A young girl of 18, Mangli Munda, inhabitant of a rural community in India, was compelled to get married to a dog, believing that this unusual union would ward off an evil spell she is said to carry. The decision was fueled by the elders of the village who deemed it good advice with a view to protecting both the girl and their local population.
The reluctant bride and her baffled groom
A teenage girl, Mangli Munda, residing in an eastern Indian village was made the wife of Sheru, as was advised by the elders of her rural community. The wedding was quite a lavish one, with around 70 guests, and, had a ‘lofty purpose’: it was meant to ward off an evil spell. Mangli Munda unhappily dragged herself to the wedding ceremony, while her groom probably did not even grasp the full implications of the event. Why, you ask. Mostly because Sheru is a dog.
Unhappy bride convinced herself of the purpose
The unhappy ride began when the family of the girl ‘learned’ from a local guru that her marriage to any man would lead to the destruction of both her own family, and, the community at large because, supposedly, she carried bad luck. So, her marriage to the dog was an attempt to repel the evil luck. As is the custom, the groom was warmly welcomed. As is quite common in that kind of rural setting, the bride was very much unhappy about the union. While she was not thrilled to go through the wedding, she convinced herself that it will lead to a reversal of her bad luck. She stated that once she does get married to the dog, she will be ready to wed a man whose life will not be affected by the evil omen upon her.
Just another wedding…
As for the local population and Mangli’s family, this practice was considered quite common. Many such weddings were organised in the past. Their belief in its purpose is unshakable. The wedding celebrations were just like any other. Mangli’s parents invested in the preparations as they would have done had the groom been human. The dog-husband was respected just like a human would have been. Somehow, Mangli, a girl who has not received formal schooling in an educational institution, also believed that it is for her own good – that she will ultimately get rid of the evil spell that has been binding her, and get married to her prince charming.