Shetty Couple Together in Life and Even Beyond
Mumbai: The institution of marriage is built upon the holy union of a man and a woman, who exchange the vows of togetherness and loyalty towards each other at the formal ceremony. They express their determination to share each other’s joy and sorrow until death.
In accordance with the Hindu traditions, the newlyweds fulfil the ritual of Saptapadi, or the Seven Steps, and walk around fire, with fire god Agni as witness. They also assert their promises to each other in his presence. The ritual finds expression this way:
“Let us take the first step to provide for our household a nourishing and pure diet, avoiding those foods injurious to healthy living. Let us take the second step to develop physical and spiritual powers. Let us take the third step to increase our wealth by righteous means and proper use. Let us take the fourth step to acquire knowledge, happiness and harmony by mutual love and trust. Let us take the fifth step so that we are blessed with strong, virtuous and heroic children. Let us take the sixth step for self-restraint and longevity. Finally, let us take the seventh step and be true companions and remain lifelong partners by this wedlock.”
Incidentally, by a remarkable coincidence, the same spirit and ethos are conveyed at a Christian wedding. The bridal couple exchanges the marital vows as follows:
“I, _____, take you, ______, for my lawful wife / husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part. I, ____, take you, ______, to be my husband / wife. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love and honour you all the days of my life.”
Sounds solemn and sublime, doesn’t it? It is a different matter if or not all the vows are followed in letter and spirit in the modern times. Many of the clauses could be seen more in breach than in observance.
Till death do us part, says a vow. In most cases, husbands and wives die at a gap of some years, leaving the the other spouse in solitude. However, there have been some rare cases when one of the partners died, the other too departed from life, maybe out of shock and grief. A couple of Mangaluru origin, based in Mumbai for decades, were in the news for this reason last week.
Jayaram P Shetty (60) of Nallyaguttu Panja and Shobha Jayaram Shetty (54) of Tardolya Jeppu were married for 33 years. They had tied the knot in the King George auditorium on June 23, 1983. They celebrated their silver wedding anninversary in Happy Singh Hotel in Saki Naka in 2008.
Jayaram was the owner of a bar and restaurant near Jerimeri on Andheri-Kurla road. He had suffered from kidney ailment during the recent days and breathed his last in the Criticare Hospital in Andheri (East) on May 24.
A large number of his friends and well-wishers got together and arranged to have the body shifted to his home in Leoland in Tungagaon in Powai. As preparations were in progress for the final rites, his wife Shobha suddenly collapsed and died of a suspected cardiac arrest.
Their mortal remains were consigned to flames in the Sag Bagh crematorium in Saki Naka the next day. The joint funeral was attended by a large gathering. The couple is survived by a son and a daughter.
May they rest in eternal peace.