Have money, will flaunt
Back from Gurgaon after attending a big fat Indian wedding, I was mentally calculating the money that the two sides must have spent — especially the kind of money that must have gone into clothes and jewellery alone.
As I wondered why and how people spend so much on a week-long affair, I read a story on shop-thrifting in HT City. It exposed the extent to which a woman can go to satiate her hunger for new or novel attire at every function. People do dress to kill and they do spend a bomb. But what happens to all their collection in today’s era of one event-one dress? Some can afford, many can’t. The story gave the answer.
The headline clearly said, “Women buy fancy outfits, wear them to functions, then return or exchange them at the store.” I am sure men also do that though the story did not mention it.
A survey by UK-based One Poll Research Company revealed that one in eight women buy expensive clothes, wear them to a night out and return them to the shop next day. A check in India’s capital Delhi was startling, the figures sensational. Eighty per cent admitted to having returned their expensive clothes to the shop next day. There is this other group that fakes everything – from the smile they wear to the diamonds they flaunt.
Sadly the bride’s beauty is lost in her ensemble while the groom is the poster boy for a brand. In all the glitter and the glitterati, the feelings, the bonding are gradually getting lost.
Where is the time for the people to steal and share those special moments which used to make weddings a special affair for years to come? The dholak, the tappas and the giddas, the banna and the banni sung by women in the family, the bhangra and the playful banter. All that fun and laughter has gone. The money has brought in DJ’s, the commercial singers and dancers. The family is a mere spectator. What matters today are the who’s who on the guest list and the décor, drink and dinners? All that can be bought by money.
Thus when the drumbeater, the bandwallah, the eunuchs, the ghodiwallah demanded money at every step, the message was clear. Weddings are a commercial and not a personal affair anymore.
It was then I remembered the wedding of a professor of a prominent Management College Pooja Prakash and businessman Amrit Prakash that we had reported from Agra. Followers of Radhasoami faith, they decided to keep their wedding a low key affair though their families had loads in their pockets for a lavish wedding.
They had simple engagement ceremony in the early morning hours in a crop field in Dayalbagh and later the marriage function at ‘Yatri Sadan’. They spent Rs. 36,000 in all on their wedding, an amount that a bride spends on their make-up alone, forget the clothes and the jewellery.
And there were no gifts.
I am not sure how many would want to follow in their footsteps when the trend is to commercialise even personal and private affairs.
Some may want to ponder over this.