>Kill joy

>How late is too late for a baraat to arrive at an Indian wedding? When the time given in invitation cards is 8:30 pm, what time do you expect the guests to arrive? 9:00 or 9:30 or may be 10: 00 pm? And what do the guests do if the baraat doesn’t arrive till midnight? And surely, there must be a decent limit to which you can be late to your own wedding!

At the wedding The Guy and I attended last evening, the groom and his family and friends must’ve felt no compunction to be punctual. Perhaps, arriving at twelve in the night wasn’t bizarre for them. It certainly was for me! It’s not the first time I’ve heard of a baraat being so delayed, but being from the bride’s side, I couldn’t help but pity the girl who was ready well in time and had to sit through agonising hours of waiting. When the baraat did arrive, it was greeted by an almost empty and beautiful pandal – most of the bride’s guest had already had dinner and left even before meeting the bride. How pathetic – the girl spent days deciding her clothes for this occasion, spent hours getting dressed for it and in the end, there was nobody left to even admire her!

Luckily for us, there was another party we had to attend in the same vicinity and we didn’t have to twiddle our thumbs in anticipation for the groom to arrive. We hopped over to the other party and an acquaintance at the wedding kept us informed about the status of the baraat. Since the groom was nowhere in sight by 11:30 pm, the acquaintance also left. And it was after our party had winded up at around 12:30 am, that we thought we’d give our luck another try – perhaps we would now be able to meet the bride and the groom! We sure were lucky, because they were just exchanging garlands when we reached the venue. I was glad I’d finally be able to tell the bride how pretty she was looking. So, as the bride and groom posed for pictures, The Guy and I waited patiently watching all the commotion of a typical Indian wedding with repressed amusement.

Just as the garlands were exchanged, a man – probably the groom’s relative – in the middle of the small crowd – began to fire his pistol in the air. He was standing a few feet away from us, surrounded by lots of other people. And he fired six rounds of gunshots. But the first one was enough for me to turn on my heels and head for the exit. Call me paranoid or practical, I just didn’t want to be present at a wedding where my life or anyone else’s could be threatened by a brazen act of foolishness. Had I been in a more compliant mood, The Guy would’ve suggested that since we’d waited so long to meet our colleague, we might as well wait a few more minutes. But I seriously was in no mood to be in a potentially dangerous situation, even if that meant having to forego the chance to meet a friend at her wedding. And firing in the middle of a wedding crowd is creating a potentially dangerous situation for everyone present there.

To me, this kind of a celebration is as repulsive as it gets. Exactly what purpose does it serve? If it is meant to be a show of power, go shoot a canon ball! We’ve heard of so many tragedies caused by such foolishness, I don’t ever want to be at a wedding where I may have to see someone being killed because that someone could even be me. And why do anything that could turn a happy occasion like a wedding into something tragic? What does it take for people to learn from others’ mistake?

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25 responses »

  1. >Oh god…U describe quite a nightmarish wedding! I havent attended one in around a decade or so…so have no idea how these things proceed…but honestly, i’d get really pissed off by the delays. Come on people, u’re given a time …follow it!! Not to sound snooty or anything, but that’s one good thing I learnt from Europeans, having lived there so long: Punctuality. Even for a casual dinner party, if the time given to them is 8.30…they will show up at 8.30 sharp. I like that, and i’m used to that…so this Asian idea of time is really foreign to me. Oh well…And the shooting. There should be a law against that!!Anyway, glad u had the other party to enjoy :)Keep Writing!

  2. >God…I thought this firing in the air was just a Pathan thing…my community is pretty trigger happy, they will fire in the air come sighting of the Eid moon, engagement, kid’s birth, wedding, a good dinner..and yes for some reason even keeping in mind the horrible statistics, the stupid men cant figure out ‘that what goes up will come down’ when it comes to bullets.On a sep note when it comes to late arrivals you should get a cranky elder to throw a tantrum, at least your guests got fed…I remember a time when my g/father threw a fit and told off a Punjabi aunty “Im old..and Im hungry..and here you are busy displaying the girl’s dowry, yeh kiya beysharmee hai’…I kid you nut, the psycho mom-in-law and the rest of the baraat had turned late, then they spent a good 45 minutes displaying the dowry and MAKING A VIDEO OF IT…it was past 11 and our tummies were rumbling and we could smell dinner being heated up…people actually clapped when my grand dad spoke out. Dont know if we can get away with this now.

  3. >@Neha: It was actually nightmarish. I would never want to be in that bride’s shoes. And yes, you’re so right about the punctuality bit. We used to be quite punctual till we realised we often turned up at parties even before the hosts!@Monika: Yes, it spoils all the arrangements that the hosts have made.@Ritu: Neither can education sometimes. The groom is an IAS!@Aneela: Wow! Your grandad did a very cool thing indeed.

  4. >well I dont know if he was brave or just very hungry..it was a combination of age, being of village stock (early to bed early to rise), a retired Brigadier (clichéd though it may sound DISCIPLINED guy) and basically it was past his bedtime!! suffice to say he NEVER accompanied us to weddings any more, unless the host family assured him that they would serve dinner and get the festivities done with in time.

  5. >Why do u girls so fussy about these weddings…….? Enjoy the gathering, enjoy the food, enjoy the celebration, enjoy the spirit…………It is always common sense to keep your self switched off in celebrations like this and let the mood of the place control ur senses…..anyways…… The whole world knows nothing can be done for this mentality of girls.

