To W(B)ed a Bong

The Bedding Diaries of a clueless, soon-to-be Bride

Monday, October 24, 2005

Sari Wars Episode 3 - The In-Law Menace

If you missed the previous episodes, you can read them here and here.

So I finally got Bill to talk to the mom-in-law about this whole sari while I am in Kolkata nonsense. Bill claims that he explained to her that if the brand new daughter-in-law were to trip over her sari right when enters the family home, people in Kolkata might not see it as a good omen. After all, it isn't like they aren't already talking about what will happen to your children if you ever move out of Bongland to live in evil cities like Bombay. The children will go away and marry vague Tamilians from Malluland who needless to say, don't know the first thing about Bong culture. Mom-in-law ponders over this and decides that Bill has a point. So she hands him a sari schedule for the time we are in Kolkata.

Dec 9, 7 PM - Reception party will be in Dum Dum. But since she thinks that I will not be able to get out of the plane without tripping over my sari, no need for sari in flight.

Dec 10, 9 AM - Sari necessary. This is when I will be taken to family home and shown where the spices are. Hint Hint. (Can someone tell me which other culture has a blatant ceremony where they show the bride the spices in the kitchen? And then they talk of the Renaissance. These Bongs, I say!)

Dec 10, 12 noon - Sari necessary. I supposedly serve rice and fish to all and sundry. (Personally, I think this is the best time to trip over the sari. What say?)

Dec 10, evening - Free time, no need for sari. I will be taken around Kolkata.

Dec 11, 12 noon-10 PM - Sari time again. Out of towners will start arriving for the reception, so need to wear sari entire time.

Dec 12, morning - No need for sari. Sightseeing time again! Yippee!

Dec 12, 2 PM - Sari time. Go see grand aunt, try to speak Bong to her.

Dec 12, 4 PM - Go to family Kali temple. Sari absolutely necessary. Kali ma is known to get angry at new brides who go to see her in anything other than sari.

Dec 12, 6 PM - Dinner at uncle's place. No need for sari.

Dec 13, 12 noon - Time to get back to civilized parts of the country. So can wear anything I like.

Note: This sari schedule is not finalized yet. This has to be approved by conservative aunt in Kolkata before it goes into effect.

In other news, the Dads have decided to set up weekly status calls every Sunday to coordinate wedding details. What is interesting is that Bill's parents have zero inputs on the Kerala wedding and my parents have zero inputs on the Kolkata and Bombay receptions, so no one really knows what they are coordinating. Think a lifetime of working in the central government have turned both men into seasoned Sir Humphrey Applebys, so what the hell? Let them have their fun.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Pujo talk

Transcript of last weekend's conversation with Bill's mom.

Me: Hello aunty. How are you?

Mrs. S: I am fine. How are you?

Me: I am doing okay.

Mrs. S: You have get ashirwad from me since its pujo.

Me: Oh yes, I remember now. Shubho bejoya!

Mrs. S: Well, when you talk to elders, you are supposed to say bejoya pronam. Shubho bejoya is for people your age.

Me: Oh okay. Bejoyo pronam. Bill never told me that!

Mrs. S: Tell him to teach you Bengali. Its okay if you don't know how to talk Bengali. But when you are in Kolkata, you should understand what people are saying na?

Me: Yes aunty. (Let your son get around to saying my beloved "Tamizh zha" atleast once and then we will think about it. And anyway all I have to do is to cut off a couple of letters from Hindi and "sho"ize every other word and its Bong. What's the big deal?)

Mrs. S: And dear, how long is your hair now? I know you like short hair but your mother was saying that you were planning to grow it long for the wedding. She said that you have to have an elaborate flower arrangement on your hair.

Me: I am not sure about that. I did decide to grow my hair aunty but since I decided that just a couple of weeks ago, I don't think it would grow enough.

Mrs. S: Oh! So we can't do the hair the way we do for the Kolkata ceremony. Is it atleast shoulder length?

Me: Not yet. But maybe it will get there. (Yeah right.)

Mrs. S: Maybe.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Sari Wars - Episode 2: Mummy Attacks

In case you missed Episode 1, go here.

On phone with amma yesternight:

Amma: So we went and got some saris today. There are these lightweight kancheepurams which are called designer kancheepurams and they are very nice.

Me: Cool. So now that you have bought saris for everyone you know, what's next?

Amma: Don't be stupid. They all get me saris for all their children's weddings. How can we not buy now? You have no respect for culture and tradition at all.

Me: Yeah, yeah, so what else is going on?

Amma: I got five saris for you also. We can exchange them later if you don't like them.

Me: Hang on, you were supposed to buy only two saris for me - one for the wedding and one for the reception. Remember we talked about this before - buying more saris will be totally useless. And you agreed too!

Amma: I know but that was before I talked to Mrs. S.

Me: What's she got to do with it?

Amma: Well, she said she got four saris for you from Kolkata.

Me: She what?

Amma: That's what she told me. All different kinds of saris for you to wear while you are in Kolkata, I believe.

Me: So I am wearing sari and walking around Kolkata now?

Amma: Ofcourse. What did you think you were going to wear? Mini-skirts?

Me: Oh, I see. Total conspiracy happening. Anyway, I can talk to her about it. But you tell why you bought five saris now.

Amma: How can I not buy five? She got four. And anyway you have to wear saris for a lot of ceremonies here too.

Me: Yes, but you have bought me some 10 saris in the past 10 years remember? And all of them are sitting in your closet all this time. What are we going to do with them?

Amma: But they aren't new.

Me: Well, most of them I haven't worn more than once and the rest not at all. Why don't they get classified as new?

Amma: There's no point in talking to you. You always fight about everything. What I am really afraid is you will go and fight with Mrs. S now. You will tell her that you won't wear sari while in Kolkata and what will she think of you? She is such a nice person, so flexible and all that and now she will feel so bad that you are fighting with her.

Me: What are you talking about?

Amma: You were always so insensitive. For once in your life, why can't you listen to us?

Me: Well, I did listen to you. I am getting married, aren't I?

Amma: Here you go again. How can you be so cynical about your marriage? What am I going to do?

Me: I don't know. Just don't buy more than 2 saris for now. And don't you have to talk to the painter or something?

Coming soon: Sari Wars - Episode 3: The In-law Menace