was a mighty planner trapped in a tall tower. She cultivated and nourished
her hair till it grew long enough to reach the ground out from the
window. Her wait was a sweet one as a prince came by on his steel
horse. He tied a cell phone to her long tresses and she pulled it
up. You can say she went to great lengths to meet a guy.
spent many hours, risking cell phone induced radiation to carry out
loving conversations till the evil parents found out and all hell
broke loose. That's when the young couple decided to run away. The
story becomes a little garbled here, when one wonders how she ran
with her long, long hair.
the West, people walk out of their houses and get married. Here, we
run out stealthily stealing family valuables, and then marry. It's
called elopement. It's an act that requires a lot more work than one
can imagine. First of all there is the actual plan that sometimes
requires more dramatic scene creations than a fluctuating Hindi soap
opera. People have gone to greater lengths than Rapunzel, staging
elaborate kidnappings or preparing excuses of going off for important
trainings, seminars and other educational whatnot.
the case of Rapunzel and the Prince. They had a tough time at home
because they wanted to get married, but parents kept objecting because
of reasons more numerous than the ones George Bush had for bombing
Iraq. Sometimes the reasons are valid and sometimes they are as banal
as Bush's. In most cases the objection is about the boy who is still
a boy. This equates to no jobs and no money for food. Rapunzels prince
was just a prince and not a king so her parents objected. Unfortunately
kids are usually chips off the old block. They can be as stubborn
and pig headed as their parents can be. So saying no will only strengthen
their resolve. Why not just agree to wait and let the kids break up
on their own? After all, in this day of commercial love where everything
is dictated by TV ads, love generally won't last.
on the way out Rapunzel tripped all the way over her long hair. She
only planned for the escape but not the subsequent moments. The furthest
she and Prince thought of was to go and hide out at a friends place.
If the friend turned out to be a good one s/he would kick them out.
They figured that eventually the parents would accept. If not they
would live out in the jungle eating berries off the trees and live
in a cottage made of logs and branches and wall to wall Persian carpeting.
When asked, all freshly runaway couples say they do not miss anything
because they have each other. It's only after a while that they miss
the flat screen TV at home.
takes a lot of courage or foolhardiness. Probably both go hand in
hand. Love in its proper form is stronger than any other emotions.
It makes people believe that they can do anything and become like
Rocky. At times it makes people do foolish things but as the saying
goes there is no greater fool than a fool in love.
how long do they plan to stay out? Young jobless people will have
a grand time selling off the family jewelry that they have removed
on the way out. Somehow, when reality bites, it ends up using teeth
much sharper than one would expect. If employed, well, then they have
it made. In most cases people wait for the families to eventually
accept. In most cases the families do. In some cases the girls' family
presses kidnapping charges against the boy and takes him to jail.
This is where girls get to marry twice just like men.
what is the fatalistic attraction of elopement? People in love want
to be together forever and ever. Unfortunately nothing lasts forever
except for diamonds and parental sermons.
do Rapunzel and Prince live happily ever after? Well, fairy tales
never talk of that because there is a lot of work involved that could
not be covered in the few pages available per book. The ones who really
profit out of this are the 'kazis' from the 'Kazi Office' and eventually
the diaper manufacturers. One dump from the baby and that's about
a hundred taka down the drain.
couples make it through while many do not. In the end it seems the
ever lasting parental sermons were not so bad after all. The point
is, is it really worth starting a new life by running away?
Ehsanur Raza Ronny
cupid's arrow hits two people right on the spot, everything existing
in the world seems so bright and colourful, more beautiful than ever.
The world starts to jingle and along with it the couple's hearts jingle.
The only thing they desire is to be with each other. It makes them
feel complete. Thus they unite in a hasty courtship. Most of the time,
love bewilders people. The seven shades of the rainbow blindfold the
eye and occasionally overpower the natural functions of the brain.
Frequently a hasty marriage misguides the lovebirds to leave out some
very important legal matters. We will get on to it later.
might seem like an ultimate solution does not always work out perfectly.
