Priya Aggarwal: The Indian lady of the hour riding a horse who crushed restrictions

27 February 2022  ·  Reading time: 5 minutes  ·  Asia

  Image source by BBC

Whenever Priya Aggarwal showed up at her wedding scene riding a white female horse, she didn't simply cut a fine figure in her brilliant yellow sari and a red and yellow turban - all at once, she additionally managed a disaster for man centric society.

The 27-year-old's festivals, recently, stood out as truly newsworthy in her old neighborhood Ambala, in the northern Indian territory of Haryana.

A video of the occasion that became famous online showed her sitting on the pony, arms loosened up, giggling, as loved ones strolled close by in a parade, halting to move at regular intervals as a band played music.

"I was excited. Each lucky man realizes that he will ride a pony for his wedding parade, however it's not something that ladies do," Priya told the BBC.

"I felt like a ruler, an administrator, driving my parade," she added with a snicker.

Priya isn't the principal Indian lady to ride a pony to her wedding - there have been a couple of cases as of late yet they can maybe be depended on the fingertips of one hand.

Generally, it's the husband to be who comes riding a pony in a brilliant parade, known as baraat.

"It's intended to be his unique day. He's contrasted with a regal, who shows up with grandeur and service to guarantee his lady; embellished in silks and gems and a sword worn at the abdomen to battle any evil presences who might attempt to take her," says Ram Narayan Kogata, writer of a book on wedding customs and ceremonies.

In certain networks in Rajasthan and Haryana, ladies are taken on a pony around their area or town daily before their wedding, yet he says he's previously unheard of a lady riding to the setting.

Wedding master Neeta Raheja says albeit the modest Indian lady has been on out for north of 10 years at this point, a lady of the hour riding a pony "isn't anything under an articulation".

"I don't see the shy lady any longer who comes in head bowed, upheld by companions and family members. These days, ladies make a terrific passage - they accompany bloom young ladies, or encompassed by young ladies conveying earth lights, they arrive in a limousine or in carriages or chariots festooned with blossoms and the music that will be played as she enters is selected cautiously."

In any case, by deciding to ride a pony to her wedding, Ms Raheja says, Priya is offering a women's activist expression.

Priya says it was her dad Narinder Aggarwal who proposed that she ride a pony to her wedding.

A financial specialist, Mr Aggarwal told the BBC from his home in Ambala that he was a firm adherent to orientation uniformity.

"I never treated my girl any uniquely in contrast to my child. At his wedding last year, my child rode a pony so it was just well-suited that my girl did it as well," he said.

"It was to make an impression on society that a girl is pretty much as valuable as a child and that she will go far assuming guardians upheld her," he added.

In Haryana, a state well established in man centric society, his assertion sticks out - all the more so since Ambala has for some time been known to be unpleasant to the young lady kid.

In the time of 1990s when Priya was conceived, female foeticide was widespread in the locale. Families needing children were utilizing pre-natal conclusion to cut short female babies and as the 2001 Census showed, in the zero to six age bunch, Ambala had just 781 young ladies for each 1,000 young men.

Be that as it may, when Priya was conceived, Mr Aggarwal says he was "delighted" and celebrated by appropriating desserts in the medical clinic.

"A portion of the older ladies who were there with their pregnant little girls or little girls in-regulation discarded it when they understood I was commending the introduction of a young lady youngster. They thought I had freaked out."

Mr Aggarwal - who believes his little girl to be his "rabbit's foot" and over the course of the years has named every one of his organizations after her - says when he saw her riding, he felt "exceptionally pleased".

As Priya's parade cleared its path through the limited back streets of the town, watching it live on a video call was her man of the hour Arav Gupta, additionally a legal advisor.

Priya and her folks had stayed quiet about their arrangement so Arav had no clue about her surprising passage, he told me, giggling.

"I was watching it with my folks, family members and companions. We were totally astounded, even stunned, yet positively.

"We were all considering what's happening? It was another thing to see a lady sitting on a pony, however it made for a reviving change. Everybody cherished it. Also I was extremely glad that I'm wedding a lady who's so fearless and intense," he said.

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Henry Saudale
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