on Weddings and Marriages
Indian shaadi, Bollywood ishtyle
Despite having wedding theme,
and Prejudice didn’t live
up to the expectations
Nair scored a hit with Monsoon
Wedding or Gurinder Chadha suffered a miss with Bride
& Prejudice , the Indian wedding in Bollywood ishtyle
has found favour with the audiences.
Komal Nahta ascribes this trend to our "traditional upbringing.
Our weddings whether Punjabi, Rajasthani or otherwise are
elaborate. People like to be a part of the weddings in communities
and also enjoy watching them transcend on screen."
He cites the
beginning of this genre to the film Hum
Aapke Hain Kaun which was heavily centred on shaadi
and baraatis .
However Indu Mirani points out that "the success of the
films rests entirely on strong scripts."
Next on line after Bride
and Prejudice is Salman-Shilpa
Karke Phas Gaya Yaar
For this year and the next
— 2005, we have three films lined up on wedding. Salman Khan-Shilpa
Shetty starrer Shaadi Karke
Phas Gaya Yaar will hit the screens in the coming weeks.
What according to Shilpa is the USP of a shaadi film? "People
like to watch fun and frolic on screen and films with a happy
ending. Shaadi films
promise all this. Besides they are watched by both the masses
and the classes."
About her own film, she adds, "The title is intriguing.
I play a westernised girl from a rich family who falls in
love with a middle-class guy and gets married to him. But
post-marriage they start having differences and are unable
to cope with their matrimony.
The situation is very similar to today’s real life where young
couples try hard to make their marriage work especially if
compatibility is an issue."
Mira Nair not only scored a
hit with Monsoon
Wedding but also bagged
The other film, which will
only be released in May 2005 is director David Dhawan’s
Shaadi No 1 .
"This is a comedy caper in our inimitable style,"
informs Vashu Bhagnani who is producing the film.
"The film will have a message just like our last marriage
caper, Biwi No 1 did
in ‘99 which inspired many women to go and catch their cheating
husbands red-handed. Now if Shaadi
No 1 , a reflection of today’s society where people
no longer respect the institution of marriage, prevents marriages
from breaking-up, I will be the happiest!"
This multi-starrer features four actors — Sanjay Dutt, Fardeen
Khan, Zayed Khan and Sharman Joshi and six actresses.
While the Hindi going audiences have a lot to keep them entertained,
for the young there is an English film French
Fries And Curry directed by debutante Sharmistha Parida.
The film is about the emotions three young women experience
when they decide to get married. The film is based on the
true experience of Parida’s three roommates!
TIMES NEWS NETWORK
Great Indian Wedding Tamasha
seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Now watch the sequel: My Bigger
Fatter Indian Wedding. Coming soon to a family near you.
week, it played to a packed house in my family. The groom
was Punjabi, the bride was American and the wedding was a
full-blown Indian affair with more relatives, more noise,
more chaos, more functions — and more calories — than any
other event invented on Planet Earth.
bride’s family — all Americans visiting India for the first
time — were drowned by the typhoon. The culture shock must
have been similar to what Aunt Puppie from Punjabi Bagh would
feel were she to be suddenly dropped in a remote Alaskan reserve.
one: Bride’s family, dressed in formal black, arrive promptly
at 7 pm because that’s what it says on the card. There’s no
one there. They don’t know yet that when we say seven, we
mean eight, even nine. All evening, they stand politely in
a corner with a glass of wine, unsure of what to do.
function three, they begin to loosen up. The beat of the dhol
is irresistible, and some even dance Punjabi ishtyle. By function
five, there’s full capitulation: All the Americans are now
wearing bright Indian clothes, eating chaat and going balle
function 55: the bride’s girlfriends also all want to have
a big, fat Indian wedding.
think the ease with which this particular American family
adjusted to the chaos of Indian wedding celebrations had a
lot to do with the smash hit film Greek Wedding which “wedding-broke”
many westerners into our touchy-feely, family-oriented cultures.
