Wedding/Marriage… The sacred union of two souls madly in love with each other. Doesn’t this sound like a perfect definition? This might be true for the rest of the world, but in India, a wedding is not just the union of two souls but of two families (including the pets) , two religions (you really need to be broad minded for this to actually happen), two castes, two communities, two sub castes, two financial statuses, neighbors, areas, cities, states, countries… Phew!! There is a never ending list..
So after the big fat egos of the ‘Khandans’ have been thoroughly satisfied begins the wedding preparations. Everybody and anybody (Even the old aunt whom you have not met even once since your birth) has a say in your wedding preparations. From the clothes you wear to the perfume you apply, everything needs a series of approvals except your own (This applies only if you are going for a love marriage, otherwise even the bride/groom may not be of your choice). The wedding celebrations start five days in advance with a crowd of unknown relatives hovering around you claiming things they know about you which even you don’t know about yourself. The elderly aunties would, out of nowhere, compare you with their kids. Of course their kids are better than you.
‘D Day’ comes and when you are terribly nervous, some notorious friends would discuss the sexual failures of random couples you haven’t ever heard of (I am sure my friends will definitely do this). There would be hyper excited aunties, merrily chirping girls, crying/running children, ‘interested only in food’ uncles and mocking friends all around and all you would want to do is rush back home, pull a blanket and sleep peacefully. By the way missed mentioning, you have in this mess forgotten all about your soon-would-be-bride/groom. You haven’t seen him/her for about a week coz it is an ‘apshakun’.
Finally the auspicious moment comes and amidst the non-decodable chanting of the pandits you get married to the guy/girl of your dreams. The moment you are declared Man and Wife, the food counters open and you become the most insignificant person. People rush to the counters hogging on the food while you stare hungrily at their plates (please note here it is you who have paid for all the food).
Then there is this one guy who is ‘the photographer’ who wants to capture anything and everything you do, be it yawning or putting your finger in your nose. And then he names it as ‘candid clicks’.
After this hectic tiring day, when you reach home dreaming of spending some beautiful quality time with your partner, the family members who ‘are insisted’ to stay back start discussing your honeymoon. They conveniently ignore that it is entirely personal rather private affair. And then the entire extended family comes to see you off at the airport finally granting you some solitude.
However, barring some annoying and tiresome customs, Indian weddings are colorful and joyful and it is the love of all the people involved that give you memories to cherish and laugh at. You would surely realize that a few years later looking back at your ‘candid clicks’.