November 03, 2008

A Bong at a Tam Bram Wedding

I am often looking out for alternative professions. Not that I dislike my current job. In fact, I consider myself one of the most content soap sellers across the world, but then it always is nice to keep an option open. You never know when people decide they no longer need to take a bath.

So even though I may not be as hot as JLo and there are already too many relatives planning an Indian Wedding, I think I do have a future as a Wedding Lifter. Let me try to explain the concept of a lifter. In every Bong movie which has a wedding, at some point of time or the other there will be a scene where the haggard looking parents of the bride/groom will tell some friends (this friend might be the sacrificing hero/heroine), “Biyeta tule de.” This roughly translates as “ensure that everything goes off smoothly” but literally it translates to “Lift the wedding.” Having been in such a situation quite a few times in Bong weddings, of course never as the hero leave alone the sacrificing type, I consider myself a professional “Wedding Lifter”.

So when I made this sort of promise to myself that I will try and attend every wedding of my friends, I realized that my capabilities can now extend beyond Bengal. So I had been to hard core Traditional Indian weddings and numerous Fraud weddings but yet was to see a full blown Tam Bram Wedding.

Now two people deciding to bug each other for the rest of their lives seem to give an evil satisfaction to people all around who make the bride and the groom feel the same false sense of joy and they disregard my sane advice to run away from the wedding. Anyway, it helps me become a Pan Indian Wedding Lifter.

But a Bong and a Tam Bram wedding feels a little better than a fish out of water, just a little better, no more. Especially if the person is as callous about his dressing sense as I am, you begin to feel completely lost in the maze of Kanzivaram Sarees and glittering jewellery. The men however are not as bad. Thank God Tam men do not see normal Hindi movies. Everyone above the Vindhyas have heard Kajol say those prophetic words in K3G – something about men looking like a loser with out the Kurta of Lucknow or something like that. You get my point. I loved SRK’s reply. Like typical SRK, he comes along in the suggested dress and says,

“na lucknow da kurta na pathani salwar mard wo hai jo dil de warna hai bekaar”

He could be so smug. His dad bought helicopters in the movie like I buy Vada Pav at Mumbai Stations.

Anyway, this guy is a very good friend of mine so when he refused my last offer of running away from the wedding, I decided, “What the hell!!! Let me help him out a bit.” So I stood there behind him, doing something like the best man at the Christian Wedding, completely following the non verbal communication of the priest whose eyes seemed to disapprove of everything I did. I sincerely hope no body watches the video later and asks about me. Half of the time I wasn’t sure if I was to laugh or look solemn.

The best part, like any other Indian wedding, was however the beautiful traditions (ok, some of them can be considered chauvinist) and ceremonies that form such an integral part of what we are. The music, the chants, the fire and the similarities with other Indian weddings and yet, the quintessential Tamilian touch made it one of the best weddings I have attended. And of course the food and the filter coffee. As much a tea lover I am that I am wedded to a good cup of tea, filter coffee is like the extra marital affair which has its own charms. But let me not dwell on food.

I also think it’s unfair that in Indian weddings, no one gifts the guy anything. It’s always either the bride who has the gift or it’s a gift for them. Why is the guy so deprived?

And to think I went all the way to Chennai to attend a wedding. Chennai – the city I am mortally afraid of. But two things happened at Chennai. I finally stepped on the roads of T Nagar. Anyone who had gone through the rigmarole of Brilliant Tutorials in their 12th will know what I am talking about. And I did what was a dream for a long time. I actually interviewed someone from Mylapore. You see, for any soap seller worth his 100 g soap, the Ladies of Mylapore or the Mylapore Mamis as they are called remain the toughest nut to crack in the Indian consumer scenario. Luckily, once you speak to them, Chennai didn’t seem any scarier. After all, grand moms cutting across geographies and cultures love me.


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Pooja said...

Nice!I can so relate to this post coz I too have been attending a mixture of Bong,Tam Bram,Mallu and Christian in the offing is the North Indian Marwari and the Punjabi friends in queue ;-)....the various traditions really never cease to amaze right :)
The food on the banana leaf must have been a novelty you wouldn't have experienced earlier right?So how was it attending a wedding in the daytime unlike your Bong weddings for a change?:)

Madhurjya (Banjo) said...

@ Pooja - Bongs too used Leaves. Banana or Sal until recently. However, the caterers have defeated that purpose.

About daytime though - It was extremely difficult to wake up at 5 in the morning. It's so very unfair.

Shreya said...

Banjo. I too am wedded to Tea, in sickness and in health, a single cup is enough to perk me up, be it even Tequila-style, like in Gujju-land (they look for economic benefit everywhere). And I recently went to T-nagar too. And I interviewed them for detergent. And I had filter-coffee. And it was oh-so-sinful. Bru does not a candle.
Oh, and I saw the lastest episode of Heroes and there he was, ur look-alike :)

CJ said...

dude - why're u comparing yourself to jlo of all people! be a man :D

loved the helicopter line!

Madhurjya (Banjo) said...

@ Shreya - Let's start a tea lovers united. Sell tea someday. It's exciting :)

@ CJ - if I had to compare myself to a man and rhyme, I would have to settle for our KJo. JLo is much better. About the helicopter - be a dad like that ;)

Pooja said...

Banjo, welcome to Chennai !!!

Anonymous said...

What's the funda with the Mylapore Mamis?

Madhurjya (Banjo) said...

@ Pooja - :)

@ Vivek - it's an old Pond's Story. The Ponds guys loved them.

B said...

The wedding Lifter-now thats gonna be one superhit movie. The video u mentioned sounds to be quite hilarious if u were making all sorts of expressions at the priest
Really funny post.

Madhurjya (Banjo) said...

@ beryl - Thanks :) Who do you want to see as the Wedding Lifter? Abhay Deol would fit in nicely. King Khan would be too preachy :D

Anonymous said...

Nice post. I liked the last two paragraphs.. one about guys deprived of gifts and two about mylapore mamis... awesome... btw am from chennai....