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Swati Goel Sharma, Hindustan Times
October 16, 2013
Imagine my reaction when a middle-aged man told me with a straight face that the flying machine I just saw with my horrified eyes descending from the sky was actually the escort vehicle for the bride and the groom. Whoa! These rich Punjabis are certainly out of the planet, I thought.


Standing in the sprawling, well-lit farmhouse, I gave the alien vehicle a harder look and noticed the flashing laser lights and accompanying music. The huge blue-black craft landed and all pairs of eyes, which were until then reserved only for the next round of tandoori chicken, turned to the fascinating scene unfolding metres away.

Half-expecting a few creatures with long necks, large heads and almond-shaped eyes to appear at the gate, I swear I was the happiest when I saw two beautiful, dressed-intheir-blingiest-best humans jump out and wave at all of us. Marriages they say are made in heaven, and the two just seemed to reiterate the saying, flying as they probably were straight from the place.

Much was made of the grand entry and, with cries of ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’, the couple was greeted, hugged and fussed over while I wondered if what I just saw matched any of the quite bizarre wedding entries I had seen. Nah! No stretch limo or royal carriage came anywhere close to this spectacle that was, well, simply out of the world.

It made me ponder over a growing trend in nuptial celebrations these days: the fascination with putting the couple on a higher pedestal than the public, literally. Hydraulic stages themed as the moon, hearts, royal palkis or stars lifting the couple high up in the air to a thousand eyes gingerly returning them to the ground to wild applause aren’t uncommon.

Within minutes, my mind, wandering away thus, was rudely brought back to the wedding. It was the couple again, this time spiralling up and up on what seemed to me a revolving stage. All of a sudden, the bride went a bit dizzy and almost collapsed into the arms of the groom, while the onlookers roared with hoots and cheers. Finally, the stage stopped some 20 feet above the ground.

With me, the couple too seemed to heave a sigh of relief. Chants from the scriptures set to music reverberated the air and a rain of petals was pumped out from a machine. As I soon realised, it was the perfect setting for the jaimala ceremony.

The writer can be reached at swati.sharma@hindustantimes.com