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Bride and Beautiful :-)

August 2, 2014

 

A diamond is a girl’s best friend’ so they say.

Not into soaps – tamil or hindi or english but like some good shows.

Love ‘Band Baajaa Bride’ in NDTV Goodtimes – with designer Sabyasachi. The brides are all lovely. The couples are excited and so very young and cheerful that you are transported back in time!  Watching this one regularly even if I am not for the big fat Indian wedding. In fact 2 are coming up in my family – between Aug 20 & Sep 10th. Mega weddings – 2 pairs of doctors tying the knot (all studying to be surgeons/MD, so even after they marry, they have to stay apart in different states for 2-3 years more. in our families we still marry before 27-28 maximum girl or boy).

For last one month, a series of betrothals and other functions kept me busy. All this show of pomp and wealth is getting on my nerves. But we women have to dress up for the sake of our husbands’ prestige (!) (believe me!) The show however takes things too far… for instance which bride gets her dentals done in India before her wedding. The brides before make-up look much better than after the so-called grand make-over at a prestigious beauty salon. These things never crossed our minds in those days. I stepped into a beauty parlour the fist time only for my wedding reception, and the next time it was 10 years later. Goes on to show, how our society is now attaching more importance to all things banal.

On clothes, its true we spend a lot on wedding clothes – all for one-day affair. Jewelry is like life investment, so that’s okay.

Sabyasachi’s approach to the entire show is good. He is very kind with the brides, generous with compliments. But he is also getting the best photogenic faces for the show that he can show off the best in the screen I guess. Make-up savvy ones.

Jewelry shopping part – I love the most about the show. Just looking at them is wonderful!

Born into a middle-class family,  gold and diamonds were still part and parcel of our ‘culture.’ And I am married into a blue-blooded one, the old rich (who are now neutralized) (but their snobbishness nevertheless is inherited and will stay). So ‘dressing up’ for the occasion is like a social obligation for us women. Even poorest in our state, including housemaids and corporation janitors, wear minimal gold which is nothing strange down south. In Kerala, one can see housemaids coming to work adorned in tolas of gold jewelry.

But north Indians are different. They go for designer labels in clothes, accessories everything. They are into flashy cars, doing their homes like that. South Indians on the other hand hoard money, hoard gold, hoard diamonds, hoard what not. We would rather invest in gold over latest limos or gizmos. After our kids’ education that is. Gold is the second best investment for us south Indians, coming a close second after real estate. The other greatest advantage with investing in gold is the ease of liquidity.

Over years I am seeing north Indian ladies/men spend fortune in shoes, bags, accessories, perfumes, gadgets… OMG I don’t own a single branded item in my life. Jewelry – yes. In last 20 years – don’t ask me!

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/south-loves-gold-while-north-favours-fashion/article6216427.ec

Here is one of the episodes I love best in the ‘Band baja Bride’ – with Surashree and Anmol. The bride Surashree is a physically-challenged girl. For a fact, every bride chosen in this serial seems to have some ‘character.’ Good analysis and choice by Sabyasachi and the team.

Everytime we women dress up for family weddings, its like we are the brides hahaha ! And we have our second, third, fourth and successive honeymoons soon after because our men get dazed!!! All the wedding jewelry dazzle happens to have some ‘effect’ on our men!

40 plus so what, decking up with diamond necklace, thick gold ‘kada’ bangles, ‘haars’ in gold and precious antique jewelry etc etc – we give the brides a run for their money! Plus don your rich silk sari with heavy zardosi. Husbands can’t have enough!!! They love to see us looking bride-like even in this age, believe me!

 

Watch the Kerala brides dripping in gold:

Safe city Chennai: In Doha most of us south Indians are good at window-shopping of labeled accessories than buying anything seriously, The filipino girls try maximum to sell us the totes, the sandals, the cosmetics etc. We Indians are frugal spenders and instead we settle for the precious metal mostly. I don’t care for brands just like most other south Indian women (but our men do these days). So more than a couple of filipino sales girls have told me, we Indian women are lucky because our men are buying us class stuff. ‘They have the heart’ they say (Hubby says, south Indian wives are expensive. Calls me ‘high maintenance girl’ hahaha. Whereas north Indians girls can be pacified with perfumes and clothes – they aren’t into precious stones/jewelry like we from the south are).

