Even by Tamil Nadu’s dyed-in-the-wool Dravidian standards, the wedding invitation came as a shocker. From a small town in the state’s southern hinterland the invitation sought your presence for a triangular wedding—one bridegroom and two brides.
G. Ramamurthy, a farmer’s son from Virudhunagar district in south Tamil Nadu was to marry two of his cousins on September 4 with the complete consent of his parents and the brides’ mothers. The logic the family offered for the attempt at polygamy, banned under the Hindu Marriage Act, was that it was difficult to find grooms for the two girls and the family was unable to afford the steep dowry demanded by outsiders. They followed it up by citing that the family astrologer had predicted that the boy would anyway have two wives so, ‘better play it safe from the beginning’.