A houseful of bridegrooms
Sunday was a day of cheer when lakhs of (un)suspecting couples joining in holy matrimony, all imagining a life of bliss and happiness. The alignment of stars brought this joy to my niece as well. We were a bag of mixed emotions-smiles and tears-in Bollywood-accustomed style.
The star cast was all there; sophisticated women in their finery, dripping diamonds, beautiful kohl-lined eyes hidden behind mafia-esque glasses. Even the men were dressed to kill, handsome in suits, a rainbow of pastel-shade turbans. The fairy-tale setting had dew kissing the flowers gently.
The wedding was beautiful; with traditional music sung piously. A Sikh wedding is simple, sung to the raags drawn from the holy book. At the fourth phera, we all were misty eyed, sniffing had begun and the groom's side was all smiles and congratulations. A silent rumble, a stirring, a noise, and it was commotion. Not one, two, or three but seven other grooms in waiting had crashed in.
It was all Satte Pe Satta and comic-movie jostling by womenfolk. We forgot to cry. In fact; in the chaos, we even forgot about the bride. A fat woman edged past me to push her son in front to be the next groom. We had two on the right, where the men sat, and one peeping from the side door. The families were playing musical chairs; one groom would barely have gotten up when the other would rush in. Solemnity all lost, the movie man had a tough time taking pictures that excluded the extra grooms.
My aunt (a darling) was up in arms with a frown to battle it out to ensure that the moment was preserved for us but the extra baraatis were too much a force. The poor bhaiji (gurdwara's caretaker) couldn't decide whom to offer Prasad among the riotous wedding-wallas.
I have heard of traffic jams and serpentine queues for kerosene oil and other rations but I have never ever seen seven grooms competing to be first in the line to get married. It was the climax of a comedy of errors, with our desi Shakespeare wallah laughing away about an alignment of stars that made all very mad to get married at the same time.
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