Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Big Fat Traditional Indian Wedding!!

It seems like ages since i sat down to write my blog. i was kinda busy with a big, fat, traditional Indian wedding.  i was aware all my life that an Indian Wedding is nothing short of a mini carnival.  But i seem to notice more of its details since i myself got married. Aunts and uncles, nephews and nieces, grand mums and grand dads, family friends and neighbours all descend out of nowhere to stand witness to the union of two bodies and souls.  There's a whole lot of shopping for clothes, jewellery, flowers, fruits, bookings for the venue, caterers, musicians, beauticians (even for men!) and mehendiwalis. Not to forget innumerable items to be bought for the ceremony itself depending on the tradition in which the wedding will be solemnised. Invitations to be selected, printed and distributed to a formidable number of relatives and long-forgotten friends. After all, a wedding invitation is a strong message of solidarity and unity towards all those who get it. (It is of great concern if there is a wedding of someone you know and you don't get invited!!) And then the management of the D-day itself to ensure that duties are delegated and all fronts well armed to handle any mishaps. The boy's side should have no reason to complain about anything. 

i also want to add that we are such slaves of tradition that i no matter where we are in the world, we home home to get married. Guess the feeling of being married doesn't register without the elaborate rituals. i know of a couple who met in the US and settled down there. But came back home to dare a gruelling and ponderous three day long ceremony that was required to declare them man and wife!! Smiling through the misery in the hot and humid month of June! After all, marriage is a social institution and it has to be social event as well! Warna log kya kahenge!! 

i find all this frenetic pace of activity very common across communities. (I've witnessed the union of both North Indian and South Indian souls!!) But then there can be an alternative way of this union. Go to the court and sign a register before the Magistrate (which is also not as simple as it sounds, trust me, but simpler than the traditional jingbang!) But can we ever conceive an Indian Wedding as humdrum as signing a register and it's all over!! Or is it?

At the end of the day, everyone heaves a sigh of collective relief. The coy bride is finally gone with her groom for a happily ever after married life.  The decorations are pulled down and all the relatives are gone into oblivion waiting to re-emerge in the next family congregation. The long day is over and the musicians have gone home. We don't need them anymore because the music will be made elsewhere! 

In the midst of frantic preparations for the event itself, we forget that this is not the end but the beginning for the two people involved. It doesn't matter which way you got married - traditional or registered (Trust me! I have been through both -  with the same person!!!!). Or how many guests ate at the feast or how expensive were the gifts everyone got. All that matters is the course of married life that the couple follows. Ironically, the entire swarm of relatives will be missing from the action when the two actually learn to co-exist with each other. The true challenge actually begins when all the romance of the courtship goes poof in the face of realities. There's much more to life after the initial euphoria of getting  married is over. One can make a good life and justify all the hullabaloo or just give up on the each other and be in the news once again for the wrong reasons - Seperation! 

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