Monday, January 04, 2010

Mogri's Best Friend Gets Married

What Mogri fails to understand is why people ever bother getting married, especially if they have no relatives to show off their status. Live-in relationship is much more convenient: live without ties, no danger of extra-marital affairs and no ego crisis. And if people really want to fill up their homes with children, then there is no shortage of orphans, you can always adopt as many as you want. She knows that there are many people out there who produce babies accidently and are willing to donate their trophy to anyone who is foolish enough to take up such responsibility….

"Remember Sushmita Sen, see how well her adopted daughter is growing and I hear she is adopting one more child” she said.

But her friend, Sunni, was adamant as she was tired of her fourteen-year-old-live-in relationship and was very keen on settling down. She implored Mogri’s help in arranging their marriage. Sunni had told her that besides her reasons to start a family, she also wanted to have full control on the financial status of her spouse.

“Are you going to follow Hu Wang’s Chinese traditional marriage or you would prefer a typical Indian customs?” she asked.

“Indian customs, Indian customs, oh, I love Indian customs, I am sure Hu Wang will like that too” she said clutching Mogri’s arm.

Now Mogri had attended many Indian marriages but she had not closely watched the traditional customs. She knew that Indian marriages, like festivals, are celebrated for many days and people spend most of their time eating, singing loudly and laughing without any reasons, but research was important to understand the details of the customs. She Google searched for two days, making notes on the wedding procedures, the list of things required and other important details. Next she bought the DVD of several Indian films including ‘Hum Aapke hai kaun” and watched it carefully to understand a typical Indian wedding traditions.

“First and foremost, we need a Pandit to perform the marriage” she announced one day.

“What is Pandit?” asked Hu Wang.

“A Pandit is an Indian priest who performs the marriage. He is normally dressed in dhoti kurta and is usually bald and fat.” She said confidently. Most of the films that she had seen on weddings fitted such description.

‘Where do we find him?” asked Hu Wang

“We will have to call the marriage bureau, the agencies that arrange the match also provide Pandit, sometimes, just in case….” she said.

Hu Wang brought out the yellow pages, called few marriage bureaus and enquired about the Pandit.

“Have you made a guest list?” Asked Mogri

“Huh?” said Hu Wang and Sunni together, looking at each other

“Arrey, you have to invite people for the marriage na. Haven’t you seen that in the movies and also at the weddings that you must have attended? We need witness and a bit of crowd.” said Mogri.

“All our friends are in our home town, in China. Here, in India,we hardly know anybody, you are our only trusted friend” said Sunni, pursing her lips and raising her brows

“I have lotsa friends on the facebook” said Hu Wang excitedly, “I will create a Facebook event and invite all my friends. I am sure they will come.”

So, the event page was created on the Facebook with three choices: confirmed, maybe or no. It was an open event and guests were allowed to bring their guests.

Fully satisfied they then focused on other things.

The venue booking, the caterers, wedding clothes shopping, flowers, decorations, lights and other formalities were booked over the next fifteen days. Chinese cuisine was arranged and Hu Wang, very much pleased, complimented them on their thoughtfulness.

"You can pretend that they are your relatives" said Mogri, winking at Hu Wang.

Mogri had read that all the significant rituals are performed during the ‘mandap’ ceremony. On the D-day, they waited under the decorated mandap for the Pandit and guests to arrive. When Pandit did arrive, Mogri felt cheated, because the he was neither fat nor bald. It was too late to argue. But where are the guests? Although there were assured of 200 confirmed guests and about 50 ‘maybe’s on the RSVP of the facebook, only four guests actually arrived, smiling ear to ear. Mogri wanted to wait longer for more guests to arrive but Pandit grumbled that auspicious moment could not be delayed

The ritual and rites of the wedding were performed, garlands exchanged and Mr Hu Wang and Sunni legally tied the knot and the wedding was witnessed by Mogri, four FB friends, hired musicians, caterers, waiters, mandap laborers and few party-crashers.

Luckily, the food was not wasted.

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