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And that's just their IQ, nevermind their age!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Weddings, In-Laws, and Politics, Oh My!

One of the main reasons most bachelors and spinsters dread the entire alliance of marriage is the in-laws. According to Merriam Webster’s Dictionary and Thesaurus, an “In-law” is “a relative via wedlock”. According to Sangeeta, an “In-Law” is “a fucking idiot with no sense of fashion who is just hell-bent upon making you look fat and ugly on your wedding day and, then, stealing all your jewelry and passing them off as their own”. In-laws are people who are ‘all “the” talk and no “the” do’, meaning, they are people who blow things way out of proportion, and then buy things from the Camel market while saying they are branded. Most in-laws have an uncanny habit of wanting to act like they are ravishing their D-I-L, while all the time they are merely being penny pinchers and being complete assholes to the same. But, In India, we do not dread just the In-Laws. We dread much else...

India is, indeed, a strange country. In every other country, marriages are categorized in five simple steps:
1. Boy and Girl meet.
2. Boy likes Girl.
3. Girl likes Boy.
4. They get married.
5. They live happily ever after.
For us Indians, of course, the steps are... welll, longer:

1. Boy and Girl meet.
2. Boy likes Girl.
3. Girl likes Boy.
4. Girl’s family must like Boy.
5. Boy’s family must like Girl.
6. Girl’s family must like Boy’s family.
7. Boy’s family must like Girl’s family.
8. A thousand rituals and political mudslinging later, Boy and Girl get engaged.
9. After another thousand rituals, they FINALLY get married.
10. Then, they live in a house together where they spend the rest of their sorry lives eating pizza from the carton and fighting for the remote all day.
This pretty much sums up a typical Indian marriage. Today, I went to my sister’s In-Laws’ place.
Why? Because I have no life. And because my sister is ill, but whatever…
The rendezvous was supposed to last an hour, us discussing the timing, the venue and apparels that would be involved in the marriage. Our heated debate lasted four hours, over which we discussed politics, the weather, how nice Aloe Vera is for the skin and how wonderful it would be if we could all just get along. There WAS no mention of the marriage in the entire tryst with the dreaded “In-Laws”. That’s just how marriages in India are: We always sought to do one thing, but instead end up doing another. It’s very common in India for a girl to fall in love with a boy, and get so attached to his family, that she ends up eloping with his brother.
“Mrs. Khanna, have you heard? Lara’s daughter ran away with the groom’s brother!”


“Oh, that’s nothing! Have you seen the amount of jewelry they ran with? Only worth a million rupees! How’s my diamond encrusted crown? Could give the Queen a run for her money, couldn’t I?”

Yeah. Sure you could.
You see, I have nothing against marriages – Nothing at all! It’s just the PEOPLE getting married that put me up in the spot. Really, why buy the album, when you can download plenty bloody albums for free? No commitment, no issues, no hassle, and they would never flirt with your best friend to make you jealous.
Trust me.
So, I was in a fix when I heard that Mother and I shall go meet the beloved parents of my brother-in-law who –in completely UNrelated news – looks like a seven-month pregnant Dick Dastardly.

How about we keep the wedding from ten-thirty to twelve and the reception from one to five?” Sister’s father-in-law says. Sure, uncle –if that’s humanly possible. Yes, and then, there is this other thing; Indian marriages are slow. Slow? That’s like saying, “Hitler was a tad aggressive.”

There’s a lot to an Indian wedding. Firstly, we start with the HALDI rasam, where the groom is made to sit on a stool with white shorts and a white shirt. To all those who don’t know, HALDI is a Hindi word meaning “Indian saffron” or "Turmeric", which is ground with water into a paste, used to give the esteemed a fairer glow. In the HALDI rasam, loads of fat women with no dressing sense and cleavages that could hold the Everest sing songs in death-defying tones similar to that of a desiccated gorilla dying at the gates of hell. In the midst of this crass cacophony, the sisters of the bride sought to tear the shirt of the groom from his body and then smear the paste on his torso. If that’s not bad enough, the mother of the bride gets to pull the groom by the nose and bring him to the staging of the marriage.
Then, the bride is to be dressed up. Now –and its customary –the weight of the bride must always be a quarter of the weight of her dressing gowns and her jewelry put together. Meaning, if she can walk, she isn’t completely dressed. And if she can't, she’s pure evil. Why, and the mudslinging after that? Goodness, it’s so freaky; I don’t even need to be funny about it.

WHEN THE BRIDE ISN’T ABLE TO WALK:
“Arre, you saw Rajesh’s bride? Practically dripping gold and diamonds, no?”


“Of course she is. What do you expect from such [a rude Hindi word for OSTENTACIOUS] people? Bloody Ramgharias*!”

AND, WHEN SHE IS:
“Oh, my GOD! Rajesh’s bride is WALKING TO THE MANDAPAM**!”


“Such disgrace! Such disregard to our Hindu customs! Those fucking Ramgharias don’t deserve to live!! Even Lohars*, Jatts* and Rajputs* would give all they can to their only daughter! Rascals!"
If that’s not pudifying enough, the make-up palette comprises of the most hideous of colors in history of the most hideous of colors! The only two things an Indian bride can possibly look like is either a prostitute, or a forlorn fool who walked into the streets of Abu Dhabi in the month of Ramadan. It’s like the stylist has been plotting sweet revenge against the poor bride all his life!
“How’s the bride?” asks the stylist from hell.



“So hideous, I think my eyeballs have started to bleed!” The assistant says.



“I know she is, but…” he thinks for a moment. “I STILL think she could look worse…"

Nobody can be more humiliated in one night than the Indian bride and groom are on their wedding day. That’s why it felt so bad to be sitting in front of the In-Laws (read: Aliens from Pluto) and discussing the wedding.
Why? ‘Cuz I’d have to be the sorry soul who escorts (read: carries) the bride to the Mandapam. In other words, my back is going for a TOSS.

I hate weddings…

P.S. *- These are Sects and Tribes in the Sikh religion.
**- The wedding venue.

3 Had Something to Say:

CrazyNewt said...

Hey, I can comment again!

Dude, Indian Weddings are MESSED UP. I saw one in Sidney once... it was outside in this field near the airport (not as bad as it sounds!) and it was just a little... um... odd? I kept expecting an Elephant or something to show up, because my knowledge of Indian Weddings comes mostly from that episode of The Simpsons.

Sangeeta said...

EXPECTING an elephant?! Didn't you happen to see any aunts of the bride?
Oops, my mistake.
Didn't you happen to see any huge dollops of fat with fake hair and chunky knees? THOSE are the elephants you were looking for.

Really, not all indian weddings are bad. Mainly, it's just the groom who looks slightly delusional and constipated; everything else looks in place. And indian brides are very pretty! It's just that their choice sucks, they're commitment-crazed and have an uncanny obsession with babies

Jo said...

Lol!