Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Art of Superficial Science

I have a problem.

Many of my close friends are getting married. The problem I have is I hate attending weddings. And a lot of my friends think that an ideal way for me to express my warmth towards them is for me to attend their weddings. I disagree completely.

If you conduct a dipstick among my friends I think most of them will tell you that I’ve been a decent friend to hang around with. I have smiled, laughed, frowned, teased and listened to all my friends. I’ll continue doing all of that and more all my life but one thing that really pisses me off more than eating Mutton Palak (They serve it in our canteen. I don’t know why!) is that one line that I dread hearing from my friends.

“You can’t even attend our wedding?”

What the bloody f**k?
I brought you home on my shoulders when you were pissed drunk. I let you copy from my notebooks when you didn’t know that Gobi Desert was not a sweet dish but a spot on Asia’s physical map. I was the one who actually told that girl you finally married that you liked her. And I still haven’t told your wife yet that you got rejected five times before by 3 different girls before you proposed her.

So what have I done wrong if I didn’t attend your stupid wedding? What was in it for me anyway? You’re the one who gets married, gets all the gifts and takes a vacation for the honeymoon. How will it help me if I attend your goddamn wedding?

Now the puritan will stand up and give us the explanation that joys and sorrows are meant to be shared. He must’ve heard it from his father and his father must have heard it from his neighbor who in his green fields must’ve heard some donkey braying in Tadzhik (a Central Asia dialect) that joys and sorrows were meant to be shared. This entire world creates a superfluous din about this whole rigmarole of wedding celebrations but nobody realizes why they do it.

Make a grand announcement from Qutub Minar. Carve an invitation card with sandalwood. Let a thousand odd people eat so much that they can’t even shit properly the next day. Decorate cars with flowers. Get dressed in your finest suit and drive your bride away on a rented limousine. Wake up next morning like a pauper, make a list of all those people who didn’t attend the wedding and then call them up and moan, “You didn’t even attend our wedding!”
Just as Robert De Niro’s exclaims in Goodfellas, I’m left wondering, “What’s the world coming to?”

Can’t the world see through the contorted custom, the hollow celebrations and the redundancy of inviting people to weddings? And on top of all of this, the reckless expectation, that everyone should attend these weddings. Sorry, but I fail to get this. Completely.

The last wedding I went for, I cringed and cribbed and cursed myself for the whole of 50 minutes I’d to be there. There was a group of friends who were seemingly having fun. They danced on the streets of Delhi for no good reason with some losers trumpeting distorted versions of old Hindi numbers ahead of them. I shook a leg and wished I had drowned in Red Sea. And then I hear my friends telling me , “Yaar, shaadi mein bahut mazaa aaya…” .

I asked my friend, "Isme mazaa kya aaya?"
He looked at me as if I asked the dumbest thing ever and shrugged his shoulders saying , "Mazaa to aaya..."

Now let’s spend a moment on the logistics. Even if you go for your best friend’s wedding, you can’t speak to him one bit. The guy/girl will have a plastic smile on his face all the time. He won’t be your college buddy he used to be. He wants you to be there, even if he won’t be able to see you. Why? Even he doesn’t know. But his family must’ve told him, “Invite all your friends”, so if his friends don’t turn up, he’ll be questioned and if you didn’t go his level of conviction in the “Yes! They came!” in his bellow won't shine through.

I can understand the importance of big moments and the need of friends around you in such moments. But the moment you’re getting married to someone, somewhere you’ve chosen your best friend for life, so why do you need your old friends to be there physically to gape at you? And if you haven’t chosen your best friend to marry, why the hell are you even getting married?

So my dear friends, get married, have a great life, live long and stay happy! I wish you well even if I don’t attend your wedding. I just can’t practice the superficial science of being able to attend weddings and not feeling hollow about the entire celebrations. Meanwhile, I’ll continue being the friend you could always hang around with.

Like the good old college days, I think…

19 comments:

M-d said...

I hate going for weddings of people I don't even know. You get a card saying, "ABC requests your presence....".
Who the heck is ABC? You gotta screw your face and think back of all the people you met in your life even if it was only for 5 mins.
However, friends wedding... that I'd never miss. Considering that most of my friends are Catholic, the weddings are a bit more entertaining than a Hindu wedding. I'd never ditch my friend on their wedding coz that's the day they need as much help as possible to ensure that things go properly and of course, it's a good feeling you get when you see 2 people you know so closely taking this big step. Hence, when I started reading your post, I totally disagreed with you when you said you hate going for friends wedding.
Yet after reading your post in its entirety, I was left understanding your view point and accepting the fact (with no problems) that you wouldn't attend my wedding if you were my friend.
The nest time someone catches you for not attending their wedding, direct them to this post and you'll probably have another believer by the end of it :)

Jason said...

