Yes, I know, I’ve been doing the quiet boy routine for the last few weeks, but I’ve been busy. I don’t know why I’ve titled the post so. It’s what I’m listening to right now (Black Label Society’s Steppin’ Stone, if you’d like to know). Goes with the weather, I suppose, damp, rainy, slow and grinding.

I’ve just gotten back from a short trip to Calcutta, where my dear friend and Mother’s Day Gift Advisor, Short Sanguine, finally threw in her towel and got hitched. I’m not a very wedding person, and usually try and avoid as many as possible (except when really close friends are getting married. And those are usually the ones I end up missing).

“Why you no likey wedding-dongs?” the provincials ask. Well, let’s see now…

I abhor dancing. No Indian wedding is complete without the invited multitudes shaking a leg (whether or not of their own volition) to whatever Bollywood number’s ruling the charts. Ergo, I find myself squeezing into the closest available corner, lest I be dragged into the hip-shaking melee.

I could go down kicking and screaming, but it’s not worth the candle, not at some poor schmuck’s wedding anyway. Does this make me anti-social? Possibly, yes. Not that I’m particularly bothered. You feel like dancing, go right ahead. Just don’t drag me into it, please. You’re just ruining the occasion for me. I feel no joy in killing my already screwed-up spinal column, or making myself look like a complete idiot in the process.

And don’t let people fool you into thinking nobody cares, because “it’s all in the spirit of things, blah blah”. There’s always a wanker or two in the crowd watching out for those silly dance steps (or the lack of any dance steps) and who will, naturally, take photographs and videos. These will be later viewed at not-so-private gatherings for the explicit purpose of making people laugh their silly heads off. At you. So, beware.

Then we have the RELATIVES. Yes, I know, it’s a little hard to avoid getting married In the Presence of Enemies, er, relatives (unless you’re the progeny of a Telugu movie star, who elopes to Delhi with her largely illiterate beau). They jump in with unsolicited advice, which is, more often than not, pointless. But Chopra Aunty (nosey neighbour sort) and Kamini Mami (another type of ‘Aunty’, but related to you by blood, and hence a more potent irritant) have to put in their two bits at every wedding, otherwise it’s an evening wasted bitching about the bride’s mother’s awful taste in clothes. And since I’ve recently been accused of being a closet misogynist, in my defence I’d like to say that male relatives aren’t any better. They just get drunk faster and therefore shut up faster. At the end of the day it’s just easier to get hammered than tut-tutting at hapless lambs to the slaughter.

(And just to clarify. I’m not a closet misogynist. I’m more of a closet misanthropist. )

And then we have the relatives who deem it their solemn duty to fix up every single person in sight. Look, I’m here in East Bumfuck or wherever to celebrate the ‘joining of two souls in holy matrimony’. It doesn’t mean I’m equally eager to jump on the wagon myself. I, as a single person, am here for a reason, and it’s mostly symbiotic in nature. People getting married need single people around them, to keep in touch with reality. It’s a sine qua non of dealing with wedding stress. I’m here (a) to get hammered, meet up with old friends, possibly make some new ones, and generally have fun; and (b) hunting for a prospective better half (according to the relatives, at least); (a) and (b) are mutually exclusive, and I’m not that good at multi-tasking, so all you biddies can just fuck off. It’s a wedding, not a used-car lot. You get what I’m saying, yes?

In any case, if you’re really that interested in getting me married to your sister-in-law’s brother’s niece, who is single at age 30 because she thinks sex is something dogs do, then it’s no use talking to me. Here, take my mother’s phone number - 1800-303-73-BACK-OFF-BITCH. You can try convincing her to take said 30 year-old as her daughter-in-law. I’m sure she’ll have something to say on the topic.

But, there’s some stuff about weddings I do enjoy.

The food, for starters. Weddings are mostly about who hires the best caterer. On my part, I’ve never been let down by a wedding caterer (or maybe I’m just lucky). If someone calls up to say, “Yeah, so, I’m finally doing it. Getting hitched and all”, I reply “Good for you, mate. WHAT’S ON THE MENU?” When it comes down to the nosh at weddings, I don’t discriminate between who’s getting married, and to whom. As long as the grub’s above par, you’ll always have my best wishes. Well, you will always have my best wishes, metaphorically speaking, but I have a few gradations on the ‘Here’s to A Rummy Old Married Life’ scale. Weddings are probably the only places where I’ll put aside my culinary dislikes (most things vegetarian) and allergies (seafood and watermelon) and hit the buffet table as soon as is politely convenient.

Paatra ni macchi (fish steamed in banana leaf), Hyderabadi biryaani, Amritsari chana kulcha, beef curry from Kerala, or Kashmiri roganjosh (spicy mutton curry)…if you can cook it (well) I’ll eat it. In large quantities.

The wedding sangeet. This is a spectacle involving large gangs of middle-aged women gathering to sing the wedding songs of their forefathers (foremothers, actually). It’s supposed to be a ‘happy-happy-joy-joy’ sort of event. Personally, I think it works better as a ‘keep-evil-spirits-away’ charm. As is the norm, only 5% of the women remember the words to the songs (the actual number who can sing them IN TUNE, however, is a closely guarded secret). The rest of the bunch hums, mumbles or mimes along (just as well, since a lot of these songs sound truly hideous in a hallelujah chorus), while wondering whether their saris are getting crushed, or whether or not the washing at home is dry.

Traditionally, the sangeet is a women-only thing. But, since we now live in an era of sexual equality, the men get roped in too. Against their better judgment, of course. They staidly stand on the fringes, with a hunted look in their eyes, thinking to themselves “Can’t I have a few more drinks? Y’know, just to become comatose, like”

If it’s SO scary, you might wonder why the sangeet figures in the list of things I like about weddings. Well, isn’t it obvious? It’s fucking howlarious! Monty Python could take ideas from this!

