20 years has gone by. Life has turned a full circle. A lot has happened in between. The fancy erasers disappeared off the shelves. More Mallus have migrated abroad. IT parks have sprung up and so did engineering colleges. I have become as old as my uncle when he was married.
People have changed faster than the times. Bigger homes with tiny families in it have come up. Kids prefer TV to outdoor. They are loaded with information and junk food. The IT boom has given birth to a new generation with time for nothing else but the office. The changes haven’t spared the good old marriage too.
While I write this I am just back from a cousin who got married off. He is as old as me but with a richer Dad. The dad wanted to make a doctor out of him at any cost, so packed him off to an international school in Chennai. Soon the Dad learnt that his son didn’t have enough brains to wade through the merit scheme. So he dug a little more deep and made a doctor out of him.
The doc cousin fell in love with a class mate. Interestingly she belonged to a different religion and more interestingly from a very low caste. He introduced her to a few of us, and was hell bent on marrying her. But it seems his loving mother beat sense into his head and taught him the importance of reaping the returns of the investment his Dad made. Now the son knew the best, risk free business was getting married. So he dropped the ‘love-girl’ and married the ‘rich-girl’. And he managed to land himself a ‘single’ child of very rich parents.
Now, the enhanced individual income generating capacity has improved the quality of lifestyle. But it inturn eroded the need for attachment and dependence. The family and individuals started contracting into themselves. The first impact fell on the ‘girl/boy searching’. The practice which was once monopolized by the relatives now started to be done in the virtual world- matrimonial sites. The best part is there are tens of thousands of choices, most of them fake, and no possibility to check in the authenticity of information.
The invitations too have changed the old look. Tradition and formalities have taken a back seat, style and convenience have taken the drivers’ seat. With little time and very little help, people prefer phoning to running around from one end of the country to another in a span of few weeks. For that matter, we are seeing Facebook actively helping in sending wedding invitations.
Even so, no one seems to have the time to spare for anything other than themselves. The more people earn, the more they are sucked into their own world. Its left for the old and jobless (retired) to attend the weddings and fill the pews.
When the festivities started to reside a new concept came up- event management team. They will manage the entire drama for you and create an artificial atmosphere. Here you can revile for a day, for a ‘nominal’ fee. My cousin had his wedding done by the team. We were welcomed to his home by pretty girls in local attire. I made out that they probably might be from college earning quick bucks part time. There was a security guy in yellow shirt and red tie waving his hands rather aimlessly. In church where it became too congested for parking there was a giant of a security guy with tiny walkie talkie. People were awed by the size and came upto shake hands.
I sat there and figured out. These guys running the show has nothing much to do. Arrange all the items together and simply make the presence felt, you pocket in a cool huge packet.
My cousin lost nothing to highlight the extravaganza. There were a dance troupe of small girls doing traditional and remixes. He was escorted to the stage in a parade of dancing girls. The lavishness of food counter was the most reveling. Right from breakfast to dinner stalls were set up. I cant figure out if they thought people are planning to stay up the whole day for food. The waiters who were supposed to serve food ran around pretendin to be busy and the guests had to go up and serve for themselves their food.
After all this tamasha and a filled tummy, I couldn’t figure out if this was a wedding or an exhibition.