Thursday, December 15, 2005

A wedding to remember

I didn’t think I would live to claim that any other undertaking would be more challenging and hectic than the New Orleans trip. Just in a matter of months, I can certainly ascertain that my trip to India was far more taxing.

My baby brother got married to his Mallu mehbooba with all the fireworks leftover from Diwali. Being the first inter-caste marriage in my family, my brother had the pleasure of seeing a side of my parents that was cleverly hidden for so long.

My dad played the role of disgruntled hero’s dad to the tee. ‘Rahu-kalam is approaching…obviously we can’t make them (Mallu people) understand the nuances of our Brahmin culture, but at least they can be aware of time! What excuse do they have to be late to the ceremony when their women don’t even plait their hair? See, these are the problems that we will continue to face. Such grave times these are.’ *stomping and pacing*

My mom went from bouts of motherly love to a feeling of being betrayed. If she heard some Iyer in a far away temple reciting hymns, it would send a new set of tears streaming down her cheeks, ‘I was not gifted enough to see my son getting married in the Iyer style’. A girl draped in pure Kanchivaram silk would get my mom screaming in agony, ‘God only knows what these Malayalis are thinking when they wear a widow’s sari for their wedding. Mundu it seems’. *more tears*

One day, I went to the bathroom for a second and I heard some major screaming and shouting. When I came out, my brother was packing his bags to leave to God-knows-where. My granny was begging for him to stay back belting out movie dialogues, ‘What will everyone say if you are not present for your own wedding?’

I couldn’t help, but applaud at my granny's clear thought process and profound conclusion. I think my brother saw logic too and decided to stay back. Thank God he did coz he had packed up some of my clothes and perfumes too in a frenzy.

So my valiant brother fought all odds (including a terrible cold) to secure the bride of his choice. ‘You fall in love; you will be made to repent’- is the motto my family takes very seriously.

Somehow in spite of the somber atmosphere at home (there was more merry making among the Katrina victims, I tell you), all the relatives (I mean all of them) got together to attend my brother’s wedding in God’s own country, Kerala. Forty of them came in all shapes and sizes from all parts of the country to see what a Mallu wedding looks like. My brother still maintains that they came to see the temples, since the wedding was held at Guruvayur (home of the famous Krishna temple).

He’s probably got a point especially since my mom woke me up at an ungodly hour of 3 am. “Mom! The wedding is at least 6 hours from now. I am still jet lagged (excuse one can use for a month after the said flight). Good night!’

She dragged me out of bed, with no consideration, ‘We are going for the Lord’s darshan.’

‘What?! Do you think even He has woken up yet? Let Him sleep na. Didn’t you just go to the temple last night? You must be tired. Come mommy, let’s sleep.’ I tried hugging her.

‘Shee, don’t touch me, unpure creature. Go have a bath and here is your sari. You can’t wear salwars or pants inside this temple. We have to get as many darshans as we can. Why else did we come here from so far away?’

‘Er... brother’s wedding could be taken as one reason no?’ I asked, slightly awake at this point.

‘Stop arguing and get ready.’

So I was whisked, sari and all, to this ‘demble’ that never slept. An hour and a half of waiting in a queue to get a glimpse of the Lord for a second and a half. This even beat the Thirupati record by a whole second. If the forty relatives of mine had slept decently instead of standing in the line in front of me, I would have been done faster. After being dragged and shoved, pushed and prodded, I asked the Lord for one thing, ‘O Krishna, O exalted Guruvayur appen, please allow the donning of pants/salwars in this temple as we don’t want another Draupadi’s episode repeating itself. With the crazy sari prices, you'll find it hard to replenish saris.’


Anonymous said...

i am j that you got to see the Guruvayur temple. have heard so much about it. do post pix.....if you took any. great to have your ranting highness back.


Zoheb said...

Itna sab fight maarne ke baad, your bro married a Mallu!! What a waste. Should have patoed a Bong Babe.

Quizman said...

LOL. Your relatives sound so familiar to mine, except my (late) dad who was quite easy going.

