Come November and I see people running errands with kit and kin. Reason – weddings! It’s like everybody is getting married, in fact many seem to be celebrating anniversaries by executing a marriage ceremony again.
- The food– The reason why everybody attends a wedding. There is a certain chronology associated with eating at weddings. The code of behavior is– enter-give gifts-fake smile-fake pose-run for the snacks counter! You should start with the snacks corner first and then graduate to the main course. This is where your nose plays a very critical role, you have to sniff a lot. Most probably as you enter the venue, you can put your nose at work. Sniff, sniff and sniff and flow towards gol gappa, chaat, chila etc. If you don’t run for gol gappa and chila then you do not deserve to be a guest at a north Indian wedding. No matter how early you reach the counter, there will always be a chunk of women and kids dangling around the snacks guys. The aunty whom you are following happens to be there till eternity, no aim to move. The alignment of snacks involves – gol gappa, tikki, chila, some moradabadi dal, paav bhaaji and like that. Don’t get teary eyed if the kid at the Chila counter plays the children’s card and gets the chila first simply by jumping and putting his hand up in the chaos. Concentrate on romancing the Chila guy. Just opposite of snacks, you shall find fruits and beverages section. This is how the stalls are aligned. Not everybody goes for fruits and all but still, it’s free and you should still make space in your almirah. Because, it is free and you should eat it.You are not supposed to venture directly to the main course food. Even if you decide, make yourself mentally prepared to walk one mile from snacks stall. I think the geography is intentionally created so intense so that you walk a little and digest what all you ate a while ago. Main course usually has burnt naan, chole, dal makhni, rice, dahi bhalla, etc. Never compromise on eating until your stomach decides to go on a strike. It is a suggestion to take every 5 minutes break in between every food item and between snacks and main course. This way you shall try every item, every grain, every lettuce, every seed, another guests’ plate, every little thing! You can also confirm that you ate everything by slightly craning your eyes to peoples’ plate around you. One more tip, people usually run to the main course just as the buffet is open, so keep a track on the opening! On your marks, get set, spartaaaaannnnsssss! Tip: Never trust an invitation card which has no mention of ‘Pritibhoj’.
- Gate crashing engineering students – The total number of engineering students is divided into categories like 1. Writing books, 2. Chasing girls 3. Chasing people for free smoke 4. Introspecting life 5. Hoping placements in their 5th birth and 6. Chasing food. You can put the entire engineering brigade under the 6th section. They are all looking for food. If you find a gang of young men in ill fitted suits, understand they observed fast for last 10 days. Let them eat in peace and check out women because they don’t get any otherwise.
- Aunties eyeing the potential bride and groom – If you fall in a marriageable age then better learn a trick or two to avoid these aunties. In case, you are married already, good lord gracious! Few tips you can practice are – don’t appear in front of any aunty ji as much possible but if do, speak in some hi-fi English, walk like a maniac, dance with the guys at the DJ, try some alcohol at the beverages counter, toss hair, behave like an ill-mannered woman. And if you are really keen on getting married then who else is a savior than an auntyji. Go, right in perpendicular direction towards, don’t look right or left just straight. Help her do everything, help her in dance, meet her in the loo, help her flush, do anything. Run towards her like a magnet.
- Eye guys, eye girls, eye everyone, just eye! – It is a rule for the aunties to eye others – men, women, babies, to-be babies, everybody. The logic is to scan them head to toe, their clothes, their sandals, their inner wear, their nose size etc. The objective is to judge. Just judge.
- The hypochondriac uncle who ate all gulab jamuns and stole Paneer – If you didn’t steal Paneer from the curry, you again don’t deserve an invitation in a wedding. When you take Paneer, you are supposed to filter all the cubes from the curry leaving no morsel for the person following you. That’s the way you eat at a wedding. Generosity be damned! Same goes for Gulab Jamuns. Take as much as you can. Just Take.
- The robotic bride and groom – They do not know anything because they are busy curbing their emotions and managing their dress code. Simple formula for bride and groom – FAKE SMILE.
