The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Girl marries off mother

Raiganj, May 14: A girl married off her widowed mother yesterday to the man she had been seeing for the past three years. The second-year arts student of Raiganj College said she could not take her neighbours’ taunts anymore.

Breathing a sigh of relief that “her mother’s affair has ended in marriage”, Soma Sarkar said: “I had several quarrels with her over this affair because I was always at the receiving end of crude remarks made by the people of the locality. Not only that, I was not sure about the intentions of Sadhan Sarkar (a bachelor) — if he at all wanted to marry my mother or wanted to take her for a ride.”

Soma’s elder sister Jhuma had come with her husband from Malda to attend the marriage.

Along with a few neighbours, Soma had escorted her mother, 40-year-old Madhavi, to Sadhan’s house, a stone’s throw from the Sarkars’ residence in the Debinagar area of the town.

Thirty-seven-year old Sadhan, a friend of Soma’s father, is a clerk at the fisheries department. Madhavi, too, has got a job with the Indian Population Project run by the municipality.

Earlier in the day, at a ceremony held at the Sarkar household, neighbours put vermillion on Madhavi’s forehead as the couple made a declaration on stamped paper in the presence of a lawyer that they were willingly tying the knot.

Nakul Das, a neighbour of the Sarkars, said the couple was not aware of Soma’s plan. “As soon as Sadhan arrived at the house yesterday, he was told to get ready for the marriage. He was reluctant at first, but later agreed. We then took the signatures of the couple on stamp paper. I also signed as a witness,” said Das, adding that “Madhavi was happy with the marriage”.

Justifying her act, Soma said she could now concentrate on her studies. “I was going through hell. I don’t need any support from anyone. I have a part time job in the showroom of a mobile phone service provider and can support myself,” she said.

Soma’s uncle Pradip Sarkar said his brother Pranab had married Madhabi in 1981. “My brother was an usher with Kamal Talkies and he died on a stormy night three years ago when a tree fell on him,” said Pradip, who had chanted mantras during the marriage.

Though the “newly-married” couple was unavailable, Sadhan’s father Benoy Sarkar said he was not ready to recognise the marriage. “I will tell my son to look for alternative accommodation. I will not allow this woman in my house,” he said.

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