Married on Monday, widow on Tuesday

Bollywood scripts have nothing on this.? An eight year old boy “married” his “special friend”? the day before he died of leukemia. The wedding came complete with rings, vicar and certificate.

I feel very sad at the passing of the eight year old boy.? He definitely did not deserve to die at such a young age.

But after the antics of his parents in trying to grant his every wish, I now feel very sorry for the innocent bystander, his ex-friend, who got caught up in this.

Did anyone think of what the girl was feeling?

– The boy thought she was his “sweetheart”.? The girl does not appear to have reciprocated.? In fact, she broke off the friendship a few years ago.

– Was she given the choice to say “No, I will not marry you, make-believe or not.”?? Or is any wish by a dying person sacrosanct ?

– Is this girl now a “widow”??? Are the adults not subjecting this girl to unnecessary grief?? I can only wonder what kind of psychological impact there could be.

It’s one thing when kids play at dolls and marriage.? It’s quite another when adults join in and formalize the event.

Little boys sometimes don’t know what they are asking for.? But what were the parents thinking?


30 thoughts on “Married on Monday, widow on Tuesday

  1. Lekhni:

    I doubt the parents were _thinking_ at all.

    What worries – and amuses – me is that such ‘child marriage’ is being reported as ‘news’! I think the girl should now stake a claim on the boy’s parents’ property failing which she should take them to courts which will be almost certain to send them to jail either for forced/ child marriage or for harassing the d-i-l. What say?

  2. I don’t think that it was anything more than a ‘mock marriage’, just to make a dying kid feel happy. So the question of widowhood doesn’t really arise. The story seems to be more about the angle of going to any (even fake) extent to ease the passing of a child who has already suffered for half of his short life.

  3. Lot of questions come to me as I read the story that you linked to, but I will leave you with just one. About this line,
    Little boys sometimes don?t know what they are asking for
    You are angling for all those “big boys are no better” type of comments, aren’t you? ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. I was thinking – it is not just boys who do not ‘get’ the message when girls say “we broke up, now go away” or “we broke up, all we can be is friends”; it is clear where they get this inability to comprehend from… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. News like these make me wanna bang my head on my widescreen LCD monitor!( My employers won’t like it though).

    “Him and Ellie had been ‘special friends’ for a couple of years but then they broke up.

    Special friends? broke up? they are 8yr olds damn it! And the crazed female who wrote this in the most ‘ayyo pavam’ way. Were they expecting readers to say ‘O so sad, poor child’ type sympathy feelings.

    How is it even worth reporting? And if its official then isn’t it against the law?

    OK, let me get back to doing the happy dance. not a good wat to start the morning!

  6. Couldn’t agree more with Maxdavinci. Eight yr olds in relationships and “breaking up”? What’s the world coming to? And yes, what about the little girl? Anyone thought about the emotional long term impact on her?
    And lekhni, after seeing hundreds of our Hindi movies and their “aakhri khwahish” melodrama, I too ask myself if it is sacrosanct to honour ALL of them. At least in the movies, the “aakhri khwahish” invariably causes grief (that could be avoided) to someone.

  7. my reactions are so mixed! on the one hand what were the parents thinking? On the other they had a dying kid in their hands. What were they going to do? They could get this “marriage” annulled I guess. Also what were the girl’s parents thinking?

  8. Nobody was thinking !

    I’m not sure how annulment works in India. Do people know there is something called annulment at all, in the first place? I’m not so sure…cos otherwise the girl is done for, if not anybody else.

  9. La Vida Loca

    When the ‘groom’ is dead, the point of annulment is kind of moot, isn’t it? Doesn’t annulment require two ‘alive’ parties? ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. I don’t why it smells fishy to me. Eight years isn’t it too small age to think about marriage/relationships and break ups ? I wonder a small kid of this age whould think about marriage of all other things.

  11. Shefaly: I wish she would take them to the courts anyway. I am quite outraged at the news ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    Sujatha: I am all for trying to make dying kids happy, it is a very sad situation. But I still feel that another person has been harmed in the process. I agree it was a mock marriage (even if it was made to feel all too real). Can eight year olds really sort out their feelings about mock and real marriages ? I mean, the 8 year old boy certainly believed the marriage was real. I wonder how the 8 year old girl feels?

    Anantha You are angling for all those ?big boys are no better? type of comments, aren?t you?
    I wasn’t, but now that you mention it … ๐Ÿ˜‰

    maxdavinci: I completely agree. I guess whoever reported this thought it was a cute story ๐Ÿ˜ฎ And since when did eight year olds being “special friends” take on the meaning of relationships? Enough to “marry”?

    rajk: I wonder too, is it only in Bollywood movies that people have all those complicated “aakhri khwaish”? I would never have thought people have those in real life too ๐Ÿ™‚

    La Vida Loca: Yeah, I am not sure what both sets of parents were thinking. Even if the boy’s parents were just thinking about their son, shouldn’t the girls’ parents put their foot down?

    snippetsnscribbles: This happened in the UK ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope they do a fake “annulment” next, or something to undo this mess..

    BlueMist: I doubt if that girl was thinking about marriage. It sounded more like friendship and breaking up to me. Sigh. I wish adults wouldn’t let kids remain kids. Not only do they doll up girls in adult dresses like bikinis and apply makeup and so on, now they infuse their concept of relationships as well ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  12. Its amazing how media changes definitions of what is good and what is bad. And in cases like this when the little boy was dying, it gets worse. I wonder if the media got a perspective of whether organizations like ‘Make a wish’ grants such wishes too!

