Let me start by saying that Sooraj Barjatiya has ruined the entire ‘wedding experience’ for the bride and the groom. Agreed that its fun for everyone to sit back & watch a million dance performances by the family & friends, but it has become increasingly impossible for the married couple of sport the fake all the fucking time.
I have just returned from a three-day wedding, which makes it four weddings this year – including mine. As is the custom with most weddings these days, an entire resort was booked to accommodate the guests. I must add here that it was one of the most well made & maintained resorts around Bombay. Having said that, I question the money spent on the overall ‘experience’ provided to each individual who was there to bless the happy couple. They could have bought a small country with that money.
Anyway, coming back to the wedding & it’s ever evolving ‘rituals’. With time and a number of Bollywood movies, the whole concept of weddings functions has changed drastically. The basic concept remains the same, but a lot many layers are added to it to enhance the core meaning. Layers are bought by money, the more money you have, deeper the bond between the couple (Bullshit!). Just like any Barjatiya movie, every wedding has a lot many characters. At times, too many to remember. This is my humble attempt at listing down these characters, incase you don’t fall in any ‘category’ then consider yourself as the forgotten one.
These two gentlemen are the real deal. Hard men, who have seen the world and know the right from the wrong. Sadly, they can’t do shit about the wrongs during the wedding. To think of it, both the fathers aren’t that different from each other (Unless there is an ego battle ‘cause of an inter-caste love marriage). They are the foundations of the weddings, making sure that everything is smooth and flawless. However, there is one distinct difference between the two legends: Bride’s father will walk across an entire football field while talking on the phone with some dude trying to sell him credit cards. You see, he is in the can-not-be-rude-to-anyone mode. On the other hand, Groom’s father merely shakes/nods his head to show his approval. He is the king of this jungle, bitch!
How to spot Bride’s father: The only person at the wedding who has his hands glued together with Fevicol. Also known as Manmohanji’s clone.
How to spot Groom’s father: The dude who is smiling from ear to ear and has everyone laughing at his shit jokes. You need to respect him like Congress respects Soniaji.
Do not, even for a slight moment, think that the two ladies are friendly with each other. This is the closest that they ever get to face the war. No words, no signs, no gestures, nothing. This is hottest cold war you shall ever witness. No matter how busy the mother is, she will always make a point to check out her ‘enemy’ with a microscopic perfection. Having said that, apart from the war, there are other battles to be won for these women. Groom’s mother is a winner by default. Yes. It’s as simple and pathetic at the same time. Nobody dares to win against her, not even the king of the jungle, ie. Mr. Groom’s Mother’s Husband. But irrespective to everything, Bride’s mother goes away with the ‘Strongest women on the planet’ award post the wedding. She goes through all the possible shit behind the curtains and yet manages to glow like a queen and smile like a shy princess.
How to spot Bride’s mother: She is the first to lose her voice amongst everyone present at the wedding.
How to spot Groom’s mother: You don’t deserve to be at the wedding if you don’t know her. This is serious, yo!
The Bride’s Family.
Here is where things start to get weird. Most of the elders are in-charge of the hospitality & stuffing all the desserts down every baraati’s throat. The male members do a fantastic job of it, but the females ignore everything and get busy with the gossip or singing random wedding songs. The so-called youngsters are responsible to amuse one and all (Ya, right!).
How to spot Bride’s uncles: They are always the first to get ready and stand at the entrance behind Bride’s father.
How to spot Bride’s aunts: They never smile.
How to spot Bride’s cousins: Everyone making a fool of themselves on stage by pretending to dance to a highly expensive choreographer’s tunes.
The Groom’s Family.
No movie is complete without the villain, enter groom’s family! Weddings will lose its charm if not for these creatures. Charm = Misunderstandings, unwarranted demands, highly mediocre behavior & utter disrespect for the other family. For some unknown reason, they feel that they own the Groom and have the right to dismiss the Bride’s family with complete disdain. Their only intention is to criticize everything at the wedding, including someone else’ ability to criticize. It’s true.
