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September 28, 2017

State Of The Union: The Buck Stops Here

Text by Tina Dastur. Illustration by Swati Sinha

Matches may be made in heaven, but weddings are crafted from money – and Verve’s Junior Writer, Tina Dastur fully intends on collecting her own pennies for her nuptials

‘Money for something because weddings aren’t free!’ That’s my take on the Dire Straits classic. For as long as I can remember, I’ve dreamed of the typical Parsi wedding. Not the over-the-top, extravagant sort for which me and my family would have to sell quite a few of our body parts, but something simpler and with fewer fusses. And, of course, when I conjured up my wedding affair, at that time, being young and a tad too naïve, I was under the impression that a small do was, well, a walk in the park.

Realisation, though, only struck in 2014, when my elder brother was getting hitched to his ‘parjat’ (as my late grandmother would bitingly call anyone who didn’t belong to the Zoroastrian faith) girlfriend of over five years. Just to clarify – she’s Punjabi. Even though it was a small, close-knit affair, with just around 220 guests, I so vividly remember my parents scrambling and running from pillar to post to finalise venues, book florists, shortlist caterers and hunt for one of those ‘rogue’ priests who’d perform Parsi prayers for the inter-faith union – all this among a laundry list of other responsibilities. At that time I realised how taxing and tiring a marriage actually is for parents. More than anything, I grasped the financial drain that went into ensuring that everything was perfect and in order before the big day.

It was during those few months leading up to the wedding that I decided that when I got married to my Parsi boyfriend, that we’d bear the larger chunk of the finances ourselves. Luckily enough, Mr. Boyfriend shares my sentiments in this regard. My decision has nothing to do with any feministic ideals (I don’t intend on freeing the nipple and organising ‘Females, Own Your Weddings – Fight for Your Financial Freedom’ marches), but instead a simpler realisation. I do not think it is fair for me to expect my parents to carry me through all of life’s milestones simply because they can and have done so in the past. Neither do I think it’s fair that they have to dip into their vat of years of hard-earned savings, only to blow most of it up on one such occasion. This is not to say that I may not need financial assistance at all, but I’d like it to be as negligible as possible.

Realistically, I’m nowhere close to financing my wedding right now, but that’s fine with me because I’m in no big rush to become a Mrs. The way I see it is that you only get married once, so you might as well do it your way, on your own terms. And one of my terms is being financially independent when I do. But that said, please, make no mistake – I’ll still be accepting all the ‘peramni’ (gifts of money that come in neat envelopes scribbled all over with the best of wishes and heartiest of congratulations) that comes my way – God knows I’ll need every little penny to bag my mansion in Cusrow Baug!

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