All for a Wedding?!


Credits: infocuriosity.com
King Midas, in Greek mythology, popular for his golden touch is known to all of us. He who had the power to turn anything to gold, by a boon that was granted to him, died due to starvation because even food turned into the precious metal at his touch! With no such boon and thankfully, no such desire, my story is naturally very different as you will soon find out!


It so happens that after a lot many years, a wedding is going to happen in our family. My beautiful niece is about to tie the knot in May this year and so there is great excitement all around. While I am very happy for her I absolutely dislike weddings but let’s not go there!

Credits: pinterest.com
For all the cribs I have, I must admit that the Malayali weddings are a rare lot of fuss-free weddings, in a country like ours! Hindu weddings in Kerala are a blink and miss affair but for me even that seems stretched! North Indian weddings are so elaborate that you’d go dizzy at the festivities. Alright! I confess I am the odd one out. People love to attend marriage ceremonies! Unmarried youngsters might run into luck and the married lot can feel happy that two more are joining the mad bandwagon of frustrated and grumpy couples! Though far less down south, marriages are also an occasion where one-upmanship thrives!


Ever since the date got fixed, every conversation I have with my mother has a few sentences about the wedding or something related to it.

My role in it began with my Aunt and cousins telling my mother to ensure that I have a good saree to wear at the wedding! I have hundreds and I barely wear two or three a year! I told my mother I had no intentions of buying any and she conveyed the same. She was instructed to check out my sarees and so my mother made a saree-inspection visit. Out came all my Kancheevarams, Banarsis and all the heavy weights and my mother roared with laughter! “You are going to be sent right back if you wear these! These are twenty years old and some forty” (the ones I flicked from her!) she said “and they might tear when you sit down!” “Plus, the blouses would never fit even if they exist”, she added. She was right that they were old and I had no clue where the blouses were but I had barely worn each once or twice! I never attend weddings, (I possibly attended one after my own, which was 22 years ago) and I have hardly ever attended parties after the kids came into my life and even then, I would wear lighter sarees!

The entire lot of ladies back home and my mother would have none of it and my mother was made in charge of taking me shopping! So, one Sunday morning, the husband and son were left to themselves, to take care of Joey, our pup, and the three generations of ladies left for saree shopping, the third generation being my fifteen-year-old daughter! She had an agenda of her own which unfortunately went kaput due to time constraints.

Credits: YouTube
 We walked into this grand saree shop and just as we stepped in, the welcome and ushering pair of a beautiful lady draped in a saree and an ordinary man looked at us with fading smiles as their eyes surveyed what we wore! We were all in jeans! They decided not to waste too many courtesies on us and asked what our price range was, their body language all ready to show us the door. I said a price and suddenly, the body language changed and they were all sweet again and showed us where to go with the brightest of smiles. My mother, who misses nothing, whispered in my ear “I should’ve worn a saree and we wouldn’t have been put through this!” Then she added gleefully, “I love your confidence especially when you don’t intend spending that much!” I did not react because the man had turned around to ask us something and I preferred to keep a poker face (great effort has gone into mastering that) since that was the only thing that would see us through. You open your mouth and within minutes they’d know where you stand with your knowledge of sarees. My mother is good at that so I let her do all the talking. I gave an unimpressed air till my eyes fell on a particular saree and then all my teeth showed at once like kids who have just been shown their favourite candy! My mother told me to stop smiling like an idiot with her eyes but I clung to the saree for dear life with that impish grin.

Meanwhile, the man kept showing sarees, one after the other and while I kept drooling over the same one, I realized I had been sidelined and my mother and daughter were choosing what I should wear. They have very similar tastes too and the two fire signs began persuading me but the stubborn Aquarian displayed crab like tendencies and refused to let go of that beautiful piece! The result: I bought both. Not really! This episode happened a few days prior to my Birthday in January so my mother bought me one! Happy me, hater of shopping, tasted blood; “we want to see more” we declared. Short of an hour later, we emerged out of the shop with our bags, having dished out lots of money for five sarees between us!

Come February, Mom attacked me once again, this time for Gold! Gold to a Keralite is precious in a way that no one in the world can understand! And so, I am a failure on that account too! I am not enamoured by it at all. First of all, the only pieces of jewellery I wear regularly include rings and ear rings. While the rings are usually gold with gem stones of different kinds, the earrings are generally artificial oxidized stuff and some such like. I dislike wearing bangles and necklaces- they irritate my skin! In the twenty-two years that we have been married I may have bought a couple of bangles and more than a few rings (which is why my husband would never let me go!) but I do have more than enough gold thanks to my wedding trousseau. Now, with these new laws of authenticating gold under a certain trademark/seal, the gold that I have may or may not fetch the same amount of money as per the going rate so my mother wants me to exchange all that I have and get something else which of course means we are at the mercy of the goldsmith for they are sure to make a fast buck out of everything we have.