- The Baraat that gave complex to IRCTC and that Naagin dance – It is a social custom for the baraat to arrive late at the venue otherwise how they will justify their dignity. Dance is supposed to take place at every inch, stopping everything for like 15 mins, starting again, stopping again and making sure the traffic goes for a toss. Usually, chamko chamko sarees do the needful to the drivers – a big flash in the eyes and whoosshhhh! Aaj mere yaar ki shaadi hai! Just exchanging garlands doesn’t prove a holy matrimony in India, but also the Naagin dance on road does. Never control that urge of ruining dance steps, never. Just jump in the middle of the group, take out that handkerchief that you used to blow your nose into, move right and left, kick the guy on your side, do extra moves with the women, hug the lamp post, dance just dance. Also, signify your presence with your pistol even if you have no training in handling it, target anyone in this case! This Naagin dance is strictly for only men and women wearing chamko chamko Sarees and lehenga should do it at their own risk. We can’t imagine you rolling like a snake on road with a hanky and if the intolerance in the country raises by one degree, you know why and what you did there.
- The great Indian dance at the DJ – Once, baraat dance has happened; it is time to display your prowess at the DJ floor. ‘Dance like no one is watching’ people take it seriously here. This time, you have more power, you are more drunk, and you have more chicks around. Trip on women like Niagra falls, ape Jackson and impress some female in chamko chamko saree with your talent. For girls, first say no to whosoever invites you for dance. Say no twice may be thrice but not the fourth time, chances are you may not be called again. Now, that you are on the DJ floor, first throw some tantrums, get coy unnecessarily, act like you can’t dance, target the cutest guy on the floor and BECOME BLOODY NINJA AT ONE STROKE.
- Sleeveless blouses, January & thermometer – No matter to what degree is the weather plummeting, remain semi naked! Keep your chest up and face high. This wedding, this very wedding is the platform where you can erupt the molten lava of Manish Malhotra from you. It is compulsory to wear a sleeveless blouse with a saree that distinguishes you between 1 thousand bulbs and lights. Roam in every distant corner possible to show your saree because you purchased it for a fortune. Let every Baraati know, let every waiter know and let every kin know. Do not show even single remorse of not wearing anything warm or slight chance of sneeze. It calls for a talent. Beat that! Also, if you see couple of brides raiding gol gappa wala, do not get dreaded at the sight. They are not the brides. They are sisters, sister-in-laws etc. who had got married just a few months before attending this. They need a place where they can demonstrate ‘various uses of Lehenga post wedding’.
- The ever annoyed and further disappointed waiter – Waiters are traditionally more annoyed than the bride’s father. Just accept it because he may turn another serial killer. They are there to tell you how you couldn’t have managed good food otherwise. If the fourth time the same waiter comes to you and you are still planning to refuse, don’t. The point is often these waiters carry the same item, so you can’t take paneer tikka always, you want something. If you are a guy, just tag around some pretty chick in the wedding and you shall get every damn snack you were longing for. Also, there could be some high maintenance waiters who may ignore you, the hand that you had waved to him, wave the same to an unknown guest in the wedding. Tackle the awkwardness with poise just the way the camera guy ignored you.
- The official owner of the wedding, the cameraman, the superman – When it is an Indian wedding, cameraman is the sole owner. He is the one who will tell you how to walk, breathe, fart, pose, dance, exchange garlands etc. For instance, he will ask you to standstill and still take a video. You have to just stand there and smile, rather fake smile. Also, pose with poise while you are eating and that is a war especially when a ton of food is in your mouth, and your balloon like face is struggling to smile. Same goes with the dance floor poses, do not dance when the camera guy is around. Just pose, may be a typical balle balle pose, pointing your index fingers up signifying the success of the wedding. Coming to the rituals, when the guy’s parents meets girl’s, the camera guy asks them to clasp their bellies to each other and demonstrate the courtesies. Right from ring ceremony to the point when the girls floods her entire house with water, the camera guy is more pivotal than anybody else.
- That girl on the phone– I do not know if it is a protocol or something but almost in every wedding, I have found there is one girl always on phone. Someone who is either in late teens or early twenties maximally, in western wear (with specs) thoroughly engaged over phone. She is excessively busy, she is high maintenance, she is a misfit in an Indian wedding and seems to be a forced guest. No idea, if she gets some package, some extra talk time or something, but she is on phone. Always!
- Bride’s sister or the best friend moving like a tadpole – Even if there is no work, this best friend and sister walk like they own the wedding. The activities often involve handling the lehenga, giggling like Mukri, getting clicked in a million angles, becoming part of every family group, passing by the cameras, dancing at the Dj, occasionally meeting the robotic bride, etc.
Picture courtesy – Internet