After much introspection,

Verve’s pages underwent a tangible change last September when our Relationship Issue became a seminal moment in representing a particular transformation in the sociocultural landscape. The obvious and more stereotypical wedding-themed issues we used to publish appeared almost anachronistic when, as a society, the ways that we have begun to develop interpersonal connections and celebrate love are multifarious and often remarkably different from the behaviours that originate more out of convention than from either choice or desire. A few months down the road, our editorial meetings germinated an extension of that thought process, and, on further reflection, we created this section to represent women whose individual paths challenge the traditionally held views on marriage. What emerges from their commentaries and our interpretations, is that today, for many urban women, the lifelong commitment that matters the most is the one we make to ourselves.

Victor of Circumstance

At a time when unmarried women were the exception, ’60s superstar Asha Parekh defied the norm and rejected a long list of suitors. Bollywood history rookie and the soon-to-wed Sadaf Shaikh reconciles her 21st-century feminist ideology with the still-single actor’s understated iconoclasm as their conversation elides the 50 years between them.

I do?

The thought of marriage awakens a conventional wedding fantasy from her childhood, but it is also a bitter reminder of her otherness as both a queer woman and a member of the BDSM community. In an honest appointment with herself, Jaya Sharma analyses these contrasting truths.

Unholy Matrimony

Why is a woman’s worth relative to the vows of marriage? What makes a woman who has either transgressed or bypassed these vows for her own happiness so threatening to the status quo? Samhita Arni refers back to legendary figures — mythological and actual — and studies how history is being both repeated and revised in modern culture.

Making The

In 2017, Shaan Lalwani decided to quit her job and start Coco Custo, a sustainable cleaning products company, in order to simplify one aspect of running a green household. We asked the eco-expert to put together a guide for a less wasteful celebration as the wedding season approaches.

On The
Plus Side

Encouraged by a prominent fashion campaign’s inclusion of a curvy model in high-end bridal couture — a segment that is usually showcased on those who can fit into unrealistically sized designer samples — Shreemi Verma offers her take on why this kind of representation matters for Indian women.