The other thing about a wedding that I’ve come to love (after Sanguine’s wedding, i.e.) is monkeying around with the couple’s bedroom (you know, the one at the hotel they’re supposed to spend the wedding night in). This, again, is an activity delegated to the groom’s or the bride’s female friends/relatives (thanks to a sadly incorrect portrayal by the Indian film industry). It supposedly entails blanketing the marital bed with rose petals. There’s a glass of warm milk involved too, though the practicality of a glass of warm milk escapes me. Isn’t it supposed to put you to sleep or something? Anyway, I’ve discovered (much to my joy) that what you need for a truly stellar wedding night bedroom setup, is not a bunch of giggly women, but rather a handful of psychotic, sexually frustrated lads and wenches. You cannot possibly fathom the amount of damage such persons can do to a bedroom. I have photographic evidence.

A word of advice (thanks to Mr. G. Shore-boy). Don’t leave rose petals (or any petals) on the couple’s bed. Spending your wedding night “pulling rose petals out the crack of your ass” is apparently not a lot of fun, and is certainly not a prescribed method for coitus interruptus.

To conclude, I think I’ll go for a few more weddings this year.

27 Scallywags have walked the Plank |:

chandni said...

a man after my own heart...

It could have been me writing. Can u understand what a torture it was to go through my own wedding!

I fought and shot down the grandeur as much as I could but well...

mistercrowley said...

Chandni: hehhe....I was hoping you'd see this one first up :D I think you're the only one on my blogroll who's married.

(Actually, no, Viral Fish just got hitched last week. Must find out if he had onion peels in his bed)

chandni said...

oh on the rose petals note, I must tell you that the boy is allergic to flowers ( I think its mostly in the mind...but...) and conviniently passed out due to the phool maala around his neck during the pheras

Rofl!

mistercrowley said...

Chandni: Bwahahahahahah......

Mukta said...

you were very right about the food. Food makes so MANY things worthwhile. :-)

D said...

And with that post, you've clinched your position on my bloglist! Congratulations!

mistercrowley said...

Mukta: Indeed. :)

D: Thank you, thank you :D And can you believe I'm not even married :P

Miss P said...

i must agree with you about the dancing. its a rather trying social ritual. schizo forced me to on her engagement, and im not looking forward to partaking in the ritual at her wedding. lol. u hear schizo? geez.

mistercrowley said...

Penfold: It's worse when it's a friend's wedding....don't want to be a spoilsport by saying 'no', but there you have it ;P

Joe said...

hate to put the hex on u my friend, but somethin tells me ur turn's gonna be at hand!! all those things u dislike? - lol.. we'll be sayin the same thing at ur expense! ill bring in my advance condolences when im back in town next :D

priyank said...

You write really well,Crowley.
enjoyed every bit of it. thanks.

P.S:: have spend most of today reading thru your blog in office :p read almost all. :o))

Rassles said...

Ah, weddings. Did you cry and feel sorry for yourself, and then go home and take a bath surrounding by votive candles and sad lite adult contemporary pop songs?

No?

Yeah, me neither.

mistercrowley said...

Priyank: Thanks, mate. Keep reading on :)

Raz: Chortle, chortle...NO :P
You and I ought to go to a wedding together, seriously.

Queen Mutha said...

Something seems to be amiss with your RSS feed, you might want to check it out.

mistercrowley said...

Mutha: Yes, something IS amiss. I'm not able to figure out what, though. Tried every trick in the book and still no feed.

mistercrowley said...

Joe: Har de har. That's what YOU think.

El said...

Hilarious post and well written if a bit harsh.

@telgu movie star progeny - LOL whatay reference

though your prospective/future wife whoever and wherever she might be should definitely read this, infact I think you 'best man' or indian equivalent should read this out on his speech at YOUR wedding. :D

mistercrowley said...

El: I've met the telugu progeny in question....snuggling in one corner of the pub I dj in now n then :)

Future wife? I don't have my hopes very high on that count. :)

Anonymous said...

Avoid those fixer-uppers


http://www.hindu.com/mp/2005/05/28/stories/2005052800350100.htm

Anonymous said...

oops i meant http://www.hindu.com/mp/2005/05/28/stories/2005052800350100.htm

Rassles said...

Ahh, if only there weren't continents between ceremonies...

mistercrowley said...

Anon: LMAO. That was a good one.

Raz: Yeah, life's a bitch, innit. And then you realise it has puppies.

Thanatos said...

Gaudy colors, mad dance moves, annoying relatives - wonderful times.

My solution to avoiding the dance floor. Two words - pelvic thrusts. You'll be left alone forever.

Chandni said...

huhahaha..i have had, all my life, been in the land of wedding drought. Owe it to being in boarding school and missing out on the crucial winter season of weddings. So recently when I did attend a wedding, I was in for a mind numbing shock. The gaudy excessiveness would be truly turning off if not for the hilarity quotient. But the food makes it worthwhile :D I ALWAYS hit the dessert section with ill-concealed glee. And then this friend told me about this wedding where there were 47 cakes! Yikes @ the odd number and at missing such a show.

ps: Do i need to reiterate that's its superbly written?

mistercrowley said...

Thanatos: Considering dane moves today comrpise primarily of pelvic thrusts, perhaps not, heh.

Chandni: 47 CAKES? Who was getting married? Someone in the Monginis clan?

Anansi said...

Hilarious!

mistercrowley said...

A. Nancy: Danke :)