I hate weddings, or anything remotely to do with them: reception, sangeet, engagement, roka, and the thousands of other rituals associated with them. But lately that’s all that I have been inflicted with and it is getting on my nerves big time. Each time I open my Facebook homepage, there is some update on somebody getting married/engaged or changes in relationship status or worst of all, photos being put up of some obnoxiously expensive ceremony. As if that’s not enough, there will some 100 people commenting on the same, and another 100 people replying to it, resulting in a long chain of exchanges, all of which, note, are dutifully reported on MY homepage, even though I am remotely interested/bothered about it.
So with this kind of a negative attitude towards the Big Fat Indian Wedding scenario, I traveled all the way to Delhi (Faridabad to be specific) to attend the wedding of my ex room mate. It was a hard fought battle, and both the bride and the groom are close friends of mine, and most our entire CKB gang was going to be present. It was the first big wedding of our Symbi family, so we were all adequately excited, some (namely an alien called Webstar) more than the others! After a two hour struggle with my sari (borrowed from my mum) which left me with no time for make-up or hair (which, by the way looks abnormally flat on the scalp now that I have committed hara-kiri) we were on our way to Faridabad. As it is, I looked ghastly, and the bumpy ride through the Delhi traffic made it worse. So another two hours later, when we were finally there (and handsomely conned by the cabby), I was a picture of disaster! The Delhi cold kind of made it easier, as I wrapped a shawl around me and planted myself on a chair, determined not to move for the rest of the night. The wedding was long and detailed, as Kashmiri weddings are, with most people leaving or dozing off in between. We had no place to go, so we were stuck there, even after the bride, the groom, and the rest of the relatives had left, drinking n cups of coffee, and waiting for daylight, so that we can go back to Delhi. The next day, the reception went off smoothly, though the aftermath did not. While divulging further details will violate privacy norms, let me just conclude that may be free alcohol is not the best idea, especially when you have an early morning flight to catch. However, it did add to my list of experiences, so I am not complaining. This will definitely go down as one of my favourite stories I will bore my grandchildren into hearing repeatedly!
So yes, I DO NOT like weddings, I DO NOT like the obnoxious displays of grandeur that most weddings involve, and I definitely DO NOT like the elaborate rituals. But somehow, when I saw my old roomie walk in dressed in red, looking like a goddess, when I saw the groom look at her, when I saw their eyes light up, it somehow seemed worth it! Every bit of it: the years of struggle, the contemplation, and the grand finale! Finally it was the celebration of being together with someone you love, it was the victory of heart over head, and in the end, everything else faded against this simple yet profound reality. I have seen so many relationships fail the test of time, the test of acceptance, the test of parochial differences, and the test of narrow social norms. This one, though, survived it all.
It was THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WEDDING I have ever attended, and my roomie (the same one I had seen lounging around in obnoxious yellow pyjamas in Room No. 213 for two years) was the most beautiful bride EVER!