‘… When you will be here in my arms’, so sings Jennifer Lopez as I sit down to write a post in a dinghy little flat that we are using as temporary residence while attending a wedding in the family. It is Christmas season and also wedding season at the same time in India, since the last two months of the year are considered auspicious for marriages (I know not why).
Weddings, as I've found to my knowledge, are very hefty affairs to manage. It becomes excruciatingly more difficult or laidback in direct proportion to the number of relatives invited for the occasion. It also matters if the guests are local residents or travelling from elsewhere.
All other wedding preparations aside, it is highly important to take care of one’s guests. Arranging for their residence, their water supply, their electricity, their food and transportation can be very gruelling when arrangements also have to be made for other aspects of the actual marriage.
The concept of the ‘Big Fat Indian Wedding’ is not foreign to the ears and if you haven’t heard about it or are unsure to what extent it is true, let me assure you that it is indeed so (I speak only on my experience). Sometimes I wonder how most of the time, these weddings go off without a glitch. Maybe it is years of training in a big Indian family that conditions one to prepare for such a big and important event.
But as it is in the wedding that I've come to attend, the best part of the wedding is in the whole family being involved in the preparations. All the uncles and aunties and brothers and sisters and cousins coming over in advance to help out the family and lend a hand in organizing the event. More than a social function, it serves as a bonding agent that brings far off relatives together and presents an opportunity for clueless cousins to meet the family, perhaps for the first time as it is in my case.
To see people you haven’t known are related to you or to see people you already know from somewhere turning out to be your fourth or fifth cousin. To be amused at your uncles being younger to you or meeting a horde of grand-uncles who are fairly young. To engage in the harmless fun of calling young girls ‘aunty’ and dishing out relationship advice to uncles who have just entered college and look up to you.
I’m not sure how many of my readers will be able to relate to this but if you can, you know what I’m talking about and those who can’t, you don’t know what you’re missing.