It’s been more than a year that I’ve been living in Hyderabad but this was the very first time for me to attend a south Indian wedding. I was no stranger to our cultural differences- this was an excellent opportunity for me to experience the South Indian culture from a close proximity.
Unfortunately I missed Rohini’s (the bride) sangeet for some work at my office. But under any circumstances I didn’t want to miss her wedding-reception. Ro’s reception was on Independence Day and her wedding was on the following morning. So basically everybody was supposed to attend the reception even if not the wedding. In order to attend her wedding one has to take a half-day leave from office, which wasn’t feasible for most of us.
Anyway at this point of time, I had exactly 2 dresses that I could wear in the reception. One was a dress, a proper fit, simple but elegant. The other one was a lehenga, ideal for the event but needed further alteration.
I put it aside and decided to wear the simple one. I was mentally prepared to look the most ordinary one. In the mean time Piyasa called me up to discuss about dresses. It seemed that she had too many options and she was having a hard time to select one dress. Anyway, as soon as she was done with her dresses she asked me to show my dress. “That’s way too simple! Wear something else tonight!”, she said.
Since last 2 days, I had convinced myself that it was okay to look basic in this reception party as I didn’t have many choices. As soon as I heard Piyasa”s words my self-esteem and all such lofty ideas vanished. ‘s dismissal all of my plans turned upside down. Merely 2 hours were left before we start from our place. My hair wasn’t done, I didn’t have lunch and now a false confidence was building in my mind that, “Maybe I can alter this piece of shit by myself!” I have some basic knowledge of how to sew but that doesn’t suffice in such complex needs. I don’t know how to take measurements and despite that I started stitching the sides of the top. I had no idea what I was doing. I was eye-balling every measurement. Finally, the dress turned out to be something manageable.
I had to finish rest of the things( such as make-up, hair-do etc.) very fast in order to reach in time. Although nobody could tell how much effort I put in, everybody liked my dress. As we reached the venue, already some rituals were going on. Rohini and her fiancé were standing approx. 8 ft. apart from each other. The main thing what I could understand is one person from each of their families were coming to other side to convince the bride/groom for marriage. It was funny that their marriage was already fixed and happening on the very next day but it was part of some ritual of the marriage itself. So basically Rohini’s family members were going to her fiancé to convince him and his family members were coming to Ro to brag about the guy. There were music, lights, camera, flowers and a lot of strangers. All were speaking in their native language (couldn’t really understand what they were saying) and having a great time. As the wedding was on the next day, couldn’t witness anything more about the wedding. After this, we had to wait for an hour or so to congratulate the couple in person and hand over the gift.
It took us to make it through the buffet. I was so hungry that my inner organs were making sound of a dying whale. Now before I say anything about food, let me tell you something. I’m a hard-core non-vegetarian. We Bengalis are well-known for our love of food. Keeping it aside, I was never a huge fan of green vegetables. I have never attended a wedding ceremony serving only veg cuisines. Here brahmins are vegetarian and no exception to Ro’s family. Although without her family’s knowledge she might have had one or two chicken wings with us but that doesn’t mean they would serve any meat in their family function. All the people whom I knew were vegetarian and didn’t seem to have any trouble with the food. I knew nobody could appreciate my condition there so I didn’t utter anything.
I don’t want to rant about anything even if there were a little bit of discomfort here and there. Overall I loved to be a part of Ro’s wedding. It was a nice experience!
Ps: Please pardon me if I got it wrong about the ritual I talked about even though nobody’s gonna collect fact from this. 😀😶
[Edit(2023): Wow! Can’t believe life has changed so much since my posted this blog. Rohini and I became close friends. I learnt a lot about the practical problems that girls face after marriage from her.
I still remember the day Ro broke the news of her pregnancy with me! It was right before the Covid-19. I was so excited for her! Rohini is the mother of a little girl now.]
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Thumbnail Photo by Sergey Shmidt on Unsplash
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