  6. >@Chandni: Is it a UP thing only? I think Punjab is just as bad.@Aneela: Hunger can make a man very brave indeed 🙂 @Razigan: I just wanted to publish your comment to let the world know what kind of dumb people exist in this world! I feel no need to reply to your comment otherwise.

  7. >This is for RaziganSo you basically believe in mob mentality is it? Do what everyone else is doing, and let your own mind take a hike? So presuming you are at party with a majority of men, and in the spirit of things, a girl is being raped, I presume you will be in the spirit of it & join in, how about a party where a shooting breaks out sir, join in there too???D – I can't believe people have such brainless comments to put. Nice post, the late arrival, I think is a way for the groom's side showing its 'higher' status. So typical, inconsiderate and SAD.

  8. >Imagine being late for the most important occasion in his life, his own wedding :(And I agree about the shooting being stupid and some people don’t realise that the days of shooting or being late to look powerful and important are over, today it’s considered being crass and irresponsible!This should be illegal. What if someone decided to settle scores with enemies and declare it an accident!

  9. >I remember attending a friend’s wedding where the time was 08:00 and to my surprise when I reached the venue at 9, the bride was still in the parlour and the no sight of the baraat… I left after 30 mins knowing that there is no point in staying back. Later I got to know that the baraat arrived after 12.. Thank God, I didnt stay back. As a rule, I generally eat something at home before going for weddings.. You never know what will happen there..

  10. >i think it is a full north india and it sucks… my own cousins wedding the baarat came at like 12:45 we were all pissed off like crazy so this time when my bro was getting married we decided we are not going to do that, when we told this to people they were like shocked… jaldi kis baat ki hai attitude… we managed to reach there at 10:05pm not excellent but not very bad eitherand gosh firing in the air… thank God i havent seen that as of yet

  11. >@GM: Thank you girl, for speaking my mind.@IHM: I think it is illegal. But like all other laws in our country, this one gets the royal ignore too!@Soulmate: Had this other party not been on in the vicinity, we too would have left way before the baraat arrived.@Monika: I don’t what happens in weddings in other parts of the country, but I’m mighty glad I haven’t had to put up with any of this nonsense at any of our family weddings.

  12. >#razigan…..thanks for illustrating how a real ‘male chauvinist’ talks….. perhaps next time D will restrain herself before calling poor me that!well, to be frank, weddings in kerala are so much more simple affairs.. for all religions… and the only thing most people care about would be the food…. it would be great if the men even notice what the bride was wearing… :d… ok it isnt that bad, but not too far from the truth either…. marriages are only during the day, and inspite of the fact that there is the ceremony, most people just spend the time wishing it got over a little sooner…. like, the whole thing from start of the marriage till the time the hall gets emptied lasts around 3 hours at th max… honest!

  13. >Was this wedding in Delhi? i saw that scene in Pyar ke side effects that weddings do have a shooting-in the spirit of things..But I agree its a dangerous place to be in when someone starts shooting even for fun

  14. >Oh good god!If this is what weddings are going to be about, I simply cannot help being glad that I’m gay!I really feel for the bride. Having to sit and wait for so many hours?! Who starts the wedding at midnight!If I were her, I’d have gone off with the two of you for that other party in the vicinity!

  15. >wow, madness. my in-laws made me wait AFTER the wedding was over in the ‘fineries’ so to speak cuz they figured they wanted to pack before they came to the house to take me away … fugg it was hot and miserable and i’d never forgive them for that.

  16. >this is really crass…i have even attended weddings and parties where the food is not served till the baraat comes! Have attended numerous Sangeets and cocktail parties where dinner is not laid before 12..reason being that the crowd will leave then who will see the skit!They start dancing arnd 11 and skit is on fr at least 45 mins then cut the cake,champagne etc etc..it is really really bugging!

  17. >@Avaran: I think it’s so much more sensible to have a day wedding. And a three-hour affair sounds perfect. But what do we do with people who aren’t willing to change just yet?Oh and btw, Razigan isn’t a male chauvinist, he’s a male chauvinist pig!@B: No, it was in Lucknow.@Unsung: I would have just gone home and never married a guy who can’t bother to be on time on his own wedding!@Roop: Oh no! That must be painful!@my space: I totally agree. If you want to do everything so late, don’t invite guests to bear with it.

  18. >1. Dumb2. Rape a girl at a party3. Brainless comments4. Male chauvinist5. Male chauvinist PigI appreciate ur’s and ur friends’ graceful comments, may be true.Yet, I stand on my view point given in the previous comment. But would like to clarify a bit, the previous comment was not by any means written for demeaning or dominating or insulting women’s natureI have a high respect and admiration for women and their feminine nature. The previous comment implies “There is a distinct diversity exists between the nature of guys and girls, which I mean to agree and celebrate.”Like men will be always men, women will also be always women. My apologies, if it had hurt some…….

  19. >Couldn't agree more to the nonsensical and NOT so required display of Gun shots.. Ask the people stuck in Taj & Oberoi here on the sounds of nonstop firing… On a different note – just got over with "Nineteen Minutes" by Jodi Picoult, a story around bullying and school shoot outs

  20. >@Razigan: There’s no arguing that men and women are different, but even to a man, this kind of a wedding must appear objectionable. There was no need to judge the whole thing on gender basis.@Avaran: It’s irrelevant whether the custom is from Kerala or Bengal. It’s practical and should therefore be emulated.@Tina: So true!

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