Thank God the wedding season is some way off! Except for a sprinkling of wedding invitations that dot the calendar, there aren’t as many evenings at this time of year when one has to don formal gear, prepare an envelope with the mandatory shagun inside it, and to take a quick look at the route map. Seasons of weddings bring in a lot of harassment to us hapless attendees. Artificial smiles, upset stomachs and parking woes that are part and parcel of such occasions, mean that a wedding-goers lot is not easy. Especially if one is careless!
Consider the perils one can be subjected to, especially if due care is not taken while reading the invitation. On occasion my wife and I have landed up at the venue of a wedding late in the evening when the party had actually been earlier in the day, over lunch, and were forced to make a hasty retreat. Worse, we once landed up on the wrong date, a full 24 hours late! A quick call home and a directive to our elder daughter to read out the wedding invitation carefully divulged the horrifying detail to us on the last mentioned occasion. My wife was of course quick to blame me, and I had to pacify her by taking her to a newly opened restaurant for dinner!
Another potential hazard is to have to attend multiple weddings on the same evening. On such days, one usually ends up slipping in and out of wedding pandals, while in the interim quickly greeting the host, exchanging cold handshakes and plastic smiles, munching at a few tidbits and ultimately driving home to eat some sandwiches!
Alternatively, I’ve learnt to eat at home and fill my tummy before going to a wedding. That’s the only way to resist the lure of temptresses like panir-taka-tak and methi-malai-kofta. If you’re a vegetarian, that is. Else there would be even more deadly temptations to combat. Another invaluable lesson learnt is that the man of the house should start getting dressed for the occasion only when his wife announces, after many hours, that she’s ‘almost ready’ for the evening! A third important nugget is to expect the Baraat to be at least two hours late, and to arrive at about 10 pm, especially if you’re on the boy’s family’s list of invitees. And the most important one is of course to read the wedding invitation very carefully!
All my experience came to naught, however, when I went to a ‘wedding’ recently and found that I had duly arrived on the correct date, at a fashionably late time and at the right venue. The only problem was that my envelope containing the shagun proved to be a white elephant, as the invitation turned out to be for a farewell party!
My best wishes to all those who plan to get married in the coming months. I just hope that they don’t send me an invitation!