While communal clash with regard to inter-religious weddings are quite a common sight even to this day, a rare occasion has surfaced from Mangaluru of Karnataka wherein a Muslim family took the entire responsibility for the wedding of a Hindu bride stuck in poverty. The coastal city of Mangaluru is infamous for its history of communal clashes.
Kavana, 20, lost her father six years ago and her mother is bedridden due to a slip disc problem. She lived with her aunt and a young cousin in Ullala, Mangaluru. Kavana has an elder sister Kavya, who got married a couple of years ago. Kavya’s in-laws brought a marriage proposal to Kavana and the wedding was fixed for July 11 by both families. Fearing that Kavana may have to face humiliation if her wedding didn’t happen as planned, the family didn’t share their financial breakdown with anyone. As the wedding day got closer, they were almost on the verge of cancelling the event until M.K. Razak and family stepped in.
Abdul Razak runs a popular bakery called Beena Bakery in Mangaluru. One Suresh, a distant relative of the bride’s family is known to Mr. Razak. “Suresh is like a guru to me. I have learnt a few things about bakery business from him. He called me to join him on a visit to his relative’s place and I went along. I asked them why the family were using firewood. Suresh said the family could not afford LPG or ration and that they were planning to cancel their daughter’s wedding. The pandemic had left them hungry and unemployed,” said Razak.
After listening to their plight, Razak went home and discussed it with his family and in-laws. They decided to take up the responsibility of the girl’s wedding. First, Razak arranged for a LPG cylinder and a ration kit through a friend. For the bride’s family, wedding expenses were a distant thought, recalled Razak.
Everything happened swiftly thereafter. The M.K. family bought some gold jewellery and silver articles along with sarees and other items for the bride. They took up the decorators’ and caterers’ expenses as well. A ‘Mehendi’ ceremony and a ‘muhurat’ ceremony were conducted at Durga Parameshwari Temple in Talapady, Mangaluru. The M.K. family spent around Rs 1.5 lakh for the wedding of the girl whom they had never met earlier, and they did so happily.
“Razak was an angel in disguise. The bride’s parents were daily wage workers. We were all happy when the wedding was fixed since we thought Kavana would get a better life at her husband’s place. We thought Covid would be over by now and that we could start working and take some loan on that basis. But things took a different turn and we slept hungry on most days. Now that our girl is married off, we will somehow manage on our own,” said Renuka, Kavana’s aunt.
“Finally, there is someone above us all and he is watching. If he blesses everyone, who are we to decide anybody’s fate?" said Razak with a content heart.
Abdul Razak is currently trying to find some NGO or good samaritans to help the family with ration kits and other basic amenities. Though the M.K. family has helped several people earlier, this is the first time they have done this for a Hindu family.