Satire of indian marriage and culture in wedding album by girish karnad Essay

Satire of Indian marriage and culture in Wedding Album by Girish Karnad

Sanjay Kumar

PGT English

GSSS Buwan, Fatehabad (3398)",

Research Scholar Lovely Professional University",Phagwara",Punjab.

Abstract: Literature is always called as the reflection of society. Society is connected with culture. The effect of culture is always seen in the literature. Same is applicable to Indian Literature. ~C.S. Lewis rightly pointed out, “Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become.[1]” ( Girish is one of the renowned Indian English writers in Literature. He is well-known dramatist. In his drama, the reflection of Indian myth, culture is always seen. Especially in his drama, there is the reflection of cast, culture, prestige issues of NRI son-in-law and net café conflict. People in India, especially of few communities thinks that they should have NRI son-in-law. But Hema the elder daughter of Nadkarni family talks her mother about her husband’s Indian mind set with specific beliefs, then what is use of NRI husband –so called modern. As this points, another various satire of India marriage has been shown by Girish Karnad in his Drama Wedding Album. Current work is an attempt to focus on the satire of India marriage specific reference to Wedding Album of Girish Karnad.

Key words: Wedding Album, culture, society, satire, literature, Indian family, etc.


Introduction: Girish Karnad is popular as modern author, playwright, film writer, actor and motion-picture show director in South Dravidian language. In the modern Indian English writers, Girish Karnad is one of the most significant playwrights. His plays have become an essence for imagination, innovation and craftsmanship. His rise as an outstanding writer in Sixties, marked the approaching older of recent Indian playwriting in South Dravidian, even as Badal Sarkar did it in Bengali, Vijay Tendulkar in Mahratta, and Mohan Rakesh in Hindi. He is a recipient of the Jnanpith Award in 1998 for South Dravidian, the best literary honour given in Republic of India.

The effect of life can be always shown by the writers in literatures. In the words the 19th-century critic Walter Pater writing pattern is explained as, “The matter of imaginative or artistic literature” as a “transcript, not of mere fact, but of fact in its infinitely varied forms.[1]” These facts are taken from the object existing in the society. Sometimes these genres may be in the form of novel, sometimes poetry, epics and sometimes in the dramas. Mostly, the theme of dramas are taken from the novel. Talking about Giris Karnad, The drama ‘Yayati’ has theme taken from Marathi writer V. S. Khandekar’s novel Yayati.

According to Girish Karnad, the play Wedding Album has been, in a sense, thirty to forty years within the creating. Once his sister got married, he watched the members of his family gathering along and ascertained the resultant, social dynamics and tension. He found it a mixture of ‘celebration and anxiety’ and tucked it away within the mind, to emerge abundant later. He didn’t wish to jot down as it has a ‘story’ play though', and also the type that it's taken now satisfying to him. Sangeeta G. Avachar has written on Girish Karnad’s Drama Wedding Album as “Girish Karnad’s Wedding Album could be a mix of anxieties and resentments deep non-moving in Indian wedding establishment.” Consistent with Amrit Srinivasan, “This play could be a constellation of sexual, conjugal, cast, category and age connected behaviours and attitudes of stinginess and sacrifice, chastity and commerce, obedience and authority, all integral to trendy Hindu wedding establishment. Karnad has artistically woven of these threads into the theme of Wedding Album.”

Tolstoy explores the social condition of girls in Russia and his characters during this fiction and novellas square measure women combating organized marriages. However, ladies are represented by Count Lev Nikolayevitch Tolstoy could be a subject that has attracted heaps of discussions. The scholar as Tolstoy is additionally in an agreement with the importance of arranged wedding. Some social ethics and antiques of every caste and society that terribly helpful to run the society and group smoothly. Once 18-20 age is crossed by youth, notwithstanding boy or gorl, the question comes in each one’s mind is –“When he/she can get marry?” Even Sandhya Ramachandran has outlined the importance of wedding in Republic of India. She stated, “Love = Marriage’ is that the new theorem getting ready to be introduced within the science textbooks. So, nobody cares if you would like time to settle financially, showing emotion, vertically or diagonally. ‘India needs to know’ after you are becoming married.” This is the one side of current youth’s view, on the other side- they have to marry with an individual which has been selected by parents.

