Saturday, April 20, 2013

Wedding for noobs in 7 days.

Marriages are usually made in heaven, but in some places like India, they are man-made. In an older post, I had talked about Indian marriages and how they are arranged. I had investigated the scenarios closely and my analysis made a logical conclusion that arranged marriages have far more advantages than love marriages which around 90% of the audience agreed as logically consistent and complete. In this post, I will however describe the wedding itself rather than the marriage. The post tells you what you can expect at a wedding. If your wedding is scheduled to 7 days from now and you have no idea what happens in a wedding, this post is for you.

laimer: The post is about what happens during the wedding and In no way does the author promise to discuss any stuff that happens the night after the wedding and in any case if the reader is of such an impression, he is strictly advised to stop reading immediately. Now that the reader ignored the advice and has proceeded to consume the rest of the post, he is also encouraged to offer constructive comments and to share the blog post.

The costumes is the first thing you notice at the wedding. Usually even in the most traditional of weddings, there is a theme and you can see the groom wearing a dress to match the theme. The last few weddings that I attended were greatly influenced by the latest movies from Hollywood, as can be seen from the two pictures that were taken in the weddings I have attended. The X-men franchise of movies seems to have made an impact on the minds of Indians.

Rice throwing

In traditional Indian weddings, during the rituals, the audience may have to throw red rice, flowers, and other foreign particles at the couple on stage. The legend has it that this ritual is performed to let the ignorant gods clearly know who the people getting married are, so as to avoid any confusion whatsoever. It was an easy task then because of the small audience but nowadays throwing rice several meters away could be a challenging task. The price one has to pay is having the gods confused as a result of the rice falling on random people. It is a personal recommendation to the people to carry a small catapult along for good impact and range. Do practice shooting some targets before the actual event to gain some proficiency at it.

Usually, music is organised for entertainment. The reader is advised to avoid head banging or any other kind of vigorous movements as it might be considered as an effect of evil demons in your body.

There is a lot of drama that happens just before the weddings. The groom initially pretends to be on a journey to some god-city and the bride's father tries to stop him. The groom tries to reject the offer thrice and eventually agrees. The following is a rough translation of what a typical conversation sounds like.

Groom: I am going away to Kashi, I have had enough of this monotonous life...
<A few seconds of silence>
Groom: I said, I am going away to Kashi...
<A few more seconds>
Groom: (tapping the bride's father's shoulders) Hey! I said I am going away to Kashi and I will never come back, ever!
Bride's father: Oh! Oh! Happy journey!
(Bride's mother pokes the father)
Bride's father: Oh! I mean, please stay! You can marry my daughter.
Groom: No, I really need to go, I have got some... umm... stuff to do there.
Bride's father: Oh! Alright then.
(Bride's mother pokes the father again)
Bride's father: I mean, please marry my daughter, she has come off age, she is almost 12 years old now.
Groom: No, I really, really need to go there. My friends are waiting and they have planned a lot of stuff and I am never coming back. There is no freaking way, I can not go there.
Bride's father: Please marry my daughter!
Groom: Oh! Alright then, if you insist.

The Fire
The most peculiar part of an Indian wedding is the fire pit. Firewood is gathered and set on fire and the preist uncle keeps throwing all kinds of things into the fire including ghee, rice, flowers, popcorn, explosives, etc. This is supposed be a sacrifice to the gods. Anything that people burn, goes to the gods and people mail stuff to god this way as a positive reinforcement for all the good behavior. Every time god does something good in India, people reward god with rice and popcorn singing a Sanskrit sloka which roughly translates to "You have been very good god, here have some rice that you gave us. Enjoy your day, keep doing good things! Who's a good boy, who's a good boy? You are! Yesh you are!".

Leash Tying
The bride ties a leash around the groom and they go walking around the fire indicating the dude who just bachelor degree now also has a master. If you are getting married and you don't like being leashed, weddings are not for you. Back off before it's too late.