No, not mine. My cousin’s. Don’t tell me you didn’t notice I was gone?!
So… yes, there was a wedding. And now I need to go check in with my gynaecologist to see if all my lady parts are working because everyone keeps telling me that as a girl, I’m supposed to love this sort of thing and I don’t.
I like everything that surrounds the occasion – the whole family gets together, I play dress up, the food’s yummy, booze is free, there’s a lot of excitement/drama (got to have drama!) without any responsibility. Good stuff.
I don’t even mind the actual ceremony – especially when the couple are so made for each other sweet as my cousin and his brand new wife. I’m talking Indian Barbie and Ken, people. And I mean that in a nice way.
No, what I can’t stand is the event surrounding the ceremony.
First and foremost, there are the aunties one hasn’t met in ages who feel compelled to discuss your appearance right in front of you. Yeah, that same old story. It doesn’t matter if it’s complimentary or not – I can hear you, people! Have you noticed how that works? When they say something nice amongst themselves, they’ll turn around, look at you, and repeat what they said. Like you can’t hear them. And if they’re being critical in that ultra-bitchy way that can only come with long years of dedicated practice, they carry on talking, carefully avoiding your eyes, then turn around, look at you and change the subject. Like you can’t hear them.
What the hell? I’m right there! In front of you! Towering over you, in fact, and glittering all over. I heard what you said, woman!
Another thing – stop stroking my goddamn face. Pinch my cheeks if you want, kiss me on the mouth, rub noses with me, press your cheek against mine, give me an uncomfortable body hug. I’ll grin and bear it. But for the love of God, do not – I repeat, DO NOT – stroke my face. I really don’t like the feel of your sweaty palms smearing make up all over my face. It makes me want to reach over and use the pallu of your expensive Kancheepuram saree as a makeshift towel. Would you like that? No, right? Then quit stroking my face!
Also, uncles can shake my hand. Really. It’s quite okay. I won’t jump up and scream rape. And I promise I won’t jump your bones either. It’ll be quite difficult to restrain myself because everyone knows balding old men who don’t use deo are incredibly hot, but I’ll try my best.
Apart from these annoying incidents that repeated themselves endlessly (have you ever been to a South Indian wedding? Even if the ceremony gets over in the blink of an eye, if you’re closely related to the bride or groom, you’re stuck from sun up to… well, not quite sun down but nearly that long), it was as fun a wedding as it had any right to be.
There was a band that played songs in high decibels and three languages to aid the digestion; there was a classical duet that needed to be waved into silence so that the priest could recite the required slokas; there was an elephant that roused false hope in my breast – I was so sure they’d force my poor cousin on to it and make him ride it into the hall but alas, the bride’s family lacked my vision; there were pretty babies and self-conscious young girls whose fashion disasters (two words: purple netting) immediately made me feel better about my advanced age and greater wisdom (#1 advice: let your mother dress you. #2 advice: pray really hard that she has good taste); there were cousins I hadn’t met in ages and was quite happy to see again.
And now that I’m back home with my mom and dad, a thought that I’ve often had has crystallized into a firm decision: when I get married, I’m having the whole thing at home with no one but close family and friends in attendance. If I don’t know you personally, you don’t get an invite. My parents can throw themselves a big party later and have the time of their lives – that’s fair isn’t it?
Unless they arrange for the groom to ride in on an elephant. From his hotel/home to the venue. If he’s willing to suffer, then so am I.
No wait, scratch that. If he rides in on an elephant, will he then smell like an elephant? Don’t want to be stuck for hours next to a hot, tired man who smells like Jumbo. It’d probably put me off my food. That’s no way to start a marriage.
PS – I just read the whole thing over and I guess what I’m trying to say is: Like weddings. Hate people. Yeah, that sounds about right.