As we welcome the winter months with open arms, the Indian wedding season comes following it, making it that time of the year when the baraat, babbling relatives and the music just won’t stop, not so much to everyone’s delight.
As we enter into these awfully pleasant months of December and January, when we are finally offered some respite from the ruthless heat of the north and can finally say with a smile, “Winter has come”, it is not all good news. The arrival of winters also brings with it the arrival of the wedding season at its tow, though an information of joy for many, but also nightmare-inducing for certain innocent children, not very much unlike me.
The Indian Wedding business is a multi-million industry with people splurging money on the weddings of their daughters and sons and nieces and nephews and sisters, like crazy. No matter how stingy a person is all his life, the one time they are ready to spend notes and notes of rupees, is on their daughter’s wedding, because obviously family honour will be tarnished otherwise and it is above all. The truckload of gifts that arrive at the house, being distributed to even the son-in-law’s distant Chachiji’s daughter’s husband’s sister, only the complaints regarding the gifts outweighing the gifts itself.
The constant playing of ridiculous songs in the baraat, giving many sleepless nights, and the stop that it puts to the already slow-moving traffic. The baraatis go on about their business with much aplomb and no care in the world, relaying the exact emotion in fact with songs like aaj merey yaar ki shaadi hai (It is my friend’s wedding today). Of course, that is a good enough reason for the hundreds of people to be stuck in traffic for three hours while the dhol waale bhaiya is busy entertaining all the “once more” requests.
A wedding, if we were to go by the notional meaning of it, is the getting together of two people who have decided to spend the rest of their life together. An Indian wedding has a somewhat different meaning which is often of two people who are brought together by the families and then everything about the wedding becomes about the families, and not the bride and groom. When I say ‘family’, I have taken the liberty of including even those relatives you wouldn’t recognize if you were to pass them on the street. However, they would still come, gushing to savour the shaadi ka khaana, while the bride is busy placing them. Later, the same relatives would be seen criticising the bride’s lehenga, with seasoned critical opinions straight out of Vogue, and parallel comparisons with another Sharmaji’s shaadi they went to.
As much as there is to look forward to in weddings, Indian Weddings as a whole just can be a handful at times. If we were to take out a certain materialism, and retain the cultural aspect of it as it truly is, I’m sure it can be a whole deal bearable, even enjoyable.
Feature Image Credits: Bride Box