(Ofcourse, diamond is my most precious piece, and every year we buy gold traditionally on ‘Akshaya Tritiya’ and ‘Danteras’  days (Danteras precedes Diwali). Gold – we view as Goddess Mahalaksmi here (the goddess of wealth).

Purchasing power in the south is good. People don’t look it, but appearances are rather deceptive. Only now, crimes are happening in my place. Mostly we were trouble-free and crime-free for decades.

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The last wedding in our family (husband’s side) took place 5 years back and the day is still unforgettable. We have this south Indian equivalent of ‘sangeeth’ – and it is called ‘Nalangu’ or the haldi-kumkum ceremony. This starts 5 or 3 days prior to the wedding and after this the bride and the groom must not step out of their respective homes. Nalangu – some have dances & music (dhol) now like north Indians but usually we don’t. Most south Indian families happen to consider that dancing part ‘vulgar.’ We don’t even have ‘bharaat’ – we kind of used to have ‘janavasam’ or bharaat in open-topped cars in last generation, but its over 30 years since I saw one last.

Even before the wedding, the previous 3 months are spent on observing a lot of poojas like sumangli pooja, one for ‘kula devta’ etc. Its like submitting an application to the almighty in advance to bless the couple.

Then the grand but traditional Muhurat happens in a chosen morning (as per our kundali/horoscope.) (we simply cannot decide our own wedding dates).  Then finally the wedding reception in the evenings. And oh, one more confirmation-engagement ceremony the previous evening that I left out.

The whole 3 day wedding brought the entire family together.

‘Kalyanam aayiram kaalathu payir’ goes the adage in Tamil. That means, a marriage is a 1000 year crop (to be harvested and harvested and harvested with benefits to be reaped over a 1000 years). I truly believe in this. Which is why, who we marry is important. Marry in haste, repent at leisure they say, and this is very correct.

More than the newly wedded couple, its we the oldies who have maximum fun in the family weddings.  For instance the otherwise busy men in my family totally unwind during family weddings. Its quality family time.

Then follow some family feasts before the couple leave on ‘honeymoon’ – a foreign destination nowadays. Overall, there is this feel-good factor. The happiness is infectious.The mood is awesome! I have to keep reminding my hubby, we are not the bride and the groom hahaha!

As the d-dates draw closer, the whole family is excited! And imagine 2 back-to-back weddings within 20 days! The fun started with the 2 betrothals.  My BIL have already started their jokes.

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MARRIAGE IS THE BEST MAN-MADE INSTITUTION ON PLANET EARTH

‘What would you have done if we had not married?’ I asked my husband one day.  He said, ‘its expensive to hire a cook, a full-time maid, and then finally XXX on daily basis so better to get a proper wife!’ I took a pillow and banged him then and there. 

If not for anything, a marriage can be thought of as legal way of raising a heir.

Think of Junior, isn’t marriage worth it all for this one exquisite gift (and plenty more if you can afford)!

It is always so very exciting to see in front of our eyes our own best creations in life – our children. In my opinion.

But marriage is everyone’s private decision, I fully second that. I do have divorcee, widow and spinster friends – talking about family in front of them pains me. In fact reminds me of my past. But howsoever we women try, its impossible not to talk about our family with friends and even strangers. Other than that, what do we/I have in life to show seriously.

Not all marriages are made in heaven – thoroughly agree there is a lot of discontentment among both love-marriage couples and arranged-marriage couples in India. This is because today we men and women have more exposure to outside world than ever before. Women are extremely independent and career-oriented. So this has to happen. We cannot get all that we want in life. Somewhere along the line we have to give in, and believe me, its always better if the woman yields, because it is still worth it all. There is nothing called the ‘ideal’ marriage, conceded. In arranged marriages, compatibility could be of a grave concern. But we have to make do with what life bestows us with. The good thing about marrying young is that, you can expect to be ‘conditioned’ so you become compatible somewhat eventually, sharing the same space and background for years with your partner. You simply grow on your partner.

