Band, baaja, Bharat: Shahid-Mira and India's wedding obsession
Jyoti Sharma Bawa, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Updated: Jul 14, 2015 10:53 IST
Let us begin by telling you what you were doing last night. Like most of India (and NRIs), you were tracking Shahid Kapoor and Mira Rajput's wedding reception pictures via TV, phone and sundry social media.
If you are the breed that needs to prepare for Monday mornings (schools are open and that pesky presentation first thing in the morning. Yeah yeah, we know), the couple's wedding reception was the first thing you came to know about when you reached office.
After you perused the pictures and had your share of that vicarious pleasure, you turned to the person sitting next to you and discussed the pros and cons of what Shahid and Mira were wearing. The question got a stiff competition from another one: Which Bollywood star showed up and which didn't. It was then probably followed up by a discussion on Shahid's career trajectory.
Marriages in general and marriages of famous people in particular are a national obsession with us. All young people past a certain age can vouch for the fact that there is only one burning question whose answer the nation really wants to know (note to Arnab Goswami): When are they getting married?
From parents to assorted relatives to absolute strangers, anybody anywhere will suddenly pop the question: So, when are you getting married? If you do manage to get someone special, getting ready for the D-day is an affair that involves the entire percentage of Indian population that knows you.
Despite Shahid's best efforts, this picture of his wedding was leaked and went viral.
The wedding itself is a grand affair, literally every single wedding. People you have probably met once in your life take bad selfies with you and post them online even as you are trying to figure out the least embarrassing way to climb a horse. Or worse, when you are holding on to dear life while sitting on the horse.
If you are a celeb, this is million times worse. They have a public career, which is based primarily on their image. So, a picture with your mouth full is just an embarrassment, for them it is a catastrophe.
And for the buzz-hungry public, nothing is off limit. As #Shahidkishaadi showed, from the pictures of his wedding venue (comprising grandly of one wall decorated with three marigold garlands) to Shahid standing behind a door (if you look closely, you can see his beard) to a video where you -- wait for it -- see the couple's back, everything was good enough for wedding news-hungry public.
So, we lapped it all -- Shahid and Mira's sangeet, the songs they danced to, the songs they didn't dance to, their age difference, their love, how many mothers they had at the last count, etc. The weirder the story, the more the public hungered for it.
This picture of Shahid's sangeet lead to a tweet avalanche.
But now that the reception is done (haw, only three big functions and not even a destination wedding!), what will our janta do? Well, the next best thing. Watch Vivah, or Hum Aapke Hain Koun, or Ye Jawani Hai Deewani, or even Tanu Weds Manu Returns. Or a million other films and television soaps which revolve around the marriage theme.
If that's not good enough, what about asking your next-door-neighbour when his son is getting married? You know, he turned 25!