Anyway, since Ma was directed again that I was not to wear that ancient jewellery for the wedding, she started goading me to make that trip. Most of the gold is in some locker somewhere since I refuse to wear it and Ma is sure I won’t take care of it! From what I had with me, I started scavenging to pull out something to exchange and found two delicate necklaces (which adorned a delicate neck once upon a time but would strangle it now or break) with matching earrings. I also found two beautiful bangles that wouldn’t fit me or my daughter despite the soap and cream effort! Last of all, I gathered little earrings, broken ones, singles left of a pair and they came to quite a few! And then the plan was made.

Short of Valentine’s Day this time, we went to buy (rather barter) gold! This time it was Ma, my full-size credit card (my husband) and me! I felt rich with the little gold I had in my kitty and Ma kept asking me whether I had carried enough cash too and not embarrass her since she was going to be doing all the talking! I told her to relax and pointed at my husband with a devilish smile!!

Credits: YouTube
Again, we reached a grand shop owned by Malayalis even though we are not in Kerala, which is an absolute must for us!! Gold doesn’t feel authentic unless the “Mallu” calls it “Gawld” and if there isn’t banter in Malayalam over the free coffee that we were about to down one after the other (since they offered them in thimble like cups) the experience wasn’t complete. We were received again by beautiful saree clad ladies and asked to see rings. These ladies were more in control of their emotions and warmly told us to go to minus 1. We went there and were shown seats before a wide array of rings. Then a man came and spoke to us in Hindi and Telugu and my mother asked him to show us rings clearly displeased at his language. How can one talk in Telugu in “Malabar” Gold??!! She was voicing her disappointment, in nowhere near hushed tones, when another man asked “Do you want Malayali salesman, Madam?” to which my mother gave a relieved yes! Soon, a matter of fact and very aware Ramesh came to us and my mother was in her element. It is always a pleasure to see her in action. The Leonine beauty of mine gets what she wants, the way she wants it and is matter of fact herself especially when she tells them how they cheat us off our money!

I laid down all the jewellery I had and he took it and asked us to follow him to the authentication machine or whatever it is called. They told us a few things, did a lot of calculations which Ma looked at like a hawk and I tried to look intelligent which means I kept my mouth shut. My most interested husband walked away from the Malayalam chatter and perched himself on a comfortable sofa with his phone!

After spending half an hour here, we were led to a dingy little room which was a contrast from the airconditioned, plush showroom. Here, the gold was burnt, distorted, melted-basically, stripped off its dignity. In about fifteen minutes I was handed two measly looking coin sized gold bits and some blackened gold-antithesis to Midas was I! With that we went back to the shop and found we had lots of money to buy a lot of things after all!! After a long while, having downed three coffees and after having left the Jewellers halfway to eat lunch at a coffee shop nearby before returning for the final purchase, we finally bought three bracelets, a necklace and a ring for my husband and we had more money left!

We came back beaten but satisfied and now I am finally armed with enough to look like a Christmas tree for a summer wedding in Gods Own Country!! Hooray to us Indians and our madness for elaborate weddings. Pray for me dear readers!










Comments

  1. Blogger ji...Spicy touch.....seems like more spiced write-up expected just before, during n after this family celebration. There you go...some more write-up ideas.
    Enjoy each moment!!!

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  2. Your wit is scaling heights and I am giggling, smiling and laughing while reading your blog. It is just a reminder about how big and fat our Indian weddings are, and what all is required to look our 'christmas tree' best in them. More shopping sprees to you dear, so we can relish more of your witty blogs about the weddings in family

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    Replies
    1. :D :D Thank you so much Anvita but please don't wish me shopping sprees for I don't enjoy them except occasionally!! ;) I like our dreamy ideas better!!

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  3. Totally in splits.... Can't wait for the blog when you describe the BIG FAT MALAYALEE WEDDING!!!!
    P.S. I do hope your niece doesn't follow your blog though ;)

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    Replies
    1. :D I squirm at the thought of being a fish out of water!! Blog or not, you'll get to hear about it! :D

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  4. 👏👏👏👏😃😃😃 so you think malayali weddings are simple...gone are the days babe ...come to Trivandrum and i will make you attend a few...just for a horror..😂🤣

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Poorni :D Scare me some more!!! If I do come that side I'll find a comfy nook in your beautiful home and I won't budge!! ;)

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