I am resigned to the fact that when you marry young and someone not atleast 15-20 years senior to you, you have to mother your husband first!!! They never grow up in many ways lol. If we say ‘black’ they will definitely say ‘white’ – even after 20 years of marriage. But a life without fights is also unthinkable hahaha! We guys are the Tom & Jerry in real life – we keep fighting but we can’t be without each other either! I am seeing some couples who married late – they seem to have less arguments than us, mostly husbands give in, probably because they married at a mature age.

A few of my friends rue, after 15 years of marriage, the girls and their husbands are no more ‘lovers’ but have become best friends. Has to happen with grown-up kids at home. Only long-distance relationship helps some couples (like us) maintain interest. Also we have ‘smart-alecs’ for sons/daughters at home – spying on us all 24 hours if we are together! “Am I a thief in my own home?!’ asks my frustrated hubby at times! A son 20 years old is ‘supersmart’ and is acutely aware of the tension building between parents! Beware!

Mostly men get the weakest on marriage I guess. Their emotional dependence on wives is overwhelming. For all their jokes and pranks, they can’t do without their women.

India is not a society where divorces used to be common. Men with 2 wives are there though but extremely rare to see women re-marrying. But things are changing, and yes, even in the south. Divorces are happening, which does not make me happy.

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That powerful bond called ‘marriage and commitment’
We all have temptations in life – no denying that. Guess mild flirtation is okay so long as that does not rock the ship called marriage 🙂 🙂 🙂
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Give your spouse some room to manoeuvre !
Would like to say this to every couple. My husband never reads my posts because he knows I deserve this private space.  I don’t party and I want to unwind somewhere – like here if I would like to. So my blog is privy to a handful of trusted friends .
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WHEN HUSBAND BECOMES YOUR SOUL MATE:
Recently in his alumni dossier, I happened to see the description my husband had used for me ‘my better-half and soul mate’ – and I wish I am worth it one hundred percent.
This happens for some people right on marriage. Whereas it takes years for some of us to get to that point.
I married a young engineer who was not even 28 when we first met. But he was so full of dreams – he would religiously keep waiting with his bike outside office at the bank closing hours to pick me up (only until we married – note the point). Today he has a very impressive career record – he is heading ambitious projects with turnover running into billions of dollars and is poised for greater glory in his profession. More than anything, he is a very nice and compassionate human being – otherwise wouldn’t have married me! I guess he virtually ‘grew up’ from the ugly duckling he was – into a beautiful swan right in front of my eyes. Husbands start ‘growing up’ with sons I guess 🙂
Men in my family treat us women well and with the respect we deserve. They aren’t the type to help around the kitchen, or as Grey puts it they are not the ‘hearts and roses’ kind – but they show us off with pride and set good examples to their sons.
What is very dear to me about my husband is: he never told a soul in all these 21 years my background or boasted to anyone about marrying someone like me.  None of our friends who we acquired after our marriage know anything about my past. On the otherhand he treats my family with greatest respect – he is not the son-in-law of the family,he is like a son, eldest son. He brought respectability into my life over anything. Character-formation starts for children at very young age – looking at their parents. So we parents have a tremendous responsibility. I guess my in-laws did a tremendous job.
We think our guys are boyish, but there is this ‘depth’ in them – a side that we have to remind ourselves of now & then.
Would my husband remarry if anything happens to me – NEVER. Would he have, had anything had happened to me earlier – NO WAY. In this one issue I know, he is like my father.  Sometimes wonder whether I deserve such a fine man for husband…
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Finally I wanna round off things with this:
Its alright to have a loser for father, it is your husband who matters. And success in life actually means success and happiness of our children. But our children will flee the nest oneday – so it is our life partner who will be holding our hands forever.
Thank you lovebirds Surashree and Anmol, lovely pix, thanks for treating us with something awesome, sweet and good – and here’s wishing you guys happiness always from the bottom of my heart!
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 Found this:
I do think we can do away with this ostentatious display of our wealth and fortunes – it is really vulgar. Liz Hurley married Arun Nayar, the Indian business tycoon in a star-studded 3-day big fat Indian wedding in Rajastan. So how long did the marriage last. Hope Sabyasachi takes the point.
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