anthropologist Edward Hall said that a neat way to understand
world cultures is to broadly classify them into two primary
types: High Context or Low Context. Once you understand the
differences, you can immediately sense where different countries
cultures (the Latinos, Greeks, Indians, Asians) are marked
by lots of touching, hugging, constant interruptions, loud
decibel levels and many things happening all together. Life
revolves around family and food, food, food.
cultures (Germans, Scandinavians, Americans) are more reserved,
more punctual. They are uncomfortable with too much touching
and too much noise. People tend to be more individual than
family oriented. They do business differently too, going by
firm commitments rather than word of mouth. When a Swede,
for instance, says a deal is done, it’s done. When an Indian
says a deal is done, it means: Maybe, if one of a million
things don’t go wrong.
even among high-context cultures, the Indian wedding stands
out. It involves as much planning as the construction of a
nuclear power plant — except it costs more. And it has stubbornly
withstood the winds of globalisation. My family members have
married an American, a Swiss, a German, even a Chinese. But
did they have an American, Swiss, German or Chinese wedding?
No way. It was always the great Indian wedding that prevailed.
pull of the Indian wedding resides in the deepest part of
our cultural psyche. Take all those global Indians who are
westernised in every way, punctuate their every sentence with:
“That’s so cooool”. But when the time comes to marry, they
all want to fly back home and have a Hum Aapke Hain Kaun wedding.
the world gets more compact, the Indian wedding continues
to expand. It has not let go of any of its old traditions
but it has opened its big arms and allowed many new elements
in including dance floors, DJ’s, Thai food, western music.
Meanwhile, we continue to also do everything our ancestors
did. Why we braid the horse’s hair or put kajal in the groom’s
eyes, beats me. But we do it anyway.
makes the Indian wedding so resilient? I think somewhere the
great Indian wedding is an affirmation of Family, which is
among the deepest held of Indian values. Weddings are a public
statement of how much family matters, even when it contains
embarrassing relatives, gossipy aunts and the inevitable drunken
uncle or two. The great Indian family embraces it all.
bride and groom are actually quite incidental to the whole
show. Lots of other sub-plots are going on during the celebrations.
Cupid is running around between the shamianas. The air is
full of intrigue, hormones are on high alert. Hindi films
have taught us that love is inevitably found at Indian weddings
— hey, that could be a future spouse standing by the dessert
table. The great aunts are busy sniffing all the young people
and filing them in their mental matchmaking drawer: “Mr Chopra’s
son, my, how well he’s doing. He’d be perfect for Mrs Singh’s
daughter. Such a lovely couple they’d make.”
course, one of the USPs of an Indian wedding is also that
something must go wrong. You can hardly have seven days of
celebrations without a disaster or two, stuff that will then
become stories to tell grandkids. I have personally witnessed
several such “disasters”.
a close friend whose family went to town over her wedding
— with theme cuisines, decor to-die-for and a bridal outfit
that made everyone go “awwww”. Except in all the chaos, they
completely forgot to arrange for a priest or a havan. The
mahurat clock was ticking away. The bride and groom ultimately
had to take their pheras around a candle placed on a table.
there was this cousin whose baraat we accompanied to the bride’s
hometown of Jaipur. Just as the baraat was about to depart
from the guest-house, the groom’s pyjama tore. The family
dispersed all over the place, hunting for a needle and thread.
But none was to be found. Finally, we reached the bride’s
house two hours late where our hired band was waiting. Soon
as we reached, the band packed up. It was a jail band and
their time was over. They had to report back to jail. So we
entered the bride’s house in utter silence.
then there was this other wedding where the relatives all
sobbed copiously as the bride got into the doli car. The shehnais
wept. The sisters cried. The car wasn’t even out of the driveway
when it collapsed with a flat tyre. The crying relatives had
to come running to fix it.
of which, our Big Fat Wedding of last week also ended with
its own little disaster. On the last day, the entire party
fell sick with upset stomachs. What began with champagne ended
with pudin hara. That’s just the way marriages are. For better
or for worse.
khushi kabhi gham.
Bhargava has been a writer and editor for several years. She
writes a weekly column on the business of life. She can be
originally published in Indian Express]