By Rohan Seth:
I’ve never understood the curious case of the Delhi wedding.
In my experience, the bride and the bridegroom always sum up to be hideous mannequins, all dolled up in white powder and whatever a ‘bridal/wedding package’ makeup entails. The married couple sit like gagged spectators under house arrest, so much so that it makes me want to do the Joker’s routine from “The Dark Knight”.
“Why so serious you guys?”
And it just makes my day if the mammoth arrangement is in a place called Hotel ‘Elegance’ or Hotel ‘Nicety’. Because there is absolutely no elegance in the celebration. Simplicity “ka toh koi scene hi nahi hai.” [“There is no place for simplicity anymore”]
What I love the most, is the never-ending flurry of chacha-chachis, mama-mamis, foofa-foofis, bhaiyas-bhabhis, and the far away ‘duur ke mooh bolein’ bhaiyaji, uncleji and auntyji and their inane questions.
“Arrey tum to bahut bade ho gaye, Medical kar rahe ho ki Engineering?” [“You’re all grown up now, are you studying Medical or Engineering?”]
“No uncle, I’m unemployed. Also, I don’t really want to be rich or famous.” Uncleji is confused, gives me a stare and walks away to get another drink.
You don’t really want to do a Vince Vaughn or Owen Wilson as a wedding crasher in a Delhi arrangement. The people look terrifying in the overdone embellishment of their faces; almost makes you believe that you’re in some Halloween or Goth party. So the wedding crashers devour on the food and the actual invitees take turns to the parking lot for some inebriation and marijuana vapour.
But it also wouldn’t be erroneous to believe that big fat weddings are outright embodiments of materialism or a need for a family to conform to unnecessary social requirements. No one’s complaining if you’re a Chatwal and can afford to get your son or daughter married lavishly. It’s probably your thing, being profligate in expenditure. It won’t make a big difference to you.
But then you have the family that sells off its house or breaks its investment bonds to marry ‘off’ the daughter, gift the bridegroom’s family a Santro, LCD TV and microwave. “The wedding should be grand,” denounce the elderly wise people. Because “izzat ki baat hai.” [“It’s a matter of honour.]
Oh and I have a friend (progressive in outlook) who is getting married to a tree this year. Why? Because the ‘khandanwaale’ (family) believe that his future is dependent on some astrologicalbullshitus planets. In short, he is Manglik.
Makes me want to say that this should be stopped. Please. Intervention time. Couples, please take the lead, stop embarrassing yourselves, have low profile unions and maybe even invest your money in the customary post-marriage vacation. Don’t squander away your or your family’s savings for an ostentatious festival thrown to celebrate your social contract. Don’t get married to a tree. Make it about yourselves. Make it about your happiness. ‘Door ke uncleji’ and ‘izzat‘ can go fuck off.