Life's Like That

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

The Big Fat Indian Wedding II

Even as the wedding rites were underway, two of Rahul’s friends swayed up to the mandap. Smiling cheerily at us, A slurred “Shhhhhhmiiiilllee Ronnnnnnn” as he tried to click our photograph on his camera phone. We stared aghast! How on earth had A, a committed alcoholic in denial, managed to find so much alcohol at the strictly alcohol free wedding venue!!!? He dropped his phone the very next second, almost into the fire and then proceeded to lean dangerously over the railing to retrieve it. I looked around frantically hoping A) my father and grandmother and Rahul’s grandparents and parents were not witnessing this and B) hoping for someone to correctly interpret my desperate expression and remove A from the mandap before he fell into the fire. Thankfully my dear T was nearby, she hopped up, retrieved the phone and disdainfully stopped A from dying an horrific death. God bless you T. S, another marginally less drunk friend of Rahul’s steered a very obliviously happy A away from the venue and we breathed again. The rest of the wedding went peacefully enough. Except that finally at night, after the bashor nonsense, I went to Rahul’s room to give him a toothbrush (Bong wedding: no sharing same room for 2 night. Most pointless) and my aunt had a much delayed shocked reaction…I mean she gave me a toothbrush and said go give it to him, which I did, and then 20 mins later she said “Eki tui oi ghore ki korte gechili”. Weird.

The next day I made my way over to the hotel where the boy’s side were staying. I took the boy and siblings and cousins on a Calcutta darshan trip. Bedecked in a shiny red salwar suit and much jewellery. Christmas tree and Christmas decorations were the two terms topmost on my mind. The day after we woke up at 3 am to make our way to the airport for our 5 am flight. I was made to unpack my suitcase, take out some sparkly bindis at 4 a.m. and put one on. Something that I will never forgive my MIL for. 4 a.m. is not the time for self decoration even if one has just gotten married. At the airport, I noticed the Sachdevs looking somewhat concerned. Rahul’s father looked especially sheepish. As it turned out, the FIL had carefully packed the Chennai house keys in a large suitcase, and given the suitcase to his friend to bring to Chennai…in the train. Which would reach the next day. So all 6 of us were effectively homeless. What a wonderful welcome to my husbands family. Unique if nothing else.

We reached Chennai and dispersed to various corners of the city. Rahul and I went to the club where a room had been booked earlier. Rahul’s parents moved temporarily to a friends place since their room booked at the last minute would not be ready before evening. V, N and S (Rahul’s tarot card reading investment banker cousin from London) moved to V’s friend AK’s place. It was V and N’s anniversary so we planned to go out for dinner in the evening.

Dinner was at a lovely restaurant with seriously awesome chicken tikkas and much alcohol. As the night wore on, I begged the boy and the others, in vain, to end the revelries and go home. My back was killing me, my head was throbbing from lack of sleep and excessive stress over the last few days. At around 1 a.m. the group decided to drive to a beach on the other end of town to take in some fresh sea breeze. By this time I was too tired to protest so went along docilely. AK got behind the wheel, with Rahul in the passenger seat. I squeezed in between V and S in the back seat with N sprawled over all our laps. We drove off. And then AK announced a tribute to me and started playing that capped menace Himesh!! V decided this was a wonderful idea to join in the nasal OOooooooooooo-ing and bellow the same into my ear. I bit my lip to stop myself from screaming at him. Then, at that minute, Rahul, my newly wed husband, the man who knew all about the violent nauseous physical reaction I have to Himesh, joined in the singing. That was the very last straw. Much to my own surprise (and utter embarrassment) I burst into loud sobs!! I couldn’t have asked for a better reaction. There was stunned silence in the car. AK, who was meeting me for the first time, almost ran into a tree, so great was his shock. V stopped oooooooing immediately and started saying sorry repeatedly. Rahul said why on earth are you crying? S said in a wise manner, its all the stress, N just stared. I wailed. Nonstop. Loudly. Wracking sobs and all. We all got out onto the beach where I continued howling much to the puzzlement of some underfed dogs. I sobbed quietly all the way back to the club where within the privacy of the room it reached a wailing crescendo once again. For a change the boy was most soothing and sensible and eventually I did fall asleep.

The next day was the reception. I was allowed to sleep undisturbed till about 12 p.m. Something I will be eternally grateful for. V,as it turned out had fever. And V with even the mildest of tummy aches is not a happy situation. I love him very much but must say he is the biggest whiner I know. And he proceeded to live up to his reputation by lying in bed all evening and shivering and generally behaving like he was at death’s door.

