Sologamy, a wedding ceremony where people marry themselves, has been a growing trend in the West over the past few years. It has now reached Indian shores.
The traditional Hindu ceremony of the point of forgiveness is due to take place on the evening of June 11 at a temple in the city of Vadodara in the western state of Gujarat.
Dressed in her red bridal garb, with henna in her hands and vermilion powder in the hair parting, the bride will perform the customary seven rounds around the sacred fire; she tells me over the phone from her home.
Pre-wedding rituals such as Haldi (where turmeric mixed with oil is applied to the bride) and Sangeet (music and dance) will be held earlier. After marriage, she will go to Goa for a two-week honeymoon.
The only missing ingredient from all the ceremonies would be a groom. This is because Ms Bindu plans to “marry” herself in what is probably going to be the first case of monogamous marriage in India.
“Many people tell me I’m a great catch,” the 24-year-old sociology student and a blogger said. “I tell them, ‘I caught myself.”
By marrying herself, Ms Bindu said, she would be dedicating her life to “self-love”.
“Self-marriage is a commitment to being there for yourself, to choosing the livelihood and lifestyle that will help you grow and blossom into the most alive, beautiful, and pleased person you can be.
“It’s my way of showing that I’m accepting all the different parts of me, especially the parts of myself that I have tried to deny or disown, such as my weaknesses – physical, mental or emotional. For me, this marriage is a deep act of self-acceptance. I’m trying to say that I accept myself – all of me, even the parts that don’t look pretty.”
Her family, Ms Bindu told me, has given their blessings and will be attending the ceremony along with her friends.
“My mom said, ‘Oh, you always think of something new.’ But my very open-minded parents took it in their stride. They said, ‘As long as it makes you happy, we’re fine with it,'” she added.
A debate has also started on this news on social media. Some applauded her, saying she would be an inspiration to many, but most people tried to wrap their heads around the concept of sologamy.
A woman on Twitter wondered what the need for marriage is if no one else is involved. Another said it looked like Ms Bindu was trying to run away from family responsibilities.
To her critics, Ms Bindu has “only one thing” to say: “I decide to marry who I want – whether it’s a man or a woman or myself. And by marrying myself, I want to normalise sologamy. I want to tell people that you come into the world alone and leave it alone. So who can love you more than yourself? If you fall, it’s you who are going to have to pick yourself up.”