What does it take to smash the patriarchy out of our house, and our lives? We would say the simple acts of maintaining sensitivity and ensuring gender equality in our decisions. Actor Dia Mirza did just the same when she roped-in a female priest to conduct and formalise her wedding ceremony earlier this week. Her choice didn’t end just there. The actor also removed the customs of ‘bidaai’ and ‘kanyadaan’ that essentially mean transferring a woman’s responsibility to her husband. In a beautiful post made on Thursday morning, Dia talked about how she made a few small decisions to ensure change and equality from her side.
Dia got married to Vaibhav Rekhi in a Hindu wedding ceremony on Monday, February 15. The couple performed their wedding rituals as instructed by the female priest named Sheela Atta. It was a thoughtful decision made by Dia who wanted to set a beautiful example against the patriarchy by opening doors for the women who want to enter into popular male bastions. The actor mentioned that she had seen the priestess performing rituals at her friend’s wedding earlier and that’s where she decided that she will be setting that example for others to follow.
A part of Dia’s caption on the post read, “The highest point for us was the Vedic ceremony conducted by a woman priest! I had never seen a woman performing a wedding ceremony until I attended my childhood friend Ananya’s wedding a few years ago. Ananya’s wedding gift to Vaibhav and me was to bring Sheela Atta who is her aunt and also a priestess, to perform the ceremony for us. She also painstakingly went through several hours of training to imbibe the essence of the scriptures so that she could assist Sheela Atta and translate the shlokas! It was such a privilege and a joy to be married this way! We do hope with all our heart that many more couples make this choice.”
Dia explained how a woman symbolises beauty, strength, conviction, positivity, and ‘magical energy’ and it’s time that more women realise to hone their agencies and get into performing the roles that have long been reserved for only men. She added, “As Charles Bukowski said, ‘there is no lie in their fire.’ So what can be more uplifting and empowering than to see the sacred fire within a woman’s heart and soul taking centre stage at a wedding? I am still overwhelmed by the magic of this one moment.” (sic)
Mentioning that they did away with the Kanyadaan and Bidaai rituals, the actor wrote, “Also, we said NO to ‘Kanyadaan’ and ‘Bidaai’ change begins with choice doesn’t it?” (sic).
Dia tied the knot in the garden outside her house which was magically decorated with all organic things. The actor revealed that the entire setting was done without any use of plastic and it seemed like a simple, pure dream coming alive in front of her eyes.
Apart from being a former beauty queen, and one of the most loved on-screen faces from the industry, Dia has also been an avid advocate of women’s rights and environmental issues. The actor is a UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador and UN Secretary Generals DGs Advocate. Dia also owns a production house called Born Free Entertainment under which she made a film called Bobby Jasoos that again showed a woman entering a male-bastion by becoming a popular detective. It starred Vidya Balan in the lead.