Inspire Tale

Married a Tree

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In 2020 life changed in many ways - "stay at home, stay safe, save lives", binge-watching series on Amazon Prime, Netflix, etc became a way of life, the new norm.  After a day's work, my way to wind down for a couple of hours was to watch series that were light-hearted, one of which was called 'Made In Heaven' on Amazon Prime and is a story of two wedding planners in Delhi. There was one episode that took me back to 20 years ago but before I begin my story, there are a few things that I need to mention:

 

According to astrology, if Martian energy (masculine, lively and aggressive) resides in your horoscope then you are bound to face certain types of issues in your life; it all depends in which house of the twelve it resides, and decisions made in haste can bring loss in three main areas related to this type of energy: a) being prone to accidents, b) business partnership break-up or c) marriage ending in divorce.

 

In India, this Martian energy is known as "Manglik"; many perceive it as a curse and only bad when a woman has the energy.  It's a very male-dominated view and the blame rests on the delicate shoulders of the woman : "she is the reason her husband dies", not that it is in the man's destiny to live only up to a certain age : "she cannot give birth to a son", not that biology and the Y chromosome of the man has anything to do with it : "she is a danger to the entire family", well, if there are sexists like you, she needs to be! Individuals, both men and women, who have this energy are in fact more mature, with a deeper connection and understanding of relationships.  In the science of astrology there is no gender discrimination.  I repeat, THERE IS NO GENDER DISCRIMINATION.  There are various astrological factors involved in calling someone a Manglik, not only the presence of Mars in the birth chart.

Parents should always have their children's best interests at heart and go to any lengths to ensure they have a comfortable future, and my parents are no different. They were introduced to an intuitive psychic (let's call him Bhaiji) and, as parents always do, they wanted to know if my siblings and I would have secure and stress-free futures. As I am the eldest, they asked about me first. Bhaiji said that I am destined to have two marriages in my lifetime.  Now, that, information stunned my parents; they were in a state of shock and frozen to the core.  I would have loved to pay a penny for their thoughts. Luckily, an uncle who was present asked for a solution and Bhaiji stated that I should marry a tree, the sooner the better and preferably before my 21st birthday, which sounded absurd at the time.

I was studying in the UK then so when I returned to Kenya for my summer holidays it was arranged - I was to marry a tree, no questions asked.  I remember the day very well: I woke up that morning, dressed in my favourite traditional outfit and my father and uncle drove us to a village where sacred fig trees grow.  In India they are called Peepal trees. On our drive there I was given instructions of the ritual that I had to perform and once completed, I was to leave all the accessories behind, not look back at the tree and just head back to the car.  The closer we got to our destination, the weirder and more bizarre the thought became.  When we finally arrived, my stomach was in knots and I had all these fearful thoughts: what if I made a mistake, what if I forgot a step in the ritual, what if I looked back at the tree by mistake - too many "what ifs" flooded my mind. My father stayed in the car while I got out and walked with my uncle to the tree along a path that was uneven and stony, and lined with shrubs that had sharp thorns. He handed me a red scarf, a bottle of mustard oil and a tiny metal pot that he filled with water and, without a word, walked back to the car to join my father.

I began the ritual, emptied the bottle of mustard oil on the tree then began to walk around the tree four times, carrying the pot of water that was wrapped in the red scarf. Once I had completed this, I put the pot of water on the floor and covered the tree with the red scarf: the ritual was complete. I turned to make my way back to the car but in my haste my salwar (trousers) caught on a thorny shrub.  All I could think of was " Kiran, don't look back, please don't look back!". I tugged at my salwar without looking behind me and ripped part of it in the process, there goes a piece of my favourite outfit, then rushed to the car. No-one spoke; we got home, and all was forgotten - until I watched the episode, remembered the ritual solution, and began to research it.

In India, this ritual is known as Kumb Vivah, the ritual of an actual wedding.  The dressing-up in the traditional outfit signified a bride, the oil and red scarf were part of the wedding ritual and walking around the tree four times is known as "Pheres", basically taking the wedding vows.  The metal pot is significant as it plays the part of the first husband; according to Indian tradition, it is not a living thing and the marriage is not valid.  Hence marriage to a man makes it the prime marriage for the woman.  The pot of water takes away/reduces the effects of the Martian energy and does not affect the husband she marries. 

I am not going to condemn nor glorify the ritual since no-one knows what mishaps may have been avoided.  If you really want to know more about Martian energy and whether it resides in your horoscope, it is my humble request that you contact a bona fide astrologer who will have an abundance of knowledge on the subject. I was fortunate enough in having the positive support of my parents and relatives in this matter and yes, my husband knows about my first husband being a tree!

 

by Kiran Kaur

February 2021