I asked, being a kid, the obvious, whenever we saw our parent's Video cassette on the then VCPs, "where was i when you people were getting married ?" I was graciously told i was sleeping. & i thought 'awhh sheeit, how could i do that!'. Cassettes now turned to CDs, VCPs replaced by CD Players, & we, Indian middle class families, still sometimes enjoy the video portrayal of the auspicious ceremonies.
The marriage i profoundly remember over the years was my paternal uncle's. Probably 1995/96. I bought glamorous shoes, heavier than myself then, with tiny plastic pistols attached to each of the pair (which reminds me of Rajnikant somehow). Pistols however were obviously detached & lost by the end of the celebration (& yes i mourned over them).
At another family marriage, i decided, can't remember under who's influence, to wear a cap throughout the night (Mind you, there were no Reshammiya's then). My mom trying to convince me what a joker I'd look wearing a cap at night & me sticking to my newly discovered fashion statement.
It was my cousin's marriage, & that girl flashed past me, & i was lost, miserable lost. 'Manvi', as she was called, probably 10 years elder to my eighteen-some soul. There was this song by Kamaal Khan 'Kya yahi pyaar hai' out fresh then. All i remember was that i woke up next morning, teary eyed, that song playing over & over in my head, & a distant unknown face flashed unabated between my eyelids & iris. Never intended to pursue whatever i thought i had for her. Can't remember anything about her at all now, except the name & the song :)
In quick succession over the past months, 3 close friends got paired up with their beloveds. Above all, long-awaited get togethers in lives torn credited to democratic drudgery of a 9x5 typecast servicemen.
Unheeded. Glittering. Joyous. Groves. Horsey. Friends. Alcohol. I-just-can't-wait-for-it kinda sickness all in that head.
Dress code First Marriage: A friend ditched on call to stay with a blazer, so i ditched both of them - the blazer & the suit, as i had none handy. Held to the old most-fashionable jacket i possessed. It was nauseating still to see most men in shining suits, but company of few self-claimed-non-suit-ed-dudes gave some hope.
Second Marriage: No bourgeois company. A glamorous affair. All in suit, expect my high-headed soul. & how miserable i felt ! & My mom bitched me for this one beyond what i can admit in public. To un-curtain a glimpse: "Tere saare friends ne ye waali jacket dekhi hogi pehle. Photo bhi hogi sabke paas. Saare friend ne suit pehna hoga na ? Kya karta hai tu paise kamake jab ek suit bhi nahin kharid sakta ! Kahan paise udata hai ?"
Interlude: So pissed i was, i gifted myself a suit. Entered Van Heusen, & paid 7.5K for what hit me as befitting as my first suit, ever.
Third Marriage: Oh yeah baby, I'm SUIT-ed !!
Somewhere in the middle
Everything so normal that it ain't expected of a marriage, or was not expected by me. How is everything so, so, even ??
Waiting for the boarding announcement, sulking over KFC's popcorn chicken, wondering, what has changed. Chicken in the mouth answered - "Nothing". The one still between my index finder & the thumb, sort of crumbling, said "Make sure you fucking find an occasion to wear that suit again mate". Once i gulped them both, i decided, "it was fun - yeah, that's what it was", & left the same lonely feeling that smelt when i left a group of friends to head towards home, or room, or another city, or another chance.
Back to non-ceremonious chore
Firstly, the marriage pics by all the camera-holders on Picasa/Facebook, ensued by plethora of comments/likes. Shortly follows the honeymoon pics by either of the pair. likes likes comments comments. display pic change. marital status change (not always applicable). Period.
I remember my dad's married friends visiting us sometimes. Gents-gents in one room. Ladies-ladies in another (mostly). Kids-kids, if applicable, either silently playing a game on host's call, or silently watching television, or silently watching another's silence (applicable to me). I don't know, & can't construct, how different it was from what existed before between friends. But i hope everything stays normal with us. Never learnt how to behave with a 'bhabhi', but i assume I'll gather it from someone else (like the suit). I hope the bhabhis are friendly enough to entertain sick-humored, high-voiced, expletives-friendly, chaddi-drink-smoke-buddies. I just would have to learn how to start !