Wedding Album: Wedding Album, the most recent play written by famed writer Girish Karnad, which shows the current scenario of Indian youth fascinated towards Internet, social Medias, became savvy towards the use of various technical tools for their pleasure in searching the friend, partner boy/girlfriend etc. The satire of it is that having these all things as a habit of regular life, they got marry with those who are selected by parents and seems to be cultured one.

The Nadkarni Family: The central characters of this play portray the trendy, bourgeois, Indian family Nadkarni who has --- Hema an elder daughter of this family NRI lives in Australia along with her husband and kids, a son of this Nadkarni family is a media skilled, a younger daughter of this family is willing to marry a 'suitable' boy from the U.S.A. whom she has never met, a fond mother, an ageing father apace losing his authority, and a loyal cook.

Satire of Wedding in Wedding Album: Wedding being the universal social knot is bestowed in its varieties of dissonance and disturbance within the play because the Father deciphers the conception of wedding as -- “Marriage could be a gamble. No escaping the actual fact – wedding could be a gamble” (Scene 9 p. 89). The play brings out the stark distinction between times gone and also the gift by reflective upon the social customs of wedding that have modified significantly. Karnad has the capability of explaining the characters to alter difficulties and ultimately presents the chance of marital status discord which is accumulated with passing time. The play presents stiffly planned roles of a husband and a better half wherever the characters are seen as survivors, for they need did not meet their partner’s psychological desires. The intimate relationship fails to permit the spouses to return along to receive and devote themselves to every different. The partial and incomplete negotiations in numerous phases of their married lives additional result in marital status failure. For example, when the discussion is going on between Mrs. Nadkarni and Her elder daughter Hema who is shifted in Australia with her NRI husband blames her mother that why you people feels to have NRI son-in-law and what it matters to you apart from thinking about our dreams and views. Furthermore, she explains that there is no change in these NRI husband or son-in-law. They are greedier about dowry, wanted more money and demand from the family of wife.

When the bride of this drama, Vidula met her spouse- he informed her that he has numbers of girls available in foreign, but he wanted to marry with Indian girl because he wanted to marry with a cultured girl of India, wanted to show Indian girls are cultured one. But he wanted to enjoy all the modern life style of foreign.

Tradition and Modernism Levels in Wedding Album: Wedding Album functions at two different levels. It explores the standard Indian wedding in an exceedingly globalized, technologically-advanced Republic of India at the same time as it juxtaposes the terribly completely different life experiences and expectations of the family and also the loyal cook. By doing this, Karnad reveals however explicit notions of wealth, well-being, sexual behavior, tradition, and currency type the premise of bourgeois society in modern Republic of India.

This play has already been staged at varied venues and was translated by Karnad himself from South Dravidian into English, an excellent addition to OUP's corpus of plays by Girish Karnad, this volume are import for not only to students and lecturers of recent Indian drama but also to general readers

Girish Karnad, the well- known Indian English writer took an equivalent issue in hand to explore down and bestowed the Drama entitled as “Wedding Album.” The "Wedding Album", Girish Karnad's modern new play, explores the standard Indian Wedding in an exceedingly globalized, technologically advanced Republic of India. On the surface level of theme, it is an acquainted picture- a joyful event once members of the kinship group move to celebrate and affirm loyalties, however behind the image good smiles, simmer long suppressed suspicions, jealousies, frustrations and aggression.

Even the nice Indian Cinema Star Madhuri Dixit declared her read on wedding as, “People say ours is an organized wedding. In a way, our meeting was organized by our oldsters however eventually it absolutely was the satire of Indian marriage and culture elected in the wedding. We have a tendency to meet and went out along for many times. We have a tendency to date for a minute then in agreement to marry.”

The 'Wedding Album' is Girish Karnad's modern play that explores the standard satire of prestige issue of Indian wedding with an exceedingly globalised and technologically advanced India. His play rather provides with ideology that becomes imperative command to his readers through Mother – “Don’t do an equivalent issue together with your life” (p. 90). His writing initiates and contributes to the society by providing an understanding of which means of wedding through illustration of assorted social issues confronted within the gift day world. Nadkarni family is the representative of Indian Brahmin family who just because of their prestige issue of having NRI son-in-law, never thinks what the exact situation of these girls is who are living with their husband in foreign countries. They just wanted to show their relatives, friends and other social members that they do have foreign son-in-law. No matter, having worst tendency than India citizens towards wife. This is the satire shown by Karnad in his Play wedding Album

