The big fat Punjabi wedding is all set for a make-over. If the Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (DSGPC) has its way, the community’s shaadis will assume a new, quiet avatar. No more alcohol, non-vegetarian food or revelry. The DSGPC’s heart is in the right place; its concern is to ease the burden on the girl’s family that shells out vast sums on such occasions.
But, admit it, it would take away from the pizazz that has come to be associated with these mega events. Imagine the wedding guests in Monsoon Wedding chomping channa and guzzling panna. And what wedding worth its salt could do without the over-the-top tinsel-town glitter of jewel-encrusted lehengas and churidars? The Punjabi wedding knows no borders now. Across India and indeed more so among NRIs, it has come to be standardised much like a plated menu. So it is mandatory to have inedible matar-paneer, flaming orange tandoori chicken and the fearsome Russian salad, all washed down with a Patiala peg or two. Where, o where would we be if Madhuri Dixit appeared, not in her daring purple low-backed blouse in the wedding scene from Hum aapke hain kaun, but in some austere garment? The Punjabi wedding has now been appropriated by all Indians. So, it is not unusual to see guests at, say a Malayali wedding, shaking a leg to Daler Mehndi. From arthritic granny to crawling toddler, everyone leaps into balle balle mode with gusto.
We may curse every time we get held up on the road as a baraat starts off. But there is no sight quite like the bedecked groom clutching a small male relative astride a moth-eaten horse. But we are like that only. So let us not tie ourselves up in knots with guilt while tying the knot.