Things that only ever happen at the Big Fat Indian Wedding
Let’s get this straight: a marriage is not about two people getting hitched and starting life together. It’s merely an excuse for Indian families to plan and execute an extravaganza that resembles a Farah Khan film, risking bankruptcy in the bargain. There are unmistakeable features that make up this OTT occasion.
It’s the beti’s shaadi, and no papa can afford to cut corners or hold back. You’re a miserly so-and-so if you even consider planning the wedding on a budget that’s less than the GDP of a small African nation.
If you thought the bride and groom are the most important people on the day, think again. The guy wielding the video cam is the man of the moment. All activity is at his command and he can ask for retakes of even key moments like ‘pheras’ and tying the mangal sutra.
His is also the task of making pre-event videos, with the bride- and groom-to-be frolicking to some romantic song in a scenic setting.
The other important person
The photographer is only slightly less important than the video guy. He will be present at every crucial moment, such as when the bride is having her eyelashes curled.
The invitation card
A simple card with gold letters on red art paper? Nah! E-invite? Madorwhat! The couple and family would have spent weeks poring over samples to choose the right card. Scented, Swarovski-encrusted, musical… it’s a vast choice. Most will cost as much per card as it does to keep a needy child in school for a month.
All that glitters
If you have it flaunt it, is the code when it comes to wearing jewellery to weddings. And we’re not even talking about the bride. From family to guests, most women will come wearing at least a few shelves’ worth of bling from Kalyan Jewellers.
Bride from Bollywood
The Indian bride has grown up on a diet of Bollywood dramas, where climaxes are often enacted in bridal finery. Naturally, she wants to look the part – with choices ranging from Kareena Kapoor’s look in 3 Idiots to Aishwarya Rai in Jodhaa Akbar.
It’s not done in a day
The more people you want to impress, the more ceremonies you’ll have. From Sangeet, to Mehendi, Haldi, Pheras and more the celebrations can be made to last a good three or four days. The South has its own versions, with Nalangu, Oonjal, Janavasam and more.
How’s the reception?
All the excitement culminates in the reception, to which every single person the couple’s families have ever known will be invited. What it amounts to, of course, is the heavily made up bride and groom standing on the decorated stage while a long queue of guests forms below. Each guest goes up, wishes couple, poses for photo and video moment, and goes scurrying away to fall upon the food.
Food, glorious food
The food is the real reason most people go to weddings of not-so-close friends and acquaintances. Choosing the caterer and drawing up the menu is no mean task. How vast the spread is a key indicator of how hospitable you are, so slap on everything from Jain pizza to chaat, dosa counter, appam station, kulfiwala and sugar-free mithai. And it won’t do to forget the ice carving either.
As Raj once said in Big Bang Theory, there are so many people in India. You’ll see them all at the Big Fat Indian Wedding – hordes of relatives you never even knew existed. They are there to eat , drink, make merry and torture others with questions: ‘So, you are next, huh?’, ‘Not found a match for your daughter yet?’, ‘No issues?’ and more.
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