The dhoom dharaka of the Delhi’s designated wedding season is on. Very few auspicious days, shortage of venues, too many people tying the knot and the gold hitting 18,000 mark per 10grms, is a reason to worry for many. Still Delhi saw approximately 32,000 shadis on Dec 13. Endless Traffic jams, loud music, fire crackers, jittery mares doing double, triple shifts is a common sight and braving all that chaos I decided to attend a Punjabi big fat wedding.
Punjabi weddings are a mixture of agony and ecstasy. A blend of flamboyance, extravaganza , fun and laughter along with great food and not to be missed “Aunty ji” and “Uncle Ji” all decked up as if they have just stepped out of a show window of some designer shop. Loud and lavish , that’s what a good Panju Shadi is.
Here everything happens on IST that is Indian stretchable time.
Pretty young things in sexy backless cholis and latest eye catching western outfits ready to charm the smartly dressed lads. The idea is to make the most and be merry till the time permits. Weddings are a great time for match making and for exchanging numbers. The latest trend is promising to add each other on the social networking sites like FB.
The aunties make a dash for the snack counter the moment they hit the venue and over the bowls of hot soups and chicken tikkas the conversation becomes something like this
Aunty 1 -” Hello ji ki hal chal, bade dino bad dikkhe tusi. Badi soni sari hai , kiththon litti “?
Aunty 2- ” Really ji ! Inhone di hamari wedding anniversary pe. Pure silk hai ji , order te banwayi si khas occassion vaste”.
tusi bhi bada trendy set paya hua hai. “
Aunty1-” Amrika (America) to laye si Dolly de papa . You know hum wo to bahar foren tour pe jate rehte hain na ” Diamond hai pure .”
Aunty 3- ” Hello ji kaise ho, kab de rahe ho khushkabri, nu ( daughter in law) badi pyari hai ji aapki. Kab due hai baby?”
Aunty 2 -” O thank you ji, badi changi family hai ji. Ladki bhi soni hai, working hai par aajkal chutti par hai. Abhi to time hai chautha maheena hai”
Aunty 1-” achcha , lagta nahi , maintain kar rakhha hai. “
The group diversifies the conversation to the bitching of their DIL’s and other things.
Just my bad luck that one of them spots me.
Me -” Namste aunty ji “
Aunty 5 ” O tenu ki ho gaya , badi madi lag rahi hai, suna sas saura aai hai Amreeka to” (She gives a naughty knowing smile) .. to phir aak kal to khoob seva ka meva mil raha hoga .( she laughs at her own joke ) Apni sehat ka bhi dhyan rakhha kar kudiye , kinni kamzor ho gayi hai”
Me -” hanji .” I reply in a monosyllable , tryin to avoid the topic . She is not ready to give up .
“Aur bata bachche kaise hain . kya kar rahe hain aaj kal, bade din bad dekha tujhe . Hame to bhool hi gaye tum log”
Me-” Nahi ji aaisi baat nahi ” I try and locate my elder one who is totally pissed off at this uncalled for intrusion. He breaks up from a bunch of babes and comes to meet the Aunty, giving m that famous “I will kill ya for this mom ” look .
He touches feet and greets
” Oh My God kinna bada ho gaya ye, ye tera bada wala mundda hai na , inna sa siga jad main last dekhya si ” O ji how time flies na ” Kya kar rahe ho puttar ji “?
Adi-” Animation and visual effect ” He replies holding back his displeasure at all the cheek pulling and other baby stuff.
“Wo to theek hai par kar kya rahe ho, college wollege ?
” Ji graduation kar raha hun “
” Sona haiga tera munda. oye girl friend hai na teri ?” She winked and laughed displaying her lipstick covered front teeth.
It was time to butt in. ” Oh he has a great fan following. each day brings a new surprise.”
It was a juicy topic for her to ponder and chew.
The younger one calls him on his mobile as a rescue mission and before the next volley of questions Adi excuses himself , leaving me in the company of highly decorated aunties with deep neck blouses that give a good look at the ample cleavages ans lips as red as the vintage wine.
I desperately look for someone to rescue me from this torture and spot an old buddy.
Between the question answer session I sms him and he arrives as my savior.
Amidst all the ho halla of the noisy lot I make my much needed exit and gulp the vodka he is carrying
That makes me feel human again. Uncomfortable in my heavy silk clothes and jewelery I curse my stars for getting caught at the aunty junction.
We catch up with old friends and for some time let the spirit of the Panjabi shadi take over. Drinks , khana , jokes, laughter, old pals and lot of dance masti follows.
We all settle down at far end of the venue away from the madding crowd, reliving the old memories while the dudes take full advantage of our absence and try to woo some “totas” .
I watch them having gala time dancing and chatting away with the ever ready girls who have themselves found a breather from their over anxious parents.
The daru and khana flows and the DJ does his best to cope up with the enthusiastic dancers.
The poor guy ,an old pal, called one of us to make a large drink for him. Tired of playing the same F***ing old song for the 10th time He decided to hand over the reins to his junior and join us.
As the night became more lively , I decided to pay a visit to the nervous bride surrounded by fussy relatives, friends and in laws.
” I need a joint and a large drink man, I feel like an item girl right now. can you arrange for a coke tadka mar ke ” she winked and whispered to me, giving fake smiles to the newly related Buas, massis, uncles, aunties and countless cousins, nieces and nephews .
I felt sorry for the girl.
Her mom , who was hovering like a satellite around her refused any such treat.
“Na beta abhi nahi, make up kharab hoga aur abhi sare guest hain na changa nahi lagega . thosi der bad la dena ”
I sighed and left her to tackle the situation herself.
The groom was merrily having a drink with some close pals and cousins etc. We updated him on his beloved plight and within moments some refreshment and hot coffee was served to her by pampering Mom in law.
Rare sight but he is a new age dulha bhai and MIL too got a chance to show off her new found love for the bahu.
Suddenly I saw Aunty 1 heading towards the gang trying to balance her large frame on the heal wali sandals. Feeling nauseated by the thought of another onslaught of hello ji ki hal and the rest of it, I made a dash to the food counter which was infested by hoggers who were piling food on their plates as if there was no tomorrow.
I overheard a fat and colorful aunty confiding to a young starved lady,
” You know aajkal main diet par hun only diet coke for me. No sugar no fat “
We both stared at the plateful of delicacies and she, sensing our dilemma, laughed ” O ye .. aji shadi byah me na khaya to kab khaya ..kal gym jakar sab utaar lenge. aaj to bas mauj karo khao piyo aish karo “
I smiled at the simple joys of life and moved on to get yet another drink.
The atmosphere was hot and spicy with gorgeous women, overflowing booze and food, dance and music and friends.
Carrying the shagan ka lifafa we headed towards the stage where the couple was seated. Light , camera, action. Cleck and we all gave big smiles hugging each other . The bride looked radiant even after braving a long night under the winter sky. I kissed her goodnight and collected my bachcha party which was huddled in a secluded area enjoying food with new found loves.
It was around three. We did not wait for the Vidayi . It was an overwhelming experience. One such wedding is enough to drain out the juices in you. I felt happy to be back in my car heading for home sweet home.
The Punjabi wedding hiatus was over. I was fully loaded with Smirnoff thanks to some great pals. Boys were happy to get some PYT s on their Mobiles and hubby desperate to reach home and hit the sack.