Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Let's Marry and make merry!!!

Religiously writing for almost a year, what I encounter now is probably the writer’s block bug…The past few days have been the most hectic of my life, probably. I dedicate this post once again to the arranged marriageomania ( Oh No, Cloudnine, Not again!) that has been gripping our family, akin to Anna Hazare and his Jan Lokpal. Indeed I feel a la Anna, my sibling is now happily engaged to the girl of his and our liking! It took us almost a year, eight advertisements in The Hindu, two renewals in Tamilmatrimony.com, Shaadi.com, blah blah blah matrimony.com, few personal  “ bride seeing ceremonies” where the brides were dumped unceremoniously and numerous choice meetings, my sibling is hitched- finally.

The ordeal is far from over. When my brother spends his every living moment live relaying the happenings back home to his sweet heart, we break our heads thinking and planning the Last Mega Wedding of our family. The guest list still in fledgling stage, the list of to- dos and not to dos keeps trailing. We Indians are suckers of lavish weddings and parties, aren’t we? Starting from the choice of dress, jewellery, food, décor, entertainment, conveyance, priest, registration, wedding hall and accommodation, everything is a myriad maze- huh, I feel my head spinning! The food one Uncle likes, a cousin dislikes. The dress code confusions start from the argument if the reception should be North Indian theme based or Mallu theme or traditional Tamil theme. Whatever be the style, we don’t mind ending up dressed for a Halloween in full swing! I have attended receptions where the dusky brides sparkle…ahem…in blaring red designer sarees with kundan and zardosi work, oh, essentially with saree’s pallu draped over the right shoulder- typical Gujarati style!

And the food that goes waste in one of our weddings can feed entire Somalia a day! When you suggest vegetarian food to your relatives ( please note, from here onwards, do read relatives as laxatives, who give you loose stools;)) you see trouble with a  capital T in their eyes. The response is like –  “ What, are you sane? Even village folks have mutton curry and rice!” Oh yeah, add to that brain fry, blood poriyal, mota rice and a potato laden mutton curry where you have to appoint a private detective to find a piece of mutton! I had once attended a wedding of my relative in a remote village down South where I was awe struck watching a few Martians(!) gobbling food. The rice heaped like a mole hill, the curry poured in a well dug within the rice and bone after bone after bone came flying out of the carpet you call a banana leaf!

And to talk about the priests- the lesser said, the better. The well- being of the wedded pair is directly proportional to the number of priests conducting the wedding! There was a priest who made it a point to conduct weddings in haste and sending a XXXL sized food container to the wedding halls for food with the tag line-  “ NO VEGETARIAN FOOD PULEEEEES!”  And the conveyance they ask for is state of the art- two wheelers are a strict NO. NO! Bigger the car, interesting the sermon! The compulsory gifts they ask can range from anything between speaker sets for the Church to notebooks and books for the poor children ( that is perfectly good!) And the EQ is often provided by the poor fathers of the bride and groom who amuse the guests with their spoofs…Oh, for extra spice there is an orchestra who start with a “ There shall be showers of Blessing” and keep on singing. Man, they have nerves of steel to keep the songs coming when the guests simply eye the dining hall. And getting to the dining hall as the first round of food is served, is by itself a martial art that kids these days must be taught at school. It’s a unique mix- match of kung- fu, karate and boxing… dining- fu! You have to elbow your way through a barricade of sweaty guests who are thoroughly fit to win Takeshi’s Castle!

As for arranging the accommodation, there were days when people loved to roll on striped multi-coloured blankets in the wedding halls under the rickety fans. Probably our fathers and forefathers might have attended numerous weddings sleeping on such rugs, bathing in nearby rivers and ponds and attending the wedding. But nowadays there is so much fuss and hullaballoo on stay that we all need separate rooms for families. Booking almost all the rooms in a nearby hotel, people almost come to a fist fight as to who should get the A/C ones and the non A/C ones. Non A/C always goes to the lesser mortals!

