Attending a wedding reception is always a fascinating experience to me. It gives an opportunity to meet friends and relatives. It always provides a happy feeling. On the other hand, there are far many intricacies associated with it for someone like me.

One evening, as always, just few hours before the reception, we realise that the invitation card is missing, as ususal. Getting ready for such occasions costs more time and energy for my better half due to unusual costumes like wearing silk sari, jewels etc. When I asked her about the place of reception, her standard reply is ‘why can’t you check the invitation card?’ Why on earth would I ask her with such question if only I knew where it was?

For the next ten minutes, the entire house was searched for the invitation. My two sons, who were not happy about their parents leaving them behind and attending parties, did very little in searching for the card. Already perspiring, due to the heaviness of the silk sari, my wife impatiently demanded ‘why don’t you call him (my friend) and find out?’ I called my friend and got the required information, and we started.

As we were boarding the car, she coolly reminded me about the gift. Without delaying further, I adjusted the air conditioner knob to ensure that I do not boil up. I drew to a nearby shopping complex to buy the gift. Worried about the car being parked at the ‘no parking’ area, I walked hurriedly only to find that the shop was shut. To my dismay, there were no other shops. As a last resort, I decided to buy a bouquet. I requested the flower vendor to arrange a nice bunch. He starred at me as though I had descended from a different planet and speaking an alien language. I had to quickly change my body language (typically like a beggar) and cajole him to help me out fast. After completing the pending arrangements of bouquets, the vendor, as if doing a favour to me, started preparing the bouquet. The dexterity at which he picked up each flower, cut the stems to an even length and arranged it in the conical shape paper- probably in a different situation I might have appreciated his skills. As time was running out and being worried about the ‘no parking’, with growing impatience, I thrust the money into his hand and snatched the bouquet and ran towards the car.

The next one, which no husband should venture into, I did it; showed the bouquet to my wife. She obnoxiously looked at it and sarcastically asked, “Where did you pick this one from?” Irritated by her tone, I peddled the accelerator and razed towards the marriage hall. All through the drive, my wife was blaming me for my inefficiency. For her, it does not make a significant difference whether it is her two boys or her husband; in general, boys are capable of doing nothing.

The next ordeal was to find a space for parking at the Marriage hall. I remember, once in another marriage hall as we could not find parking place, searching for one, we were guided left, right and every possible direction – finally to leave the Marriage hall through the rear exit without attending the event.

Luckily, valet parking was arranged here. With reluctance yet no choice, I handed over the car to an unknown driver in exchange for a piece of card. As we walked in, we were stunned to see a long, serpentine queue right up to the entrance. We were on the lookout for the tail end of the queue. We found the place, but the queue did not appear to move a bit. We were told that the bride had gone to a far off place for her make-up and was yet to return. The hall was filled with light music, though the noise did not appear to be light. In such circumstances, when the noise decibel is in the order of 150 and above, we need a specific set of skills to communicate with others.

After a long wait, there was a hush in the hall, and I heard the voices everywhere ‘aha! They have come’. Though in the beginning, the queue appeared to move faster suddenly it stopped. For a while, nothing happened. When enquired we were told that, it was time for the ‘VIP’s darshans’. They will walk in intermittently from the other side of the stage and greet the couple. In the meantime, someone requested us to proceed to the dining hall. When I gave a ‘hungry’ look at my wife, she simply discouraged that idea.

Finally, we reached the sanctum sanctorum to greet the couple. I could hardly recognise the bride, my friend’s daughter. The heavy make-up has transformed her totally into a different person. Rather she scared us. I am sure she would have looked better had she simply left her face untouched.

To our dismay, the girl’s father was not there as he had just left to see off some VIP guest. We had to introduce ourselves. In the deafening noise made by the music troupe the newlyweds would have hardly heard what I said. Bride gave one plastic smile and the groom was greeting his friends who were seated in the first row. I hesitantly gave the bouquet to the boy and awkwardly posed for a photograph.

When we walked down from the stage, a young lady directed us to the dining hall. It is amusing that these days almost every activity in the wedding is outsourced, including people who greet and guide us. The cramped dining hall welcomed us. The waiting area too was crowded and there were hardly any space to stand. My wife pretended as if she was not feeling hungry and insisted that we should go. For the first time in the evening, I protested and stood firm like a rock. Luckily, my friend returned, and we exchanged pleasantries. He introduced me to few others in the waiting area before he left for the stage. The new acquaintances helped me to kill time. Finally, we got the place and had a sumptuous spread of south Indian delicacies.

On our way back, I politely reminded my wife that we have another wedding reception to attend tomorrow. She gave an exasperating look. Irrespective of such intricacies I enjoy attending marriage functions as it gives me a sense of social togetherness and happiness.

G. Olivannan

Author: admin

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