The Blindfolded Marriage


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Janelle turned around with complete confusion and said what are you talking about? I told her I had planned a surprise trip for us and that we were going to Santorini. She hugged me tightly, and started to cry. We walked up to him and he guided us to our taxi. It was a very nice black Mercedes van. There was a GoPro video camera hidden in the sunroof and a tray table in front of the back seat. Panos opened the side door and we jumped into the back seats. He pushed a button on the tray table in front of us, and a bottle of champagne popped into the air.

He poured us two glasses of champagne, and said welcome to Santorini! On the way he stopped at one of the most photographic spots on the island.

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He took a few pictures of us, and then we headed to our villa. Note: The Studio Phosart team was secretly filming and photographing us from the moment we landed until we arrived at our villa. They were unnoticeable and Janelle had no idea! When Panos dropped us off he handed me his taxi driver business card and told us to call him if we needed a ride anywhere on the island.

He is the best. We should definitely call him again! The proposal was scheduled for Thursday night. On Wednesday night, I received an email from Panos asking if I could give him the ring sometime Thursday morning. I told Panos that Janelle and I were spending the day in Fira the capital of Santorini and that I could meet him by the large church.

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Panos was excited and said I have something excellent planned for you tonight! He asked me to wear a suit jacket, to bring a pair of scissors, and a blindfold. He said he would pick us up from our villa at pm in the same Mercedes van. I secretly bought a sleep mask blindfold while Janelle was shopping in Fira. I already had a suit jacket and pair of scissors back at the villa. After we returned to our villa from Fira, I told Janelle that we were going out to a nice dinner.

She put on a long white dress and got ready for dinner.


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I hid the sleep mask and scissors inside my suit jacket pocket while she was getting ready. Panos picked us up outside our villa at pm. He opened the side door and popped open another bottle of champagne. We then headed to Dana Villas which was about 15 minutes away from our villa. Again, the GoPro camera was hidden in the sunroof. When we got to Dana Villas, I asked Janelle to put the blindfold on. She was hesitant at first, but after some negotiation she finally agreed.

After putting the blindfold on Janelle, I handed Panos an IPod playlist of our favorite songs and a camera man from Studio Phosart secretly clipped a microphone on to my suit jacket.

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I then proceeded to carefully walk Janelle down over eighty steps with her blindfold on. The camera crew from Studio Phosart was secretly taking pictures from every angle click, click, click. At about the half way point, the music went on and began playing our favorite song. As I looked up, I saw dozens of people scattered all over the caldera watching us from above.

When we got to the bottom of the stairs there were a number of candles perfectly placed into a semi-heart shape. Panos secretly pointed where Janelle was supposed to stand and where I was to propose. Once we were in position facing each other , I told Janelle she could take the blindfold off.

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She took the blindfold off and immediately started crying at how beautiful everything was. It was like a dream. The candles perfectly placed, the beautiful sun setting, the panoramic ocean view, the gazebo covered in flowers, everything was perfect. As a pativratha devoted wife without parallel, Gandhari is regarded as an epitome of virtue, and is among the most respected moral forces in the epic. She was not only married to a blind man, but at the time of her wedding, she resolved to spend the remainder of her life as a blind woman herself, in order to share the debility and pain of her husband.

For the rest of her life, she kept a cloth tied to her eyes and thus deprived herself of the power of sight. At certain critical junctures, she gave advice to her husband which was impeccable from a moral standpoint; she never wavered in her adherence to dharma righteousness , even to a very bitter end. She was fated to witness the death of all her hundred sons within the space of 18 days, during the Great War between them and their cousins; she also curses the lord Krishna when she was full of sorrow on the death of her children that his vansh Clan would also be destroyed in the same manner as that of her.

She then retired with her husband to spend her last days in a forest hermitage. As a maiden, Gandhari is noted for her piety and virtuous nature. Gandhari is regarded as an incarnation of Mati, the goddess of wisdom. She was born on earth as the daughter of Subala, king of Gandhara and was named 'Gandhari' by her father. She is always referred to as Gandhari and no other names are mentioned unlike those of Satyavati , Kunti or Draupadi of her in the epic symbolizing her identity in the epic being reduced to just 'the daughter of the Gandhara kingdom'.

