I am one of those socially awkward creatures who absolutely hates getting out of her comfort zone. So imagine what a nightmare a Big Fat Marwari Wedding spread over a period of five days, where I happened to be the bride, would have been. I did full time and over time from 6 a.m. in the morning to 12 p.m. in the night decked up in full makeup, high heels, and highly uncomfortable clothes. And I had no say in one single thing. And I am not exaggerating. According to my mom, she was already ‘allowing’ me to marry the boy of my choice and therefore I did not have any right to have a say in anything else.
By the way, this was just one of her answers to my numerous objections to the numerous ridiculous things done at my wedding. Like all Indian mothers, she very often pulled the emotional card of being a helpless single widowed mother who was under the pressure of societal expectations. Although all her gewgaws were not a result of societal pressure, she was not lying about societal expectations. A person like my mother who is well off was able to handle and fulfill the societal pressures. But what about someone who cannot afford the pump? These people find themselves in miserable positions borrowing money from whoever is willing to help them out. Moreover, they have to go through the embarrassment with a smile on their faces for the entire period.
But the funny thing here is, that the victims and the perpetrators are one and the same. The people who have been bogged down by the societal expectations often have the same expectations from others when their children get married. So the victims are also the enforcers of the Big Fat Indian Wedding pressure. A lovely irony, isn’t it? And even if the victims were not enforcing the pressures by having Big Fat Wedding expectations from others, they are enforcing the pressures by succumbing to it. The victims validate the expectations by fulfilling them. Why not have a wedding of your choice and let people say whatever they want to.
There s more to the Big Fat Indian Wedding. The weight of the Big Fat Indian Wedding cannot sustain on the pillar of societal pressure alone. It is also a platform for parents to do everything that they were not able to do at their wedding. Frugality marked the lives of most in the generation that our parents (parents of Gen Y) belonged to and they were not able to do many things that their wedding that they would have like to do. When I put it in this way, the Big Fat Indian Wedding doesn’t sound so bad, does it? But still, the people who are actually getting married may or may not want the fancy wedding. I think the ideal wedding would be the one where all the parties involved meet in the middle.
The Big Fat Indian Wedding also does have pros. People meet each other, you get to eat a vast spread of lip smacking food (that is if you are not the bride or groom, otherwise forget it!) and the wedding industry provides employment to a large number of people. And it also gives the children to give joy to their parents by letting them vicariously enjoy the fancy wedding.
Thanks for reading and have a nice day!