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So what makes a wedding memorable? A tongue-in-cheek look at the Indian Wedding, a.k.a. the Great Indian Wedding Tamasha!
Indian marriages are all about ‘fun’ and ‘frolic’, because it involves not just the two individuals getting married, but two families too, and with the families comes the whole baggage of relatives, of all kinds.
Well if I go by the chronological sequence of events involved in our Indian marriages, especially the North Indian ones, I may end up writing up a book, but to keep the things ‘crisp and short’ I follow the random path, and I am writing what ever funny comes to my mind, while witnessing such events and celebrations.
Recently attending a family wedding, up close and personal, I picked up few points, which as a guest I would not have.
An Indian wedding is all about ‘Feasting and Fasting’! It is a feast for the guests and fast for the parents of the groom and the bride, as till the completion of the ceremonies, these two poor parties, who should be in celebration mode, are instead looking for the arrangements for the guests.
When relatives are busy feasting and enjoying, the parents of the bride and the groom are busy behind the guests. The actual people in question, that is, the dulha (groom) and the dulhan (bride) are of course, nowhere in the discussion.
From setting up the dance floor to the lavish spread of the buffet, it is all done keeping in mind the taste and preference of the guests. But, the million dollar question is, will our guests still be pleased? Well it is definitely the responsibility of the parties concerned, but do relatives in Indian marriages have only one role to play – to complain and frown about the arrangements being not up to the mark?
The guests not only come in all shapes and sizes, but also with their tantrum baggage. The whole responsibility lies on the shoulders of the parents. Some decent relatives lend you their helping hands, but there are always those who throw their weight around and keep complaining – true trouble-makers. But, I guess, to achieve a smooth sailing or landing, a few speed-breakers or turbulence ( trouble-makers) is a must.
Moving on, from the pesky guests, it is time for the ‘Hero’ of the ceremony. No-no, it is not the groom, but our very own Panditji (priest), who solemnizes the marriage. Well, nothing can go right or wrong without his permission, or for that matter, not even right or left. He keeps us glued to our seats with his chantings, only to move our hands for taking out ‘dakshina‘ (offering in terms of money) from our wallets, which is rather frequently! He truly holds the celeb status on these occasions.
For ladies it is absolutely the time of their lives, to show-off their fashionista skills, after months of preparations. They do occasionally throw few compliments here and there to other ladies but in the ‘hearts of hearts’ they know or may be assume, that their attire and jewellery is the best.
On the other side, there can be seen, a beehive like formation, but the only difference is, that this beehive instead of containing honey has the ‘liquid-gold’, around which our men folk are buzzing like the bees. As more booze flows in, the dance-floor gets flooded and becomes the hot-spot, as the numbers start swelling up, with young to old, from uncles to aunties – all exhibit their dancing moves, even if you are with two ‘left-feet’! But it is an occasion to celebrate and make merry, so they make most of it, even if it is by squeezing the weaker lot of dancers or by stepping on others toes.
The beauty parlours play a major role for the ladies in question – they are the indispensable part of such ceremonies. So much so that, I have seen one auntyji missing the major part of her daughter’s wedding ceremony because of her parlour visit. The guests arrived only to realize that the mother of the bride was missing, as she was busy getting ready in the parlour, exceeding her time-limit.
On the other side we have the photo shoots going on, including selfies. The bling, glitter, dresses and endless posing can put any Bollywood celebrity to shame.
By the time saat-pheras (seven vows) starts, half the guests have already dispersed to their bedrooms and the remaining sleepy ones try their level best to stay awake to witness the mid-night ceremony by indulging in coffee/tea, only to realize in the morning the aftermath of these beverages, which gives them gastric trouble. The remaining lucky ones who dozed off in their bedrooms, only show up at the time of the breakfast.
Apart from all this, there are other sub-plots taking place, such as the groom/bride hunting for the singletons, the sessions of joining hands or charanvandanas/ paripona (touching of feet of elders) or mild flirting by the youngsters.
The ceremonies such as ribbon-cutting, tilak, nose-pulling of the groom, envelopes of shagun and stealing of the groom’s shoes add on to the fun element of the ceremony.
The Indian wedding is all about meeting with forlorn relatives of all kinds, but the major attraction of the ceremony remains the ‘food-factor’ and of course the hordes of relatives who throng the stage with bride and groom, at times almost sitting on their laps, in a rush to getting themselves clicked.
The louder the band plays, more enthusiastic the uncles in the baaraat become. Aunties in their stilettos are no less as they participate with equal fervour. But no matter how elaborate the arrangements are, a few frowning faces are always visible.
But it is important to realize that by the end of the day, it is a coming together of two families for a life-long commitment, and for that, petty issues should take a backseat. So enjoy and ignore these. As the Grand Indian Wedding Tamasha (drama) unfolds, it only adds on to our entertainment quotient and of course, memories to cherish in the long run.
Published here earlier.
Image source: shutterstock