Sister-act for Indian groom

The marriage dream of a 24-year-old woman in Kerala went sour on Sunday when she found the groom’s sister in place of the groom at her wedding.

By T. K. Devasia

Published: Mon 27 Aug 2012, 8:43 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 11:26 AM

Vidya, whose marriage was fixed with a Gulf-based non-resident Keralite, was forced to accept the ‘pudava’ (sari) as an acknowledgement of the marriage from Sunil’s sister, Suma, on the auspicious time at the St Antony’s Parish Hall at Thannithodu in Pathanamthitta district.

Sunil, who is working at the Dubai branch of an Abu Dhabi-based company for the last 25 months, could not make it to the marriage as he was allegedly denied leave by the company.

Sunil, who was entitled to a two-month leave as per his labour contract, had applied for the leave two months before his marriage. But soon the 29-year-old-youth realised that the company was in no mood to grant him the same. As the firm chose not to respond to his application, he submitted his resignation. But the company forced him to withdraw the resignation by assuring him the leave.

On the basis of this assurance, Sunil went ahead with the marriage preparations, but on the last moment the company let him down. The Indian embassy and the Ministry of Labour also could not help.

A distraught Sunil told Khaleej Times over the phone from Dubai that he had even expressed his readiness to forgo his air ticket as well as the salary he is entitled to as per the terms of the company’s contract if granted the leave.

He said the only way out for him now seemed a legal battle. He said that he would decide the future course of action in consultation with legal experts. Sunil does not know when he will unite with his ‘wife’. His parents died a few years ago.

Sunil said that most employees in the company were facing the same difficulty in getting leaves, although the company promises a one-month leave and air ticket at the end of the year. He said he was working without leave for the last two years.

Vidya, who was engaged to Sunil about two-and-a-half years ago, is totally shattered by the experience. Uncertain about the arrival of Sunil, Vidya, who was working as a CT scan technician in Bangalore, has returned to her home in Kerala.

Sunil said Vidya had advised him to leave everything and return to the state.

Her brother Binu said Vidya was initially sad when she knew that Sunil’s sister would stand in lieu of the groom but “later accepted our advice when we told her about the conditions in the Gulf”. Both the families knew each other from before.

Binu, who himself is working in Kuwait, said the family members and the guests also had no problem in accepting the reality. All the 650 guests invited for the marriage took part in the rituals, which included everything except tying the knot.

The couple will tie the knot at a simple function when Sunil returns, Binu added. Sunil-Vidya marriage is almost a recap of another wedding of a non-resident Keralite from Dubai in May. Kamalesh Chandran, who worked in a furniture company, had to depute his sister to tie the knot because his female boss held up his passport.

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