Fr. Varghese Paul, SJ
“Today our marriage anniversary has reached two di
gital figures! So I am celebrating it with
these sweets,” a young friend said
in a circle of 10-12 friends in
a meeting of Gujarati Lakhak
Mandal (GLM) and he distributed sw
eets. Then he shared about hi
s marriage. In the morning of
their marriage the bride and the bridegroom with
their parents went first to a temple and then
they registered their marriage in a court. Afterw
ords both the parties went
and had a meal in a
hotel. Later the brideg
room came home alone with his bride.
Till that day the respec
table young man was staying alone in
his bungalow in a housing society.
That day evening seeing a young lady in the bunga
low the women in the society began to gossip.
But no one knew anything about the
new woman in their society.
Two days passed in suspense.
How to go to the respectable young man’s house a
nd enquire about the woman! On the 3rd day
some women saw the young man leaving his house
for his job. A few wome
n got together and
went and rang the door well of his house. Th
e newcomer of the hous
e opened the door.
“The young man is not here?” The woman who
rang the bell asked.
“Who are you?” She
enquired in the same breath.
“He has gone to work… I am his wife”, the young woman said.
“We have married. Three days back we went to
the temple and then registered our marriage in
the court,” the young woman added seeing th
e wide open eyes of the visitors.
Sharing the experience of his uni
que way of marriage our young friend
said that even today in
the society some women would not believe that
we are married because we have not gone around
the fire seven times. “We are together. We have
a seven-year old daught
er. And we are happy.
That is enough for us,” the young man added.
Recently I got a marriage invitation card. Inside th
ere was the invitation to the engagement of a
friend’s son. As I opened the c
over there was a golden lettered
card announcing the engagement
of their NRI son and a second card inviting me
for the ceremony in the temple followed by a
grand meal in a well known five star hotel. Obvi
ously the costly invitation card and its content
were a filthy manifestation of the money
and wealth of that man and his NRI son.
As a writer in touch with the public I get a lot
of marriage invitations fr
om friends and others.
Many of those invitations are costing not Rs.20
/- or Rs.30/- but a minimum of Rs.100 and more!
In such display of cards costing thousands of r
upees and meals billed for lakhs of rupees, I see
not the joy and merriment of enga
gement or marriage but an opulen
t show of money and wealth!
People spent money not only in invi
tation cards and meals but lakhs
of rupees are also spent in
photography and video shooting. These are nothi
ng but an exhibition of filthy wealthy and
craving for popularity.
Some times back there was a news items in ma
ny Gujarati newspapers. An NRI bridegroom in a
show of wealth spent lakhs
of rupees to hire a helicopter and
fly to the bride’s village in South
Gujarat from an airport!
There was another example of filthy exhibition
of money-power and show of wealth spending
millions of rupees. A four page weekly newspaper published from the Gujarat capital,
Gandhinagar displayed a multi-colour four page
photo-feature of a marriage celebration showing
people including a person accused of notorious en
counter killings in Gujarat. The whole multi-
colour photo-feature was like a vulgar display of
the bridegroom and hi
s parents’ wealth and
India may be the land of many billionaires. But Indi
a is also the land of most abject poverty. The
thinking and good-will people cannot
forget that here in India,
amidst the vulgar display of
money-power and wealth there are very poor
people who are dying of hunger and malnutrition!
Here the gap between the rich and the poor, that
is, the divide between the millionaires and
billionaires on the one side and the people who struggle for one square meal a day on the other
side is increasing day by day. Instead
of bridging this great divide
those, who contribute to it, are
inhuman people committing great sin.
In such situation I consider that the exhibitio
n of their filthy wealth and money- power are
committing a terrible sin through exorbitant spending in marriage and other such occasions.
Much money and wealth in itself are not evil. Th
ere are people in our midst who have earned in
right way pots of money and many of them
put into good use their well- earned to money.
In a marriage party and celebra
tion a person known to me fed
more than 500 relatives and
friends and well wishers. When I confronted hi
m, he said to me. “On the occasion of the
marriage of my son I set aside ten cent land a
nd build a two-room kitchen cement-concrete
cottage for a poor young couple without a home. Si
milarly when I got my daughter got married
three years back I helped w
ith dowry a poor girl and took most expenses her wedding.”
Among the wealthiest people in the world are tw
o great people: Bill Gates and Woren Bufet.
Both the men possess enormous wealth. But they
do not safely preserve
their huge wealth and
money for themselves and their posterity nor do
they spend the money for their own selfish
motives. They spend their money which they have
made by hard work for the welfare of poor
people through ‘Bill and Meleni
Gates Charitable Foundation’.
One has no right over the unjus
tly earned money. Even hoarding
selfishly the justly earned
money is a crime against the poo
r. The vulgar display of money
on occasions like marriage to
my mind is an evil; it is a crime; it is
a sin. (contact the author:
(Last Changed : 16-10-2009)
(Next Change : 01-11-2009)
Fr. Varghese Paul © Copyright 2009