Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ultimate celebration

I was off for 3 days involved in the wedding of my sister-in-law. Weddings are the ultimate celebrations in India. It’s the ultimate showdown of everything you’ve got to put up a great show of everything to everyone coming for the wedding. The wedding card, the hall, the preparations, the food, the whole ceremony and the varied tension of getting things done the right way at the right time…the whole thing ends so’s like a movie!
When we dropped in, all the cousins had reached..the big fat Indian wedding was on track…all aunts and uncles under one roof. No space is enough to accommodate all. All hands are cooking or cleaning or arranging something…things happen faster…food is ready and younger group sits for dinner first. Loving moms are busy feeding all the adult-children! There is one aunt sitting in the center of the hall and we all sit around her..while she distributes food to each plantain leaf! Couple of cousins share food in the same leaf..another couple too follows the same…brotherhood and sisterhood and spousehood…all in the same room! Suddenly one cousin wails..Amma….some rice…Ammaa…and all follow the lead…in chorus…Ammma….some rice ammmaa… (imitating the beggars when they beg for alms). Different moms react differently..while some moms can’t bear the joke of their kids begging another cool moms joins in our laughter!
So many girls…so many hands to fill with Henna. Not to forget moms and aunts! And the amount of work that will be blocked with henna hands. Night time is even crazy with so many people finding space to sleep. Talks and giggles seem endless after the lights are put off! Moms warning to go to sleep soon because we have to get up early next day! In my head I think and ask my husband, “I woke up early in my wedding…almost had sleepless nights! Then why be sleepless in other’s wedding. I mean why do Indian weddings events have to be so early in the morning…4am…5am???”
It is always fun to be the bride’s team. After all it’s the bride, people look at. Wedding day is the only day the bride looks so flawless, so decorated. Most girls realize that make-up indeed looks good on them. Even the most tomboyish girl loves getting dressed and made up! It is really so much fun to be a girl..the saree, matching jewelry, the kinds of jewelry, the hairdos makeup and the bright smile that lights up everyone!

South Indian wedding have their own glow of the rich, heavy, gold thread woven silk sarees, that display mutilple colors at different angles. The Indian obsession of gold jewelry is justified when they are worn on the beautiful silk sarees. The typical long plait of hair, with studded jewelry is perfectly traditional! The flowers in the hairdo, the colored glass bangles, the silver anklets all make the wedding so worth it!
The wedding day is emotional for all the women in the hall; when the groom ties the wedding knot the bride’s mom can’t hold it in…and almost of us (women) weep silently in our places. Young girls remember their wedding day..moving away from parents…moms remember giving away their daughters…it’s a mutual moment all women share and men miserably fail to understand to the extent of asking us “why are YOU crying now!!!” Duh!
It’s a sweet bitter moment for the bride’s parents..the joy of getting the daughter married but the pain of giving away the daughter you raised so dearly… <sigh>!!!!!


  1. Such a beautiful description - thank you Shilpa

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