This year one of my cousins got married back home in India. He opted for arranged marriage which means horoscopes had to be checked etc. etc. When the marriage date was finally confirmed, it created a buzz in cousin’s WhatsApp chat as we are all spread worldwide. We were so busy talking about what to wear when to meet, and what other trips we could plan then we even forgot to wish the groom on his upcoming nuptials.
When my brother’s marriage was fixed a few years ago, I distributed Indian sweets to my colleagues at work. And I remember a few of my Indian friends doing the same when we were in college.
Recently at work, we were talking about scheduling a one-day training event – and one of my colleagues casually mentioned – ‘Oh, my daughter is getting married, so let’s avoid that date.’ There was a little bit of silence as I digested the news. Given how Indians react to weddings, this felt pretty mundane. In India, weddings are a big deal. Your parents start planning for it the minute you are born.
So, I have been going to weddings since I was a child. At first, I will admit there were these boring parts where elders in the family would pinch your cheeks and ask if I remembered them. And when I was in my rebellious teenage years, dressing up was not my favourite part. And then it got worse when people asked my parents when I would get married. But in all these phases, I remember the feeling of belonging, celebration and joy. As kids, we would play outside until we heard the wedding drums – pop in, squeeze in between the crowds (with 400-800 people, it is crowded), watch the couple exchange garlands and pop out to have ice cream with nobody watching. I remember hanging out with cousins and just talking. I remember falling asleep while watching my parents play card games the entire night. I remember being the messenger from the groom to the bride to pass secret messages as no one would notice me. As I got older, the experience was soothing – food for the soul. It was easier to immerse yourself in just what was happening and be the witness. There is something substantial about watching two humans deciding to tie the know.
There is something enjoyable about having your friends and family close to you for a week. That was the best part about my marriage – my friends and family surrounded me for almost a week. Something that may not happen for a long time or never – who knows. And I enjoyed hanging out with my best friend when she got married. Even if you are not that sentimental (like me) – marriages make you a little mushy – it’s the vibe.
Nowadays, marriage is a choice, not a necessity. That does not take away from the point of the blog. Every event is a means to connect – celebrate and have fun. These events are just the means to reconnect with the humanity in each of us.
How do you connect with yourself and others?