Thursday, June 17, 2010

Mass Marriage, Vavuniya

I submitted the following to If you do not know the site, read what's published there. The writing offers lanterns to help illuminate the island's darkness.

Mass Marriage, Vavuniya

What a large and dramatic idea occurred to the brigadier in charge
of rehabilitation , to organize a mass wedding to spur former Tiger

troops into formation under a different philosophy and yet appeal
to their strengths to cohere as a group not any longer in waging war

against the State but to reveal their common humanity to agree
to a public celebration of private bonds, to ensure their co-habiting

led to proper inheritance for children, access to social welfare
payments when necessary, all to the good for these members

of a herd, now in white vershtis and magenta sarees eating cake
and chatting with relatives witnessed by the Bollywood actor

Vivek Oberoi, no less, before returning to detention camps,
now two by two, respectable members of the new unitary ark,

where domestic animals gather obediently while the brigadier
sheds a tear; he told the press, he was nervous, even more so

than before his own wedding, which did not take place thankfully
under public glare and was not diminished by the splendour

of mass marriage like mass production of poultry, efficiencies
of scale, government desire to move rehabilitation forward

in one swoop, a sort of dog training in a large group; anybody
realize that marriage among truly reborn takes place between

two people and the witnesses are God and invited guests? Here,
some exceptions were made to the usual practice, no consultation

with bride or groom, whether the actor was indeed an honoured
guest, or if the brigadier should cry like a mother, or if even

53 couples minded seeing their knots tied in the presence
of each other, or have Reverend Moon and other enlightened

priests of mass marriage, become advisers to Sri Lankan
military, spiritual guides to its standard operating procedure?

Indran Amirthanayagam, June 15, 2010

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