Read Mukul's post today on the marriage affidavit. Id and I were married enough by the vows of a qazi, but Idris thought it best that we get our marriage registered. I was 24, but looked 16, we travelled a lot, and had got called up a couple of times by policemen, who thought we were running away from home!! Visiting Id's home in Nainital, we went for an early morning walk, stopped off to have tea and breakfast at a friend's place, where the local magistrate came in with the marriage register, and had us sign. We got a lovely marriage certificate with our photographs attached.
Later, when I was getting a divorce, my lawyers at Majlis wanted to use my marriage certificate to push for similar ones in Maharashtra. The marriage certificates here are nothing but a very insignificant scrap of paper.
When Teja and I decided to marry, Dhanno was six, and adamant that we should not marry. It took a year's gentle persuasion. When she did agree, she had it firmly in her head, with no prompting from our side, that it was to be a marriage between us three, herself included.
At the Bandra court, our lawyer was absconding with all the relevant papers. All of us hung around, sure the marriage was not going to happen that day. The lawyer appeared just before the day was about to pack up at court. A clerk yelled for us to come inside. Unnecessary people were not allowed in. Within 2 minutes, everyone signed. Outside, Dhanno howled because her sign had not been asked for. Ar ran around, and came back with a piece of paper, which he asked her to sign. She grinned, happy, that the formalities were complete.
P-Bapu and Gaz, my witnesses, confessed that they had not got around to registering their marriage in 12 years. Maybe they would get it done soon. All of us knew it was never going to happen.