By Vanya Sharma:
From aunties dressed up in shimmering saris to uncles wearing tight shirts with equally tight fitted jeans, to hundreds of variants of paneer; these are the visuals from India’s – ‘Big Fat Wedding’. And if by chance, you haven’t been to an Indian wedding, you, my dear, are missing out on a great deal of India. (But, are you?)
We Indians love weddings, we save money all our lives to have a big fat wedding; it is a matter of prestige, reputation and ego, oh! and also some fun.
Although, we don’t love throwing parties as much as we love being the guest at a party. But then, I guess, who doesn’t!? I mean, it’s good and FREE food we’re talking about, right!? I say ‘We’ so that it’s clear that I am generalising people here.
Sure there are a few cool couples who opt for court marriages or a decent, reasonable wedding, but those sightings are as rare as the sightings of tigers; very few in number.
Why do we spend so much on weddings? Can’t we do without inviting all the people we’ve ever known in our lifetime? It’s just a wedding, after all, nobody has won the Olympic gold medal or a Nobel prize!
I think, part of it, is to be blamed on Bollywood movies that glamorise weddings. They give people unrealistic goals. More so, they make weddings look like such exciting extravaganzas that we end up falling into the trap.
Oh, and don’t even get me started on all those item numbers, where the actor’s dance moves are supposed titillate the audience. I mean, you can see five-year-olds singing and dancing to those lyrics. It’s a shame.
Anyway, do you even realise the amount of food that is wasted and the money? Money that could’ve otherwise been put to something more worthwhile and sustainable.
Okay, I am not talking about rich people, who have millions and millions stacked under their beds. I am referring to the poor and the middle-class who have to loan money to make a stand in the society, to keep their heads high.
I mean, why are we putting such immense pressure on people? If they want to do it, they can do it, then well and good, they should. But, if someone’s doing it because they must and to not be the butt of a joke among his neighbours, then there’s something really wrong with how we think.
I am not making this up, my house help tells my mother about how they had to borrow money from someone to get their daughters married, because well, apparently, “Char log kya kahenge, ladki ko khali hath bhej diya?”.
Yes, you guessed it right, she was talking about Dowry. Sadly, that particular social evil is still practised widely in the country. But, I will keep this topic for another day and just talk about all the waste that’s generated because of a big fat Indian wedding.
Sure, we create employment opportunities by having these weddings, and yes people remember, “Are Chaubeji, golu ki shadi me to maza hi agaya tha, kya light, kya music!” but who cares?
I am sorry if I am a bit too pessimist about it, but all I see in weddings, huge weddings, are waste.
Have a reasonable wedding, something that you can afford and a wedding that supports your budget. Something that you can enjoy, and at the same time be relaxed about. Why go broke over a wedding when you have already got so much ahead of you!
Screw society and its standards. There is no need to compete. Let’s change our thinking and see life for what it is; plain and simple. Don’t go over the top and try to show off what you don’t have. Don’t run after the glitter; after all, all that glitters is not gold. Sometimes, it’s just an aunty in a wedding, wearing a shimmering sari.
Keep your heads straight and spend on the right things. Don’t add to the existing waste.
I hope I have made my point come across as it was meant to be.