A not-so-close friend recently tied the knot in a typical Hindi cinema style ceremony that took place in a five-star hotel. There were about 500 guests present to bless the bride and the groom but for reasons unknown, all I heard them talk was about the jewelry and the dress the bride wore. Before you judge this crowd of upper-class sophisticated people of having less than intellectual thoughts I should probably inform you about the bride's ensemble. Her Manish Malhotra wedding lehenga was worth 12 Lakh while her jewelry cost as much as the annual budget of our neighboring state.
She had also hired a wedding planner who had precociously planned a grand cocktail party followed by a grand bachelorette party followed by a grand sangeet followed by a grand mehendi ceremony followed by a grand pre wedding shoot and last but not the least a grand wedding ceremony! Of course, it was going to be followed by a grand honeymoon too! Duh!
Along with the planner came a 24-hour personal make and hair stylist whose only job was to utilize all the cosmetics that the bride had purchased from the likes of Chanel and Gucci. Not to mention a choreographer who was hired to train an army of less than enthusiastic elders to dance on chartbusters. A celebrity was hired to perform as well.
One look at the rotating stage adorned with rare flowers was enough for me to finally break my silence so I asked the bride, my college friend, "Are you sure you did not overspend on your wedding?"
I will always remember what she said next, "You see my parents, how happy they are? We were always well off but they still saved like crazy for this day. If this is what gives them joy I don't think its overspending at all "
Of course, the parents looked happy and more than happy they looked content to have finally accomplished the only Herculean task that elite Indian society poses for the parents of the girl child. I don't know if it was love for their daughter or love for social acceptance that made the parents nearly empty their life savings because as far as happiness is concerned it may be safe to assume that successful marriages bring more happiness than a wedding that lasts just for a day!