GHAZIABAD: A childless 55-year-old Muslim furniture shop owner adopted a Hindu Brahmin’s daughter 18 years ago, brought her up as a Hindu, Muslim parents marry adopted Hindu girl to Hindu groom and on Thursday night, married Gudiya off to a Brahmin business executive from South Delhi. In what may sound as a fairy tale, Gudiya’s Muslim parents married off their only ‘child’ with full Hindu rites, in a ceremony as grand as they could afford.
And, as they bid a tearful farewell to Gudiya, now called Rakhi, who hung on to the couple as though she would never leave, the neighbors and invitees were amazed at the intensity of the bond between parents and child.
Gudiya left with her husband, a multi-national corporation executive, Ranjit Sharma, leaving her ‘father’, Shabir Khan, behind. “Who will we now celebrate Holi with? No Eid will be the same without her. She is more our child than a natural one would be,” he said.
It all started 18 years ago, when Shabir Khan used to live in Vinod Nagar in East Delhi. The couple had no child of their own. And, one Sharma, a neighbor and close friend, had 6 daughters. Sharma agreed that Khan could adopt one of his daughters, which Khan did.
Then, some years later, Khan moved to Rahul Vihar in Ghaziabad, where his shop in Pratap Vihar was doing well.
“I thought it was my daughter’s arrival that brought us luck. And, since she joined us, she has been a sort of reason for our existence. “Aaj mujhe lagta hai jaise mere dil ka ek tukra chala gaya (Today, I feel like a peace of my heart has departed from me.)
When Khan adopted Gudiya, he had a separate pooja ghar (prayer room) for her, where she could pray to the Hindu deities. The family celebrated Diwali with as much gusto as they did Eid.
Gudiya completed her 10+2 examination from a Central Board of Secondary Education affiliated school. “We are a little conservative, as is the groom’s family. And, they thought that, to be a housewife, she needed only to have passed school,” the father said.
27 Feb 2009, Lalit Kumar, TNN