It has been months since I have written something and I have a perfectly legitimate reason for that – “I am an Indian Bride to be.” For those who understood the reference, good for you, and for those who didn’t, read along and you will. Although it has just been a simple engagement function yet I feel pretty disconnected with the outer world. Past four months have only been about shopping and protocols.
Declaration: This one is by far one of my most sarcastic blogs and is more about Indian social dogmas. Also both my relatives and in-laws are really sweet people who care about me a lot.
For generations, Indian Weddings have been a collaborative affair. Until very recently our community was dominated by joint families and the concept of nuclear family was just bizarre for the elders. In such a scenario it was perfectly logical and easy to organize a week long wedding with a number of functions surrounding numerous rituals with everybody helping out and doing their fair bit. However nowadays when the extended family arrives just a day before the ceremony, it becomes a great pain in the butt (excuse my language) to organize A to Z single-handed. In fact I think I deserve some kind of reward for this feat.
It is not just MY outfit that I have to worry about but that of the groom (who by the way can’t function without me which is adorable – Never Change Baby), my parents and sister. Then there is the whole thing about shopping for gifts for the relatives from the bride’s as well as the groom’s side which ultimately becomes a bigger affair than my outfit and THAT is just wrong!
It is not only about shopping for the gifts and by that I mean clothes, but it is also about sticking to the protocols of an Indian Wedding which is even crazier because it includes things like:
- An unpeeled coconut has to be present in the fruits basket otherwise its inauspicious.
- There should not be any combination of three in any of the items like No three types of fruits – you can make it four or more, no three types of dry fruits – a combination of five is most agreeable. In general many families in India still believe that three items should never be given or served to anyone as it is inauspicious.
- Nothing should be in black whatsoever because again it’s inauspicious duh!
- Giving bangles with the clothes to the married ladies is mandatory as per Indian custom – that’s okay no big deal. Here comes the crazy – Apparently the bangles should be 24 or more because ladies here don’t wear less than 12 bangles in one hand and gifting someone bangles for just one hand is stupid – “WHAT!!!!!”
There are many others but it can go on for quite some time so for the sake of this blog I will move on.
Ultimately it is not just about shopping for clothes for everybody i.e. 35 to 40 people including men, women and children but it is also about shopping for specific items needed for the ceremony. There is a fruits basket, dry fruits basket and sweets basket. And right when you get that satisfying feeling that the shopping is almost done and hope that you never have to visit a market again, lo and behold an item magically pops onto your list which is absolutely required for the impending function.
What more, since you are a nuclear family living in a two-bedroom flat in a metropolitan city and your relatives have to arrive from all over the country therefore there has to be some kind of living arrangements made for them as well. So the hunting for the perfect guest house starts four months before the engagement in order to avoid the rush and get the desired accommodation for that period. This happens because we Indians only marry on certain “auspicious” days of the year decided by the divine stars and constellations. So if you don’t book a year in advance, it is highly likely that you will be getting married in the community lawn in your backyard.
Anyways I think I have ranted enough and unapologetic about the fact that I can do it for 2000 more words. However the thing that I am trying to say is that the elaborate Indian Weddings are not practical anymore because the brides end up doing the arrangements including venue, menu and décor etc. all by themselves instead of sitting back relaxing and getting pampered. Although it is really beautiful when the whole thing comes together on the D-day yet I still feel that Indians can be more flexible with the rituals and adapt with the modern times.
I know that my 700 words will not change the society and for another 50 years it is just wishful thinking but Hey can’t a girl hope!!!