After tucking in quite a few jalebis dipped in rabri, I feel gratified enough to declare December the trickiest month of the year 2014. With the very few auspicious dates in the coming New Year, everyone and their sisters, brothers add in the in-laws too, have decided to get married in this month. So the tricky part is to handle the never-ending saga of the Big, Fat Indian Wedding. You miss one function out of the sangeet, mehndi, cocktail party and you are bombarded with a thousand splendid questions.
Which brings me to the one question my mom always asks, "How did the bride look?" Forget the aching cheeks and the butterflies in her tummy, everyone wants to sneak-a-peek at the colour of her evening lehenga and definitely, the work. Was it gota pati or studded diamantes? The groom and his dressing sense may be impeccable, but if the bride, her dress, her makeup, her hairstyle and her kundan necklace is not up to the mark--then all is lost. The match may be made in heaven, but the Sabyasachi rip-off lehenga should be able to garner eyeballs and do justice down here.
The reception feels like a show that lasts three hours, especially at Marwari weddings, where just like any movie actor and actress--the bride and the groom grace the stage amongst the fanfare of background music. Then the host from the event management company interviews them and makes the audience giggle and laugh at their expense, literally. She extracts sweet words from the parents and asks them to sing and dance once more, before the night ends.
Few have an idea of the ordeal the smiling man and wife put their friends through, to make it unscathed on the podium. Mood swings are de rigueur, solving fights between the to-be husband and wife becomes a hobby and listening to the advice doled by everyone to the unmarried friend is regular conversation. Ask any close friend and they will vouch how the Bridezillas and Groomzillas treated them like puppets, gnawing on to their sanity to put up a brave front on the reception stage.
As long as they survive this, the friend will forgive all the suffering and smile, pose and preen for the cameras. Instagram updates will always be about the-most-beautiful-bride-ever and we will be in a dilemma deciding who is better.
Weddings as an occasion ring a bell, for those who wish to scamper and hide and also for those who just bit the bullet. They bring the sound of the auspicious combined with the happiness of the families and individuals involved. The bells also awaken you to the reality of the enormous decision of taking the plunge and their ringing shall always keep you awake. And especially in this year, the bells are more joyous as they ring in the advent of the merry times ahead. Tequila shots, skimpy beachwear and garish glasses for the 2015 New Year's bash? Here we come!! Let the weddings roll on...