  13. Oh yeah, I got confused with this one and the other on Nita’s blog that spoke about another interesting news item. Sorry about that.
    I have something on similar lines. Will provide a link to this one when I’m at it. Hope thats ok ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Nothing to do with your post, or even the “marriage” (on which topic I agree with what you’ve written, anyway), and I’m not making fun of a tragic event… but I went and read the article that you’d linked to, and this sentence kinda made me grin:
    “He died the next day with his family”

    His family died with him as well?

  15. Nandini: That’s true… how can anyone oppose a dying little boy’s last wish ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I wish he had asked for world peace instead ๐Ÿ™‚ Wonder what the parents would have done then?

    snippetsnscribbles: Of course, go ahead, I am glad this post provides you fodder for a blog post ๐Ÿ˜€

    Amit: That’s what I am wondering. Maybe they too got caught up in the dying boy – last wish – nothing can be too great attitude of the boy’s parents. Or they just didn’t know how to say no ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    Kavi: Well, it’s only a “fake” marriage – that’s what they will say anyway.

    Shyam: That’s funny ๐Ÿ™‚ Talk about bad reporting.. this must take the cake ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. It is a “Enna kodumai saravanan idhu” moment but I hope this doesn’t lead to eight year olds threatening suicide and marrying “childhood sweethearts”. Scary, no?

  17. Exactly my views what you wrote here. I think everybody made a mockery of a marriage.
    They were in love at that age ? And then were married with the help of parents ? If the child was in love, didn’t he know that one has to grow up before taking the plunge ? How everybody else obliged, I wonder.

  18. Adithya: The “enna kodumai saravanan” sounds like a Kollywood dialogue too ๐Ÿ™‚ Eight year olds threatening suicide to marry? That would be another interesting Tollywood script ๐Ÿ™‚

    Cuckoo: Yeah, mockery is right. I doubt the girl was in love ๐Ÿ˜ฆ The parents probably thought – anything to oblige a dying kid.. and no one seems to have asked the girl if she really wanted to do this..

  19. First of all, I find it strange that eight-year-olds have such ‘relationships’ and ‘break-ups’. My opinions are contradictory here – as parents they were probably only trying to fulfil the child’s last wish, and maybe the girl’s parents, too, agreed because of that. Or maybe the girl’s parents thought that since it was just a ‘mock’ wedding, it wouldn’t leave behind any emotional scars in their daughter. I’m at a loss.

  20. ..hmm this one is a difficult one for me to react to, since my brother died of leukamia at exactly that age viz. 8. I was not much older myself, but I do know and remember that my parents were desperate to do anything, everything for him.
    So I can understand the overwhelming need to do everything for the child. However, there are the people left behind as well. In this case, the girl. And I am not sure I believe that eight year old boys are keen to formalize “special relationships”. isnt that the age for baseball and hating girls?

    What is more appalling is that the media takes a private tragedy and makes a cutesy story out of it.

  21. Consider that UK has the NHS covering all health issues, I’m sure they would provide free mental health therapy for the girl, should she need it in future. That’s probably better than what the man who married the dog needed but did not receive.

    I think that we are looking at this through the prism of desi culture we grew up with, not realizing that the ‘mock marriage’ is probably less of a big deal to the kids who have probably lived in a more free-wheeling culture than India, where widowhood is still a big stigma, even among the educated.

    About the media taking a private tragedy and making it into a cutesy story- that is an astute observation. Consider the source of the story :The Telegraph , read some of their sample stories and it becomes obvious why they had highlighted this tale.

  22. harini calamur: Yes, it’s a pretty sad story all around ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Pretty depressing to read these ones..

    mystic margarita: I can see eight year olds saying “you are my bestest friend, my special friend” and then “breaking off” because they fought over something. But that’s not a “relationship” as adults see it, right?

    Cynic in Wonderland; That’s tragic. I am sorry if this post brings back painful memories for you ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
    I agree with you on the boy’s parents being desperate to do anything for the kid..and it’s weird to have eight year olds wanting to marry, given that marriage, even among adults, is going out of fashion ๐Ÿ˜›
    The media trying to make this cutesy is the worst part, I agree. I can’t see a cute angle here, any way I look ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    Sujatha: Do you think the man-who-married-the-dog was mentally ill? I always thought it was some kind of a publicity stunt. Or representative of the levels to which the desperate and superstitious will go ๐Ÿ˜ฆ But you may be right, who in his right mind..

  23. Marriage is not something that a 8 year old naturally thinks of. Obviously this is from magazines, or films or picked up from adult talk around.
    I guess there is too much romanticisation of death, marriage, puppy love etc in our times and this is an extreme example of that.
    I am less sad and more angry about this whole thing.

    Lekhni: I agree. Even if the 8 year old does think “marriage”, shouldn’t the parents dissuade him? Especially when it involves another person too? ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  24. I quite agree with your point of view. Actually, it’s a tug on both sides.

    Lekhni: Yup, I don’t know whom to feel more sorry for – the boy or the girl ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  25. I can understand parents wanting to do anything for a dying child.. though I can’t understand an 8 year old interested in getting married. About the girl I am sure she thought of it as some game (at 8 what else does one expect), and will be treated with special respect for her kind gesture in her little town…because a gesture is all it was, just a little game, created by the parents, to make a dying child happy, or more likely to distract him from his pain and themselves from their pain. In India it would have had repercussions on the girl, but in UK I think she will just be considered a kind and sensitive girl who made a little boy feel good.

    Lekhni: If the 8 year old boy understood marriage, I am sure the 7 year old girl did too ๐Ÿ˜ฆ See, it’s not just a kind gesture to get married, and the repercussions are not so much from society in the UK, as the girl’s own struggle with her emotions – kids normally don’t mourn the loss of friends for very long. But how are you supposed to behave about the loss of a “husband” (fake or not)? Out of sheer guilt, she is going to unnecessarily prolong her grief.

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