 Our weddings are always an effort to show the pride and pomp, a showcase of our way of life and status. What is left behind is the importance we give to the relationship and bonding that emerges in every wedding. We receive a new uncle, aunt, a cousin, a brother, sister, brother in law, father in law and a mother in law. We fail to understand that it is the life- long relationship that matters, not the mutton biriyani we had and the chicken 65 we fought over! No, I am not against such mega weddings…you all read me wrong. Even after all these bugging problems, I just love such weddings for the festivities that bring us all together. Earlier generations had local functions, get-togethers owing to temples and other festivities. They all lived within a square kilometre radius and had the pleasure of meeting everyone almost every day. But sadly, these days, we seldom look beyond our cubicle in office and beside the television soaps at home. Weddings are an opportunity to meet long lost cousins, relatives whom we had only heard of and friends whom we had met decades ago. It is a gateway to new relationships and a bridge connecting distant relationships. So, when someone says their marriage is a simple register marriage affair with two guests, I cannot help but shake my head in disapproval. Weddings are nerve rackers, brain teasers and emotional drainers, but above all, they nurture wonderful relationships MAD (E) IN HEAVEN…So dear brother, MARRY AND MAKE MERRY!!!


  1. Well said. Wedding planning no wonder is a well paying occupation being perused seriously by some :-) Sometimes, I think it is easier if people would just elope and get married!!!! Wish your brother all the very best ( in advance)

  2. Thank you dear Meera! Eloping and getting married helps the Father of the Bride a lot, what say?:P

  3. It's not just there, but the trend is greatly spreading, from various parts to other parts. In some places, the pomp and show is in the form of gifts to the bride/grooms family, some places, it's the lavishness of arrangement etc.,
    perhaps, eloping, marrying and coming back, then using the saved money on a better honeymoon trip would be better :)

    Blasphemous Aesthete

  4. hmm...I think you are good at it...

    But what would be the joy when our sole JOB is to arrange marriages?

    Ayways....nice post as always.


  5. Now a days weddings have become a Tamasha, South Indian weddings now have mehendi, geeth and what not ceremonies.
    People spend loads of money in dress and make up.
    Anyway, we believe in simple marriage, and if the bride and groom also wish the same it is much easier for everybody.
    Wish the very best for your brother.

  6. yea...now this is exactly what I am seeing at home now!! getting all ready for my wedding!! after all we have the big excuse....Marriage is a once in a life time affair which we cherish till our last breath...so we need to make the best of it :D

  7. weddings sometimes are dirty display of money...but they are fun...:)

    nice post!

  8. Marriages these days are pomp shows and in many cases on borrowed money endeavouring to outdo the others in the family and friend circle.There is a false notion about what'they'(imaginary) will think if we don't rise up to the occasion.It is a two day wonder mostly forgotten by the maximum number of participants after they have had their feast but with a large hole on bride's or bridegroom's dad depending upon who spends.There is scope for large pruning but never attempted.The force of custom and societal pressure for fun and frolic at someone else's expense leaves no room for any fair appraisal of the whole show.The merry making goes on and on.

  9. Though the preparation can be hectic the outcome will always be sweet.

  10. Cloud Nine, a post I love to read.. A topic I love to write but I never wish to... PS: I just love this post and I second Anshul's comment.. :-) "Love, elope, marry, come back, enjoy life.."

    Someone is Special

  11. who can understand this better than someone from the malluland..
    I am already petrified thinking about mine. These relatives might not even know my name and vice versa but they would come anyway.

  12. Aaaga mothathula unga bothaikku naanga ooorkai!!! no worries mate! Stil I wanna see one more of this in our family!! njoy maaadi! thanks for the post akka!!!

  13. Hey! dunno if my comment would appear becox there was a hiccup with the server as i posted.... , am awed! ........laughed at the priest part...enjoyed reading it immensely.

    p.s...writing block bug??... welcome back! :D

  14. Dear BA, that was nice thinking;) Make use of the money on a sweet honeymoon! Wish u good luck with one;)

    @ Thinking- thanks for the visit and comment

    @ Dear Rama, its good if the bride and groom think likewise, but parents always root for the big Indian Tamasha! Thanks for the wishes to my brother:)

  15. @ Cinderella- Good luck with your wedding, girl! And hope it is a Mega Affair, as you like it:)

    @ SUB- thanks for the visit and comment. Yes, its dirty, but lets go with the flow;)

    @ Kp, that was a nicely put comment. Yes, he parents of the bride and groom suffer for the two day gala that everyone except the pair forget happily:(

  16. @ Ramanathan, hope your life is a sweet outcome of a happy wedding:)

    @ SiS- thanks for the comment and i loved your tagline- Love, elope, marry, come back:P

    @ Redhanded- thanks for the comment dear. Yes, this imaginary "they" always lurk around, waiting for us:P

  17. @ Naveen...hahaha! we are certainly gonna have some fun at your cost;) Anyways, we are happy Naveen is finally tamed!!!

    @ Ibhade- thanks for the comment and glad you liked the post. Happy to be back in form!


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