Isaac, Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeezz come for my wedding...

Bahut mazaa aayega!

Jason said...

I hate weddings, and all the hullabaloo that surrounds it and much along the same lines, i hate uninvited visitors who come over home on Sunday and ruin the only day i get to do what i like :((

So applying the same yardstick to your wedding, would it be ok, if none of your friends turned up?

Madhav said...

Hey Issac! Visited your blog after some while ... and have been rolling on the floor ever since! Just one question: your stance on attending others' marriages is pretty clear, but what are your views on attending your own?! If you can't watch the plastic smiles in action, it's going to be one helluva challenge having to put one on yourself!

IssacMJ said...

@m-d: I think the ditching part that you mentioned is the problem. It is assumed that if you not around you would be ditching your friend. The way I see it, he/she should'nt care a damn about you being there. His wedding would go on just the way he'd planned it.
@ Jason and Madhav: If and when it happens ,the way I see it, a 5 minute scramble for the courtroom and followed by a week's vacation in Vienna.No friends and no relatives invited!:-)

Jason said...

Way to go, Isaac!!
Courtroom and Vienna .. nice combo u have there..

All said and done, weddings where you are supposed to pretend you are enjoying the show suck!

I prefer the 5 minute attendances, barge in, show your face, and slip out

Anonymous said...

5 mins in courtroom..what kind of gal will agree to that...marriage is supposed to be fun with the presence of all ur family and friends..a day u can cherish, feel proud to present tht someone special to this whole universe and look back to..to feel the purity and depthness of your relationship but maybe one understands it only with experience:)

spiderman! said...

ONLY Vienna ? Not Greece, Rome, Alexandria, Paris, Auswitch, Cairo ?
And I love attending marriages IF i get to meet my friends...no substitute for a round of no-holes-barred unpretensious conversation with old friends...u would agree I am sure...
btw, i am alarmed ! "If and when that happens"...why the IF ????

Shobhit said...

Weddings are a serious pain. And I agree with u completely. SO many times u go for a friends wedding and u have to take the backseat while ur friend is meeting the Mamas and Chachas he will most likely not meet again.
The only reason I wud go for a friends wedding is that other friends would come up and it would be a nice reunion of sorts. Plus the food. Plus some of the women ( applicable to Delhi weddings only :-D ).......
I'd never dance though

IssacMJ said...

@Anon: You're right. It'd be hard to find a girl who could agree to that. Still trying. ;-)

@Spidey and Shobhit: Spot on. Nothing like a great conversation with old buddies. However my experience suggested that the whole goddamn enviornment of marriage stifles conversations. Everyone seems to be a little more uptight, formal and disciplined.

Anonymous said...

Pompous weddings are such a stupid things that I hate it.It creates traffic nuisense, noise pollution and horrible music that will make the singers and lyricist to come out of their graves to slap the people who play the music and those who dance to those tune(???).

The only reason it appears to have a friends' presence in our marriages is to showcase your society about your standing.Else why the fuck a thousand people need to be fed at marriage.You only need blessings of your parents and willingness of the girl to marry.Why this pomp and show??Just Zamaney ko dikhana hai!!

IssacMJ said...

@Anon: You get me curious now... Care to leave your name? You speak my mind! :-)

Anonymous said...

What's in the name buddy.But yes one day you will know.And you will be surprised.

IssacMJ said...

@Anon: Prophetic... :-D

Anonymous said...

hahaha.Someday I will leave some signs of my identity.

chutki said...

It's sick how marriage ceremonies mean more of an ostentatious superficial social show rather than being a celebration of the spirit of unison of two lives. "How many people attended your wedding?" is a yardstick of social status that relatives and friends often guage you by. "How grand was the wedding?" is a yardstick for most people, of how rich you are and hence how useful you would be as a contact in their 'network'.

I myself am a couple of months away from getting married to a guy I've been seeing. To me, the day when my beau and I committed to standing by each other for the rest of our lives, would matter a hell lot more than the day of our wedding. The former day, was 'wedding' in the true sense of the word, the latter is just a social norm that I have to adhere to.

sachin said...

just purrfecct blog...but do attend my wedding wenever it happens :)

Owl said...

I am so happy to know there is someone else who thinks alike. I, for one, hate attending weddings and I don't see what's the big deal because at the end of the day what matters is the MARRIAGE and not the whole shebang. So what if I don't attend? Do I automatically earn the title of Worst Friend? I don't think so.

Anonymous said...

Stumbled upon your blog today after a long time. Did you get married and were you able to do the 5 min Vienna combination ? Curious to know if reality made you eat your own words.