“Clad in their finest attire,
The lady in red, bejeweled, dazzles like a star, sparkly and brilliant,
The man in all his glory, strides confidently to be with his lady
They smile, they nod, they pose, they please.
The air, filled with anticipation and smells of wrapping paper green and red,
For its not just about ‘getting to wed’.
Necklaces, watches, jewellery sets, laid out for everyone to see,
Two cars parked outside for the groom and his family.
Oh! So many unfamiliar faces, I see,
as two souls come together to become ‘we’.
and for today is their marriage fest,
Come witness, ostentatiousness at its best.”
Well, the above lines, for me describe the typical, ‘big fat Indian wedding’. An event intricately wrapped in layers of not only, grandeur, opulence and extravagance but also of hypocrisy, consumerism and dominance ( to a great extent). ‘Marriage’ by definition is ‘the legally or formally recognized union of a man and woman’. Sounds simple and uncomplicated, huh? , but it is anything but that. In India the typical wedding is about the union of two families that brings with itself, an excuse to splurge and spend, like you never have and never will, a chance to be the talk of the town or at least the talk of the street, an opportunity for parents to tell your neighbors, and other uncles and aunts of your locality (even though you don’t remember their names) about how responsible they've been in saving for their daughter’s/son’s D-day.
Yes, it’s an event to celebrate a monumental occasion of anyone’s life but, sadly it is now turning into one filled with pretense, exaggeration with its true meaning and spirit blurring away in the shine and sheen.
Ask yourself, how many times you've been to a cousin’s cousin wedding or a father’s friend’s daughter’s wedding or any other, lengthier chain of relation you can think of purely for the free tasty food. Did you care about the bride or the groom? Or, did they even know you? HELL NO!. Who cares about the occasion when you have buttery-rotis and the mouth watering snacks and dessert to worry about. Be honest! We are all guilty of it.
“If you have it, flaunt it,’’ some might argue in a rock ‘n’ roll fashion. But, that’s not the point. Weddings are about celebrating the bond of two individuals; it’s not about conforming to what the society sells off as a 'grand wedding'. The event must be reflecting of those two individuals, their tastes and preferences, their aspirations, their personalities. They make the wedding, it is not just about the glitter and glamour and they becoming the minor detailing, incidental to the event, the ‘conditions applied’ of their large marriage advertisement.
Moreover let’s talk about the average family where even till date, the birth of a girl child is simultaneously followed with the opening of new bank accounts, lockers, saving for dowry, for her wedding. Where the priorities are so messed up that getting them educated and self reliant is ‘not as important’ a responsibility as getting them married. Yet, another reason, given by parents, for despising the birth of a girl child, for she is a ‘huge responsibility'. Families, spend fortunes, parents take loans of hefty amounts with hopes of meeting standards their society sets for them. The initial joy and merriment of getting married gets replaced with stiffening, expectations and burdens.
So it is time, we introspect and reflect what this sacred union is and isn't about, and how it should be remembered and celebrated. The quintessential ‘big fat Indian wedding’ is most definitely worth some scrutiny. Have dreams and aspirations of having a lavish wedding, but don’t lose yourself in them. There certainly is more to ‘being married’ than just the wedding.