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."
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.