This must be what they refer to as the marriage season. Over the last couple of weeks, I have found my self-going to all sorts of marriages and marriage receptions, more of the latter than the former. In fact, nobody invites you to a wedding, only to reception afterwards.
I like the receptions at Crystal Room Taj and Regal Room, Oberoi. Mainly because they do not look like marriage receptions more like one of those annual cocktails thrown by different airlines.
The whole thing is very business like and convenient. If it is at a Taj, you buy a gift voucher (Rs. 51) at Nalanda below, never mind if the bride and groom are interested in books and records or not, go up, climb on the stage, where the couple is standing in front of large thrones (no doubt bought by Ms. Camelia Panjabi from Chor Bazar), say congratulations and discreetly slip in the gift voucher, pose for a picture with the couple for the video, then have a strawberryessence ice cream and go home.
Shobha kilachand once told me, "All Gujarati weddings are video weddings." Then she had her wedding (weddings) with videos.
Gujarati weddings mainly take place in the Brabourne Stadium, at least all the ones I have attended have. They are nice in the sense that you are expected to give the couple one auspicious rupee. And they do not expect to hang around for too long. When you leave, they tell you Aavjo.
Sindhis normally get married at the Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium (except the Colaba Sindhis, who get married at Radio Club). I have never been to one of the weddings, but driving down the Worli causeway, I have seen the glitter of lights. And invariably either somebody. Or I remark. "A Sindhi wedding is on."
The South Indians are more traditional. They call you for the actual wedding ceremony in the morning at some precise time like 9.33 a.m., then serve you a lunch of resams and bagala bhat and Mysore halva, then call you again in the evening for the reception and give you one flower. It involves going to Matunga twice in a day, but that is all right. After all, how many South Indian marriages take place!
At South Indian weddings, alcoholic drinks are never served. At Parsi and Christian weddings, they are always served. Only some of the Christians have this irritating tradition of serving you home made wine made by some distantaunt. Unfortunately, the making of wine requires a great deal of expertise, wines made at home taste like cough mixtures.
There are also weddings at the Mahalaxmi racecourse. Last night I attended one. I found it rather strange that people should even think of using a racecourse for a wedding reception, when it is meant expressly for housing Congressmen.