The traditional Indian shaadi is actually a festival, which goes on for 2-3-4-5 or maybe even 6 days!!! Weddings for us don’t only mark the coming together of two individuals but also of the immediate families, close relatives, far-off cousins, friends and of course the community and neighbourhood at large. This is not a joke or a remark made with sarcasm, but I say this with all sincerity and of course with the biases of an 18 year old’s !
Our weddings are not larger than life, without any rhyme or reason. There is both rhyme and reason attached to it. In true bollywood style, we take our song and dance very seriously but when it comes to ringing wedding bells, it’s a different story all together. Our weddings are flavoured with a spirit of great music and dance manifested in the form of participation from the youngest to the oldest member of the family. All this song and dance is accompanied by a great deal of mischief and innocent teasing, which is considered a part and parcel of the wedding. But now-a-days, soundbytes around me seem to suggest something far more serious and taxing than just fun. There are professional dancers and choreographers who take charge of the sangeet and there are practices that go on till late in the night. Its not just the impulsive and on the spot mood that makes you play along but everything is rehearsed and planned, but certainly not for the sake of the bride and groom but for the general junta gathered at the wedding ceremony. This is what I call an interesting twist in the wedding tale, even the bride and the groom are a party to all the practices and have their own little show to put up. This new trend of ‘entertaining’ weddings has left me perplexed for I cannot come to terms with any reason as to why a wedding ceremony would be converted into a full on entertainment function. Naach gaana is always an integral part of the wedding but this is stretching it a bit too far considering that the sanctity of a wedding ceremony is completely sidelined in all of this.
Now coming to the reason why Indian weddings are famous for their larger than life character. Most of this is owing to our tradition and culture, which is indeed elaborate by nature. We have different rituals and interestingly enough each of them has a meaning attached to it. Every religion and community is bound with their own customs when it comes to tying the knot. Weddings are treated as the most important event in not only the individual’s life but also in the life of the family and it is in our blood to share our happiness with one and all and thus all the band baaja. We Indians not only open the doors of our homes but also the doors of our hearts and make it a point to involve the whole world in our celebration of the commencement of a new relationship.
Another very important element which is hard to miss is the colour quotient which is extremely bright. From the flowers, to the décor to the colourful dresses and not to miss the world of an effort that goes into making what we call the Great Indian Wedding. Everyone comes together to make this grand event their life happen in the best way possible. So it’s not just the noise, the practice, the colour but also the spirit and Indianess of our character that gives Indian weddings the reputation I rightfully possesses!
With our arms wide open and our hearts reaching out we acknowledge good times and of course how can one deny that one wedding leads to another and then to another. It is a common phenomenon that people find prospective matrimonial alliances at weddings and thus leading to new bonds and new proposals.
Now comes the most important part, well if you think this part has something to do with the bride and groom you are sadly mistaken all over again. I shall now address the khaana peena angle to our weddings. To explain this in the best way possible I shall just say that we give more importance to the wedding menu than to the wedding venue! This is no surprise considering our passion for good food and of course our innate fondness for feeding people. There are elaborate spreads of a variety of cuisines as if it were some sort of food fest. Now if you are expecting me to reason this out to, well for once I have no answer as to why and for what. All I can say with conviction is that it’s just the way we are, like it or you have little choice otherwise.
Our weddings are truly representative of our Indianess. It’s just one more factor adding to our uniqueness. It’s an expression of our of our liveliness and spirit of festivity and lust for celebration!! Though there are times when the elements of showing off and ostentation have creeped in and tried to dominate but at the end of the day the show must go on!!!!