Random Thoughts

Expensive Weddings

It is true that in the past fifty years India has changed a lot; at least that is what everyone feels and claims. But as for the customs, manners and in attitudes, have we really?

There are several cases arranged as well as inter-cast and inter-religious marriages with good support from the parents. To that extent we have matured. But have we tried to change the manner in which these marriages and functions are performed or celebrated? Do we ever follow modesty or simplicity in these functions?

Irrespective of the family background, education, rational outlook, invariably presently all marriages are showcase of unbridled galore of pomp and pageantry. Probably the degree varies. Very expensive silk saris with cartload of zaris and jewellery, display of gifts, ostentatious decoration of the marriage halls, high calorie and infinite variety of food items (it is pathetic that most of the times they are wasted by the guests), extra decibel entertainment to the level of deafening, inviting all and sundry, very elaborate arrangements for photography and video coverage have become essentials of our marriages. In addition, there are bachelor parties preceding the marriages where hot drinks flow like river.

These are termed as marking of a memorable and important event of our life. Accepted. Every moment in our life is undoubtedly important and memorable and we are not going to relive it again. Then why indulge in these sorts of extravaganza?

The ghastly inferno because of very poor makeshift arrangements and safety provisions around in the Srirangam episode where the bride is said to have incurred a debt of a few lakhs to celebrate her marriage is a glaring example. And another one is the audacity of a business tycoon performing a wedding in the sky hiring a plane!

We, Indians are very clever. We will use all modernity to suit our so-called culture and integrate them into our customs with ingenuity. The sad truth is that with the increasing material comforts most of us have become exhibitionists. Do we really have to perform marriages for that matter any family function with such opulence at the expense several of our precious hard earned money and time or incurring huge debts? Why our people who always favor anything the westerners do, especially Americans, completely turn blind in such cases?

With all this, we still call our country as a 'poor' and 'still developing' nation.   

27-Feb-2005

More by :  G Swaminathan

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