Growing in a middle-class family with a heavy diet of Hindi film influence and big SRK posters hanging on the wall is enough to brand you as a MARRIAGE MATERIAL. Love, fable, and marriage were concepts I got well aware with at a tender age.
On lazy afternoons, I would raid my mother’s cupboard, grope through her makeup, deck myself like actresses and be in awe of my dressing up skills. Playing bride (read Ghar Ghar) was my much-loved game and I conducted my fabricated wedding every second day. There was no need for a boy in these performances; he seemed to have a supporting role nevertheless. I alone was enough to conduct, chip in and be a viewer to my wedding. If only it was that trouble-free in reality!
As a teenager, I found the idea of the wedding very exhilarating. I was the typical Geet from Jab We Met – with a never-ending fitoor for Shaadi. I could spend days imagining my wedding, the ornaments, the makeup, THE LEHENGA! I could barely wait to have a marriage. But did I want a wedding? Did I even know what wedding really meant beyond the coyness of a bride and machismo of a groom? Maybe not.
People would enquire ‘Do you want to have an arranged marriage or love marriage?’ I found it a bizarre question. Movies had educated me that all the romance was in the former, but actuality was confirmation that either is a hazard. sensibly speaking love marriage was a safer bet (a known opponent is better than an unfamiliar friend).
But was the choice actually in my hands? Can a person settle on in advance what type of a wedding they will have? I don’t think so. If you fall in love you have a love marriage, if you don’t your wedding is arranged. The only unvarying aspect is marriage.
As the years went by my fascination with marriages only grew, but the idea of marriage made me doubt it. It seemed little extreme, naive. If it worked it could be wonderful, but what if it didn’t? Could I know the outcome before trying? After how many years would it turn into divorce-proof? There was no explanation to my questions.
There was only the expectation of a passionate romance that would end into marriage and children and a joyfully ever after – the typical fare.
But we believe in taking risks, risks which may change your life upside-down! India today is an amazingly changed place from it used to be. The Millennial are persistently innovating. They are reinventing customs if not omitting them totally. And this has landed us in being a totally confused generation.
We want the virtuousness that surrounds tradition but we want to break stereotypes and bask in the magnificence of our circumscribed freedom. While a part of society is fighting for the dark skinned another is hiding behind filters.
So, as we are taking pains to move out of Blind Arranged Marriages another incident has made an impressive entry into the bazaar – The Wedding itself at its Fattest. Our roaring affair to make the weddings grand and constant social media on its way to take over our world completely weddings are trending like never before.
The marriage bazaar is devastated with all sorts of vendors. A new career is born every marriage season. It has been valued that the wedding bazaar has grown into a hefty Rs. 1, 00,000 crore market and guess what, it is growing at almost 30% annually. On an average, a person spends one fifth of the wealth accumulated in a lifetime on a marriage ceremony.
Wedding planners are swarming the market. Halls and venues call for to be blocked-up 10 months to years in advance because of the hustle in peak season (October to February). Makeup artists give their dates like business tycoons. Gone are the days when the photo lab around the corner was hired to shoot the people eating at your marriage. Personalisation is everything.
It’s this rapid shift in society that I witnessed over the years plus my own wedding coming up in November has prompted me to write a story about it.
I hope the light and breezy story dashed with a comical read will make you think- WHAT ARE WE RUNNING FOR AFTER ALL? Does it actually simplifies life?
A Jovial, witty and unapologetically honest Bride-to-be!