When a bride collapsed and died during the marriage ceremony, the families decided to use her younger sister as a substitute.
What's a wedding without some drama, right? Unfortunately, the commotion that happened during the ceremony in India was extremely usual. What was supposed to be the bride's happiest day turned morbid after she suddenly collapsed and died right before the rituals. Instead of mourning her death, the groom and his family decided to replace the bride with the deceased woman's younger sister. What's more disturbing is that the union happened the same day she died, in fact, the bride's body was lying in another room while her sister was being married off to the groom.
According to The Times of India, the appalling incident unfolded in the village of Samaspur, which is situated in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, on May 27. The late bride, Surabhi, was all set to marry a man named Mangesh Kumar who resided in the nearby village of Nawli. On the day of the ceremony, Kumar arrived at the venue with his party. The couple had begun performing a ritual called jaimala, where the two exchanging traditional flower garlands. This is when Surabhi collapsed while onstage. According to News18, a doctor rushed in to treat her but tragically declared that she had died after suffering a heart attack.
Her death should have been reason enough for the family to halt the festivities but shockingly they continued with the nuptials by replacing the bride. Surabhi's cold body lay in a room of the house while the marriage ceremony proceeded in another where her unprepared younger sister Nisha was tied the knot with Kumar. Speaking to local news channel TV9, Surabhi's brother, Saurabh, explained how they came up with the idea of continuing the wedding ceremony. "We did not know what to do in the situation. Both the families sat together and someone suggested that my younger sister Nisha should be married to the groom," he explained.
It's outrageous how a young girl's life can be changed within a matter of hours by others. Tragically, that's how arranged marriages work and it is a rather common practice in India. "Most Indian marriages are arranged between families, not girl and boy whose consent is rarely factored into the equation," explained a sociology professor at Delhi University, Kamei Aphun, while speaking to the South China Morning Post. Another professor at Delhi University, Janaki Abraham, told the outlet that the two families may have been burdened by the expense of throwing a wedding party. Surabhi's death may have meant that all the money would go to waste. Thus, they decided to come up with an alternative no matter how harsh.
Translation: women are commodities. Lose one? Just pick another. Gotta get a wife.— SeminarySister (@SeminarySister) June 3, 2021
A bride collapsed and died at her wedding. The groom then married the woman's sister with her dead body lying in the next room.https://t.co/Gat9ON3Qgd
"Indian marriages, even among the lower classes, are expensive affairs where even the poorest of poor have to organize lavish functions in the name of 'family honor,'" said Abraham noting the importance of marriage ceremonies in the Indian society. The family shared that they were extremely heartbroken by Surabhi's sudden death but noted that they had no other choice but to rejoice in the wedding of a young girl who took the bride's place. "It was a tough call for our family," expressed Surabhi's uncle Ajab Singh. "One daughter lay dead in one room and the wedding of another daughter was being solemnized in the other room."
"We have never witnessed such mixed emotions. The grief over her death and the happiness of the wedding have yet to sink in," he added. Per INSIDER, this is the second time in recent weeks that a wedding substitute was been reported in India. In early May, a bride from the town of Maharajpur in Uttar Pradesh ended up married a member from the groom's marriage party after her groom ran off halfway through the ceremony. At that point, the bride's family chose a new groom from the array of groomsmen and went on with the wedding rituals.
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