For an outsider Brahmin Marriages are all about rituals, purity, tradition, Variety Dishes, Sarees, sacredness and any adjective that my lovely BRIT’s describe as Hunky-Dory. Its true to a certain extent but for an insider its all about Madisar Mamis and Atheys adding fuel to an already raging fire on Laddoos and Murukkus, the aging thathas showing off their wisdom by advising teenaged girls on what to wear and what not to wear, the NRI Mamis engaging in pep talks on marriage proposals for their son/ daughter and finally my lovely vadyars hap-hazardly reciting mantras.
It’s dirty once you get closer and this article is not about cleansing this dirt with Chennai Tap Water instead its all about revealing the nuances of a typical Brahmin Marriage.
Where do we start?
Obviously when the to-be bride meets the to-be groom. It happens all of a sudden, and it’s about first cum first served basis like a typical airline booking agency, where overbooking can also happen. If the girl is young and educated (MS or MTECH Plus) the boys will have to rush in before someone else snatches her. If the girl is old, whether educated or not, the picture changes altogether. In this rat race, the Madisar Mamis play an important part to ensure that their party wins at the end of the day. Ashtashastram becomes Vadamal, Btech becomes Mtech, 5 ft becomes 6 ft, white hair gets painted with black and handicapped part nicely gets camouflaged and many hidden facts gets modified according to the situation. All this happens for a rat race which lasts merely 10 min long.
So what’s a Brahmin Marriage all about? Custom, Rituals and Sanctity? No way.
A Brahmin Marriage is all about spending money at the wrong place, but holding the expenditure button tight when it’s absolutely necessary. When they spend more money on Nadaswaram and RmKV Sarees they hold their wallet tight on Laddoos and Murukkus, Vegetables, food articles and other critical commodities.
Its all about who gets eligible for the Murukku Pothi, Who wore what saree, etc. Its all about eating variety food 4 times a day for 3 days. It’s all about Nadaswaram guys playing Pink Floyd bits, instead of the traditional “Thayae Yeshodha”, its all about Vadyars, trying to woo more customers while chanting sacred mantras.
“Om Bhoor Bhuvasuvaha” – Cell Rings – “Hello, aa sollungo,” – “Thatsa Vidhur” – OK Nallakku Ganapathy Homam, engae Address – “Bhargo Devassa” – blah di blah. This is how bad it gets.
The Oonjal is one of the most admired ceremonies, where the bride and the groom get to sit on a swing with Madisar Mamis singing some classical numbers. It signifies that the bride and the groom should get the courage to face the UPS and DOWNS of life. Well it all lies in the heart not on a mere swing is my point. The order in which you come and bless the couple for this function, determine the political power you possess in the family. On the other hand, if the bride’s atheys mamis daughter’s maid was missed out by any chance, it creates turmoil.
When two aged and idle-minded Mamis talk to each other by any chance, it ends up in “Nalunku”. The Bride and the groom succumbed to the pressure, ends up in comical acts.
Things got to improve if the insider has to enjoy a typical Brahmin Marriage with all essence. When the Oldies try to throw the flowers hard to bless the couple, which ultimately falls on someone else’s head, why don’t we use Canons lying on display at the Museum for this purpose. When the guests try to sneak in between to hand over gifts which are worthless, why don’t we use a PDA and try to keep a tab of who has given what. When the video wallah tries to capture all functions in his video, why don’t we buy 4 digital cameras, hand it over to 4 teenagers and send one of them to the canteen, one to the stage, one amongst the audiences, and one taking care of young good looking mamis. This can be uploaded to YOUTUBE and can be viewed when required to do so, where as the marriage CD gets viewed only once.