Friday, July 01, 2005

The great Indian wedding

A sad horse.A more sad guy on the horse.Bright lights.Sweaty men dancing explosively to loud filmy songs on the street.Ladies wearing more gold than with the RBI.Smell of cologne in the air.Old women with 'dholak' singing songs which no one understands.Spending forty minutes in the cosmetic store to find the lipstick to perfectly match the color of the saree.Welcome to 'The great Indian wedding'.Its one of the most amusingly extravagant things I see in this funny world.
I dont know how weddings take place in Southern India or some other parts.I guess the weddings there are not very elaborate.I think they just make the groom wear some kind of small cap with some beads and plug some grass behind his ears and sprinkle some basmati rice on him.The bride is also very simply dressed , with not much make up and the thing gets over pretty easy.I went to the wedding of Uncle Menon's daughter.Dont remember much.But it all seemed perfectly human.
But attending a typical north Indian wedding leaves me pretty gasping and shaken.I take a couple of days to feel like eating after attending a wedding.But to go through the experience as a guest makes me wonder about the psychological scarring the people getting married have to go through during the process.
Imagine you have a maths test tomorrow.And all the Mrs.Malhotras and Mrs.Kocchars of the colony will ask your mum about your result when it is declared.And you have diarrohea and a running nose.And your neighbour is celebrating his irritating son's sixth birthday.So they have put up a huge tent in the street and the loudspeakers are playing Daler Mehndi songs right outside your window while you are trying to study differential calculus.You get the feeling.Thats the strange mix of desperation and frustration I feel when I recieve a wedding invitation card .Uncle Mehta's son ,who allegedly failed twice in class X and now runs coaching center for kids is getting married.My first move is to protest.
Me *ready-to-suicide-look*:Ma,papa,I dont wanna go.All that noise.All that lights.All those plastic smiles people.
Parents*ready-to-kill-look*:Munnu,you have to grow up (complan?).And if you dont go,who will care to attend your wedding ?
*Sidenote- Looks like my parents really want a lot of people to attend my wedding ,if it happens.So I will send out cards to all of you.Please turn up.Get along your families , neighbours ,old classmates , school principal,computer vendor,postman , milkman , anyone.Just build a HUGE crowd.*
So I have to go to that Mehta's wedding.I will have to check out if my "wedding uniform" still fits.I call it a uniform because there is mostly one outfit I wear at all weddings.Ouch.A little tight around the shoulders.But if I disguise my emotions well at the wedding, nobody will know how uncomfortable it is.Approved.Munnu does not need new clothes.Old is gold.
The D day dawns.The day when a man and wife would vow to tolerate each other and throw things at each other and spy on each other for the rest of their lives and a day when a few hundred fools ,including me,would cheer this amazing alliance by eating a lot.
The 'baraat' is to assemble near "Lucky Public School" and would proceed towards the "Just Divorced" farmhouse where the bride and her battalion would be waiting.I reach the spot near Lucky public school.Fat ladies with thick lipsticks,jewellery enough to pull down a weak man to the ground , half inch makeup layers,hair tied in super amazing buns.Big fat men.Loud laughs.Ill fitting suits.Hair swept back.Cellphones in hand.Young girls looking like cosmetic showrooms.Now being from the groom's side , I have to be a part of this "Baraat".Now this is the most depressing part.
The groom is made to sit on a horse.In the 21st century ,with people zooming along in swanky cars ,this guy sits on a "count-my-ribs" horse brought on rent.Infact a female horse.A 'ghodi' in hindi.Whats that called in english ? A horsess ? And a huge "Bunty Band" contingent starts beating drums and blowing trumpets.And they are super sonic loud.LOUD.George Bush in the White House would know that the 'Baraat' is starting from Lucky Public School.Real Loud.And the fat aunties and the fat uncles and the pretty girls and the young guys slowly start to slip into the area before the animal carrying the poor guy.They start with shaking sheepishly but before the poor animal knows whats happening , they explode into highly vigorous physical vibrations.All the loud band and the dancing people and the guy on the top of him makes the animal shit twice on his way to the farmhouse.
We reach the farmhouse where the bride is.My parents get busy with all the friends.The dancing party breaks up and promptly attacks the snacks area.I grab a tomato soup and look around.Soon people are pushing and falling over food.Looks like a UN relief camp.Someone introduces me to a girl of my age who is preparing for CAT.
Me *end-to-boredom-relief-expression*: "Hello ,Im Abhinav.How are you?"
She*dollar-dreams-expression*:"Hi.How did you prepare for CAT?"
Me*not-again-expression*:I jumped off a bridge.That really helps.Try it."
She*confused*:"Eh..he he..um..joke?"
Middle aged ladies keep coming to me and ruffling my hair.
Middle aged lady : "Recognise me munna beta?"
Me ( thinking to myself):She looks like Mayawati.
Me ( smiling to her) :"Aishwarya Rai?"
Middle Aged Lady (slapping my arm real hard) :"he he he...you wont change ever."
And all this bumping into people and grabbing ice creams and soups from hassled waiters goes on and on and on till the guy and the girl put garlands around each other necks and go around a burning stove.Finally the girl leaves crying on every shoulder around and it is time for me to go home.
A genuinely stupid and tiring day.We get home,unlock the main gate and I habitually check the mailbox before getting in.Aha,there is something in there.A wedding invitation card.Thapar uncle's son who as a kid,stole eggs from the departmental store and is a cop now , is getting married.Wedding after a week.My esteemed presence on this auspicious occasion is requested.Sigh.Life is B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L.

