Bollywood’s ‘Baabul’ story comes alive in Nepal

March 8th, 2011 - 2:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Kathmandu, March 8 (IANS) As Nepal celebrated International Women’s Day Tuesday with colourful marches and public programmes, there were indications that the winds of change were indeed blowing through the conservative Himalayan nation and traditional glass ceilings were beginning to develop cracks.

The news of a young woman’s remarriage 18 months after being widowed, made it to the front page of Nepal’s national dailies, showing how people’s attitude were changing towards widows, who were earlier regarded as ill-omened and barred from attending other people’s weddings.

The tale of Sanju Aryal’s marriage revived memories of “Baabul”, the path-breaking film made in 2006 by Bollywood director Ravi Chopra on the sensitive issue of remarriage of widows.

Just as in the film it was the young widow’s father-in-law who took the initiative to get her married again, it was Sanju’s in-laws who arranged a match for her after her husband, Prakash Wagle, died of blood cancer in 2009, only six months after the wedding.

“It grieved us to see how sad and lonely she was,” Maheshwar Wagle, uncle of Prakash, told the Nagarik daily. “We hope the marriage will bring her happiness.”

As both Prakash’s parents her dead, his uncle and aunt and the rest of the family sought a groom for Sanju and found him in Yadav Lamichhane, a young man from the same town as Sanju whom she knew from her childhood days.

On Monday, the wedding, conducted as per Hindu rituals, was held in Simra town on the Indo-Nepal border.

The bride wore red, a colour that was taboo for widows in Nepal in the past, along with ornaments.

Maheshwar, who gave her away, said he was giving her into marriage not as his daughter-in-law but as his daughter.

The daily said both Sanju and Lamichhane’s families had agreed to the marriage. Even the Hindu priest who officiated at the wedding said it was the first remarriage he had performed in 30 years and he was overjoyed.

(Sudeshna Sarkar can be contacted at

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