Tuesday, 14 October 2008

The amazing family functions

IndiBlogger - Where Indian Blogs Meet Joint family system is a thing of the past and nucleus family is in to stay. The only occasion we get to mingle with our extended family is during family functions like wedding engagements, naming ceremony, house warming, birthdays to name a few. Nowadays they have become public functions like marriages. The simplicity and fun is lost. Family functions in India begin with deciding the menu and invitee list. Each member of the host family has his own favorite dish which he/she would like to be served. If one person’s dish is rejected, the sensitive ones stop talking to other family members for days but everything falls in place on day of the function. Next important agenda is an invitation. Never go uninvited to the function and most insist for a personal invitation (not being served a personal invitation tantamounts to not being invited). Nowadays invitation by phone, email, SMS is also acceptable. I for one don’t miss to attend a family function, no matter what animosity I have towards the host. The main reason I go to a family function (apart from food) is you get a chance to interact with your immediate and extended family in this otherwise busy, mundane urban world. Family functions provide a great opportunity to strike marriage alliances. It also provides a window for love to develop new romances and sometimes rekindle old ones. It is the best moment for burying old hatchets and sometimes creating a new one (for reasons as trivial as I was not invited in a proper way, payasam was not served to me, etc, etc). Family functions provide a platform for displaying your wealth and be snubbed by that odd relative for being too greedy in life. Family functions also help you to update on the latest family gossip (read how bad is the new daughter-in-law of the fifth cousin’s family or how bad are the relations between the husband and wife of a relative). There is always an estranged or busy relative who never comes to any of the functions and becomes a butt of everybody’s jokes who is present in the joke. Food in a family function is such a delightful stuff. Always there is the discussion how good was the vegetable pulav served in “vijaya aunty” grandsons naming ceremony. In my younger days, I remember food in a family function used to be prepared by the relatives themselves. Often the food would land up half-cooked because nobody is used to cooking in such large quantities. Still it was pleasure to have the food and also to take a dig at all those who were in-charge of the cooking. Nowadays everybody goes for catering. Even dishes have become hi-fi and ice cream with gulab jamoon has become boringly mandatory. All said and done, family functions are such a pleasure exercise more so in modern times. It gives us to interact and let our hair down with our very own in a light hearted way. There maybe the odd squabbles but that only adds to the fun. We should teach our younger generation the need for attending and organizing such functions or else they may end up seeing cousins on the email attachments and remember their mobile numbers more than the names. Religious customs permitting please organise family functions on weekends or public holidays. It gives an opportunity to everybody to make it to the functions and enjoy the revelry. Never let go an opportunity to attend a family function. I don’t know if there is concept of a family function in the West, even if it is there, it may not be with the frequency we have in our country. Family functions as organised in our culture are unique and lingers in our memories for long. Feel blessed to attend or organise a family function.

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