Divorce party parting shots

After legally splitting with their bitter halves, more and more ‘Newly Single’ are celebrating divorce with parties, fancy dinners, luxury cruises and sharing it on social media for all and sundry…

It’s not just Hollywood and Bollywood celebrities who are throwing epic ‘Divorce Party’ with DJs, free-flowing champagne, sumptuous spreads and close pals. More people from all walks of life, both men and women are celebrating their ‘Newly Single’ status with family and friends after the legal split.

Pop icon Britney Spears ‘played all night’ with a group of men just days after ex-husband Sam Asghari filed for divorce and shared the photos on her Instagram account. Actor Nicole Kidman joyously celebrated after her divorce from Tom Cruise. Back home, Shalini, a Tamil TV actor celebrated her divorce with a happy ‘Divorced’ photoshoot in a red haute dress. She left a message on her social media account saying: “It’s okay to leave a bad marriage.” Shalini’s message resonated with thousands of netizens, who showered her with positive responses. Some criticised her, but who cares about trolls?

Sonia Gupta (47), a relationship and divorce mentor celebrated her separation with a colourful themed party. In October 2023, Prem Gupta, a resident of Ranchi brought back his divorced daughter, Sakshi Gupta, home from her in-laws place with a musical band and fireworks.

Changing with the times, society is embracing the narrative that “It is okay to be divorced”. For generations, divorce carried a heavy societal burden, especially for a woman. However, this perception is changing. There’s a growing understanding that divorce can be a positive step towards a happier, healthier life, regardless of gender. Nasreen Khan Chanana, a relationship mentor says, “Celebrating divorce symbolises: I am fine and ready to move on. It’s a close-knit celebration aimed at enjoying the newfound freedom and independence with the loved ones.”

Sign of Strength

Marriage is traditionally viewed as an unbreakable vow. The act of celebrating a divorce signifies a break from the same. Hence, many celebrate it with the same spirit as any other celebratory occasion. It highlights the importance of prioritising individual well-being and choosing a life free from negativity or unsuitable circumstances.

Sonia, a divorce mentor at ‘Its A Sonia Thing’, celebrated her divorce in a unique way in the UK in 2021 after 17 years of marriage. She says, “It took me 7-8 years to file for divorce because my parents were against it. I faced questions and remarks like ‘Being Indian, you don’t get divorced... how will you manage to raise the kids alone...’ along with emotional blackmail.” The court procedure was stressful. It took three years for her to finally get divorced. Even though Sonia didn’t have her parents’ support, she threw a colourful-themed party with her two children and her friends.

Sonia adds, “I threw a party for me and my friends without realising that it would go viral.

I just wanted to thank them for their support. When you get married you throw a wedding reception party to start a new life, how is this any different? People need to know that it is okay to get divorced and it is okay to not be okay.” Sonia sported a colourful dress with a ‘Finally Divorced’ sash at her ‘It’s a Sonia thing’ party.

New Innings

Divorce celebrations are not meant to disrespect the past relationship, but rather to mark a new chapter. A personal way to acknowledge the emotional journey and express gratitude for individual growth. In April 2017, Rinkesh Rachchh, a resident of Vankaner, Gujarat, celebrated his divorce by distributing sweets. Some individuals organise ceremonies to celebrate their independence and recommitment to themselves. This might involve writing personal vows or affirmations, surrounded by loved ones. Dinners, outings with friends, or even a solo trip are ways many ‘Newly Single’ men and women celebrate their newfound freedom. Nasreen says, “A marriage that is marked as a union of two people, celebrating divorce with symbolic gestures helps one to cut off that old string and attain closure.”

Divorce is a semicolon to a relationship. The tiresome court proceedings before the divorce and the journey after the legal separation are the real battles for any individual. Siddhartha Shah, a divorce lawyer with over 25 years of experience says, “You can get married in half an hour but even mutually resolving a marriage would take six months or more. After undergoing long drawn years of fights, court litigations and investment of time and money, divorce does not come easily. Hence, a celebration is definitely a stress-buster. Regardless of gender, divorce gives both the parties freedom to do whatever they want to do independently which otherwise looks an extremely difficult path when the court litigation is ongoing.”

Changing Attitudes

In October 2023, when Ranchi resident Prem Gupta brought back his daughter (Sakshi Gupta) home with a musical band and fireworks, it sparked positivity and admiration for the father’s action on social media. The father showed the world that there is nothing to hide when the marriage falls apart. While navigating through societal pressures is difficult, such positively-affirmed actions instil hope and a prospect of normalisation. While the trend is gaining traction, celebrating divorce in India still faces challenges. Nasreen highlights, “Today, no event remains personal and intimate. It instantly gains attention on social media. While it has its pros and cons, this brings a sense of acceptance amongst people across generations that was once a taboo.”

While everyone has their way of expressing themselves, divorce can be celebrated respectfully and in subtle ways. Shah says, “It will be positive that both the parties resolve their issues and mutually opt for divorce for a larger celebration than fighting with each other.” Celebrating divorce in India is a significant trend to destigmatise the notion. It represents a shift towards prioritising individual happiness and challenging traditional societal norms. As the concept gains wider acceptance, it has the potential to empower individuals to make choices that prioritise their well-being.

Starting Afresh

• Britney Spears “played all night” with a group of beefy men just days after ex-husband Sam Asghari filed for divorce

• Actor Nicole Kidman joyously celebrated her divorce from

Tom Cruise in 2001 after leaving her attorney’s office.

• Emily Ratajkowski shared a post with her 30Mn followers showcasing $130,000 'divorce rings'

After undergoing years of fights, court litigation and investment of time and money, divorce does not come easily. A celebration is definitely a stress-buster. " — Siddhartha Shah, a divorce lawyer

Celebrating divorce symbolises, ‘I am fine and ready to move on.’ It's a celebration aimed at enjoying the newfound freedom and independence with the loved ones.” — Nasreen Khan Chanana, relationship mentor

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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