Urban Middle- Category Family: The play deals with a standard of urban middle- category family i.e. South Indian Brahmin family -Nadkarni Family. The elder daughter- Hema of this family lives abroad along with her skilled husband, a brother who is a software system designer love to Cristian girl but due to cast conflict in India not allowed to marry with her. A younger daughter Vidula who is happy enough to marry an appropriate boy from the USA to whom she has never met. But before a day of marriage he wanted to meet her spouse and explain the reason why he selected her and what are his terms and conditions to get marry with her and then, of course, there is the fond mother and also the loyal cook. A family which is educated, liberal, and modern but yet showing their cultured views and attitudes towards Indian beliefs and cast, culture pattern. Every snap shows its members frozen in an exceedingly projection of honourableness, however every figure encompasses a double image, with the shadow of a hidden life. It is a screaming spectacle. And hopefully, each revealing and moving.

Contradiction of characters in Wedding Album: This drama is written in a fantastic manner. Some characters are developed quite others, however the author looks to own left enough to be explored through the medium of acting by setting an enticing plot. The characters vital gift drama is Vidula, the Heroine of the Drama whose wedding goes to be control and whole drama moves round her. Following are some major characters in Wedding Album:


Vidula: Vidhula is the representative of the modern girl who is quite adequate for use of internet and social media. She is A Hindu lady timid naturally, is going to marry with a NRI, keeping a secret life with her. Showing herself as a good character and cultured Indian lady. Her sexy want of being seen in an exceedingly darkened cyber restaurant and her guilt of being seen in an exceedingly hysterical rage is consummated through the choice of a flesh and blood trespasser to assist her work, her means through hopeless want.

Another Satire with her this want of sex and desire connected with net café and in the dark room of internet. She is having online sex with her boyfriend in the darkroom. He demands her to do as he guides. On the outside of the café, the group of boys who themselves are not having good nature but shows that they are very much aware of Indian culture and morals of the life, on the net café for Vidula. For them, they are only responsible Indians taking care of India Culture. This is the satire of Indian Culture, Indian Youth, use of Modern techniques, and desire of Sex and arrange marriage.

The subjugation Vidula seeks in her secret, sexy world are often served through man and wedding to a better purpose. On the eve of her departure, Vidula makes a non-public resolve ‘I can never divorce Ashwin’.

Mr. Nadkarni: He is an adult male and leader of this Nadkarni family. He is the father of Bride Viduala. Mr. Nadkarni, “A Wedding is actually an excuse for shopping” and for Mrs. Nadkarni, Vidula’s mother, a willing slave of the cookery realm, “ A marriage suggests that expenses – there's no obtaining aloof from that”. The members of the family are introduced through their reactions to Vidhula’s things, readjustment their opinions and prejudices, loves and hates by Girish Karnad in Wedding Album in a satiric manner showing typical Indian family, their customs and cultures. Who just because of prestige issue arranged marriage of his two daughters with NRI son-in-law. But because of cast conflict didn’t allow his son to marry with Cristian girl to whom his son loves. Marriage is not a part of love and mutual thoughts of life partner. To whom it is the major factor of parents’ prestige issue in the form of economy, nation, cast and culture. Thus each and every character in this drama has represented in a satiric way showing various matters and facts of Indian family always seen in Indian marriages.

Mrs. Nadkarni: Mrs.Nadkarni, the standard better half of Mr. Nadkarni. Shegets sequestered by herself within the room, the non-public place. For her, the room could be a tract for sophistication ascendency and management over Radhabhai, the willing feminine shadow within the room with whom she battles perpetually to no conclusion. The mother enthrones herself within the room. Her conversation with her maid Radhabai, her elder daughter Hema reflects typical Indian wife. Obediently following the instruction order by husband as her prior duty. She kept her feminism and motherhood beside her and ready to follow him as her prime duty being his wife.

Radhabai: Radhabai is the symbol or representative of Indian servent. She is the cook of Mrs. Nadkarni. Radhabhai’s emotional pain and self-endurance and also the tragic plight of her daughter Yamuna are shown as the close with the portrayal of the cook’s solitary presence with surrogate recollections of feeding the master’s kids and also the ‘kept’ daughter Yamuna who becomes the Jazebel in computer network at the tip of the play.

Rohit and Hema: The young generations’ representative and brother of the bride Vidula is Rohit. Rohit loves to Cristian girl but not allowed to marry with her due to cast conflict elder sister Hema is the elder daughter of Nadkarni family and swept by aspirations to simple prosperity. Hema is a lot of a sensible and every now and then progressive mother whereas Rohit, the ostensible rebel with a Christian girlfriend, chooses arrangement over love for higher career prospects.

