Sunday, November 15, 2009

Kalyanam Notes

1. Nobody watches the wedding videos, except the married couple. The couple who get married watch it maybe once (probably lose interest after 30 minutes or so). But close to 30,000 rupees is spent on it.

2. In the 80s and 90s video and camera were a big thing. So they cameraman was given more respect than the brihaspathi. Now since we have camera fitted into everything from key chains to condoms, the fancy'ness is wearing off.

3. The camera men form a wall between the audience and the to-be-wed couple. The couple (and parents) cannot see who has come. The audience cannot see who is getting married. Given that the audience, the couple's parents and the couple themselves won't ever see the marriage live or recorded in video, we can safely conclude that the only people who witness the marriage are the 4 or 5 video camera crew members. Not Agni Sakshi but Camera Man sakshi.

4. Given all this people complain that the vadhyaar sambaavanai is too much nowadays, when it is still less than the camera man's. Apparently the rising 'velai vaasi' should not apply to vadhyaars. From a religious function with some odd distractions, marriage has morphed into a "see my velli paathram and saaftwear engineer mappillai" showcase ceremony rudely interrupted by unimportant mantrams.

5. There is always someone who cracks the 'azhukku joke' about akshadhai not falling on the couple but the front seat people. Then 2 very very old people suggest some "funny" ways to deposit the akshadhai on the couple. Pretty much the same joke they 'cracked' a few hundred years ago when they were 60.

6. There is someone who accosts you and asks "do you remember who I am". I usually don't. If I did, the blank stare wouldn't be on my face. So asking the question the second time is useless.

7. 50% or more items that are bought for the purposes of wedding is a waste. A wedding budget of 10 lacs can be reduced to 5 lacs with nobody noticing the effect. The sherwani for reception, coat & suit for jaanvaasam, and pattu podavai for every small sub-function are areas where budget can be cut ruthlessly. There is a huge market for "clothes for hire". The camera man can be replaced by hiring a friend's camcorder and having a hapless cousin cover what he feels like covering. Nobody would know its not professional work. The huge ass adhirsams can be retired. The 7 side dishes can be reduced to 2. On second thoughts this gets a separate post.

8. The 'hand wash' area is anything but. People gargle, pour a bucket of water into their mouth and make all sorts of strange and rude noises. If you didn't know better you'd think somebody was getting murdered in there.

9. Just before the Muhurtham, in the 'oonjal' phase the bride joins all her fingers like a flower bud and points the fingers upwards. The brihaspathi then asks the the groom to wrap his hand around the bride's fingers saying that "until the jalaba homam is done after the sapthapathi, the person I am touching will be my life partner with whom I will share happiness.. children... etc etc". "Avar" honored guests have no clue that this was said. All they know is that they have to wait for "mangalyam Thanthunaane", handover the Rs 101 envelope and rush to the dining hall before office time. Like a herd of elephants they run over the brihaspathi thrust their hands out to the groom become his wife, eat and go on to live an adulterous life. 200 years of British rule has killed 2000 years of saying namaskaram.

10. Marriages are serial eat-athons. If you are not a peripheral guest and not the main guy but somewhere in-between - marriages resolves to eating 8 times in 1.5 days and alternating that with sitting and watching the bums of cameramen, listening to akshadhai jokes, and getting asked "who am I" by octogenarians who are living past their sell-by date.

28 comments:

Raj said...

LOL @ "Now since we have camera fitted into everything from key chains to condoms,...."... Nalla yosikara ba...

Seriously, when it comes to vadhiyar sambhavanai.. i hardly got to see anyone giving it out without a crib.. Good point about the videos taken.. Not only they give a a** show to the guests but also they hold the couple literally as a hostage for the entire period..So they do no favor to anyone....

Vijay Kumar said...

Video camera men should be retired mainly due to the excessive lighting they use. Grooms with semi transparent veshtis don't stand a chance. This feeds into the other grouch that no one watches the video afterwards. It is a tad embarrassing for everyone concerned.

I said...

Why watch a movie in which you are the hero? Why should the maapilai watch kalyana video? All Indhi padams are like kalyana cassette anyway.

Only on the day of wedding, one is a hero. He is a character artist on all other days. Idhukku dhan coat, suit, boot.

Sriram said...

You missed the racket that passes for an orchestra during receptions in Chennai. Also the histrionics during nalingu. Nevertheless there is some hope.

Thatisthetruth said...

Quintessential of a Tambrahm wedding! Add to that the " kalyana sapadu eppo podapora" question that spontaneously follows "Do you know who I am", irrespective of the age/gender of the person being questioned!

Aravind Kumar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aravind Kumar said...

what about those annoying photographers? you missed them?

point 6 - they ask me that question no matter how many times they meet me and I always give that blank stare :(

blackaccord said...

hawkeye,
good post but don't agree with u completely.. For that matter, you can cut down a lot of stuff in any kind of wedding (be it american or jewish or muslim).. IMO, its once in a lifetime event (atleast to most of us) and nothing wrong in doing it the traditional way... The whole marriage/reception concept has been evolving off late.. The whole janvasam and kattu saadham made sense in the olden days but now many people skip it.. they just do the marriage and reception.. I made sure that I wanted to do every little thing on my wedding..

The one thing you missed is the perusus coming and shaking hands right after tying the knot and asking the parents of the bride and the groom 'mappillai vandhacha?' or 'mattuponnu vandhacha??'... Infact some perusus ask the question 'thatha aayacha' guaranteeing a baby :)

janani said...

