Band, baajaa, baraat - the season of desperate social interest
Siddhi Shah | 01 Dec 2011

it just gets like the multi-cuisine menu - a large variety of delicacies in action. the most-liked flaunt of ethnic riches, some sweet laughs, some spicy chit-chat, the mix platter of emotions running here and there, and the continuous servings of... catc

AFTER A little but unavoidable pause, once again, the grand banquets & halls will go alive, the wedding bells (I mean the band walas) will fill the air and our ears as the monsoon wedding season will set in its good mood. Weddings are so much cherished events! Why not, it’s an event of a lifetime for the two souls who will be united forever before holy fire; not to mention the vibrant presence of hundreds or thousands of well wishers.

But, there will be many like me who feel its boring and that’s why detest accompanying family and attending wedding ceremony of someone you hardly know. Wrapped in the extravaganza of illuminating, fragrant, pompously decorated citadel, the things go so fun-filled (read funny) at times (read always). It just gets like the multi-cuisine menu cooked at weddings – a large variety of delicacies in action.
The most-liked flaunt of ethnic riches, some sweet laughs, some spicy chit-chat, the ultra-cheerful welcome greetings, the mix platter of emotions running here and there, and the continuous servings of soft tunes playing somewhere near the stage, but hardly paid attention to as if they are the asopalav leaves woven in the floral arrangements – required but not needed. And, of course there has to be the sizzling ‘tadka’ of typical, clichéd social conversations and dialogues to hold the charm of the event. All these, while you know near to none you can mingle with. Amusing!

Weddings! Are indeed talk-of-the-town events - where the whole town (read family, friends, relatives, acquaintances and everyone invited) gathers, more to talk and less to celebrate and enjoy the union of two people? In this hectic world, only weddings are the times when people can get together with the near and distant relatives, so it ought to be used at its super best! And then we have this great inquisitiveness in human nature to act as a stimulant for developing web of conversations during the event.

The moment the bridegroom makes the grand entry with the ‘band, baajaa and baraatis’, everyone flocks out there to get the first look of the bridegroom. As if, there’s an early-bird prize announced! maybe all the rush is for gathering the first ‘news bytes’ to discuss in the following session at the sofas - what is he wearing, in which car (or on ghodi/ haathi, as is the rising trend nowadays) has the groom come, who’re the in-laws of the bride and how are they dressed, how are the baraatis welcomed… etc. etc.

At the turn of the head, as the bride arrives the entire eyes (women, in particular) gaze at simply three things - her wedding attire, jewellery and make-up. But in essence it’s the status of the bride’s family that is being judged by everyone, known and unknown, in the ‘mehfil’. Anyways, that topic remains hot for discussion only until the next favourite comes up. as the bride takes her seat next to her ‘soon would-be life-partner’, both bride and the groom gradually slip out of the ‘discussion’ of the invitees. after all, it is now important to know ‘who’s next?’ one would like to think, people are so curious to find out the ‘heirs’ of the bride & groom who would take over the wedding chairs in the next season! Sneak into any corner, everyone seems to be talking on the universal theme – marriage.

 “Your son is in US no? Seeing gals for him?”

 “arey Shilpa, she’s your daughter? Grown marriageable haan”

 “What are you doing beta? CA! Very nice”

 “It’s high time you start seeing guys for Shonali, she’s tw-ent-y three (23) now.” ……
 “We have told Rahul if he likes someone, he can tell us, we don’t mind at all.”

 “Who’s that girl in pink chaniya-choli?”

 “Listen, what Mr. & Mrs. Jain are saying. Their family friend’s engineer son is coming from Australia, they are suggesting we see him for our Prachi”

As if this is not enough, the newly wedded couples (who now behave more like uncle and aunties for their unmarried friends) will also join the bandwagon. “Hey Shivani, hi Dhwani, when are you getting married dear?"

Wow! We, the people, are amazing. i mean if you look at it closely, the agenda of conversation remain the same, only the characters change at such social events.  Do people run so much short of topics? Sometimes, it even goes to the extent that the ‘prospective’ boys and girls are showered with some ‘valuable advices’.
“Beta, do as I say. Make it a point to go to Gurudwara everyday and then see how soon your ‘rishta’ gets fixed.” so not going to gurudwara (or temple or church) regularly infers that a person is ‘nastik’ (atheist) and that’s why he/she hasn’t got the right match. Amazing thought!

Someone in the other corner airs a suggestion – “why don’t you register at this marriage bureau. They have got such good profiles, all from well-to-do-families. Within two months of registering, we found the perfect gal for our Anmol”. Come on, is it some kind of weight loss treatment scheme – result guaranteed in 2 months?!  At the chaat counter, this gentleman has to say something important – looks is a momentary thing. You should give importance to other qualities like nature of the person when searching for a life partner.” someone needs to ask him, did he follow the same criteria when he got married to his college beauty queen.
And sometimes, such things reach its heights when some match-fixing enthusiast spontaneously arranges an ‘introduction’ between a marriageable boy and a marriageable girl that he thinks are suitable for each other, right there. God save the guys and girls from such enthusiasts and the following embarrassing situations! 

Many desperate people, many targets, many advices, embarrassments too although cloaked with the sense of respect and obedience, but it’s all common at an inseparable part of our big fat weddings. All’s well that ends well, the wedding ceremony concludes happily, peacefully, memorably with some probable ‘official meetings’ fixed in these eventful couple of hours. Cheers!