I am scared…very, very scared. You see the wedding season is upon us. Soon, we are going to be inundated with invitations, sloppy emails and the worst of them all, customized websites of the soon-to-be-hitched couple. If that’s not enough to make you throw up, just monitor your facebook account for the next few months: Suddenly there will be a flurry of people updating their relationship status from ‘single’ to ‘committed’ to ‘engaged’ to ‘married’, all in the space of a quarter.
The most painful part is when all of these ‘friends’ will upload a multitude of albums, creatively titled as ‘roka’, ‘shaadi’ and ‘honeymoon’ (because some things are too tacky to be expressed in Hindi and ‘madhuchand’ clearly doesn’t make the cut) with hundred-plus photos in each album.
Now, as the dutiful friend of all these ‘friends’, it’s your responsibility to correctly attribute each album, each wedding and each honeymoon destination to the corresponding couple, which isn’t as easy as it sounds. Trust me, I speak from experience. Note this conversation for example:
I call a long-distance acquaintance, after a couple of years. Luckily, her phone number has not changed.
Me: “Hey XYZ… congratulations on your wedding.”
XYZ: “What yaar, you should have come.”
Me: “Believe me, I wanted to. But Cochi is too far. Couldn’t get leave.”
XYZ: “Cochi? But my wedding was in Nagpur.”
Me: “Of course not! I am 100% sure it was Cochi. I also know you went to Munnar for your honeymoon.”
XYZ: “No I didn’t. I went to Mauritius.”
Me (cautiously): “Umm… but I am sure somebody got married at Cochi and went to Munnar. Are you sure it wasn’t you?”
XYZ: “It was my wedding. I THINK I would remember these important details.”
Me: “Of course! It was PQR! Got it. That reminds me, I have to call her too.”
If this stimulating mental exercise is not draining enough, consider the operational hassles of the wedding season:
The expense: Air tickets, gifts, shopping for the wedding (you can’t possibly turn up in your sole saree for every wedding, especially when most of the people are your classmates from the same college and have a tendency to run into you ONLY at weddings)
The leave tracker: You are perpetually juggling your leaves, given that it’s almost year-end and you aren’t left with many. So you play around with the complicated excel sheet, trying to find the optimum mix of CLs/SLs/PLs so that you can carry over/encash/go on that dream vacation without pissing off your boss.
The selection: This is an important aspect, which you need to master over the years. On an average, there will be around 2/3 wedding invitations per month over the next six months, with the number possibly reaching upto half-a-dozen in December. Clearly, you can’t attend all. Also, you can’t possibly be photographed attending one wedding and skipping the other, if both happen to be in your close circle in college.
One way to do it is of course create a matrix of important parameters and pick the highest-scoring option: location of the wedding, probability of non-veg food/alcohol, probability of meeting cute members of the opposite sex or the professional status of the bride and the groom (i.e. do they work in that damn company you have been trying to get through since two years).
The overly-concerned aunty: This is one species you simply can’t avoid, irrespective of where you go. She seems to be everywhere, bustling with activity, bursting out of her gaudy silk saree, hugging people with a toothy smile perpetually plastered on her face, poking you in the ribs and grinning, “You are next!” till you are forced to pinch her flabby tissues, point to the NDTV coverage of a murdered middle-aged woman and smirk, “So are you.”
The Bollywood overdrive: Trust our producers and directors to take advantage of this countrywide wedding wave and churn out family entertainers with heavy overtones of the Big Fat Indian Wedding. If the success of ‘Band Baja Baraat’ and ‘Tanu Weds Manu’ is anything to go by, it’s a safer bet than putting your money on the Indian cricket team.
So yes, I am scared and I am considering options like disabling my FB account or going on a 6-month sabbatical to Vietnam to escape the marriage season. The society has no place for ineligible bachelors like me…
An economics graduate and Symbi MBA by education, an analyst in an Investment Bank by profession and a writer by passion, she is one confused person.