So as my wedding article last week had some readers violently agreeing, others quietly disagreeing, but everybody seems to want another one. So here goes. I am going to concentrate on the classic upscale north Indian wedding because that's what I know best. Aditya weds Natasha.
The bachelor/bachelorette party:
The start of the tragedy that unfolds and finally breaks on W-Day. The evening starts with the bride and friends knocking back shots, ending up with Natasha getting a lap dance from the hired stripper, who she has drunken chemistry with, and has to be torn away from her when she is about to drag him into a room and ravage him.
The bride is in two bad moods - one, she is hungover and dehydrated. Two, she has seen 23 paranoid texts from Aditya, which he sent through the course of the night. It might have had to do with her reply to his first text: 'Shut up, you wimp! I'm with a REAL MAN!' To forget her shenanigans, the bride drinks heavily at the mehndi. To forget his anger and suspicion, so does the groom. By the end, they have an alcohol-fuelled row with words like 'slut',
and 'insane' bouncing off the bedroom walls.
All is well. Lot of rehearsed Bollywood dancing. The couple made love yesterday, and so are content. Then the groom's oldest, bestest friend arrives. An Argentinian polo player with good looks and a massive stick, Juan causes havoc at the sangeet. The girls fight for him, the boys hate him. To prove how close they are, Aditya and Juan knock back six shots in five minutes, then recount their girl-exploits. Juan relates one particularly graphic Aditya story. Natasha freezes walks off, downs three shots and has a flaming row with her puzzled in-laws.
The protagonists are riddled with many conflicting emotions, yet everyone knows how it will end. Natasha is angry with Aditya, yet smug now that she has levelled the moral stakes. Aditya's livid because he lost the moral edge and Natasha disrespected his folks, yet quietly happy Juan related that story. Save Juan who is missing (as are three girls too), everybody is exhausted, wired and cannot wait to fly home. They grit their teeth and smile through it, so do the wedded couple.
As I turn lazily and contemplate the film festival party tonight in Florence, then Los Angeles for my latest film's screening, then Sri Lanka to start shooting on the new one. The single life. Such a burden!