To W(B)ed a Bong

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

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Where is your thali?

The day after the wedding. My room. Gifts and saris strewn all over the place. AR, Bill, Appa and I are chatting when Amma comes in.

Amma: So you guys are going to BG's place.

Appa: Yes, yes. AR wants to see the garden and so we are all leaving now. We will be back for lunch. And then we have to drop Bill's family at the station.

Amma: Okay. So are you all ready? (Staring at me.)

Bill: Yes. We are just about to leave actually.

Amma: Really? (Still staring at me.)

AR: Yes aunty. Uncle, chal. Lets go.

Amma: Where is your thali? (Thali in Tam or Mallu - Mangal sutra)

Moi: How do I know? I gave it to you na. Yesterday evening with all the other jewelry.

Amma: Let me take it out then. You wear it and go.

Moi: Not happening.

Amma: No one will believe you are married.

Moi: Thali or not, even I don't believe I am married. So what?

Amma: Why don't you understand kutti? People will stare at you and talk behind your back.

Moi: So?

Amma: Maybe you don't care about such things. But I do.

Moi: Exactly. That's why you wear your thali na?

Amma: Oh God? What am I going to do with this girl? Bill, why don't you tell her?

Bill: Me? I am not getting involved in this.

Amma: You are like this because of your Dad. He doesn't say anything when you do stuff like this.

Appa: Now its all my fault as usual. (Turns to me.) Why don't you wear that darned thing for a day?

Moi: I did wear it for a day. Yesterday. We had a deal remember? That I would wear it for a day and never have to touch it ever again. You better keep your side of the bargain now.

Appa: She is right. She did wear everything you wanted her to wear yesterday. You give her a break now.

Amma: Can you shut up for sometime? You have spoilt her enough.

Appa: Ofcourse.

AR: Aunty, you can always tell people that Bongs don't have thali.

Amma: But they have that bangle na?

AR: Well, your daughter's in-laws haven't given her the bangle, so it doesn't count.

Amma: They will give it to her in Kolkata. I would like to see her refuse that.

Bill: She didn't really refuse the thali. She wore it for a day. I am sure she will do the same with this bangle thing.

Amma: So you are all on her side now? (Tears in eyes)

All three men fall for the tears and switch sides.

Bill: Hey, maybe you can wear it for today.

AR: C'mon dude, just for the day.

As usual, Appa whispers with the brightest idea of the lot.

Appa: Take it and wear it now. Take it off when you step outside the house. How does it matter?

Moi: No, no melodrama will make me do this. Now she will say thali. Then she will have hazaar other jewelry. I shouldn't have agreed to get married at all. Its all my fault.

Amma: Aiyayo! You do what you want. Don't say things like that. (Eyes flooding like the Brahmaputra now.)

Moi: You think I can't cry? Here, check this out. (Trying hard and manage to generate one teardrop.)

Amma: Its all my fate. What to do? Stop acting now and do what you want. (Eyes stop flooding.)

Moi: Okay people. Lets go.

And thus all unsuspecting visitors and people we go to visit stare long and hard at my neck and decide never to let their kids talk to me again. Really can't complain about that!

In other news, Bill has left for Bombay and I am getting my home back. Yesternight was the best night of my vacation so far - It was just moi and appa and amma and we finally had my mom's dosa and sambar for dinner. If there's heaven on earth, this surely must be it.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

When a Kerala girl marries a Behala boy - The Kerala Diaries - Part 1

In which Bill arrives with his "Baraat"

The family has to go receive Bill at Trivandrum airport. Interestingly enough, the Bride cannot be let out of home, and cannot go to the airport. Bill's friends are sure they cannot meet each other for the next two days, and start discussing plans of sneaking up to the balcony in moonlight.

Soon after arriving, Bill is whisked off to a big Raymond's store to fit him for a suit. The theme music of Godfather plays in Bill's mind as he is told the suit will be ready in ten hours. Bill has to think about weighty issues such as two buttons or three? single pleat or flat front? Needless to say, he has no clue what the fashionable man is supposed to wear, and ultimately, closes his eyes and mutters a random one. The tailors are suitably impressed by his quick decision skills. Apparently, normal people take their time, look over the fashion magazines lying around and then decide, while Bill is totally clued in to what he wants.

After being tired out shopping, it is casually mentioned that Bill will be dropped off at the Bride's home. Before he can react, he is pushed out of the car and about 50 aunties descend on him to do aarti. He is then taken inside, and made to sit in the couch of honor. About 200 people take seats in front, and give him a good stare. Since there is no common language to communicate in, Bill wonders whether he is expected to sing or perform magic tricks.

In the night, the Bride has to be blessed by elders by putting rice on her head. Bill returns with his family, and the family is promptly conned into the rice throwing ceremony. They are completely lost with people shouting instructions at them in Tamil.

Bill's friends decide that the Bride has been harassed enough, and it is time to harass the groom. They go talk to elders and convince them Bongs have a custom of blessing the groom by making him eat sweets. Bill is promptly tied to a seat, big laddoos are brought out, and he is force-fed till he is on the point of throwing up.

After dinner, Bill and friends decide to go on a bachelor party to Kovalam beach. Ethan and Jason, the already-mentioned firangs, immediately switch to the groom's side and accompany the group. Actually, the party requires a post by itself, so wait for the next post.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Back home...

after the Kolkata celebrations. Hope to spend a quiet week at home before the Bombay madness starts. Also hope to chronicle events of the past two weeks sometime this week. For now, here's Black Mamba's Kolkata post and yes, she has some pictures.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Thanks to all of you who...

have sent in your wishes to Mrs. and Mr. S. Its really nice that you guys remember their upcoming 30th bedding anniversary. But I must say that they would be more happier if you send wishes to their emails ids and not mine.

Yes you idiots, I am keeping my unpronouncable name. All emails with references to Mrs S will be sent to Bill's mom.

Off to Poovar today. Hope to have long updates and some pictures in tomorrow.

Monday, December 05, 2005

One down, two to go

Bill did end up wearing the topor a.k.a the clown cap for the wedding. He took it off multiple times but the kid bro-in-law was more persistent.

More to come.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Wedding Bulletin #2

- Ethan, formerly of Chicago, now doing some NGO-giri in Bombay turned up with friend Jason yesterday. They have agreed to be the mandatory firangs an the wedding. They provided wholesome entertainment for everyone at home climbing up coconut trees and jackfruit trees in my yard. Ethan wanted to know all about what's happening in Chicago and so I started talking about the snowstorm that blanketed the midwest the day I left. "Snow?", he asked "did you say snow? What is that?"

- The pre-bedding event coordinators meeting was held yesterday. Teams were set up for handling reception, food, transportation, accommodation, decoration and Misc. My input was completely ignored.

- The number of people inside my home has increased exponentially over the last couple of days. We only talk in terms of headcount and tickets now.

- The groom's party arrive today. I have been asked to stay at home and do nothing.

- Fights between mom and moi are spiraling out of control. The latest is about what jewelry to wear when sitting at home doing nothing. No compromise has been arrived at. Everyone's been telling me that I should wear hazaar jewelry at home as hazaar people will come to see me. My point is that if they are coming to see jewelry they should go to Bhima. Needless to say, people don't agree.