The other day I was having this very regular and mundane conversation with my mother. Ever since I got married, my mother and I have become exceptionally close. She is my solace. So the other day we were enjoying our alone time together when one thing led to another and the conversation turned to my brothers’ marriage, which apparently is not happening for another 5 years or so. But the Indian mothers you see, nothing is dearer to them than the marriage of their sons. Ahhh and dare anyone, burst the bubble of that perfect wedding.
Weddings in India are a lavish affair, and must I admit lavish is an understatement. We like to indulge in our weddings to the point of insanity if I may say so. The affair is pompous, grand, bombastic, ostentatious, showy, and at times over bearing. And here my mother and I were discussing of the future much much ahead of time. I was astounded by the details she had planned in her head, her plan was crystal clear of how she wanted that wedding. What I was overtly amused with was the guest list and gifts she was planning to invite and give. As she kept indulging in some gibberish I was unable to comprehend, I intervened; I asked if she intended to weigh the brides’ side with all the expenses she was calculating right now. Her answer was plain and simple, “Of course not, they can do as much as they can do comfortably, I won’t force them and all this is from our side”. She was counting all the long lost and far away relatives we had, many of them I had not heard of, plenty of them I have not met in more than decade.
And I listened to her meekly and patiently as the expenses list kept on increasing. Trust me the budget she was making, if I can call it a budget was enough to feed a whole state for a day at least, all three meals. Finally I budged in and said, “Mummy, perhaps brother would want a simpler wedding, perhaps we can give the newly wed some cash in hand, that would help them”. And as expected she was offended and exploded, she started the melodrama of how she has only one son, how everyone in family is looking forward to this marriage, why earn then if you can’t spend on the marriage, so on and so forth. I interrupted in between by mentioning a cousin she had forgotten on her list and she gladly got back to the topic.
And I thought to myself, there is no point in explaining to her, something at our end would never change. We are the happiest lot being the pompous lot that we are, nothing excites us more than lavish extravagant weddings. Don’t get me wrong, I would not say they are waste, after all it’s the time when the whole family gets together but I only feel that it can be done in a little simpler way, spending at least a bit less. A little introspection is required, we are a country where many go to sleep without food or blanket in winters. I know nothing much would change, it takes a lot to change a mindset, I can’t change my parents’ perspective on this one, let alone preaching others, but we as a generation can change a bit. Demand less and do more. Marriage is not a platform to project our exaggerated status, but a new and most important turn our life would ever take. And trust me ask the Indian groom if he even wants all these celebrations, after all I assume he is the saddest of the LOT 😛 .