33 comments:

Ashish Gupta said...

ROTFL =))

we surely match some frequencies dude! well I shud have posted this on postsecret.blogspot.com but nyways.... I got so sick of this marraige business, back in school days itself, that I always make up academic excuses to not go to any of my cousins' weddings; reached home for real sis' marriage just 10 days before and have promised myself that if at all I am ever gonna marry- its gotta be a court marriage + a non-messy party at some HOTEL but definitely no hulla-bulla at home! Else I am better being a bachelor!

And add wastage of money, food, time to all that frustating business of conducting n attending marriage.. huhh When will indians mature :-<

Harsh said...

Ahh well let me give u the South Indian ( SI) side to the story ... When i go to a marriage somehow even the waiter serving us ends up being a long distance relative ... deciphering the exact family tree then becomes a real challenge to me . Then there is the eternal chanting of the pundit which no one understands but every one seems to follow.. the option of taking up a career as a pundit is always open to me .. all i have to do is to learn about a 100 sanskrit words and utter them in a mindless sequence. Another cruel pleasure this gregarious priest never fails to bestow on us is to fix up a marriage mahurat somewhere in the wee hours of the morning which is more suitable for procreation. the food scene is usually painted with traditnal dishes which a stomach bred on a constant flow of junk food fails to agree with. We actually start a traditional meal by serving diff types of sweets, which are more like lumps of gheee with some sweet hiden inside it .
But still i dont mind going to a wedding, coz it is fun observing people and the way they behave. Indian marriages are like a PR outing for the family. and its all about who has the max share of voice amongst their peers.

Ms. V said...

My cousin is getting married in 3 days. And I'm not going to be there to attend it. I'm sorta relieved actually.

South Indian marriages are relatively calmer, but still a pain. When I attended my other cousin's wedding, I remember feeling sorry for her. I think she had to wear 3 different sarees during those few hours, and everyone was constantly doing something or the other to her - touching up her make-up, setting her hair right, tugging at the saree here and there, making sure the flowers on the head haven't moved an inch to the right! The groom though is lucky, at least costume-wise. The only good memory I have of that day is the malai kulfi. Yummmmm. Heavenly, it was.

I do think it is necessary to attend at least one Indian wedding in your life, just for the experience of it all!

Hopefully I'll be allowed to get married in jeans. Or I'll start the trend :D

P.S. - George Bush knows NOTHING :p

liquid sunshine said...

lol.parents...*sigh*

Miss Sea said...

:) munnu beta loves calling everybody Aishwarya Rai. u sure don't believe in changing!

thankfully not many "with family" invitations these days...rather any invitations at all. unsocial family we are :D

looking forward to ur marriage invitation card. will we have to dance in front of ur ghodi?

Debprotim said...

Well,I thought i was the only person who tries to avoid going to marriages. I am very happy to see tht i have a number of persons who have the same frequency as mine. Check out my post written a few days back, it might not be as hilarious as urs but all the same it does describe my plight. leaving for kgp in a fortnight, luckily no marriages till then.

Abhi said...

@ashish : i guess all guys do yaar.unless you are the band walah or the tent walah and are making money out of it.but being at hostel means im outta this crap for a couple of years.but my mom has started talkin abt MY wedding now !

@Harsh : wow after reading that i can almost see the pundit jee.yeah the same they are all over India , btu still we northies got the horse stunt ! beat that ?;)

@Ms.V :I agree.Thr bride is made to feel like an ET captured from outer space durin those days.The entire family and neighbourhood is interested in her clothes and hair and lipstick.n hey you , atleast dress like a bride on your D day , let the guy be happy for one last day.congrats to your cousion.

