A 27-year-old woman had her maiden experience of riding a bullock cart on her wedding day when she decided to go to the marriage venue on a decorated bullock cart instead of a flower-decked car.
It was a dream come true for Sarita Behera as she, along with her soulmate Mahendra Kumar Nayak, consciously took the decision to send a positive message to society.
The marriage was solemnised on March 8 — Women’s Day — in Odisha’s Ganjam district. Sarita, a bachelor in computer science working with a reputable software company in Bhubaneswar, told The Telegraph: “It’s not that my family could not have afforded a luxury car for my marriage. My two sisters had gone to their in-laws’ houses in cars for marriage. But my husband and I decided to send a message to revive the old tradition of going to the marriage venue on a bullock cart and through this, we could also send the message about protecting the environment.”
The wedding venue was near the bridegroom’s house. Bridegroom Mahendra, 27, who works in the hospitality industry, said: “Ours is a love marriage. I also preferred to reach the marriage venue on a horse. It’s a conscious attempt to revive our old-age tradition.
The bullock cart
“Besides, we want to send a message that by going on a bullock cart and a horse, we will depend less on motor vehicles that cause pollution. Our marriage has been able to send a positive message. People are now inquiring about our marriage.”
An enthusiastic Sarita said: “Before our marriage, we had discussed the proposal thoroughly and intimated our feelings to our parents and they agreed. In our culture, marriage is solemnised in a different form. It’s the bride who goes along with her family members to the house of the bridegroom for the marriage. After getting their daughter married to the boy, members of the bride’s family leave for their village. They leave the village giving gifts and lots of love,” said Sarita.
Sarita’s village Patarapalli is located only 3km away from Mahendra’s village Bankatara. “I did not have the experience of riding a bullock cart before. It’s a beautiful experience and I will remember the long one-hour journey for the rest of my life. “The moment I rode the bullock cart, the stories told by my grandmother about how she rode on the bullock cart to reach her groom’s house flashed in my memory like a film, one scene after another,” Sarita said.