How to spot Groom’s family: They’ll tell you. Also, you’ll keep hearing “Hum ladke waale hai, samjhe?”.
The Bride’s Friends.
Probably the most excited bunch of people in the entire wedding. The phrase ‘Baigaani shaadi mein Abdullah deewana’ is tailor-made for them. For no rhyme or reason, each one suffers from high blood pressure and anxiety attacks. Women are known to lose shit loads of weight during the wedding while the boys are often seen trying their best to shoulder the burden that Bride’s father/brothers/uncles have, only to fuck it up beyond any repair.
How to spot Bride’s female friends: They can be found standing/sitting/eating/giggling next to the Bride. These women are apt for Vicco Termeric adverts from the 1980s.
How to spot Bride’s male friends: Easy! They cry in the bathroom after a scolding from one of the family members. Funnily enough, most of them act, walk, talk & look like Sreesanth.
They are the most chilled out lot of the decade. Nothing/nobody matters to them for as long as they have alcohol and food on their table. To be honest, very few even know the function timings and venues. Two things matter the most to them: A, Mini-bar & B, Swimming pool.
How to spot Groom’s friends: Erm, why bother? They are as good as the extras behind Hrithik Roshan or Katrina Kaif. You know they exist but nobody really cares.
Good ‘ol Mr. Perfect.
There is always one person from each family, often an eldest member of the family, who is extremely particular about the muhurat, rituals, tradition, respect and similar notions. They are probably the only pure hearted people who, unfortunately, are often misjudged under any/all circumstances. For reference, Google Amrish Puri’s character in DDLJ.
How to spot Good ‘ol Mr. Perfect: Your soul will shiver the moment you look them in the eye.
This dude should ideally be the center of attention for most of the functions but, sadly, never gets the due credit for being one of the only two reasons behind this circus. It’s safe to refer to him as Rahul Dravid of weddings. He manages to sport the near perfect smile even though he is shitting bricks in his silk pants, and mind you, he has been continually shitting bricks in his pants ever since the engagement date was announced.
How to spot the Groom: Dude with the most expensive clothes but moves around like a headless chicken.
She is easily the most talked about individual during the wedding. For some unknown reason, every girl has a dream to get married in the most perfect manner possible and thus, she has been planning for her wedding ever since she was 5 years old. Yes, dressing up Barbie dolls was just an excuse to perfect the color combinations for the attractive themed events during her wedding. Having said that, most often than not, she goes away winning all the awards. Yes, she is the SRK of weddings.
How to spot the Bride: Well, DUH!
Now that we have all the core characters fixed, it’s time to add the layers and transform these dates into something unforgettable for the couple. Read: Show off your social status while making your children a scapegoat. I know I am wrong in judging people for the money they spend on weddings, but dude, if you are going to invite me, you are giving me the right to criticize you as well. Consider me as family. I have seen weddings where people have served cuisines from each continent, made by the best of the chefs from each continent. Parents have insisted on getting the flowers flown down from Spain. Wine has been specially packed & delivered from the French countryside. Event planners from London have flown down with their entire crew to organize a wedding in a small part of Rajasthan. Imagine a fashion show during the Mehendi function because the designer has designed the couple’s dresses for free or watching Ricky Martin perform at an Sangeet function. (Both the scenarios are true and have been witnessed with sheer disbelief by yours truly)
My point being, if weddings are all about bringing two individuals together, then why not keep them as the only reason to celebrate. Why create a noise about the venue, star performers, alcohol, costumes, jewellary or the profile of guests involved? I am yet to attend a wedding in the past 5 years where the couple had everything as per their whims and fancies. Agreed that the family is an important part of the whole process but that doesn’t give them the right to choose the perfect manner in which the couple should be married.
Ps: I haven’t mentioned anything about the Pundit ‘cause I think they are the biggest assholes on this planet. How else can you define an individual who takes money to bless a couple? No further comments on them.
Pss: It’s high time that people stop blowing ridiculous amount of money over such private affairs.
Psss: Few of my closest people are wedding planners and they agree with the above-mentioned point.