If you have to ask you'll never know ! [L.Armstrong]... thats Louis not Lance.

Nov 20, 2007

My Big Fat Bandra Wedding !

Ok !
So you've held her hand [ amongst other things] and the watchman has made a duplicate set of the terrace keys for you and you've gone down on both knees and she's said yes. Her father has warned you against marrying her [ for your own good ] But rather than listen to the voice of reason you listen to your hormones. And you think it's true love . It is.
Everybody gets married between the 15th Of Nov and the 10th Of Dec. Thats when Jo Boy is down and Winston will be down from the ship for Christmas and all the migrants who lust for sorpotel and vindaloo while eating turkey in Missisagua will be home. So you head on down to the Gym office to find out which day is free. Hindu's get married on days the planets align . Muslims on the days their mullas tell them too. Catholics on the day the Bandra Gym is available. And you put down your deposit for the big day and they give you a list of approved decorators. Fernandes & Co. and Fernandes & Co. and Fernandes & Co. And a list of approved caterers. Every few years sees the ascendance of a new catering star and a wane of an old. Majoras, Candies, Alron, Twins, Mcraigs,they come and they go. And the bands. Crimson Rage, Fame, Len and his Rebels, Leon and his Chartbusters, Seventh Galaxy,Bonaventures and , Aqua Flow . And you find out if all the planets of the bands and the caterer and your mother-in-law's to be align. And if they do you're as good as married. So you can then go for the Engaged encounter and they tell you how to spend your money ten years down the line without getting your now fiancee and then wife, mad at you for blowing a months pay cheque on Bose speakers or a Bullet. { if you believe that's possible you'll believe anything } . And the notice is sent to the Parish Priest who mutters something about consanguinity and natural family planning. { how can anyone think of those two acts together ? } And Troy, Wendell, or Lydia or Dan's has been commisioned for the bridal dress. And you now know why the jewellery shops on Hill Road can afford to renovate their interiors every year. And you've spoken to Charlie from The Crimson rage to tell him that you want "Nothing's gonna change my love for You" for your first dance song. And you've been measured out for your suit. And Uncle Lancy from the army has been ordered to start stockpiling RC and Old Monk from the services canteen. His official quota is two bottles of each per month. Feb to Dec. eleven months to go. 22 bottles of whisky twenty two of rum. Jeez we'll have to get some from Pinky Wines. And Haley for the 3 tier cake with frosty delicate lace icing.

And you've commissioned the centre piece from Jason.
Two doves ? Intertwined rings,?
The heart can be hired for 1/5th the cost?
The heart it is.
Ok sweetheart whatever you want.
Doves holding rings in their beaks.
But it's just for one evening.
Ok Ok dont cry.
[ This is when you should be a man and run away ! ]
But you did'nt, run and you're still going to live to marry another day.

And meetings happen with the choir. Where you chose hymn's for the mass that you think have been written just for you'll until you come across a wedding mass booklet for a wedding that happened in 1974. And you chose your mass readings about leaving your mother and your father and grandmother and dog and cleaving to your wife. David and Co. actually have an off the shelf card with doves carrying rings. Wow. The car is inspected to see whether your fat sister-in-law to be is going to crush the sartorial masterpiece from Troy [ yes, the wedding dress order went to Troy] And whether the doves and rings on the car should be on the top of the car or on the bonnet. And Jason's order has been magnified to include the pew decorations because Cousin Hyacinth who'd promised to do it is now pregnant and will be for another six months at least. Oliviera, the photographer has given you a deal for photographs and video. Ho ho ! Wait till you see his special effects after the wedding. George Lucas watch out. Your brother has been informed that he's going to have to change his 4 on 4 off schedule that takes him to Bombay High every 4 weeks so that he's in town for most important event of the year . He'd better be there. He’s the best man. Yes you've got to pay for his suit too. [ Maybe you'll get one Bose speaker.] He's put in charge of the Pani. Pani ? When you all get falling down drunk and sing out louder than Aloo Sound and make Elvis's Wooden heart sound like lezim. And make Hi Poori Kaun Achi sound like Mozart's Requiem. And you don't care. That's planned for three days before the wedding so that your hangover can abate and you don't need Agnelo's darkest glares to hide your redder than a Bishop's Hat eye's. Mummy's new sari, Daddy's new suit, new shoes. And the bookings for Paris remain in Mukesh and Nita's name while you make bookings at Baga for a honeymoon. David and company have printed the mass time as 9.30 instead of 6.30p.m. Ok there's nothing a litre of whiteout can't hide and Gail has good handwriting. The MC is cousin Eustace. He can make the phonebook sound funny. The toast master is her godfather. He asked . How could we say no without hurting his feelings ? And suddenly you’re in the last ...ember month of the year. Uncle Lancy has announced a 20% shortfall in the bar order. Pinky wines here we come.[ It's going to have to be Arphi speakers, goodbye Bose.] The Chevy is in the garage for repairs but the Mercedes is available for only a little more. Yes the catering order went to Candie's who is going to throw in petit fours after dinner for only a little more. Goodbye Arphi. The Sony two in one will last for another year at least.
The suit fits though its a little loose. Bob the tailor says it will be good for a few years after the wedding because everyone puts on weight , post . Those damn Australians have sold their house and now they want us to put them up when they come for the wedding. "Baba they'll help you if you ever want to migrate." Ha.
No time to go to the terrace. Is this a sign of things to come ?
Hitlers battle plans for WW 2 were hopscotch compared to this. But D-Day has dawned . The car has shown up. It's been decorated with tape that won't mar it's paint job and jeopardize the deposit. The church team has been dispatched to clear the beachhead. The transport for the liquor to the gym has been handed over the one male teetotaler above the age of 18 this side of the Suez.
Sleep before going for the mass ? You got to be kidding. The traffic in and out of the house makes Churchgate look like a Jain slaughterhouse. The centerpiece is filled with confetti. It's tested and it works. So it has to be filled up once more.
Now you're on your way to church. Where you stand solitarily at the velvet lined pew just two steps removed from God. And you hope that your soon to be wife is going to be on time.
From then on it's a blur. The mass, the walk out, the photographs on the steps of the church, the drive in the Mercedes.
So there you wait. For all your guests to troop onto the Gym tennis courts. Which looks like Desi Disneyland [ Ok Goregoan Fantasyland ] with lights and muslin and silk tablecloths and a red stage on which you will be king for the day. And you wait for your father-in-law [who's gone off for a quick smoke ]. Yes, you have to call him Daddy from now on. And Mother -in- law is Mummy. What's Nandu the vegetable vendor going to have to say about this ?
The pageboy and flower girl and bridesmaid and best man and the newly weds [ that’s you ] and their parents are all lined up .And the Crimson Rage fanfares your entrance onto the grounds. The march around the tarpaulin all stretched and powdered ends in front of the cake.
Ok. The moment of truth. The little tag fixed to the underbelly of the dove is yanked out. Does the confetti topple out like it's supposed to ? No. So a chair is hauled up front and the best man climbs up and tips over doves and rings till the confetti cascades down . And the photographer has got the moment . The chair with best man looming large is going to mar this Kodak moment for ever.

