Saturday, October 24, 2009


From the mansions of Malabar Hill to Pune’s peths, modern Indian weddings have taken on a new avatar. Nowadays everything is Bollywood Dhamaka Ishtyle. From glitzy invitation cards to star packed sangeets to lavish wedding buffets with 17 cuisines, not to mention ample media coverage of the blessed event, Indian weddings have truly come of age.
So when I received an invitation embossed on scented silk, nestled in a box of Belgian chocolates, accompanied by a bottle of Merlot and a three day stay at the Taj Village, I wasn’t too surprised at my Puneri pal turning posh…Way to go! I thought, happy that the Marathi manoos was finally shedding his solemn soul and gearing up to bhangda like the others. But buried underneath all the luxe was a tiny note that insisted, ‘no bouquets, no presents, only blessings allowed’ I went numb. She can’t be serious I told myself. How on earth am I going to recycle those horrendous gifts I had saved up especially for these kinds of occasions when you can palm them off without getting caught? And what’s with the no bouquet business? But it was the next sentence sent my BP soaring through the skylight… ‘The couple’s wedding Wish List is registered at Macys, Bloomingdales and Saks…’ with that, my heart stopped beating. And I never quite recovered to attend that posh Puneri wedding.
Gone are the days when weddings were simple, sweet and to the point. Boy meets girl, okays vital stats and education, girl shyly accepts proposal. Family huddles over Streedhan and other finer details. You go shopping for 5 silk saris and some gold. On fateful day, a grimfaced priest finalizes your destiny, relatives shower you with blessings, bouquets and Rs 101 tucked in envelopes. And then without further ado, you were off honeymooning in Goa ready to take on the world!
‘Marriage is not to be taken lightly, young girl’ my grandmother would seize the chance to sermon me every time a relative took the saat pheraas. ‘It is not something to laugh about’ I got walloped for sniggering at geeky NRI cousin’s wardrobe malfunction during his jay mala. She almost disowned me when I turned up in blonde streaks and a backless choli. Needless to say, my own affair was a solemn, stiff upper lipped, typical Maharashtrain wedding.
But things change. The old must make way for the new. It’s the order of the universe.
So glitz up your glam quotient, deck up in those diamonds and get ready to pirouette down the aisle in your Jimmy Choos. Go on, make it a big fat Indian wedding complete with blessings, bouquets and recycled gifts…and keep everyone happy!

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