Indian Bride Walks Out After Basic Math Stumps Her To-Be Groom (And C'mon, Who Can Blame Her?)

Last week, an Indian bride walked out of her wedding ceremony in disgust when her intended husband failed a basic math test. Lovely Singh, of Uttar Pradesh, asked Ram Baran, her bridegroom-to-be, to add together 15 and six, according to BBC. His erroneous answer of 17 prompted her to call off the marriage. Singh has held firm to her decision, despite the groom’s family pleading for her to return.

The wedding in Rasoolabad village was slated for last Wednesday. “Just before the marriage ceremony, Lovely came to know that Ram Baran is illiterate and she refused to marry,” the bride’s supportive father told BBC Hindi. “The groom's family kept us in the dark about his poor education… Even a first grader can answer this.” Mediation by local police has resulted in both sides returning all of the marriage gifts exchanged in the lead up to the ceremony, The Independent reports.

According to a 2014 study cited in The Times of India, 69 percent of Indian weddings are arranged. Couples occasionally meet briefly before the marriage ceremony. The blind-date element has been known to lead to trouble in the past.

At another set of nuptials in Uttar Pradesh in February, festivity became farce when the bride elected to marry a guest rather than the groom. Jugal Kishore, the bridegroom, had an epileptic fit and collapsed mid-wedding, according to BBC. His infuriated bride — who had not been aware of his condition — requested that a member of her brother-in-law’s family marry her on the spot instead. Harpal Singh, wearing jeans and a leather jacket, boldly complied.

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On that occasion, too, the groom’s family complained, and begged the bride to reconsider. She refused. The angered party lodged a complaint with the local police. “Since the bride is already married now, what can anyone do?” an officer asked the BBC. The families resolved the matter, and the complaint was withdrawn.

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It gets better. In August of last year, again in Uttar Pradesh (something in the water?) six newlywed women left their husbands’ houses and returned to their family homes, complaining of the lack of toilets. The women, who were all from the same small village in Kushinagar district, stated that they would return only if their husbands built proper ablution facilities. “My parents have a toilet at home, but there is no toilet in my husband Ramesh Sharma's home,” one of the women told BBC. “Going outdoors was a big hassle, so I fought with him and returned to my parents.”

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Almost fifty percent of Indians go without toilets in their dwellings, especially in rural parts of the subcontinent. The absence is more than an annoyance; having to search for a toilet or defecate in the open leaves women vulnerable to attack. In his Independence Day speech of 2014, India’s newly elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged to prioritize sanitation and end open defecation. “Toilets before temples,” he pleaded at last year’s Global Citizen festival. The UN has pledged to end open defecation by 2025.

If Toilets before Temples can take off, then perchance Math before Marriage can also make a go of it. Who knows? Know before Nuptials might even have a chance.

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