Anyways, we ate out and then N, S and I went to have our hair and make up done. Kanya in Bangalore is really good and N and I frequent it, so we presumed Kanya in Chennai would be as good. We reached. I asked them what they could do with my hair. Having has it straightened for the sangeet I wanted to do something different. They tied it in an intricate bun with tendrils of hair falling down the sides of my face. I said an emphatic no. N suggested extensions. They looked blank. Then they curled my hair into tight little ringlets. If I was blonde I would have had a striking resemblance to Goldilocks. Naturally, I rejected it. This time they looked exasperated and said “You don’t want a bun you don’t want to curl it then you have to straighten it. What else can we do?” I was tired of them pulling my hair anyways so I surrendered to whatever they suggested. Then we got on with the rest of the makeup. I had my eyes closed for most of the makeup session. When I opened my eyes and looked in the mirror I almost shrieked in fear. I looked like Lord Voldemort. Deadpan white face. RED eyelids. Lank straight hair hanging down my face!!! I would have been a better Voldemort than Ralph Fiennes trust me. I rushed to implement emergency damage control measures. Between N and me we managed to bring some colour into my face and dilute the red ness of the eye shadow.

Looking semi- human I went to get my bloody heavy Kanjivaram draped on since we were getting late and my FIL is as much a punctuality maniac as my father. Both N and I had bought the saris in Chennai and due to lack of time had given the blouses to a local tailor to be stitched. We had not had the time to try them on beforehand. We went into the little cubicles to put on the petticoats and blouses and within seconds could be heard hissing to each other “Have you tried on your blouse? Does it fit? Can you breathe?” I had lost 6 kgs since the time they measured me for the blouse, so there was no way my weight could be the cause for this horrible tight garment. I struggled for 10 mins to button the damn thing and when I finally succeeded I realized I could not put my arms down. They stuck out from my sides like a bloody wrestlers. “I can’t breathe” I gasped to N the second we got out of the cubicle. “Oh god I think I might burst out of mine” she wheezed. The makeup lady finally took pity on us and sat down and removed a few stitches so that we could at least hold our arms closer to our bodies and breathe without worrying about ripping our clothes and scandalizing people. High heels heavy jewellery on, we were ready to face the reception.

The reception was a rather strange experience. At most weddings, usually the bride is the centre of attention and people come give the gifts etc to the bride while the groom more or less slinks around and smiles at people. Here everyone came on to the stage where Rahul and I were standing smiling woodenly and threw themselves all over him. They hugged him. They shook his hand, one uncle even tried to make him wear a thick gold chain he had brought as a gift much to the poor boys embarrassment. Noone gave me a second look. I might as well have not been there. I didn’t even need to smile at them. The gifts were handed over to Rahul. We smiled n posed for photos and the next lot of people came on and fawned over Rahul all over again. I just stood there feeling rather foolish.

Many many MANY hours of aching jaws, painful feet and hurting ears (heavy earrings) later it was FINALLY over. We were married. We were over and done with the madness. In a day’s time we would be off to Manali where I could rid myself of all jewellery, all make up and get into my jeans. Manali was quite an entertaining experience I must say. As was Chandigarh where we stayed for a night, and I met Rahuls nani and mamas and maasis..but that’s fodder for another blogpost. My first up close and personal experience with North India and North Indians. Later maybe?

10 Comments:

  • Yay! Part two.
    And i'm in Dilli

    By Blogger Dreamcatcher, at 5:26 AM  

  • Ok now I know where that freelance writing offer came from. I missed Part I. But you shouldn't tell me all this in real life -- it spoils the fun of reading it on your blog which is even more hilarious.

    By Anonymous Shrabonti, at 6:37 AM  

  • Oh but I didnt know about Rahul's drunk friend. That was a bonus.

    By Anonymous SB, at 6:38 AM  

  • Hello Ron,
    I stubled upon your blog and am enjoying reading through it a lot.
    You write so well.
    Congratulations on your wedding...it was such a funny account ( at least for the evil readers like me, it was :))
    Regards,
    Jyothy.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:58 AM  

  • ha ha this ones funnier that part -I. I can imagine you bursting into sobs stunning all of them in the car! he he he

    And of ill-fitting blouses and horrid make-up, yeah I can relate to that soo-well-- I thought I was chinese when I opened my eyes and looked into the mirror!

    Keep them coming!

    By Blogger Annapoorna R Shinu, at 11:51 PM  

  • Hilarious! Please excuse me for actually laughing while reading the portion about your reaction to the Himesh song(Wonder if my reaction would have been similar had I been in your place!!). The reference to the "underfed dogs" killed me :). Keep writing and more often please!

    By Blogger Debroop, at 11:49 AM  

  • @dc: good good. enjoying yourself in dilli?

    @shrabonti: of course i told you abt the friend!! didnt i?

    @jyothi: thank u :)

    @annapoorna: seriously whats wrong with these parlours man?

    @ debroop: please dont laugh at my himesh induced trauma. put yourself in my shoes. *shudder*

    By Blogger Ron, at 2:05 AM  

  • Good post from you and nice topic too.

    Lingerie news

    By Blogger AMIT, at 2:15 AM  

  • Must have been soo busy..

    Work from home

    By Blogger workhard, at 12:02 PM  

  • Dude, my sympathies. I cried before my reception too, but that was out of sheer, frustrated anger. And Vicky did not slink around at the reception, the bastard walked around chatting and having fun while I was stuck in one blasted chair.

    The feelings run rather strong. :I

    By Blogger Sue, at 1:36 AM  

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