“Why did you not have a wedding reception?” the young man asked us, tongue-in-cheek.
This question, which was purposefully intended to get an upper hand in the conversation, was about our wedding reception that was replaced with a family gathering and a traditional ‘sadhya’ sans the DJ night, dance or the grandeur, solemnized more than a decade ago.
It had been a time when a traditional ‘Malayalee’ wedding entirely comprised of a simple ritual of tying the knot and exchanging garlands before a crowd of women, decked up in their heaviest silks and every piece of jewelry that they owned, catching up on gossip and men discussing politics – all of whom comprised of relatives and friends.
We realized that the appointed beautician must have learnt and refined her skills making up Kathakali artists for everyone unanimously agreed that I looked like an overdone Christmas tree; however, the photographer was pleased for I shone bright as a tube light in high voltage with little effort from his side.
We stood clumsily balancing the weight of heavy garlands smiling, posing for pictures and trying hard to decipher the endless stream of faces who claimed to be related to one of us.
Our parents solely shouldered the responsibility of playing the graceful hosts ensuring that every one of the guests was well watered, fed and taken care of.
We took the leap with no instruction manual or GPS that guaranteed the safest and best path through married life, but just our parents’ blessings and love and respect for one another.
All the advancements has not brought forth a detailed instruction manual for the newly wed but Wedding Planners have managed to lure couples and their families into a week’s ceremony – DJs, outdoor photo shoots and all.
Over-enthusiastic parents and bags of money are a sure help to make beautifully-crafted everlasting memories that can be frozen and framed on the walls of your home and social media pages.
So, as our young man smiled his cheekiest best – a sparkle of triumph in his eyes, we smiled too for our experience teaches us that not all questions need to be answered. Sometimes it is best to let the other person bask in the shadow of their empty triumphs and check how far we have come.
sadhya : Traditional South Indian feast served on a banana leaf.
Kathakali: a form of dramatic dance of southern India, based on Hindu literature and characterized by masks, stylized costume and make-up, and frequent use of mime.