think that some men seem to be more afraid of social criticism in the environment they have been brought up in - so with fear being the key - they succumb to peculiar social rules - and of course there is the religious rule gamut. About time men stopped bothering about the religion and other leanings of their partners and restrict their preferences to love only because Love is the only thing that matters and the hell with the rest! I married the-person and that was that. Who bothered about her religion or leanings?

Roopal Kewalya: Good on you Deepak :)

Himani Pande: Dear Roopal kewalya, to me this article made as much sense as any of your witty pieces that border on sensitive issues. This name change may be a going with the flow decision today but could surface as an irritant tomorrow. I was told to close my pierced nose after marriage and mind you after two attempts I had got it successfully pierced. I did it happily then but after years of compromising on many fronts I feel I was naive to agree to this controlling demand then. Why did I have to oblige ... To keep obliging rest of the way ... Incidentally my nose is still sealed up and I have a good mind to get it pierced a third time. Meanwhile happy matrimony to the two. Beautiful article Roopal...that's all I can say.

Roopal Kewalya: Thank you for the vote of confidence Himani. Happy piercing :)

Neetu Soni: Couple don't have any problem with name change. Why are you poking your nose


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