Saturday, November 30, 2013

Weddings then and now

Weddings have always been much awaited family events but have seen a sea change ,some wanted some unwanted.
The great Indian wedding has lost its charm and seems synthetic and too perfect, almost robotic.
Earlier marriages were long drawn out affairs celebrated with the help of close relatives and siblings. Wise grandmothers and aunts would keep a hawk's eye on the proceedings and give orders on how exactly each ritual,ceremony had to be done.Trays of goodies would be happliy devoured with steaming unending cups of tea irrespective of the weather.
Uncles and cousins would make the verandah or the outer room their headquarters and discuss arrangements for the wedding day with laddus and mithai as accompaniment.Sleeping arrangements were informal and long night time chats were always fun and full of gossip.
The day would start with a lot of jokes and jolly banter amongst the elders over steaming cups of tea.The 'Halwai'would be stationed in the backyard churning out delicious puri-aloo,halwa , pakori and other delicacies and the air would be heavy with directions being shouted in all directions.
The kids had a field day and ran all over the house eating what they wished knowing full well that they would not be reprimanded at all.The bride was dressed up by friends and aunts, bhabhis, the boys took photograhs and also went around making the guests comfortable.
Now the scene has changed drastically, aunts and uncles want separate AC rooms attached bathrooms ,a dedicated car with driver who would take them sight seeing and shopping.No more discussions, food marathons, no mithai (but dry fruits are welcome ), no roughing it out in the main house, a hotel room is most welcome.
The marriage day arrives, the bride comes to the venue directly from the beautician ,generally difficult to recognise under layers of make-up! The photographer is the most important person as he directs the proceedings,sometimes the bride and groom have to hold the pose just-so for a picture perfect photo.
The buffet is laid out and the guests give their gifts, have their fill and walk out little caring to welcome the 'baraat' unlike the days of old when the baraatis were served first.
Earlier it was imperative to be invited properly, a personal handwritten letter no less with the formal card following later.Each relative thought herself/himself the most important person without whom it would be impossible to perform the wedding!
Now it hardly matters who arrives or not, the less the merrier, less hotel rooms, less headache and less enjoyment.

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