When the itch of love is over the darker side shows up. The most precious
person in one's life begins to seem like the devil in disguise and
people try to get away from the ones they once needed so badly. When
the romance ends, the important matters that were initially left out
slowly begin to surface.
of the time, love marriages where the couple has planned to elope
are performed as court marriages. What most of the people fail to
apprehend is that the court marriage is only a declaration. It is
not considered as a legal marriage by the law of this country. Usually
in a court marriage, a Notary Public (authorised by the Ministry of
Law) or a magistrate issues a declaration, which says, "Two adult
persons who love each other wishes to live together as husband and
wife". It is done on a tk150 stamp, also called an affidavit.
The highest charge for such a marriage is around tk500.
problem created afterwards when the marriage is no longer working
is that the groom can easily reject the bride as his legal wife. If
the bride wishes to obtain the denmohor she was promised, it becomes
almost impossible. Without any papers as proof, she can barely establish
her marriage. Filing for divorce becomes a problem in the first place,
as affidavit marriage has no record anywhere other than the issued
declaration. As mentioned earlier, it is not considered as a proof
of marriage by the existing legal system, so the same thing happens
in the case of getting alimony. If a child is born through the marriage,
who gets the custody also becomes a matter of concern. In the cases
of dowry, or dowry-related violence, the same problem arises. No proof
of marriage means no justice for physical assault of any kind. It
also becomes complicated if any side wishes to file a case of 'Restitution
of Conjugal Life'.
solution to all these problems lies in the registry marriage under
the Family Law Ordinance (1961) and a Kabinnamah provided by such
marriage. The legal experts of this country always advise that a marriage
should be done in accordance with this 1961 ordinance. The 'Nikah
Register' widely known as Kazi provides Kabinnamah, considered as
the actual proof of marriage. In the Kazi office there is a book called
'Baalaam boi'. It records the names of the persons getting married,
their signatures, amount of denmohor, time and date of marriage, names
of the person's witness to marriage and other important facts. Both
bride and grooms are provided with a transcript (Kabinnamah) from
the 'Nikah Register'. All these information is submitted yearly in
the central office of the 'Nikah Registers'.
of the registration depends on the amount of denmohor. For tk1 to
tk5000 denmohor, the registration fee is tk50. For every 1000 taka
added to this sum of denmohor the charge is tk10, but of course in
a marriage resulting from elopement the sum of denmohor is always
very low, as love is the only thing that rules at that time. There
is also a charge for the Kazi excluding all the bakshish of course.
after an elopement, parents of the bride file cases of kidnapping
or forced marriage against the groom. It is possible to harass the
groom by filing such cases. If there is no Kabinnamah and the bride's
testimony goes in favour of the parent then the groom might face severe
consequences. Sometimes even after elopement the bride might give
a testimony saying that she was kidnapped. It usually results from
pressure and emotional blackmail from the ones close to her. In this
case as well, a Kabinnamah is very important. It might save the accused
from a great deal of pain.
offices are mushrooming in every alley of this country. Not all of
them should be trusted though. Precautions should be taken here as
well. During the marriage, make sure all the informations are included
properly in the 'Baalaam boi'. Avoid all the sub-kazis and beware
of the fake kazis. Always make sure that the Kazi has legal papers
to perform a marriage. If the 'Nikah Register' makes a mistake or
intentionally restrain from registering the informations one can sue.
Highest punishment for such cases if proven is three months jail with
rigorous labour sometimes with tk1000 fine.
strongly suggest to all the lovebirds and to those who believe arranged
marriage is a present from heaven that they look after these matters
seriously while they exchange vows or else the gloomy side might ruin
it all for them afterwards.
All names have been changed to protect privacy)
was charming, popular young man born into a well-to-do family. Shaheena
was a distant relative, coming from a modest background. She arrived
from outside Dhaka and boarded with his family while she pursued higher
studies in the capital city. Predictably enough, the two fell in love.
Their romance blossomed over the college years, until Reza's parents
found out about it. In true filmi style, the grown-ups intervened,
and forbade the two to meet. Shaheena was forced to find another lodging,
and Reza was swiftly betrothed to the daughter of a wealthy businessman.