Agree with you 100% about point 9. I was determined not to let anyone touch my husband or me, but this specimen decided to throw that 101 envelope onto my lap despite my cousin standing nearby to collect them. And then as an afterthought, decided to grab our hands without our consent!

I agree with you on all other points too. I would rather spend just 5-6 lacs on my wedding and invite just the people I want.

Anonymous said...

I am curious to know --" How many of the persons including the writer of this post and those who commented,dispensed with all these wasteful expenditure and saved money for the girl's father when they got married ?!!!!

நாகு (Nagu) said...

People come up with all revolutionary cost-cutting puratchi marriages when the marriage is not in their family! :-)

For their own family marriages, business as expensive...

Sreekrishnan said...

The 'hand wash' area is anything but. People gargle, pour a bucket of water into their mouth and make all sorts of strange and rude noises. If you didn't know better you'd think somebody was getting murdered in there.

This was Super Funny ... and i remember asking my mom when i was in my 7th or 8th as to why people do that !


On the other hand i understand that Marriage video is a waste as
1. The can actually fix the lighting and just move around with the camera.
2. Lot of wires and camera is super big - i dont understand why a crane cannot be used :P
but as u said no one watches the video. all you need is the Thali kattufyin 10 min for youtube and facebook ! :D

you didnt say anything on Janvasam? The no-one-cares about - "Light music" and kutcheris ?

whats the whole point in having a reception? Receiving Gifts? That entire event is a waste. that was never our "tradition"

Hawkeye said...

as mentioned in post.. there is separate post on cost-cutting topic that is in draft stage for about a year. i'll post it when i get time.

S. Krishnamoorthy said...

எல்லாம் சரி பாயிண்ட் நெ.9ஐத் தவிர.
இப்பொழுதெல்லாம் வாத்யார் உஷாராகிவிடுகிறார். “யாரும் கை கொடுக்க மேடைக்கு வரவேண்டாம்-லாஜஹோமம் முடியும்வரை” என்று தண்டோரா போட்டுவிடுகிறார்.
கூட ஒரு பாயிண்ட் சேர்க்கவேண்டும்.
“போளியில் வெல்லாம் குறைவு. சாம்பாரில் ஒருகல் உப்பு தூக்கல்”-இத்தகைய சாப்பாட்டுராமர்ககளின் விமர்சனங்கள்.
அன்புடன்
கிருஷ்ணமூர்த்தி

It is Me said...

I guess many people here don't know about the anti-dowry social activist side of hawkeye :-).

Paathu pesunga ba.... jail'ukku anupchiduvaaru.

Anonymous said...

Dude,

Sometimes they overdo the Kalyana videos, but it is useful for looking at hot girls in traditional Indian clothing. I love to watch my friend's wedding videos just for this reason alone.
Bride's sisters, cousins and girlfriends look awesome in the bright Indian colors. I am tried of looking at women in grey,black, and white. My eyes need some "mambhaza" yellow, "panjumittai" rose and "kathiripoo" purple (violet?). :)

Rad said...

Look who is talking!! - the person who interviewed all relatives during his wedding. How many times did you watch your wedding? We should first try to practise what you preach. Did you avoid all these expenses in your wedding? Ippo oru kutti cute ponnukku appava ana apuram katchi maritiya? Enna keta kovilla kalyanam pannittu GRT grand days lla reception vecha podhum. Receptionlla kovil kalyanam short 5 minutes photo slideshowva sidella voda vitta podhum.

Hawkeye said...

Rad,

do you know anything about esoteric topics such as 'logic' and 'knowledge'

ms said...

what about those close-up shots of wailing old women as they see the bride off? and 15 minutes of watching the caterers unload vans? or seeing the couple pose for 100s and 100s of photos with complete strangers? not to mention the burping and other emissions while seated for the feast? man, either you paint the complete picture or none at all!

Hawkeye said...

/* what about those close-up shots of wailing old women as they see the bride off? */

not a big ritual in the south. although its gaining momentum.

Mambalam Mani said...

In reference to some of your points, I think the expenses during a marriage might not be too bad after all as Marriage is an industry by itself in India(probably right next to agricultural, manufacturing and software in terms of contributions to Indian economy :P). Imagine the job opportunities created to make so much sarees, pandhals, garlands etc. There is even a person employed just to hold that ambassador headlight for the cameraman! The only time the ever-saving mentalities of the average Indian family unwinds and you want to stop that too :D

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Alan Smithee said...

"Only on the day of wedding, one is a hero. He is a character artist on all other days. Idhukku dhan coat, suit, boot."

Hero? Are you delusional? You should have woken up at least when the photographer asked your wife to cup her hands like a lotus and you to put your hands into your coat pocket.

raghu raman said...

Exactly after 10 years, our whole family watched my counsin's wedding video when the tape was converted into cd.

nm said...

who would want to watch the wedding video - i would love to watch my parents' video.

as to the ways it is done, yeah, there is much scope for improvement.

Kaushik said...

Podhadhukku kalyanam mudinjuttu oru photo/video session nadakkum - apdiye Niagara Falls lerndhu Swiss Alps vazhiya Maldives pona effect kadaikkum.
"Ooma padam paatha effect'u da saami." So konjam bg meesick vera.
PS: Enakku innum kalyanam aagala, so ippodhaikku (at least) naan vaai-kizhiya pesalaam. :D

madhu srinivas said...

hmmm good to see that people nowadays do actually take in interest in the rituals connected with our marriages and also stuff like vishishtadvaitam.

Anonymous said...

Hilarious...

my stab at weddings:

http://an-ass-in-the-lions-hide.blogspot.com/2008/08/am-i-phobiaphilic.html