Though she is dressed aptly as a newlywed, she is different from other brides. Because Kshama Bindu has not married a man, or a woman – she has married herself.
“People look weirdly at me. Like I have committed a crime,” she said.
Bindu’s “sologamy” – a marriage with self – was conducted last month in an elaborate Indian wedding setup, making her an overnight internet sensation and the first Indian ever to engage in such a practice.
Bindu says she came up with the idea of sologamy only three months before her wedding after watching the Netflix show, Anne With An E, a coming-of-age story of a young orphaned girl who endured abuse as a child.
Taking the line from the show – “I want to be a bride but not a wife” – to another level, she finally tied the knot with herself on June 8.
Since then, from travelling for work to going out for shopping in the western Indian state of Gujarat, the 24-year-old has been earning disapproving looks from strangers.
But she could not be happier. The day of her wedding was the best day of her life, she said, adding, “I was in awe of myself when I looked into the mirror. I had no worries of a normal Indian bride. I felt like I was enough for myself.”
The best part about her marriage to self, she says, is that not much has changed since the wedding.
“I don’t need anybody else’s validation. I don’t have to think about moving to a different city because my partner has to move. I can think just about myself,” she said, adding that no one but herself can give her greater love.