THE BIG FAT INDIAN WEDDING

Good morning! A lady at a wedding ceremony was admonishing her kids for playing with bows and arrows and aiming the arrows at each other. So they changed the directions and started shooting the arrows towards the sky. The lady again yelled, “Don’t shoot the arrows upstairs, they’ll fall on everyone around.” Well! I’m certain, what she meant to say was, “Don’t shoot the arrows towards the sky,” and ‘upstairs’ was just a slip of tongue. ‘Upstairs’ is the higher floor and not the same as ‘up’.

But the fact is that we grown-ups are a weird lot. We buy toys (silly and otherwise) for our kids and then screech at them for playing with them. We buy them a trumpet and yell if they blow it, we buy them a whistle (sisotee) and squeal just when they are about to curl their lips on it. If given a chance, I bet the poor tortured kids would give us a complete dressing-down (reprimand, scold) and not shy away from telling us of what they think of us.

Since I started with the word ‘wedding’, how can I not talk about the term ‘The big fat Indian wedding’? The term is given to the elaborate ceremonies that take place during a typical Indian wedding. Starting from a few days, an Indian wedding can last up to a month — the extravaganza, the religious rituals, the exchange of gifts, the fineries, the food delicacies, the décor, the music, the outfits… An Indian marriage ceremony is made up of all that is over the top.

Do you know even Greeks love ornate weddings? Remember the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding?

It shows all that the Greek weddings are made of. Well, May is the month of wedding invites, so loads of ‘big fat Indian weddings’ will happen now. All those ‘soon to be married ones’ must be so excited — arranging the trousseau, getting in tip-top shape for the big day and what not…

Hey! What’s this ‘trousseau?’ ‘Trousseau’ is the bride’s stuff — her clothes, her jewellery, her accessories and other knick-knacks (small articles). It’s a French word, pronounced as ‘TRUE (same as ‘true’, meaning correct or factual) — ZOE (the sound of ‘ZOE’ is the same as the sound of ‘toe’). It is ‘trousseaux’ in plural. The word comes from the old French word ‘trousse’ which means ‘a little bundle’.

Unfortunately, the bridegroom’s things do not have any particular name, thus, he (poor chap) has to make do with ‘bridegroom’s stuff’. But the men have their own fun in the stag parties (stag party is a party meant only for men; such a party is usually arranged the night before the wedding).

The other day, somebody asked me, ‘What are pheras called in English?’ ‘Pheras’, which actually is ‘phere’ are called ‘phere’; there is no English word for it and thank god for that. Had there been an English term for ‘phere’, I wonder how it would have sounded.

Have you heard of the term ‘hope chest’? It is the bride’s chest (box) filled with all her things — sentimental (like childhood dolls, toys, etc) and practical (clothes, shoes…). The English call it the ‘wedding chest’.

With this I close for the day.

If  you’re going for a wedding enjoy the ‘big fat Indian wedding’.

Bye for now.

Have a wonderful week ahead…

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