@LS:Parents.sigh.sigh.sigh.sigh.butstill lovely and dear and special.aint they.:)

@TT :hey i jus do that to make those aunties happy fr a moment ? tum bhi to khush ho gyi hogi sunkar :p ? And ofcourse , atleast you ought to dance being a 'veteran' blog reader.cough.cough.but theek hain , no complex steps.just move lightly.and these days "unsocial" familes are better off.sacchi.have few but true friends.stay out of the politics aish..oops..TT.

Abhi said...

@Debprotim: yeah buddy, i understand your pain and you do mine*hugs*..we will survive this....*determined look towards the horizon*....n ill hit your post now.:)

Mirage said...

LOL! Oh man that sure was hilarious! Weddings sure are a BIG bore... unless u have company! But the worst thing is when relatives, like ur massi's chachi's son's mother-in-law, come up to u and strt asking u all sorts of questions, all the time hinting that 'You're next!!" Aaargh! Its as if they cant stand the sight of an unmarried above-18 girl!!

Vaibhav said...

A distant Boss of mine is getting married on a Beach in South Carolina this month...

There is some sanity afterall...

Miss Sea said...

bilkul nahin. not after kajraare naina. and betaji, aap bulaaogey to aapko aashirwaad dene aa jaayenge. shagun ke liye thoda dance bhi kar lenge. jeete (or is it jeende) raho puttar!

Harsh said...

Yeah the horse act is a tough one to beat .. the inquisitive self in me lead me to research a bit on the reason behind the horse tradition and though could not find out the exact reason ,this is what i came up with from the net...

The process of mounting the horse is known as Wagh Bandhai...just prior to this his mother ties a sehara praying tht his life will be as beautiful and fragnant as the flowers..To ward off any evil eye, the bhabhi then puts surma in the groom's eye. (sheesh btw wht is this surma) He is then seated on a female horse and his sisters tie a mauli (sacred thread) on the reins of his horse. They also detain the horse in the tradition known as baagpakdai, saying that they won't leave it's reins unless their brother bribes them. Once they are satisfied with the cash or jewellery bribe, they release the reins so the groom can gallop off to fetch his bride...

I guess you will be going through all this best of luck dude..

Abhi said...

@mirage:Oh yea one of my aunts always does this.we meet at a wedding and she mischeviously asks ' wen r u gettin married?'and i reply 'wenever u r ready'.

@Vaibhav : thats nice.and needs cash.

@TT : dont u say anything against aish !aapka aashirwaad mil gaya , jannat mil gayi.ab pair vair to nahi choone na ?

@Harsh : man u seem reaaly moved by norhie weddings;) ..as for me,ive got 2 glaring questions b4 i face the music.
1.will i ever want to marry?
2.will any girl ever want to marry me?

Handa said...

haha :) been there done that.. faced a lot of such weddings.. but i m not as bored as u r in them.. i njoi

amit said...

come on how can u all people can be so indifferent to the wedding ceremonies. u meet a no of people, sum others with u played lot during ur childhood but lost contact in this fast journey called life. again these r the dayz in which u seem to take a break, enjoy different ceremonies . everybdy seems so jovial n gay. such a good atmosphere builds up.

k i m not addvising u to go to every wedding u r invited fr. but take out sum time frm ur 'short-on-time' kinda lives. go out , meet people. Rather than just sittin in front of the comp or just studying.

another thing- u can do all these things usually when u r young. once the professional pressures start straining you it would be difficult fr u to attend these times to freak out.

As abhinav said - Life is B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L. enjoy it

Harsh said...

Hehe yah my girl happens to be a punjabi .. so it aint bad educating myself about their customs too ... hehe and dont u worry sooner or later u will get hitched

Abhi said...

@Handa:Im not AS bored , but yeah gimme a movie n a bag of popcorns and Im ready to skip my own wedding.

@amit :Oye lakho , free mein senti maarna band kar.;)

Abe you tell me how many of those guests are really happy for the couple ? go out , meet people.abe u think im some kinda saadhu holed up in this room for the last 15 years.You know me man , dont you.and my take is there r a million better ways to meet people than at a wedding.but just my take.

@Harsh : Ohk , so that explains it !Hey stay around , in case my girl turns out to be a south indian , im grabbing you for tips on southie customs.

sona said...

hi abhinav
that ws funnnnnnnny but plz....weddings r not that bad...i luv meeting relatives, frends out there...luv 2 get dress up n ofcourse, dance on dj floor...probably more than anythng else, i luv to smile all that long n meet all those i hvnt met in yrs...i dnt go2relatives home so marriage is the best place where u can greet them...:)
i still rem i hd my exm the day b4 my frends' bday fn in front of my house...i didnt go but didnt evn study bcz i wantd2go...hehe...all i consoled myself with going in balcony after evey half hr n dancing on my room's floor....damn i reaaly like all this...:)

Ellipsis said...