Prior to being wed to Dhritarashtra , she is referred to as Gandhara-raja-duhita daughter of the Gandhara king , Saubaleyi, Saubali, Subalaja, Subala-putri and Subalatmaja all meaning 'daughter of Subala'. Gandhari's marriage was arranged to Dhritarashtra , the eldest prince of the Kuru kingdom, a region in Delhi and Haryana region. The Mahabharata depicted her as a beautiful and virtuous woman and a very dedicated wife. Their marriage was arranged by Bhishma. When she found out that her would-be husband was born blind, she decided to blindfold herself in order to be like her husband.

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What went through the young girl's mind when she found out that she was to marry a blind man is not depicted in the epic. Popular narration said that the act of blindfolding herself was a sign of dedication and love. On the contrary, Irawati Karve and many modern scholars debated that the act of blindfolding was an act of protest against Bhishma , as he intimidated her father into giving away her hand in marriage to the blind prince of Hastinapur.

During her maiden days, she is said to have impressed Lord Shiva through penance and received a boon to bear children. However, the reason for her penance and her receiving such boon is unknown. One of the main reasons of Bhishma choosing Gandhari to be the elder daughter-in-law of the Kuru kingdom is said to be this boon, which would put an end to his worry of the throne remaining vacant. Some folklore and many modern versions of the Mahabharata depict her marriage as a major reason for the story's central conflict. Her brother, Shakuni , was enraged that Hastinapur, already having humiliated Gandhar in a war of conquest where all of Shakuni's brothers were killed, would offer for his prized sister a blind man.

Shakuni swore to destroy the Kuru dynasty and played an instrumental role in fueling the flames of conflict between the cousins. Veda Vyasa is impressed with Gandhari's devotion to her husband and gives her a boon to have hundred sons. She gets pregnant but carries the child for an unusually long period. Later, when she hears that Kunti queen of king Pandu , younger brother of Dhritarashtra has given birth to the eldest of the Pandavas , she pounds on her stomach in frustration and helplessness only to result in the birth of a grey mass and not her sons.

Veda Vyasa divides this into parts and stores them in earthen pots to incubate. First to be born among these is Duryodhana , followed by 98 brothers and one sister, Dushala. In other versions, it is said that Gandhari birthed children as she was destined - 99 sons and 1 daughter, among who Duryodhana was the oldest and Dushala the only girl. The st boy was not Gandhari's but of a maid with who Dhritarashtra has intercourse out of his frustration on Gandhari as he wanted his first born and not Pandu 's to inherit the throne, but due to Gandhari's prolonged pregnancy, Dhritarashtra grows impatient.

This son born to the maid was named Yuyutsu and grew up alongside his Kaurava brothers. During the birth of her first son Duryodhana, many ill omen occur, worrying Satyavati , Vyasa , Bhishma and Vidura. They foresaw that the child might cause great destruction to their kingdom, and advised Dhritrashtra and Gandhari to either release him onto the waters of river Ganga or kill him, but Dhritarashtra and Gandhari rejected the idea. Some folk fore narrate that Gandhari made a single exception to her blindfolded state, when she removed her blindfold to see her eldest son Duryodhana.

She poured all her power into her son's body in one glance, rendering Duryodhana's entire body, except his loins , as strong as thunderbolt. Krishna foiled Gandhari's plan by asking Duryodhana to cover up his privates before meeting his mother. On their decisive encounter on the eighteenth day of the Kurukshetra battle, Bhima smashed Duryodhana's thighs, a move both literally and figuratively below the belt. This story is not mentioned in the original version of the Mahabharata which was written by Veda Vyasa.

As per Vyasa's Mahabharata , Duryodhana, while fighting against Bhima, displayed his superior mace skills, due to which Bhima could not defeat him and had to break rules to kill him. All of Gandhari's sons were killed in the war against their cousins, the Pandavas , at Kurukshetra , specifically at the hands of Bhima.

The Blindfolded Marriage The Blindfolded Marriage
The Blindfolded Marriage The Blindfolded Marriage
The Blindfolded Marriage The Blindfolded Marriage
The Blindfolded Marriage The Blindfolded Marriage
The Blindfolded Marriage The Blindfolded Marriage
The Blindfolded Marriage The Blindfolded Marriage

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