Monday, 20 October 2008

Memorable wedding howlers I have been part of

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Weddings in India have their own howlers. Not matter how well you plan based on previous experiences; the next wedding will have a unique howler to throw up and usually more ridiculous than the previous one. I guess all these make an Indian wedding so humane and enjoyable. You always have something to recall and jokingly barb your spouse/relative with even ages after the wedding is over. Here are some of the most memorable ones I have been through with:

My brother’s wedding – Where is the sacred pole?

One of the custom in Tamil weddings is to erect a pole on the night before the wedding and it is called “Arsan Kal” (can’t exactly write it in English). For some reason my aunts forgot about it, till early morning of the wedding. I had gone home the previous night and came at around 4 am to the choultry hall and was put on a frenetic mission to get one. Luckily, the choultry was near to the famous “Bamboo Bazaar” of Shivajinagar area, Bangalore. I went on my moped to find all the shops closed. There was only one tea shop open and I explained the situation to the shopkeeper, who demanded Rs.100 for one bamboo stick. Desperate as I was, I gave the amount to him and the formal hoisting was done.

This I had kept in mind and tried to avoid it in my marriage but there my reception dress went missing which I have already narrated in this blog of mine.

My cousin’s wedding – Where is the thalli?

This was a wonderful howler. This guy had an intercaste marriage. The wedding was performed according to both Konkani and Tamil customs. It was decided that a “Tamil Thalli” would be tied. Don’t ask me what is a Tamil Thalli? I myself don’t know the difference between a Konkani Thalli and a Tamil Thalli. Since the wedding was organised by the girl side, the rituals started in the noon as per their custom. As per Tamil custom, you have to bring the thalli directly to the choultry. In this case the thalli was not yet ready and hence it was decided that the goldsmith would bring it the next day to the choultry. Next day being an auto strike, the goldsmith (GS) had to come by bus. When I called up his residence, his wife told he had left home at around 830am but it was almost 1030am and he had not reached the choultry. The tension was building up. I and another relative of mine were assigned the responsibility of guiding the GS from bus stop to the choultry. I was virtually looking into every bus which was stopping by. The muhurtham was at 12:15 and there was no sight of the GS even at 1145am; it was decided that there is no point in waiting for the GS and we went to a nearby jewellery shop searching for a “Tamil Thalli”. Thankfully, we got one and came rushing to the choultry, only to find that the GS entering into the choultry at the same time as us. Finally, the thalli made by the GS was made the official one and the other one was exchanged for a ring.

My brother-in-law’s wedding – Who will serve the food?

Wiser from the previous experiences, I had made a checklist of all the possible howlers. Everything was ensured the arsan kal, groom’s dress, thalli, etc, etc. The reception was on a Sunday and after Rahukalam it was scheduled to start at 630pm. At 615pm, the cook called us, aside and said “Sir, people who were meant to serve the food have let me down, you have to arrange yourselves”. Mind you this guy was known to my in-laws for many years. There was no time to react; the guests had arrived in large numbers. We could not arrange anybody at that time and hence a decision was taken that we ourselves would serve the food. All the plans of celebration, dance and most importantly the dressing had gone for a toss. We were not used to serving so many people and did a truly amateurish job. The order of service and quantity for each guest was haphazard; some of the dishes were not served for many of the guests, etc, etc. All the painstaking preparations we had made for the wedding day had fallen apart.

After my brother-in-law’s wedding, I have not been actively involved in any other wedding. I am determined to overcome all the possible howlers in the next wedding but that would make an Indian wedding very boring and colorless.

I just can’t imagine what could be the next howler? Any creative thoughts please leave behind here

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