Ever wonder why people look so dazed on their weddings? Picture this scenario ….. There is this perfectly intelligent PYT called for the sake of this blog entry Ms Y. She is wonderful, witty, charming and intelligent. Then there is this gorgeous hunk, who for the sake of this blog entry is named S, he is successful, responsible, charming etc. They are educated, can string words together to mean something, have lived on earth for twenty years minimum, so have gathered life skills. Now we transplant both of them into the mad mad world of Indian weddings today.
First we have a roka, where all sundry relatives from both sides arrive, vet the couple and their parents. Mother in laws are closely scrutinized by the old biddies, the cars by all the elderly men, unmarried girls by all the young and not so young male populace. Food eaten, the mandatory pooja and exchange of gifts done and every one goes away. Phone lines burn as gossip is exchanged about who wore what and how dangerous poor Y’s Mother In Law looked.
One can just imagine Y saying through gritted teeth “It’s about me, not S’s mother dammit. It’s my f—-ing wedding!!!!! And Page 1, Chapter 1 of Saas Bahu soap is written right there and then.
S’s brothers and friends tell S after a whole lot of booze ….. Dude your gal’s cousin …. You know the one in the green dress …… . Man she’s hot!!!! One can imagine S thinking, “Shit, I got the wrong chick” 😀
All this – and it’s just the roka!!!! Then comes the engagement, and all the pomp and grandeur. By this time shopping has started in real earnest for the trousseau and the wretched DOWRY issue has also popped out of the closet. The in-laws of both sides have been branded as stingy penny pinching so and so’s. Prophets of doom have pronounced the wedding as a disaster. Y has wept on more than one occaision and S has started looking like a man who has lost the entire war at the very outset. The ring has cost him more than he expected, the circus of the wedding is getting to him. All he wants is the wedding to get over and done with and he can carry his bride into the bedroom. Oh yes, he also ogles unobtrusively at Y’s hot cousin.
Then comes the wedding. It has always amused me that the entire ritual is in Sanskrit. a language neither the bride nor the groom understand. Two perfectly intelligent people reduced to bumbling idiots. The priest spouts some strange mantra in an ancient language and then instructs them to sit or stand or feed the fire or each other. Both of them look at him blankly and obey. No comprehension is expected and none is forthcoming. Kind of weird isn’t it. Even a microwave comes with a manual written in most of the languages of the world, and it is not something that is expected to last for a life time. Marriages still are expected to last. That is if S is not caught making out with hot cousin of Y.
The plus point is that after ten years of marriage, a lot of bored hours can be spent discussing what the mantras meant.
S: Babe, the 3rd mantra right after the pandit made me place my hand on your shoulder specifically said that you must obey and cater to my every whim.
Y: I don’t believe that – but the 5th mantra said that you should keep me happy. Panditji translated it twice. The only way you can do that is by getting me diamond solitaires. You don’t want to upset the Gods do you?
And so it goes on ………………………