Welcome Change in Indian Weddings

A sequel to my earlier post on the KISS formula for South Indian weddings..

Looks like the ‘arranged marriage’ system is here to stay for a while and has been ‘working’ for many Indians… Its not about the type of marriage, but the system that I consider is flawed and too complex to correct it quickly! I’d like the whole ‘system’ to undergo a slight metamorphosis. Am ready to field the brickbats coming my way, and here is the list. I will implement this for my children if I really have a say and am recording it here for posterity lest Alzheimer’s seizes me during old age!

1. Match the blood group of the girl and guy. In fact, a complete health report will be good. Sounds too stiff? I know 3 different instances where one of the partners had a psychic disorder. Only one case came to light before marriage.

2. As a follow-up to the above, a thorough background check on either side saves a lot of heartache. Instead of relying on the ‘acquaintances’ feedback, trust a good agency and entrust the job to them. Inquire with folks in the workplace, and keep it an open affair. If someone is going to decline your offer of marriage on this grounds, then the ‘match’ isn’t worthy!

3. Abandon ‘horoscope’ matching. Going by that kind of ‘match making’, every such marriage must be at least 50- not out! There are frequent knock-outs despite all the metrics matching!

4. With the above ‘tests’ cleared, the guy and gal must meet sans supervision:) And meet a few times before giving the relationship a ‘GO’.

5. Have said this before and am saying it again; a half-a-day wedding with all the expenses shared by both the sides. No frills, no fury, no tension, no blame games specially involving food:)…. A chill, fun marriage.

6. Preferably, impose ban on gifts or selectively ban the following few items:)

*Night lamps
*The usual ‘Gajalakshmi’ plated momentos
*Dinner sets
*Swami/Perumal padams

Feel free to add more to the list..

7. All the thalai pandigais (for the uninitiated: it means all the festivals in the first year of wedding) must be co-hosted without attaching the pandigai-seer:)

8. Impose strict ban on general junta inquiring on the ‘plans’ directly or indirectly and save yourself the trouble of having to wear that plastic smile for too long.

Go on and share your views that can transform a largely misoneistic outlook to the one that is always ready and open to change and understands that it is the only constant:)


18 thoughts on “Welcome Change in Indian Weddings

  1. The first thing I notice after reading your post is Google’s super intelligent placement of ‘IyengarMatrimony.com’ spot beneath your post!! Cant stop laughing still!
    and Mataji is saying no to Horoscopes!!! :O
    btw i think horoscope matching is just being made a scapegoat for a thousand unrelated whims and fancies of people. Don’t you believe that it does have a science/solid empirical database behind it? 🙂

  2. I think i sounded different than I intended to. What i meant to say was while Horoscopes are being used as scapegoats instead of having to attach the truth behind why someone does not want an alliance to go through, the horoscope itself is a good science perhaps based on …..some science/ empirical data?
    Should we instead not be just wishing for people to say NO with no reasons attached?

    • LR, I would associate horoscope with anything remotely ‘science’.. Earth is a small spec of dust in the larger scheme of things. And we are so so insignificant for some ‘celestial body’ to even give us a thought in the passing, let alone affecting the marriage chances: But then, its only my opinion:)

  3. half a day wedding? nooooo…this is anyayam…akramam…other than navarathri season…weddings are the only time we get to see girls in the prettiest sarees, jewels and accessories…so ulaga kshemathukaaga lets keep it the way it is now…

    & half a day wedding na only one kalyana saapadu…idhulaam nyayama…neengalay sollunga?…so…ulaga kshemathukaaga lets stretch it over multiple days…ok?

    ..venumna ella selavum payyan side yae ethukatum…

    • Neenga oruthare porum- indha Lokham kshemama irukkum:) Venumnna, Navarathi madhiri, lets invent something else to add ‘color’.. Enna sollareenga… I like the payyan side selavu idea very much. Wonder what Hobbes will have to say:)

  4. Fully agree with you on the gift ban – not just specifics but all gifts – IMO, it will be better to donate an amount of one’s choosing to a charity/service organization and just shower one’s goodwill and blessings on the happy couple

    Plastic smiles – arranged, self-arranged, elopement – no matter what the marriage method is, the plastic smiles have to be exhibited until one’s jaw freeezes over to at least some set of busybodies – no escape from this !

    Humbly disagree with some other points:

    1) Medical checks/ background checks etc can be considered an invasion of privacy by all concerned – and there are always ways and means to mask any real issues or murky dealings from the past – and if folks are honest in the first place, then there is no need for such tests

    2) Horoscope matching – this is a matter of personal preference – some choose to believe and some don’t – and no amount of arguing can convince either side of the (de)merits of the other – so live and let live please

    3) Meeting a few times (be it prospective roommates or a prospective spouse) is never going to be good enough to indicate the kind of issues that will crop up in day-to-day living – most folks try to be on their best behavior in such meetups – meeting for the thrill of it is fine, bu real revelations will have to happen up, close and personal

    4) Sharing expenses – I have seen my share (no pun intended !) of folks who claim to share expenses – but expect themselves to be diefied simply because of this – their airs and ego-boosting is enough to make one ditch the whole sharing idea

    • PV, the points that you have agreed to disagree is valid. But a medical checkup/workplace verification in cases where you have no clue on the background of a party will at least give the parents (who play a major role in our weddings) some confidence. Infact we all help out our friends who receive proposals (for them, their siblings, cousins,or friends ) by forwarding the details to any contacts we have in a workplace. There are instances where some were dropped because the reports weren’t healthy.. If people are honest, they would take it in their stride.

      And I would worry abt ppl expecting to be deified. At the most I say, ‘Oh, its nice of you’ and move on. Let ppl learn to shell out first…

      Horoscopes- well……

  5. Vidya,
    regarding horoscopes.. i agree with @PV that we can debate this till the cows come home.. but.. I will rest my case with this one..
    I’m not a believer.. but am not a disbeliever .. how can that be? well, i don’t consult horoscopes, but I dont say those who consult are being superstitious or are fools.
    I believe that there are some things in the world that we cannot understand. We tend to call those meignaanam. There will come one day when we understand those and go.. ‘aah.. this is why our elders did what they did.. ‘ and immediately what until that moment was meignaanam becomes vignaanam! and we all get goosebumps on how our ancestors discovered tens of thousands of years ago..when scientists proved it only 20 years go. So, coming to horoscopes or horrorscopes as some choose to call … i for one just believe that its probably a science/math that i don’t get.. and i will not discredit the field for it. But i rather discredit those who inappropriately use it to their means and ends..
    But I agree with you in a way that if this is a root cause of all problems.. why not just eliminate it from the equation? But what if it is a legit science?

    • LR- I respect people for what they are and not on the basis of their belief system. Sorry if ‘disrespect’ is hinted anywhere in the post or my comments.. What am trying to convey is that I have no problem with ‘superstitions’ as long as you don’t take important decisions of your life based on some belief that has no proof. And I personally can’t think of instances where a single disbelief got translated to ‘belief’. ‘Half-knowledge’ scares me more than ignorance. So, I choose to ignore. It really is bliss:) And science is legitimate:)

  6. “…must be co-hosted without attaching the pandigai-seer:) ”

    For a moment I thought the ‘seer’ was english ‘seer’ and was wondering if there was a custom, that I dint know of, of inviting fortune-tellers and psychics to tala-deepavali. Wouldnt mind having a seer on pandigais, I would have a great time mocking the life out of them 🙂

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