Ashwin: Ashwin is NRI boy who needs to relish all the physical facilities of western countries however needs his better half to be ancient, typical and cultured Indian wife who obediently follows his instruction and show to the foreign countries how we Indian are Ideal. It is the prime duty of wife to follow all customs, traditions of India and not of husband. For Ashwin, wedding is obligation duty even ‘mission’. The trendy technology and its modified circumstances would possibly need to be presented of boy and lady through video pictures and that they are associated with each other inside the broader caste network however the method remains an equivalent. He needs to require Indian culture to western cities to avoid wasting it. He clears these items to Vidula and Vidula accepts that a number of the characters were stereotypes, however it wasn’t terribly clear whether or not their depiction was supposed to mirror reality or to mock it. There weren’t insights into a character’s behaviour, their decision-making method etc, nevertheless there have been many things that needed to explanations. But the satire of adjustment of marriage beyond the choice just due to various beliefs, prestige, and choice of better half and so on.

The play faltered underneath the burden of too several problems being targeted on, too several queries rose. There have been simply many several disparate strands that faltered midway, were abandoned thenceforth and failed to merge into one fluid plot-line – for example, the elder sister ignoring her younger sister who is the bride and whose marriage ceremony is going to be happened soon. This is the irony of the young man in America wanting an Indian better half and choosing one who looks traditional however truly isn't because she herself has affair and tried to fulfil her desire of sex online with boyfriend.

Conclusion: thus, with a suitable title as Wedding Album Girish Karnad Portrait a Liberal and fashionable of the Nadkarni Family. The drama has structured with nine scenes. In the drama Karnad has presented the educated, liberal and fashionable South Indian Brahmin family with their two completely different worlds, i.e. ancient and modern cyber world. There is a celebration and anxiety over the wedding of the younger female offspring, Vidula of an urban social class Saraswat Brahmin family of Dr. Nadkarni to the video groom, Ashwin, the stereotype of the yanked as a NRI, for whom America is each the land of chance and also the NRI’s burden. “That whole culture is innocent of values currently, deprived of any living which means. It’s shallow…, fulgid and shallow. The ecu age began by rejecting faith in favour of fabric values. However, nowadays this bequest is suffocation the west. They need no non secular moorings left. They’re adrift in impious, neutral world.” The family is the representative of Indian family who are fascinated towards modern culture of western countries but expecting to be followed traditions by others. Wedding Album –the title is also a satiric title –wedding Album showing the real and satiric pictures of Indian marriage ceremony. One has to show happy and pleasures mood though not having any inside. Only showup world. Everyone is the symbol of individual different character exiting in the Indian society. Culture and cast are always shown prestigious issues in Indian families.

Girish Karnad has represented this satire of Indian marriage system followed with Indian culture issue in a decent manner. Marriage is not the toy of life but in most of the Indian families, it has used as toy of parents who arranges the marriage of their kid opposing to their own views and wishes. The satire of dowry, demand of assets from wife’s parent even equal to the bride’s husband is expected by elder sister of Bride Hema’s husband. The situation is same of lower class as having to upper middle class. Yamuna, the daughter of Radhabia- cook of Nadkarni family suffered a lot from her husband and his family.

Rohit cannot marry with the girl to whom he loves because of cast issue. He has to marry only to that girl which is selected by his parent. Same is about his younger sister Vidula who is going to married with Ashwin-NRI. She has affair with someone to whom she chats even a day before the marriage and shows as a cultured one. Promise to Ashwin in a meeting day before marriage to follow all traditions and cultures as an idealistic of India to the western culture. On the other side Ashwin wanted to enjoy all the modern life of western culture but wife must follow Indian Culture. Thus each and every character, scene and views are shown as the satire of India, Indian Marriage and Indian culture in a well-structured manner by Girish Karnad.


1.Girish Karnad, Wedding Album, Oxford Press, 2011.


3.Nimsarkar, P.D. Women in Girish Karnad’s Plays- A Critical Perspectives. New Delhi: Creative Books, 2009.

4.Agrwal, Malti. New Persepctives on Indian English Writings. Ed. New Delhi; Atlantic, 2007.

5.About the Author- Sangeeta G. Avachar, Assistant Prof. & HOD, Department of English",

6.L.S.K.J. Mahila Mahavidyalaya, Maharashtra (India)

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