Shaadi, Shehnai and more: Part One

While the rest of the country was thrown in to the chaos of the general elections, our family was in the throes of another kind of frenzy; a wedding was happening.

And cousins, uncles, aunts, extended family and the whole paraphernalia had flown from all the far flung reaches of the world to drink, eat, laugh and most importantly share in the joy of seeing our Sree as a blushing bride.

For me, as a cousin who had spent a fair few years away from the boisterous, brash and almost blatant beauty of Indian celebrations, the feeling was quite simply overwhelming.

I marvelled at how my cousin, who once was the epitome of the capricious conversant revelling in the powers of snide sarcasm and cryptic cynicism, had transformed into a gentle, gracious, completely unbridezillaesque beauty. She smiled all day through, for four long days, without even the slightest bit of fatigue showing through, despite the crazy preparations keeping her awake into the wee hours of the morning.

At times I felt like screaming on her behalf, just to let out the steam. I always thought being the bride was the easy part. Surely, everyone else would do all the running around, and all the bride had to do was sit pretty and go along. But boy oh boy, how wrong was I! This was hard work!

For the rest of us, the entire thing was a long riot of blissful bonhomie lasting nearly a week, complete with vibrant colours, soulful music and effervescent conversations.


Pungent aromas of Mehendi, and loud conversation from across four generations, presided on the first day of the gala wedding. While the girls were busy getting ornate designs on their hands, the heavily outnumbered lads, loitered around, taking photographs and trying to steal surreptitious glances at the congregation of pure oestrogen.

Image Courtesy: Ron Joseph

Image Courtesy: Ron Joseph

But the real bang in the Mehendi celebrations came with an impromptu, friends vs family, Antakshari. Without the slightest hesitation at displaying our complete lack of rhythm, all of us launched into what we clearly envisioned to be soulful renditions of a curious mix of English, Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil and German songs!

Although, we did not keep up the cacophony for too long, it helped melt away that barrier between friend and family. We had become one loud amalgamated mass of friends, family and well wishers, all getting our vicarious kicks, out of seeing Sree, sit patiently as the dedicated artists, drew intricate patterns.

While all this was happening upstairs, downstairs other plans were afoot. Lets just say, love, drama and rock n roll does not even begin to describe the devious plan that was to follow. Stay tuned for more revelries, anecdotes and lots and lots of crazy!



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