Charlie and the Crimson Rage start off on ' Nothing's Gonna Change my love for you " . Fox trotting your way gingerly thru Troy's best you wave frantically to best man and bridesmaid to get onto the floor. And open the floodgates for the rest. So that no one will know that the mysteries of the foxtrot will remain mysteries to you.
Then Godpa , the toast master comes along and traces your ancestry all the way back to the apes. You then thank everyone who had anything to do with your dissipated childhood from Nana to the milkman. Referring to your notes to make sure you don't leave her favourite aunt out of the opening credits. The bar has long been open though the MC only now announces that the Doctor's dispensary is now open [ wink wink] . You make the rounds of the guests and thank them for coming. Including all the fifty first cousins you really did'nt want to call but had to because they'd called Mum and Dad for all their family weddings. Cousin Elwin is missing from the gift table. Where he was supposed to be on guard duty. He's been found. Where ? At the bar.
You make the rounds accepting congratulations and envelopes. Bose ? Maybe.
The Gym has warned the band that if the music is not off by 10.00 p.m they'll be black listed. The band has warned the MC that if he doesn’t have the grace before meals going soon there'll be no time for the Masala. Masala ? Yes the all encompassing spectrum with The Birdie Song at one end and Galyan Sankli at the other. The Uncles already have their dancing handkerchiefs ready. Not the one they were blowing their nose into in this cold December air. But the dress one in their coat pocket. Your bride is kidnapped and put onto a chair and taken around on a palanquin of drunken shoulders. While the women struggle to lift you up in your chair. Precariously they wobble you'll together under a now confetieless pair of doves and hope that you'll will get a kiss in soon so that they can put you'll down before they dislocate their backs.
Your friend and compere Eustace has said goodnight and God bless. The lights have given their first warning blink at the hands of the Bandra Gym Marshall. The photographer has given up trying to get the whole family together and is just shooting whoever happens to be wishing you at the moment.
Then it's over and your on your way to Bandra International Hotel which has probably been booby trapped by your cousins on both sides with alarm clocks and toilet paper. And wake up calls they've asked for at 3 in the morning. When you hope you will be able to get up at noon so that you can be on the one o'clock bus to Goa . Where you will ceremoniously throw the keys to the terrace into the sea because you are now Mr. & Mrs. and the world is your terrace.


Anonymous said...

You got that right buddy!

Saltwater Blues said...

brilliant!!! just the way it happens :)

cheers mate!

Anonymous said...

Going to get married and have been living away from Bandra for close to 11 years now. miss home and all the Catlick weddings too. Well written and well captured.

Anonymous said...

"another one bites the dust".....this song is not only for the guy its also for the girl...hehe...very well written..u hav managed to club everything under one umbrella very beautifully....m getting married in jan 2010...jus hopin all goes well wit gods grace....& then all hav to get bk to thier daily routines....then kids...& life circle goes on...that's life....its a beautiful life though...& to be with someone u love is happiness..i'm so happy really... to hav him in my life..(smart & charming is the way i describe him)..so as the saying goes marriage is bliss....its true in a way....lookin forward to get my bridal dress from troy (bandra).... josephine fernandes (jomaria20@hotmail.com)

Shirley said...

Loved reading it...and laughing out loud. So true. :)