Great post! and I could identify with a lot of what you say there, especially this:

And if you dont go,who will care to attend your wedding ?
Bah! Like I care!

Another thing- weddings always seem to be prospective bride / groom hunting grounds. UGH.

Abhi said...

@Sona: Umm.ok.u enjoy all this.Just that I dont.Everybody has one's own concept of enjoyment.Its yours.Enjoy buddy !:)

@Ranj :Yeah.As if I have to marry the guests.Are ma , i just need the girl to come.

priya said...

me a southie :) will enlighten u on southie weddings .. the pros and cons of it.. check my blog ina couple of days.. will put sumthin on it:)
..p..

Animosity said...

i'am a sindhi...elaborate weddings, but believe u me, we got the best food layout ever ...last weddin i went too, we had lebanese, and japanese and 5 different kinds of cheesecake, and blueberry ice cream and flaumbe

Harsh said...

Damn i am finding myself a Sindhi girl

dreamz said...

Why do I c a shade of negative in most of ur recent posts?

Reema said...

wow!!! that was an amazing post...
and i agree to every word u say...
same old..arre kita bada ho gay munnu..
pehchana munnu..
arre tu "ur mom's pet name" ka beta hai na...
uuuufff!!! give me a break....
why is whole wolrld getting mad over two people getting married..
okay i understand this is a social acceptance kind of a thing..but then why cant the guy and gal go straight to court..get married and throw a common reception..thats it..and this also shudn't be LAVISH...
god knows when the indian system(rather north indian) of marriage will change(if)....
have u ever been to kashmiri wedding???
they shud change the "big fat greek wedding" to "big fat kashmiri wedding"...its that lavish...

Anonymous said...

hi

how r u???
howz life?? post gud, just a nice cartoon work frm a cartoon n.w.....i hope u dnt mind mera commnt??
i dnt got a chance 2 evn chk my mail since d past 2 weeks yaar....hav2 spnd nearly 12-14 hrs daily in offc n weeknds par 6-7 hrs ki classes......gave my diagnstc n scored a pathetic 92 pernctle.....hav first flt this weeknd....dnt evn get time 2 breath...
howz ur classes goin?? mite b njoin hardcore marktng subjcts???
u knw cat dis time is on 20th nov n nearly sabhi xms ki dates aa gayi hai.....so its time 2 slog.
dis mnth i wud b going bk home 4 abt 5-6 dayz, its been 6 mnths since i wnt ........
n howz ur dhoban n doothwali?? n ab tak to tune 100 packts of maggie consume kar hi liye honge?? ur staple diet...how r ur iimc ki billiya?? remmbr they alwayz used 2 hower arnd u jab tu call karta hai...n plz iss term mai udhar ka pani mat piyo....apni botal kharid liyo....bi n take care

neha.

abhinav said...

@priya : now thats true cultural exchange.looking forward to your post buddy.

@Animosity :yum.yum.any sindhi friends around care to invite me ?

@Harsh :Hmph,so much for comittment.tummy rules the heart.

@Dreamz : SRK in Darr ? i dint intend to make em that way.i dont know.maybe im goin a lil bad.

@Reema:are munnu teri padayee kaisi chal rahi hai ? jee theek chal rahi hai.kaunse year mein aa gaya ? jee second year.abhi tak kaunse year mein tha ?aargh.someone drown me.

@Neha:Hi silly.thoda office mein kam time de na.u know ur prioroties.but the most imp thing-enjoy ur prep.treat it as another exam n just ENJOY ur prep.sometimes the brain is not enuf , put ur heart in it.love the prep.n NO PRESSURE.u r gettin into an IIM this year.belive in urself.I believe in you.apna khyal rakh n be happy.

divya said...

and i thought north indian weddings were a whole lot better than our traditional southie weddings. they seem to be the same everywhere...hugely extravagant and boring!! also a female horse is called a mare,likewise did u know that a she jackass is called jennyass:-] thanks to the 3rd standard boy nextdoor i`ve become quite an expert at gender equivalents. chalo time now to get back to my books and immerse myself in algorithm design. u take care

Anonymous said...

HI

THNX 4 BELIEVNG IN ME YAAR.

wont u gimme ur phne no:,mujhe tera changed no: nai pata,just gimme a missd call,my no: is same.... bi

tk care silly

neha.

wtfdude said...

man u r posts make me laugh so hard that i fart!

Anonymous said...

That's a great story. Waiting for more. »

Ashwin said...

awesome !!

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