Irrespective of your age, gender, caste, creed, belief, or financial capabilities, the moment you’re scheduled to attend an Indian wedding, your cranium cites excitement and a certain ‘look forward to’ feels. It doesn’t matter in what capacity you’re involved in this event. Maybe it’s your sibling’s, maybe your relative’s, maybe your friend’s sibling’s or maybe your month old colleague’s cousin’s — the point is you’re on the list, and you know what all to expect — from jazzy food to dressing up, from chance (if a bachelor) to dance. However, weddings are not just a mix of jazz and contemplation, endless foot-tapping music, or lavish cuisines, it has a larger than life fact that follows through.
The wedding scene isn’t just a camouflaged show of culture. Imagine, there are 29 different states, over 4500 cultures, and with every region comes a different way of ceremonies, a celebration to the minutest level of cohesive behavior. Things like a bride/groom’s movement restrictions to exact color of your wardrobe to the varied number of days in the ceremony to the importance of relatives and their roles during the procession, all this takes it to a different level of chaos. But trust me, this good chaos, better than any other level of chaos you’d find in your lives again, the chaos that you literally prepare for, chaos that’s considered the most sacred in the Indian culture, the way we all brag about it. And nothing forbidden comes without a struggle! Trust me, this is a real struggle, like the kind of effort people put in to get the right essence of chivalry and understand the proximity of what and how things go wrong within minutes… it’s all insane. But one thing that we ought to think about is how lives would change starting this very day, something that remains exclusive to the one who’s actually getting married!
And when I claim this change, it goes beyond changing the way you live, the way you wake up and cook breakfast, the way you prioritize your day, the way you schedule your evenings, maybe even the way you choose your consumer goods :p (these views are exclusive to me, might be completely different for you…)
The point being, marriage is not just about that one day when you look your best, behave in the soberest way, greet 1000’s of your cohesive well wishers, or end up being the last one to grab a bite. Marriage is an initiation to a new way of life, something that needs a certain adaptation, a new partnership that pretty much defines how you shape up the rest of your lives. And it’s so important that one is extremely ready to pursue these changes, that one would sense the upcoming iterations to build the required social, mental, financial (*add more similar responsible words) balance. Basically, you’re cent percent ready and prepped up in your head to execute this assignment and forever live with it :p
Well, I do not wish to even talk about love or arrange marriages and the entire dynamics that follow within each of them respectively. My point is exclusively about that change from ticking ‘bachelor’ to ‘married’ in your identity information. And to me or most of us, this saga starts in the early/mid-’20s. That one Sunday afternoon/evening, when your folks would subtly put this question in your head, at times even relatives act as a catalyst. 99% of the time we’re taken aback and the response is to be a ‘rebel without a cause’.
As life happens, the age of ambiguity picks up, and no matter how sorted you are, between the age of 22 to 29 (I don’t know if it exists beyond 29, I am yet to experience it), there is a certain level of restlessness that we all face. Might be a career, might be personal, might be academic, we basically fast track our process to be something, to be someone that you really want yourself to be. And in some cases, it keeps changing quite often. And while we all fight this ‘chase your aim’ battle, suddenly, the marriage phenomenon and its co-related ambiance infiltrate your environment. From ‘You should get married now’ to ‘Shouldn’t you be married now?’…
And what follows is a snowball effect of societal influx. The influence is so high, right from your friends getting married to your maid’s insisting your mom for you to get married to your social media shouting marriage (pre-during-post engagement/wedding, single/multi-angle, close up/wide, candid/generic, s/he’s the one photos and videos) to newly married neighbors to ‘only couple’ lounge entries, et cetera. Probably, the world around you signals F.O.M.O. to you.
Marriages are beautiful and an important act that is a part of your ‘chase to aim’, to live a balanced life which everyone should pursue. Yes! I believe in it.
Marriages are wonderful but a mandated act that is independent of your ‘chase to aim’ and should be pursued because you’re aging. Sorry! That’s a clean bouncer.
Like we all learn driving and one day we realize we’re fit to drift on the road. Like we all eat the world and one day we realize we need to be fit to live healthily. Like we all are mentored by someone and one day we’re aligned to mentor someone. Similarly, there will be one Sunday when my folks, my relatives, my maid would be the happiest when I address the elephant in the room and start pre-booking the necessities :p
“As they say, marriages are made in heaven. I would love to believe marriages are also scheduled in heaven and if I could schedule it. There will be a day that I’d be convinced to acknowledge and practice it. And personally, for me, that day will be coming soon!” — At least that’s how I attempt to convince my folks. What follows from them is a tapli (a hand’s palm slowly hitting the lower back of your head, primarily in case of disagreement of a view by this act’s initiator) that I get from them.
After all, I wish to experience wedding shenanigan, but for now, the below view awaits :)