By Ekta Chanana Last Updated:
A Pune couple had redefined the age-old wedding tradition by exchanging mangalsutra on their wedding day. Yes, our groom of the week, Shardul Kadam had tied the knot on December 24, 2020. However, this wedding raised many eyebrows when the groom had decided to wear a mangalsutra during the wedding ceremony.
For those who don't know, in Indian tradition, a mangalsutra is not just an accessory or a jewellery piece but rather is considered a sacred thread, which is traditionally tied by the groom during the wedding rituals around the bride's neck. The tradition of wearing a mangalsutra is somewhat similar to the wedding rings that are worn in the West. The married women wear it throughout their life. It is also believed to be a union between a husband and wife. However, one couple redefined this whole ritual by exchanging the mangalsutra on their wedding day.
The groom, Shardul Kadam had raised many eyebrows when he had decided to change this wedding tradition of women wearing a mangalsutra and had decided to wear one on his own wedding too. In an interview with Humans Of Bombay, Shardul had shared the thought behind wearing a mangalsutra. He had said, "In Sept 2020 when the first wave of the pandemic subsided, we began planning our wedding. That’s when I told Tanuja, 'Why is it that only a girl has to wear a mangalsutra?' We were both equals, so I announced, 'Even I’ll wear a mangalsutra!'"
Shardul further revealed how his parents had reacted to his decision of wearing a mangalsutra. He shared, "My parents were surprised; ‘Why do you want to do this?’, relatives asked. I told them that marriage to me was about equality. And for some reason, the girl’s family is ‘supposed’ to bear the wedding costs, but I told Tanuja’s parents that we’d split it."
Shardul also shared his feelings when his bride, Tanuja had tied the mangalsutra around his neck on their wedding day. He stated, "I remember, Tanuja asked me, ‘Is it going to be a one-day thing or wear it every day?’– I said, ‘I’ll wear it every day!’ When Tanuja & I tied the mangalsutra around each other, I was so glad."
We all know that any new change is not easily acceptable by society, Shardul also faced a lot of backlash from his relatives and online. He shared, "A few male relatives weren’t happy, but they didn’t say anything. But Tanuja & I got terrible backlash online. A newspaper had picked up our story–‘Dulhe ne pehna mangalsutra,’ the headline read. People commented–‘Now wear a saree also’, ‘Do you bleed once a month?’ Even liberals trolled me–‘This is not the way to support gender equality,’ they said. I knew this might happen, but the extent of it surprised me."
Shardul also shared how his wife, Tanuja had reacted to all the hate he had received for wearing a mangalsutra, "At first, Tanuja was affected by it, but it’s been 4 months now & we’re done with the trollers. Tanuja & I can define our relationship better than anyone else; we support each other’s work, believe in each other’s dreams, & are on this journey together. So, who cares what the world thinks?”
Well, we loved this unique wedding, wherein the bride and groom both exchanged mangalsutra!