Take-Aways (I Wish I Could) From A Wedding

Yesterday evening, I marked myself present on an attendance register that is invisible and non-existent to the attendee, but very much a sub-folder in someone’s brain, somewhere. To phrase it another way, I attended a wedding reception.

And in a rarity, I didn’t whine too much about it. Often I see that I search for things to crib about: a lack of good company, the distance I have to travel, being paraded around by my mother, not remembering anybody’s names, having to listen to “OH YOU’RE SO BIG NOW”, and countless other things.

But yesterday was just an all-round good function. Even though I had to travel from Whitefield to West of Chord Road, and bear the full force of horrible BDA planning, and the most ingenious utilization of BBMP funds known to mankind.

I digress, however. This post is not about the misfortunes of living in a country with below-average governance. This post is about the joys of attending a wedding reception.

Let’s begin, shall we?

I had an inkling yesterday would be pretty good when I left from home. As I got stuck in my first traffic jam of the day, I took some time out from staring at my mobile phone to really think hard about who’s wedding reception I was attending. I knew his name, his parents’ names, and how he was related to my father. But I wasn’t quite sure how he knew my mother.

Then, in the cool way that brains function, I found myself navigating through every branch in the family to see a cool dotted line joining my mother’s cousin to this groom’s father. And everything was clear again. My heart-rate considerably relaxed, and the sheer amount of concentration and willpower it took to figure out the familial connection put me into the dreamiest sleep.

I woke up 30 minutes later to a song from Mungaru Male (the best film of all time), the rain, and another traffic jam.

At which point I began to wonder who all I’d get to meet at this one function.

You see, at it’s worst, a wedding and it’s allied ceremonies can be thought of as a week-long proceeding of meeting people only your mother remembers, smiling, learning of their names, and then not meeting them for another 5 years. At it’s best, the function provides the perfect opportunity to catch up with people you met ages ago, but recently enough for there to be a continuous stream of conversation and no awkward silences.

Again familytree.exe opened up in my brain. I plugged in my manually handcrafted formula, which I have conveniently reproduced below:

If Tejas = X, and Amma = Y, Appa = Z, let immediate family = {X,Y,Z}
If immediate family = {X,Y,Z}, then let extended family = {Y}m * {Z}n = A, where m = Number of cousins of Y and n = Number of cousins of Z,
Then A = Number of potential relatives Y can introduce you to,
And A-mn = Number of relatives whose name you actually remember.***

Nonetheless, the formula works. And a depressing thought follows: why is it that my generation is not as adept with names/family trees as the previous one?

The answer, as with everything else, is somewhat rooted in Technology and how it’s pulling Millenials farther apart.

In any event, my calculation yesterday resulted in a computation of somewhere around 60, at which point I was extremely optimistic about the company I would get and the fun I would have at the wedding.

Till I checked how brilliantly Pakistan were playing in the final. At which point my mood dipped considerably.

To add to that I got stuck at Yeshwantpur. Hopeless, I tell you.

At that point, when Google Maps turned this horrible shade that is only comparable to clotting blood, I found my messiah in the thought of South Indian food.

There is no word that aptly describes the emotion that rushes through your body at the thought of an eight course meal (extendable to eleven, of course, or even fifteen), and the sound of a crispy dosa leaving the tava.

There is no word within the English dictionary that can explain the taste of the rasam prepared at weddings, or the pineapple gojju that has now become mainstream.

And no English phrase can tell you about the emptiness of your soul and the full-ness of your belly as you consume wedding food off a banana leaf, having given in to the people serving you food and hosting you, egging you on to take that extra serving of rice you knew you should never have been tempted into it.

It is pure joy coupled with salivating mouths.

It was amidst these thoughts that I realized I had arrived at the Mantapa.

Though I expected a Bollywood number to play in the background upon my entry, I was left disappointed. But then again. This isn’t my wedding after all.

After pleasantries were exchanged and I managed to have some mind-blowing conversation with my third(?) or fourth(?) cousins, I noticed a queue forming at the side of the stage. With the bride and groom stationed and positioned perfectly for the camera lens to get their 32s, everyone was in a rush to meet them.

When I noticed another queue heading down toward the dining area.

My Eureka moment!

I present to you, the Reception Theory.***

At every reception, you have a window of 6.42 minutes (the Scientific method has been followed to the tee: my independent variable is me, the dependent variable is the time taken to reach the start of the queue. Hypothesis has been verified with strong positive correlation after 60+ weddings) to make a choice:

Option 1: The Meet and Eat – Where you meet the newlywed to be, get some photos clicked, offer the groom an opportunity to catch up with the Indian batting scorecard, and subsequently rush to eat dinner.

Option 2: The Eat and Meet – An unconventional strategy that bloomed in the early 2000’s, with doting mothers attempting to pacify their children prior to taking them on stage. Where you eat food first, and get photos clicked later.

Neither option is without it’s flaws. With the M&E, you could potentially end up with a crowded line (if you move too late), and a crowded dining hall, where you’re forced to eat pani puri because all banana leaves are occupied. With the E&M, there’s the nasty situation of not being able to climb the stairs to the stage because you ate that laste spoon of mosaranna with too much pickle.

The M&E presents another unconvential challenge: you may miss highlights where the camera is on your face as you eat, because everyone is eating alongside you, including the cameramen. With the E&M, cameramen are evenly split to get photos of people relishing food and people meeting the bride/groom, so you’ll 100% get your Kardashian moment.

It’s a tough choice to make. One I hope my mother continues to make for me for a few more years.

Till then I’ll dream about takeaway food from these weddings and revel in that comfort.

***Denotes that Patent is Pending. Any attempt to plagiarize and utilize the formula and/or the theory in whole or in part for any attribution, commercial or non-commercial purposes whatsoever will attract strict legal action. 





2 thoughts on “Take-Aways (I Wish I Could) From A Wedding”

  1. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! TOO GUDD 1! How did you manage to be poignant as well? Like “And no English phrase can tell you about the emptiness of your soul and the full-ness of your belly…” 🙂 I see the magic that mosaranna stirs in your soul.


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