Monday, March 9, 2015

Seven things that are very likely to happen at a big (Indian) wedding

1. Delays
With so many family members of two different families all trying to coordinate one major event (which in all likelihood has several sub-events), there's no avoiding delays. Whether it's aunties and uncles who have convoluted perceptions and opinions of time, or young people who are so engrossed in looking good and clicking selfies that they don't care how late they get in the process - someone or the other is definitely going to cause a delay. And if it's not people, it's going to be oversights like forgetting essential things at home (such as flowers) or misplacing documents or jewellery. I know that most Indian weddings are regulated by specific timings (or muhrats) but if its not the wedding, then the reception is sure to face a delay. There's no escaping the famous Indian Standard Time at the equally famous Great Indian Wedding.

2. Photo-bombing
Lately, I feel that the only reason people (myself included) attend (and perhaps even organise) big weddings is for an excuse to get all (overly) dressed up and get pretty pictures clicked. And with SO many people around, you are most definitely going to get photo-bombed multiple times. You know that aunt you secretly despise? She's going to pop in so many of your pictures, it'll look like she's your mother. And the cousin you rarely speak to? Her face is going to be pressed against yours in a gazillion selfies. So pull out your superficial niceties and let's hug and kiss and pose like we were born to be supermodels. "Say Cheeeeeese!" :P

3. Confusion
I'm sure there hasn't ever been a big wedding that was executed without at least some trace of confusion. Probably several bits of confusion. From trying to remember who on earth you're talking to or failing to recognize people under all the flashy clothes and make-up, to plain and simple not knowing what the hell is supposed to happen at a specific moment in time. Unless you hire a professional wedding planner, there are bound to be moments when the bride and groom don't have a clue what they're expected to do next or when other people have no idea what ritual occurs when.And what's more is that everyone will have their own advice to give to resolve the confusion as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, this will in all likelihood only worsen the situation. Though one rule to live by is perhaps, "when in doubt, smile!" Because all those professional, handy and smartphone cameras are clicking and recording your every unconscious expression of horror and it's going to be mortifying later on. :P

4. Spats and sulks
You can't please everyone, so you're bound to displease at least someone. And what's a wedding without a little bit of drama? With a long line of extended family vying for your attention and making their own little (niggling) requests like a certain kind of music, some specific food, access to a clothes iron, fresh towels, etc etc, you are bound to let someone down. And depending on their personality and status in the family hierarchy, they will either make a fuss and engage in a pointless spat with you or withdraw and go into a sulk. Either way, you shouldn't take it to heart because you're only human, not a ten-handed, five headed deity or a superhero. At the end of the day, only you know how bad your head and feet are hurting from tirelessly doing your best to keep everyone happy. So pop another paracetamol tablet and plaster that plastic smile on your face. It doesn't look as bad as you imagine. :P

5.Unleashing of the transformers
No I don't mean a machine-attack or movie premier. I'm talking about the magical mysterious transformation of personalities that you are sure to witness at a family wedding. I believe all the fun and feasting and song and dance bring out the best and worst in people. It may happen that someone you have always been close to and relied upon will suddenly disappear from your side when you really need them around; at the same time, someone you always expected the least/worst from will step in as your saviour in the most pressing circumstances. There's no place like a wedding - what with the million micro-managed tasks it involves - to see relationships rapidly transform, evolve and prove their worth.

6. Snubbing the bride and groom
Ask anyone and they will tell you that weddings are about free food, photographs, and socializing. And oh yeah, about some couple vowing to spend their life together. Most people probably don't personally know the bride or groom, hence they will come to the wedding, meet the parents/family members of the couple, hand over a gift or cash, have food, mingle with others they know, and leave. Who cares about congratulating the couple who're sitting up on stage wearing supremely uncomfortable clothes and smiling even though their jaws have begun hurting from the effort and they're starving because guess what, they have to eat LAST. Even though it's THEIR big day not the rest of the faux glitterati's who're frolicking around like royalty, gobbling up all the starters and guzzling way too much mocktail than is normal.

7. Matchmaking
Do you know why parents force their young unattached children to accompany them to weddings? So they can show them off in all their finery to the matchmaker aunties and possible alliances. Young people themselves too make the most of weddings to check out their counterparts of the opposite sex. Like, where else can you practically have the license to flirt (shamelessly/subtly - whatever's your style) legitimately with people who've made an effort to be well-dressed, well-groomed and well-mannered? So in a way, weddings spur more weddings.
How very romantic.

P.S. I really hope you could detect the sarcasm in that last comment.