Yes, please KEEP IT SHORT & SIMPLE!
Disclaimer: I honestly have no prejudices and the intent of the post is not to offend the sentiments of anyone. These are purely my opinions. If my sons let me have a ‘say’ in their ‘marriage-matters’, I’d strongly advocate these. By the way, I like the simple Kerala Hindu Weddings minus the Kgs of gold:)
The things that I’d like to see go in South Indian (Brahmin) Weddings:
1. Scrap the ‘ponnu-pathufying’ (the girl-seeing) ritual. It is so out-dated and silly to start with. Not all guys/gals are photogenic. Very often, there is a feel that the person in the photo is a younger sibling of the bride/groom-to-be! And honestly, how comfortable is it for either of them to ‘look’ into each others eyes with at least another half-a-dozen pair of eyes fixed on them? Agree there is this prevalent trend of letting the two have a chat following the ‘seeing’ part. A bonus really. Am curious to know what the two will talk generally. Heart matters? Economics? Future plans? I regret not having trialled one myself just for the thrill of it. And this is one feeling that my partner-in-
crime-life and I share! Of course he has another big regret of not having had an opportunity to wear a grand Sherwani or a Raymond’s Suit for the wedding reception! And don’t even get me started on getting the poor soul (mostly the girl again!) to show-case her singing prowess or play the Veena and such!
2. Assuming the two decide to go ahead and enter the wedlock, the families meet (usually the girl’s side visit the guy’s on the day they think is auspicious ) to talk on the ‘other specifics’. Some are decent enough to subtly tell the girl’s parents that they do what best possible by them for the girl. After all, they are doing it for their daughter. Few however chuck the sugar-coating and come to the point directly. So, as on date, what is the net-worth of the girl in terms of the sovereigns of gold and kilos of silver? And what will be the final number? ‘Dowry’ is underplayed and instead, the wedding hall must be in the city and all logistics must be taken care of, a nice reception out-fit for the groom, something in gold, silk saris for the key members in the guy’s family.. ithyaadhi! I can go on! A formality to be knocked off! Sit together and work out a mutually agreeable budget and share the expenses equally!
3. The marriage itself must be tailored to be a one-day-affair if not a half-a-day thing. The ‘Jaanavaasam’ , another obsolete custom, parading the girl and guy in a car, the rich dinner menu, the heavy silks! The wedding expense is reduced by half if this is done away with! This custom served the purpose of telling the world who the guy and girl were, some social security thing, a sort of ‘public-vouching’ for the identity of the individuals involved. Or at least this is what I’m told! There is a saying that ‘a man is known by the company he keeps’. A Facebook or Orkut profile check, the friends on the guy and girl’s list, a personal verification with friends, workplace or need be through a trusted agency should do a better job. All said and done, even with all the mechanisms in place, it is hard to tell a psycho from a normal person, or detect a split/multiple-personality syndrome from a person with any personality! The whole affair actually stands on some basic trust on either side!
4. The tension build-up on the day of the wedding, during the Muhurtham is something! The nine-yards sari for the girl is a lovely attire. But must not be made mandatory. Eats up time, and those not used to saris fumble the whole time and end up looked restless and conscious all the time. And most brides need help with getting the attire right! Why silk at all in the first place? Within 10 -15 minutes of the muhurtham commencing, the bride and the groom are all teary eyed and sweat profusely in any weather because of the homam! Cotton is best! The Telugu, Kannada counterparts wear cotton. I don’t want to say anything about the gentleman’s see-through veshti (dhothi)! The party should end once the muhurtham and the elaborate feast is over.
5. The ‘kattu-saadha-koodai’ is another mockery seriously. My guess is, in the early years, people usually traveled by foot or jhatka or some such transport and they had to equip for the whole party that arrives for the wedding. What is the need now?
I know some of you out there will disagree. Feel free to post what you think.
How then should a wedding be? That in another post..