I recall standing in the Tirupati queue for five hours (without water) and it culminating in a 1 second darshan. I was a small child at the beginning of the queue, but was eligible to vote by the time I reached the sanctum sanctorum. This was in the 70s when stuff like fanta, gold spot, thums up had not reached tirupati. I ended up with a major headache, nausea and a firm determination to never visit Tirupati again. :-)

alpha said...

m, Hi there! I saw heads and more heads..also torsos...mostly naked as people are not allowed to wear shirts and pants. Last time I was there, I wasn't aware of this rule, I had my salwar kurta on...I just removed the salwar and I could go in happily. NOT KIDDING! Minis are apparantly OK.

Zo: We are happy it is a girl. In your case, we don't even know what you'll bring home.

Quizman: Sorry to hear about your dad.

But seriously, it was a riot. LOL at Tirupati. Man, that temple is a must if you need to guage your patience and tolerance level.

Mustang said...

And I thought ppl in 21st cnetury go to Kerala only to tour the backwaters? Dembleds r news for me. And u or ur family shudnt b complaining abt mallu-in-law... ur bro will have a good time, mallus r 'raunchy' :)

anantha said...

wheeee..Alpha's back... :) How goes...?
Bro's snagged a Mallu babe, huh? :)
Thats one of my dreams too ;) Except that in my case, my mom will be more than happy, with us being half mallus and all...

B o o said...

What about me checking this site for more than a month twice everyday(may be thrice!) and at last hitting jackpot with your dharshan? Absolutely worth it!! Welcome back! :)

Chenthil said...

// of seeing a side of my parents that was cleverly hidden for so long//

Been there, seen that. So true

Chakri Nallapati said...

wb. alpha.

D.N.A. said...

I admire your "detached" sense of humor. Did you try to reason with your parents?

GratisGab said...

LOL! Good to hear the non-office-hushed-voice version :)...!!!

Question to d.n.a - "Reason with your parents?"???? Hello, have you met parents?

Well I was warned in my wedding "This is how these Iyers are, BE CAREFUL, they might call themselves brahmins but they are NOTHING like us!!!" :D...So tell your bro, anywhere you begin, it's downhill anyway.. HEE HEE!!

anantha said...

Gabby: Hahahaha.. But us Iyers are not so bad. We do get our knives out sometimes, particularly when its a wedding. And believe me the knives come out not only when the other side is non-Iyer, but sometimes otherwise too. For e.g. Palakkad Iyers don't gel with Tam Iyers
D.N.A: Bro/sista, you surely are joking, aren't you? :)

D.N.A. said...

Gratis/Anti: Well I was looking for some more entertainment at other's expense. Efforts in vain are funny in retrospection.

alpha said...

musty: you be a mallu or wot? My backwaters plan was thwarted by the overzealous relatives wanting to go to every temple possible.

anti: shud have known this fact earlier. would have kept my eyes open for mundu clad women. as it is I had nothing much to do.

boo: you are so sweet! you are welcome here even four times daily.

chenthil: back up statements with story.

chakri: hiya!

d.n.a. : good one, good one. Trying to reason out with them would make up 10 posts. When I said a 'wedding to remember' all that is also taken into the equation.

gabby baby: Yeah, this kind of drama doesn't go well with hushed office tones. Oh well...we iyers think we are great till we meet iyengars like Pi who open our eyes.

anantha said...

Alpha: Pi's an Iyengar? So.. how did that pan out at home.. that should have got out "that side" from them, right? I can see the beginnings of another post - Another marriage to remember :D

alpha said...

yeah da..that wasn't this bad..but bad enough..after all brahmin-brahmin unite you see.

Rhyncus said...

The woes of getting decked up in the saree for the darshan are similar to those we feel when having to give up our comfy pants for the mundu *and* bare our puny/flabby chests to the world. And we would enviously mutter it was so easy on the girls. They could don skirts or do the 'kameez minus salwar' maneouver. Sigh.

Ravages said...

very late, am I not? Late chandru, always late.

Anyway, have fun in god's own country.

Rash said... there a post shaadi 'happily ever after' account coming up?

pallavi said...

hahahah !! !:) so you went to the demble.. hahaha :)

The Visitor said...

LOL led to my heart's content. The wedding series is great!

PS:Boo directed me to your site quite a while ago - finally got down to reading it today. I have so much to catch up on. :D