BREAKING TRADITION

Meet Rachana, the woman who postponed her wedding to attend exams

INDIA-WEDDING (Representative image) Hindu marriage | Reuters

After her marriage on November 25, she is Rachana Srigadhi. But in her avatar as 24-year-old Rachana Alluri, the bride broke all tradition when she decided to postpone her own wedding by a few hours. The reason : Her Diploma for Education(DEd) exam timing clashed with her wedding muhurtam. Luckily, her family, fiancee and in-laws were supportive of the postponement. Rachana is a science graduate.

"I knew that the exam dates would clash with my wedding dates," she says. Initially, she thought that the exam might be scheduled at the end of October, which would affect her shopping and such. But unfortunately for her, when the dates were announced, it fell on the day of her marriage in November.

Her exam timings were from 9 am to 12 and her muhurtam was fixed at 11:02 am on November 25. The families put their heads together, but did not want to change the wedding date. Rachana's fiancée Sagar Srigadhi encouraged her to go ahead and appear for the exam.

Once that decision was taken, they simply announced to the guests that the wedding would be delayed. "While muhurtam timing is important, November 25 was considered as the most auspicious day, so any timing was good," says Rachana with a laugh.

She also broke another tradition when she stepped out of the house for the exam. There is a belief that once the peli kuturu ceremony is over(when she is swathed in turmeric and then given a bath by all the elder women in the house), she is not to be seen by anyone outside of the family. But Rachana went right ahead in all her finery and wrote the exam.

Not surprisingly, she has now become something of a hero -- one who broke all rules, followed her passion and made a definite statement.

She had to appear for five methods, she says, and her final exam was on Tuesday. Now, she will have enough time to dress up for the reception at Mancherial, where her husband is a gazetted veterinary doctor. She will soon shift there. 

What would happen if she got a job somewhere else, away form Mancherial? To which she laughed and said, "I have not thought about it. With this exam, I can be employed by private companies, even as I apply for a government post and hope for the best."

Rachana accepts that it was good that she married a supportive spouse. Certainly a great example for all women.

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