What leads to this phenomenon? Two very large families – replete with chachas, mamas and bitching buaas, adamant on spending their lifelong earnings and valuable assets on a four-day, gaudy, unwanted celebration. I find myself to be a part of one such neurotic family.
Two months prior to the wedding, I am dragged to various shops and boutiques selling garish traditional clothes that are so bright and flashy that my eyes hurt and aesthetic gifts groan. I look at my mother, who is smiling at the effeminate salesman draping the lehengas and duppatas on himself, with absolute horror. My mother forces me to visit seventeen such shops and completely ignores me through the five hour-long ordeal. Having spent a fortune on outfits that I would be able to wear only once, mother has a smile that Satan would have had after devouring on the souls of innocent humans.
Throughout the two months, my entire family, suddenly consisting of fifty other individuals whom I visit once a year and who all tell me disgusting stories of how I have peed in their laps as a baby (what was I, pee mad?) is running around clothes and jewellery stores, hooked on cereal -slimming challenges, learning to dance like Bollywood actors and fighting for work to do for the D-Day. I am only happy to let my faraway cousin to be the centre of attention in the dance sequences, but my mother butts in and passes the punishment back to me much to the dismay of my cousin’s mother. Women and politics! Aren’t we are a nation obsessed with issues concerning both?
My already hefty father is busy building his six-pack paunch sampling different kinds of sweets and his older brother has turned into a clone of Alok Nath. Seriously! His daughters and me are being continuously bombarded with lectures of how we should pray regularly and socialise with relatives instead of chatting and watching sitcoms all day.
My grandmother, who had been planning to go on a vacation abroad with her kitty group, is now claiming to retire on the banks of the holy Ganga after the wedding. With so much of money blown and attention being bestowed upon the marriage, I wonder if the soon-to -be-married couple is planning to run away from these fanatical clutches of society!