I remember my parents always told me “Marriage is for life. You stand by that person, through thick and thin, regardless of anyone or anything life throws in your way.” But it would seem that this is being abused by so many people today.

Thousands of brides in India are being abandoned by their British Indian husbands after they are married. Not one of these women had re-married. Divorce as a concept is stikll stigmatized in Punjab. Development in Punjabi is at a halt and the prospect of a life in the UK, Canada or the US is tempting at the least. This desire for opportunities in the West often forces these young women and their families to ignore the red flags. They said their lives had been ruined in this socially conservative part of India, where divorce is frowned upon. Many are forced to depend on relatives for financial handouts. Despite this, there is evidence to suggest that Indian women are continuing to fall for British suitors also known as Runaway Grooms!

What is a “honeymoon groom”? This is a man who happily gets married to a woman either in our outside of the Indian sub continent, gets a wad of a dowry from her family in the hope he will take good care of her and treat her well. In India, paying and accepting a dowry – a centuries old tradition where the bride’s parents present gifts of cash, clothes and jewellery to the groom’s family — has been illegal since 1961. But the practice still thrives in rural areas, and a British Indian groom can easily command dowry of at least Rs 20,000 in Punjab.

So what happens to the bride post the marriage? If and when she joins him in his home country he either refuses to acknowledge her or even live with her. You all have seen the Saif Ali Khan and Diana Penty Bollywood starrer Cocktail where a young and naive Diana comes to London to be united with her husband who acts like he’s never even seen her in his life. She is then left to make her own mark on the world by herself and without the man who promised her a lifetime of happiness.

Many brides are even less fortunate what with being told that their visa will take time to be processed and the groom simply vanishes and the family refuses to acknowledge the fact that the marriage ever took place. This is often easy as in India registering a marriage in the court of law is of less importance than the customs and rituals that are involved in celebrating a couple’s union.

It really breaks my heart when I see and hear about such cases as people make such a mockery out of this sacred institution. I knew a guy who got engaged 4 times to four different girls that it was a party joke with family and friends. Noone seems to think about the bride, her family and all the emotional struggles she must have dealt with in the bargain.

My advice would always be to make sure you know the boy and his family well enough before taking the plunge!