Thiruvananthapuram: In what is being touted as a beautiful example of communal harmony, a Muslim couple from Kerala conducted the wedding of their daughter in a temple, replete with old traditions and customs.
The ceremony, held on Sunday, took place at Bhagavathi temple in Kerala as the girl is Hindu by birth and was adopted by Abdulla and Khadeeja when she was 10 years old.
"Khadeeja is a bit sad as our daughter is away at her husband’s home", said Abdulla, a native of Melaparambu in Kasargod, the northern tip of Kerala. “She came to our home at the age around 10. We did not have a daughter. So she grew up as the sister of our three boys,” Abdulla told News.18.com.
The parents Rajeswari, now 22, passed away when she was a child. “We do not know much about her other relatives except one thing: they did not care for her parents,” continued 67-year-old Abdulla.
He returned home after his 40-year-old stint with Dubai as an employee with a firm, about 10 months ago.
The girl grew up in Abdulla’s house and called him ‘Uppa’ (father) and his wife ‘Umma’ (mother) as did his sons Shameem, Najeeb and Shareef. All of them are employed in Dubai and two are married. After Abdulla returned, the family started an intense search for a groom for Rajeswari.
“We had told a few people to get her a good boy. A few boys came but we did not like them after a detailed inquiry. We were very particular about the character of the boy who would marry our daughter. Our main demand was that he should be a teetotaler,” said Abdulla.
Then they got proposal from Vishnu Prasad, son of Balachandran and Jayanthi at Puthiyakotta near Kanhangad, some 25 kilometres away. Vishnu works with a laboratory and both the families went through traditional customs related to the marriage.
The groom’s family had only one demand; the marriage must take place at a temple. “So we chose Manyottu temple in Kanhangad where there is no bar on any religion and hence we could also attend the ceremony,” said Abdulla. When asked about the marriage expense, he said, “As she is one of us, the boys (her brothers) shared the expense and we, too, had saved money for her.”
On Sunday morning, almost relatives of Abdulla and Khadeeja, including Abdulla’s 84-year-old mother Safiyumma, arrived at the temple premises to attend the wedding celebration.” My sons and their wives could not attend the marriage as they did not get leave for this duration,” said the father.
“We ensured that all ceremonies and customs were followed for the marriage. The Mylanchi Kalyanam ceremony was on Friday,” he said, adding that his daughter would come to visit them on Wednesday.