Swag-wali brides

Surabhi Pandey

The 21st century has been the era of changes so far. It has become witness to some of the most radical developments, especially in the socio-cultural framework of our country. In addition to serious, major and big changes, on a lighter note, there has been a recent trend of ‘the sunglasses wali bride’. From TV celebs during their wedding ceremonies to models in bridal shoots and from regular people living in cities to small town girls (like myself), every dulhaniya of 2016 decided to don sexy shades!

This wedding season has indeed seen the emergence of the bridal swag, of which the most tangible and visible aspect has been the sunglass syndrome. (Well, that is what I have decided to call it.)

Gul Panag did this way back in 2011 when she got married, but this trend was at its peak last season. Gone are the days when the Indian Bride used to be the shy, quiet and veiled statue programmed to smile after certain periods of time.

The genZ bride has got swag. She represents the ultra modern woman of today. She is bold, happy, fierce and beautiful in her own contemporary way.

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I have been a fan of this smoking hot trend since it came into inception and this year I got the opportunity to infect myself with the sunglass syndrome. I got married on 23rd November last year. I’m from a small district called Begusarai in Bihar. I belong to a Bhumihar Brahmin family and mine was an arranged marriage. Why is this information important? Well, for obvious reasons. Bihar, sadly, is not a very open-minded society. We are not orthodox but boy, we do need our share of convincing to agree to something new, especially when it comes to reeti riwaz.

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Fortunately, my family happens to be an educated and (as they call it) modern one. My father is a doctor and mother, a Principal; but we all know that the dulhan is not a matter of critical analysis only among people who know her. She is the major centre of attraction, stared at and analysed by various chachis, buas, nanads and nobodies from both the families. When I came back from my salon all dolled up as a bride and got out of the car, people looked at me, smiled, cried and felt various other emotions. Was I donning my swag then? No. However, when I was in my bridal room waiting for the jaimala to start, I put my sultry aviators on and suddenly felt a swarm of confidence from within. My bridal shoot was done with the glasses on. What came as a pleasant surprise that my husband and in-laws were also very accepting about it! Actually, they loved it. My husband posed with me happily and my mother-in-law loved it so much that she asked me to wear them during my reception ceremony as well!

This might come across as a vague and unimportant thing to talk about, but if we give it a second and think, we realize that however small a change this may be, it is quite significant. It challenges old traditions of keeping the bahoo under veil and signals towards the dawn of a better era. So kudos to all the swagwaali brides!

Surabhi’s book, Saturated Agitation, is available on Amazon.


Why did the bride run away?

How many types of men have you met while looking for a bridegroom? My count is seven!

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