State Of The Union: My Traditionally Offbeat Wedding
“If you have that stupid Kuch Kuch Hota Hai tune playing when you walk down the aisle instead of Here Comes The Bride, everyone will think you’re crazy!”
Such lines are commonplace in arguments with my very traditional mother whenever the subject of my marriage and my big day comes up. Yes, I’ve been scouting for a boy for the past three-and-a-half years (Oh dear Parsi groom, where are you?), but my wedding has been planned over 20 years ago. I’ve always believed that I’m the perfect mix of the traditional and the unconventional, and have wanted my wedding to be that way too.
So what if I’m a Parsi, and so what if my family frequents the NCPA for Western classical music concerts more than the conductors themselves? I too have the right to a crazy cocktails and sangeet night, where I can let my hair down dancing to Mere Khwabon Mein Jo Aaye and fulfilling my childhood dream of behaving ‘Bollywoody’ before I have to spend my life fulfilling my wedding vows. Who’s made the rules of how marriages and weddings have to be? Sorry mom, but if anyone has to have a say, I think it’s primarily the bride and groom. Of course, I love our little traditions – I’ve always imagined myself in a gorgeous white sari on my big day (Sabyasachi, that gives you two years and a bit to come out with an all-white bridal collection), holding hands through the ceremony, exchanging rings, and then locking lips with my new husband at the end of the function, as is the norm. I will be doing it all.
Parsi weddings are beautiful, and I haven’t heard of a soul who hasn’t enjoyed being at one (yes, maybe the Dukes Raspberry and patra-ni-macchi have something to do with it, but that’s a story for another day!). But I’d also like to sneak in a few traditions from other communities’ weddings I’ve grown up witnessing, and I know my orthodox parents’ blood pressure levels will shoot through the roof when I tell them this. I’m not wearing a red lehnga for my wedding, so it’s going to be a bright bridal red for my engagement instead. I’m not going to adorn my hands with mehndi for the big day, but what harm will it be to have a sangeet party to get all the Radhas – and their gara-wearing aunties – on the dance floor?
I’m sure I can find a guy who’ll agree that a little mixing and updating of traditions does no one any harm. And until then, my mom can pick whether she’d like to see me walk down the aisle to the tunes of KKHH or to the sounds of the mandolin from DDLJ….