The past few months have been a nightmare for Indian women. A 6-year-old child, Ziva Dhoni, was at the receiving end of vicious rape threats because her father, MS Dhoni, lost a cricket match. Actor Anushka Sharma was also trolled mercilessly because her husband, Virat Kohli, underperformed in the first few weeks of IPL 2020. Just last week, a 20-year-old Dalit girl died after being gangraped and assaulted by upper caste men in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras. Last month, actor Rhea Chakraborty was accused of being a ‘witch’, a ‘gold-digger’, and of practising ‘black magic’ on her former boyfriend, actor Sushant Singh Rajput. All this, without an iota of evidence.
But while society continues to abuse, blacklist and torment Indian women, there are some who simply won’t take it lying down. Here are 10 new-age brides who are out to prove that society needs to change and are taking steps in their own small way.
1. Merlin Tuscano, a 27-year-old bride from Vasai, got married amidst the pandemic. She convinced her groom, Eric Lobo, to skip the big fat Indian wedding. Instead, the couple went to a covid-care facility and donated 50 beds after their intimate 20-people wedding at a local church. Merlin is an embodiment of the selfless spirit of the Indian woman who celebrated a milestone by helping others in need.
2. A young multi-tasking bride rushed to her exam centre straight from her wedding venue. Neetu Sharma from Rajasthan gave her MA final exams in complete bridal attire because the exam date clashed with her wedding date. Unfazed, the young woman decided to compromise on neither. After the wedding ceremony, her husband accompanied her to the exam centre and waited outside while she wrote the paper, before proceeding towards home for the bridal welcome. Neetu is an inspiration to all women to never sacrifice on their dreams.
3. Sanjana is a power woman who is ready to take on the world and her bridal outfit is an embodiment of that. Sanjana decided to ditch the cumbersome bridal lehenga for an uber-cool pantsuit on her wedding day. Sanjana’s powder blue pantsuit was paired with a delicate veil, to bring in some traditional undertones. She serves as an inspiration to brides to remain true to their style, to choose comfort over tradition and to powerdress like the power-women they are.
4. Avantika Singh is a woman who lives by her own rules and believes in self-care. She has never applied makeup in her life and puts her faith in the natural beauty of women. Staying true to her morals, she proudly flaunted a No Makeup look on her wedding and kissed goodbye to the standard layers of bridal makeup. Instead, she asked her friend to put some eyeliner and lip gloss for her and voila! She was ready in 20 minutes flat.
5. This young no-nonsense bride taught a man a firm lesson in consent. A middle-aged man lifted her up for the varmala, without her permission, and she soundly slapped him the minute she was back on her feet. She highlights that no matter the occasion, no matter the onlookers, women should never let men get away with misbehaviour. Even if it’s a relative displaying toxic masculinity, no woman should endure it.
6. 66-year-old Lakshmi Ammal from Kerala found love in an old-age-home and decided to say ‘I do’. Looking gorgeous in a traditional red saree, she tied the knot with the love of her life, proving that age is just a number. She stands as a beacon of hope for all women to not give up on their dreams out of fear of ‘log kya kahenge’. This was her second marriage after her husband passed away 21 years ago.
7. Priyanka Bhadoria from Madhya Pradesh got married on Earth Day. So instead of accepting jewellery or home appliances as wedding gifts, she asked her guests to donate saplings. Priyanka and her family planted 10,000 saplings on her wedding day. The couple also plans to plant trees every year on their wedding anniversary. Priyanka is a science graduate and her demand was made keeping in mind her farmer father’s struggle with droughts and a depleting green cover.
8. Following safety at times like these is of utmost importance and Punjabi bride Bhavdeep Kaur showcased that. On the occasion of her lockdown wedding, Bhavdeep insisted on guests wearing masks and led by example, wearing her own mask. The couple also offered each other sanitiser before saying their vows. Bhavdeep is the embodiment of a modern bride who moves with the times.
9. Lavleen Kaur was a totally chilled out bride who maintains that comfort is of prime importance. So she waved adieu to pointy heels that feel like torture chambers and slipped into a pair of sneakers for her wedding functions. Then of course, she danced the night away without a single concern.
10. This bride vroom-ed down the aisle on a two-wheeler, lehenga and all, with the widest smile on her face. Ayesha chose to skip the phoolon ki chaadar and reached the stage on a thumping Royal Enfield. Ayesha is truly one of the most badass brides we’ve seen.
These women continue to smash stereotypes and inspire women in India to step out of the boxes they’re living in and dream big.
Disclaimer: All views and opinions expressed in The Brew View – our opinion section – are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of TheBrew.ae, the company, or any of its members.