Ever since I was a kid, I was very very confident that I wasn’t interested in a religious ceremony and all the jazzy preparations that go along with Indian weddings. What I wanted was always clear - go sign a document in court, throw a small party for people you really care about and want to celebrate with, and go on to live a happily married life.
I was told a million times my choice would change once I grew up.
And then I decided to get married to a Punjabi Munda.
And all hopes for a wedding on a piece of paper went up in smoke faster than I could say the words ‘Punjabi Munda’.
And that’s when I found myself pulled into a whirlwind seven months of preparations and all the drama that makes up a big fat Indian wedding. And here’s what I learnt from the experience:
- To begin with…you have to shop. A LOT. For things you’ll barely ever use. Because. Just Because.
- Life suddenly ends up revolving around exactly two things: Work. And Wedding prep. Work during weekdays. Shop on weekends. And work and shop in all the by-chance-free-breathing-moments you may have somehow managed in between.
- I know you may want to be super involved in everything to do with your wedding…The venue, the décor, the menu, the invites... My advice? Don’t bother. You are the one person who won’t really get to experience any of the above. Specially the food. Damn. Not getting to eat is my biggest regret. Specially when I hear people tell me how yummy the damned fish and kebabs were. (Where the hell was the fish?!!?)
- Your camera guy will spend more time with you than your own family members during the actual functions. Whether that’s a good thing depends on whether you like being told to swirl in the 8 degree temperature corridor in a 20-kilo lehenga and still manage a smile that doesn’t make you look like a potential murderer. You WILL end up killing them in your blog eventually. But at that moment, he’s your closest family.
- Your jaws will ache. From smiling at aunties cracking jokes I never seem to get. From smiling at aunties asking if your cheeks have got rashes (No, it's rouge, but thank you for trying to cause a mini-panic). From smiling for the 10000+ photographs that technology now allows to be taken. From smiling at the pandit when he forgets a few not-so-important things like the mangalsutra.
- You will unquestioningly touch anyone and everyone’s feet. They look older than you? Do a mini suryanamaskar.
- You will get less sleep than your most happening college night. For days in a row. And you’ll have to smile through it. Every damned second.
- But having said all that, I have to say, I surprisingly had much much more fun at my wedding than I had ever imagined possible. I was kept away from all worries by my parents, given a lot of pre-sleep and pampering before the big day, and loved and cared for all through.
And for that, thank you.
P.S. One of the biggest REAL lessons I have learnt? Remember how someone invited you to their wedding at a slightly inconvenient date, around a meeting, or a holiday, or one of those things? And you politely declined, thinking, among the thousands of people attending, you won’t really even be noticed or missed? Bullshit. Your absence was noticed. And missed. And put on a hitlist. Trust me.