While plans for the engagement ceremony were underway, a couple of
Shaheena's friends gave her a killer makeover and packed her off to
attend the festivities. Reza was about to place the ring on his future
fiancée's finger, when he happened to look up and see Shaheena
standing there in all her glory. That was all he needed to see. He
stepped down from the dais, took Shaheena's hand, and the two walked
out to begin a new life together.
was over three decades ago. Since their dramatic elopement, the couple
has been welcomed back into the family, and now lead their conjugal
life as respected members of the society. The couple has two sons,
one of whom is married, and they even have an adorable grandson. You
could say their cup is full.
and Liakat lived in the same neighbourhood, growing up together, and
their romance came as a surprise to no one. When their respective
families began to show their disapproval of the match (Liakat had
his roots in India, while Poppy was pure Old Dhaka), the two fled.
They shacked up with a friend for two years until the collected wrath
of the two enraged families abated, then went back and made peace.
The couple is still happily married today, and their families have
finally accepted their marriage. They have a college-bound son, a
home of their own, and it is said that Poppy resembles her mother-in-law
more closely in terms of mannerism and habits than any of Liakot's
know how the Bangla movies always show the daughter of a wealthy background
falling for a poor man's son, and how the star-crossed lovers run
away, with their families (usually the girl's father's hired goons)
in hot pursuit? As unlikely as it seems, sometimes, it does happen
that way. Shermeen's father was a very well established businessman,
and hence it came as a blow to the family pride when the teen-aged
girl eloped with Bozlu Mia, an auto-repair man who lived in the area.
Shermeen's family sounded the alarm, and her uncle, who had contacts
within the police, managed to chase them all the way to the Indian
border, where they were finally caught, but by then, it was too late
to bring her back into the family. Yes, she had already married Bozlu
Mia. There was such a wide disparity between the social, educational
and financial backgrounds of the two parties, that for them to unite
was virtually unthinkable.
to make the best of a youthful mistake she had made, Shermeen made
her husband appear for his HSC examinations, and he managed to find
a job as a factory supervisor. Shermeen herself completed her education,
and found herself a job. The couple has two children, both of whom
are studying in private English-medium schools. Their families have
reached an uneasy truce, so the fighting and backstabbing are over.
Does Shermeen have any regrets? Perhaps. She certainly has no complaints,
however, and comes across as a capable young woman with a lot of self-respect,
and pride in how far she has come from the wide-eyed, wet-eared girl
who had followed her heart.
all elopements end on a happy note, however. While conducting this
survey, we heard a story that broke our hearts. Nandita and Himel
were a serious item, when Nandita's parents suddenly got her engaged
to someone else. She was locked up at home and forbidden to meet or
even speak to Himel. Desperation leads to inspiration, and somehow,
the lovers managed to contact each other, and Himel helped Nandita
escape, and they got married. Nandita's family sent out an enormous
search party and a warrant for Himel's arrest was even placed, but
they weren't able to find the pair. At one point, Nandita's mother
was even heard threatening to have Himel killed if she ever found
him. Two years passed, and Nandita suddenly received word that her
mother was ailing. Unable to stop herself, she rushed back home. There
she got thoroughly brainwashed by her parents about how wrong she
was to have married Himel, and pressured her to apply for a divorce.
To date, the divorce procedure is underway. Still emotionally attached
to one another, the two sneak out on clandestine dates and converse
through the phone on the sly. Himel is still madly in love with Nandita,
but fears her parents will force her to go through with the divorce.
As for Nandita, she is stuck between a rock and a hard place. On one
hand, she still loves Himel and doesn't want to lose him, and on the
other, she doesn't want to lose her family. After two years of estrangement
from her relatives, she doesn't want to go through that again. So
the two are left counting days till the end, and we are left wondering
whether there's any justice on this planet.
elopement invariably involves many trials and tribulations, for all
parties concerned. To achieve a single end of spending their lives
together, a couple has to put up with disapproval, not only from their
families, but from society as a whole. There's no security in such
a bold step either…
even the most stubborn runaways sometimes are forced to part ways.
The question that comes to mind then is: why do people elope?
the answer lies in the fact that love is truly blind. It doesn't see
the disparity in age or social/financial background between the two
parties, which incurs the disapproval of the families of the lovers,
forcing them to flee if they are determined to let their relationship
continue. Another part of the reason why elopements occur is because,
although love marriages are becoming more common, arranged marriages
still preside in our society, and parents still prefer to decide who
their children will marry, thus opposing any choice that the children
make for themselves.
the reason, and whatever the outcome, as long as there is true, determined
love, and parental disapproval, there will always be elopements in