Monday, 26 October 2015

The Big Fat Indian Shaadi

I got married for two main reasons-

    1)   A new passport with a normal human face photo. (Which did not happen. Refer to my previous post to know why
   2)   To experience a day where I can dress like a frikkin’ princess and no one would bat an eyelid. (Which almost happened. Except you can’t fake grace. And since I was wearing a skirt made out of rocks, I had to walk in slow-motion so I don’t trip and roll off the stage.)

And yes, something along the lines of companionship, love, and all that fluff too.  (I <3 you, Ameen :D)So that was the plan, what I didn’t expect was my wedding to morph into a Big Fat Indian Shaadi over the ten months Ameen and I were engaged.

What happens in a Big Fat Indian Shaadi? ‘The FamilyTM’ takes over. Yes, it’s like the mafia, only more colorful with an affinity for drama.  The FamilyTM isn’t limited to the immediate family, oh no dearies it’s not. The FamilyTM is an ever-expanding organism that sucks in everyone in the way. So it includes your chaacha, chaachi, and their cousin’s neighbour’s in-law’s hairdresser’s milkman. I am not complaining though, I never really had a “My Dream Wedding” scrapbook in mind. All I wanted was to marry a good guy and get my new passport, all while looking like a princess. Oh and the food had to be good.

So The FamilyTM chose our wedding date (August since my prince charming is a ‘gulf boy’), picked a venue, and tasted the buffet menu.  Following this, everyone promptly forgot about the bride and the groom only to remember us on the wedding day.

My artsy cousin Fathima designed my wedding invite, which I absolutely loved. But since it’s an Indian wedding there has to be some drama, so my family fought over the font of the invite. Seriously. It seemed like each member of The FamilyTM   had a different favourite font.  We were literally fighting over Helvetica and Arial till I finally put my foot down and chose the font in consultation with Miss artsy pants.  

Shopping for the trousseau was nightmarish and fun at the same time. While The FamilyTM did have some good suggestions, some of its members also had fashion senses that were shipped from the stone age. Thanks to whatsapp, my friends and cousins helped me pick out the dress which would be most effective in making me look more ladylike. The most fun part in this dress shopping business was going to Coimbatore. What made it all worth it was watching Bilal’s face as he waited for us in the store for a couple of hours as we shopped for the entire khaandaan and their mother.

As we head closer to the D-day families usually go berserk because of the stress. Our family coped with it in a different way. My dad converted our terrace into a rec room and filled it with bean bags (His second favourite thing after hats), a TT table, and a carom board. So when the guests started pouring in the week before the wedding, instead of finding the bride with a facepack on her face, they found me sweating like a pig while playing table tennis with my brothers.  One aunty even told me I should be a little more bashful. Okay auntyji, maybe after this game…

By the last week before the wedding I had an assortment of aunts, uncles, grandmas, and random strangers swarming the house. And of course kids. Oh god the kids! It’s like they multiplied each second. I would run into them at every corner till we tied a hammock in the garden to keep them out of our way. A relative from my mother’s side came in loaded with savories and sweets that were constantly being passed in and around the house, sustaining the million wedding planners and the little humans wreaking havoc.

While I make fun of the Big Fat Indian Shaadis all the time, I have to admit that it wasn’t all that bad. In fact, my wedding was fun precisely because of all this craziness. I had everyone in my family pitching in to help make this day special for me which meant I was able to actually enjoy the whole process AND the wedding day. I had aunts to turn to for any kind of advice, I had cousins who listened to me vent and gave me fashion advice, I had my two amazing brothers who ran around event managing like pros (Yes, I am praising you. Soak it up)… And most important of all, I had my incredible mum and dad who made sure I was always happy. In short, I was surrounded by people who I love and who love me back (and some distant relatives who I met as a baby but am still expected to remember). It was so incredibly comforting to walk into one of the most important days of my life with people who cared for me.   

So, I didn’t have a fancy wedding with a spectacular centerpiece, imported flowers, and matching bridesmaids outfit. No. My wedding was crazy, chaotic, and I don’t even remember what I ate. When I look back now what comes to my mind is all the fun, laughter, and joy. What I do remember is the warmth and love. And at the end of the day, I had my own human who kind of liked me. What more can I ask for?

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