As I plan our trip to Singaara Chennai this summer, I find myself making a mental list of all those cousins of “marriageable” age in my family as well as in N’s (K, S, and V – that’s you guys!!!). I find myself hoping (much more so than even their parents, I am sure) that they get hitched this summer. Indian weddings are sooper fun – well, except for the bride and groom, of course, who literally have to sweat it out in front of holy fires for two or three days in a row. The last one that I attended in India was my SIL’s – 10 years ago! So I am looking forward to (potential) weddings in the extended family with a lot of anticipation.
For me, just the thought of Indian weddings conjures up delightful memories of
- the rustle and shimmer of silk sarees, displays of oodles of designer and antique jewellery on maamis and ponnus of all ages, and the unmatchable fragrance of mallipoo (jasmine flowers)
- sitting around in metal foldable chairs, totally ignoring the aforementioned sweating bride and groom, and gossipping with extended family that you only meet at these occassions
- eating yummy idlies, pongal and vadais with molagapodi, chutney, and sambar (mmmm….) very early in the morning
- food being served by male cooks with bright white dhotis that would turn suspiciously greyer as the event progressed
- trying to avoid sitting next to certain maamas and maamis, who believe that the only way to eat rasam sadam is to start with a river of it and then slurp it down noisily (the tricky part is knowing beforehand who these maamas and maamis are)
- old maamas (usually on the groom’s side of the family) complaining about the coffee
- drinking delicious cold rose milk that would miraculously get floated around just at the time of “thaali tying”
- either totally trashing the caterer or praising him to the high heavens
- watching paatis scope out eligible bachelors for their granddaughters (where else can you plan a wedding but at a wedding??)
Amma brings me down from my reverie. She reminds me that our planned trip is during “aadi maasam”, the month when brides, grooms, their parents, and broker maamis all sit it out. Dang!!! When they have no qualms about getting married in peak “kathri veyyil” season, why is there a problem with getting married during the (relatively) cooler late summer months? Why, oh why?! Maybe everyone just agreed to take a time out and go shopping instead at Pothy’s and Nalli’s that month during the famous “aadi kazhippu” (what an unfortunate term! I myself prefer the term “thallupadi”, thank you very much.).
I start clutching at straws. Maybe all is not lost yet. Perhaps someone will have a valaikaapu or seemantham then? A nichayadhartham? A ponnu paakals (literally means “girl watching”)? Apparently, a resounding NO!! Everybody and their brother takes a break during “aadi maasam”. And that’s that (And by the way, nobody makes bajji sojji for ponnu paakkals anymore, my aunts inform me. Girls are in high demand these days and will have none of this naansense. Appdi podu!!).
Hmmm… so what to do now? Maybe N and I should just renew our vows Las Vegas style and make an event out of it while we are there.