Punjabi weddings

Attending weddings have somehow always been intriguing for me. The amount of action at play in Our weddings is something you can’t witness in any other gathering. Besides, there is nothing for you to worry about, once in your life. You are there to gorge on scrumptious food, show-off your ethereal beauty and the designer clothes, for gossiping and a little dalliance, may I say! (Please, I’m not talking about the righteous souls. I know the righteous souls attend the wedding for Sawaab only)

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Arrivals

Well, if it’s a family event, you are supposed to knock the doors of the shaadi wala ghar on the morning of the mehndi event. I don’t know what the sophisticated, foreign-returned, educated class does but we, the Desis in Punjab do it this way. So, at sunset, with all our belongings and heavy bag-packs we barge in to the cukki phuppo’s house, whose brother is going to get married.

Thankfully only Alaskan winters last that long.

(We don’t believe in reaching late, Not at least on a wedding) Oh! We thought we would be the first one to arrive!! But no, half of the khandaan would already be there, waiting for you. And then starts the Real game.

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Baraat

This is the major function in every respect. However, the momentous thing, overshadowing every other thing, about Baraat is the food-Attack. It all starts with endless wait for the food right from the arrival of Barat to the venue. Everyone just seems to be waiting for the food, somehow. (It shows on their faces, Trust me!) Now since the Wait for FOOD is going on, there won’t be much activity outta pure reverence. All you going to see are bizarre faces, passing “Im-starving- pretty-badly” looks to the waiters and aunties busy in looking for prospective bahoo’s.

Some are more ‘prospective’ than others, if you know what I mean!

Finally, waiters fling the dishes’ covers off and leave people screaming, “khana khul gaya”. And then there are people pouncing on food from all imaginable directions. Within a blink of an eye you’ll see the honorable guests attacking food as if they are immigrants from Somalia. The “khana khulnay wala” scene is so frighteningly sordid and creepy, I heard a scared kid saying to her mom, “mama mujhay laga bomb phatt gaya hai! Once the food is served, and every starving creature gets his/her fair share of food, you’ll find a dead silence prevailing for a while and then the munching and crunching and the clunking of spoons and amidst all this, male cousins and friends of dulha will bring him to the ladies’ hall (Becuz in the weddings I’ve been to, men are served food first and then women; may be because the bread-earners think their better-halves, if served food first, won’t leave even bones for them to devour on) where the sapno ki rani, raajdulaari dulhan is awaiting his piya basanti. (Just one wedding has affected my mind, wonder what’d happen if I happen to attend another one).

Then begins the poondi (Dalliance *ahem ahem*) …yes! that’s the time when chicks and the smartAsses get on with their search of “who-can-become-my-girlfriend/boyfriend”. Now, once the smartASSes and Chicks find their victims, a round of eyeing, showing faithful smiles and blushing, spluttering eyelashes begins (Women can do everything a man can, in their own way, however! *blushing*)

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Rukhsati

Ok, now begins the sappy scene! Larkay walay look completely clueless as to what to do, while watching the ammi, bhaai, cousins, khaalas, phuppos and every Goddammit relative blowing their noses to show how much the bride was being loved. They keep on wondering if they should sympathize with the bride’s family and ask them to keep her, and they’ll come some other day *cough* or just stare at them!!??

Or just not come back at all really.

Mostly they end up passing silly as hell smiles at each other, trying to make out, all the while, what should they exactly do at that awkward moment. Now, I’ve always wanted to fast-forward this moment (I can’t take that much sappiness * raises eyebrow* ) But things hardly go as you want! So, the rukhsati takes literally an eternity, with the teary-eyed bride hugging and showering smooches on every single person of the family (seeing this, sometimes, makes me feel, she won’t be accompanying her groom that day and would rebel) Ok! Finally, the much awaited moment of bidding the final adieu and getting into the car arrives to the entire Baraat’s relief.

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Valima

I like this function, the most. No drama, no sappiness and no One-dish issue and hence a lavish menu awaits you to demonstrate your gorging skills (yes! the city has started affecting my brain cells *guilty smiles*). The bride, too, doesn’t look like a sacrificial animal on walima as she does on baraat. People are all-smiles on this function but aunties with their bahoo (bride for their chand ka tukra) or damaaad (groom for their raaj dulaari) scavenging hunt continues at full swing. Yeah! Things have pretty much changed now, even eligible bachelors are being eyed by the hyper-excited aunties on such occasions and they actually get proposals on these functions.

More often than not they’re being asked directly and explicitly unlike that of a girl, whose parents are usually approached. Stating facts, No exaggeration, whatsoever! Uff zamana badal gaya hai!! Who says we’re not making progress?? *cough* Aside from this prospective bride/groom search on Another bride-Groom’s Big day, Walima is all about food. With every passing minute in this city, all I’ve started thinking about is Food, Food and Food!! Gosh!! Don’t you dare say anything to Gujranwaliyay, Im one of them now. *smiles sheepishly* Deliciously cooked biryani, sizzling tikkay, perfectly roasted chicken, seekh kebabs, salads and sumptuous desserts can leave Anyone drooling, what am I?? So, unlike other functions, I don’t mind the food-attacking exercise on walima, not a bit! Go ahead! You gluttonous brigade, Im with you!

*winks*

And with this the Exhausting days’ long function comes to an end and you get ready to attend another party’s wedding. All Hail to March/April, the wedding season!!

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This article was contributed by Kanwal Cheema – You can read what she had to say about Gujranwala here, and the problems that ail us all, here.

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Categories: A Shot at Love

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