Pakistani weddings – point five on my list of reasons I would like to move back to Pakistan for. Unlike some of my friends who went to a wedding when they were four and hence don’t remember any of it or went to some strangers’ wedding as a guest, thanks to the desi family traditions I have gone to a gazillion weddings and enjoyed them to my heart’s content. From dance practices to assigning the least attractive jora to the valima I love(d) it all! Thinking back to a wedding I attended a couple weeks ago I found myself nostalgic and yearning for the old-fashioned weddings, with all the quaint traditions. And so I compiled a list of things about modern Pakistani weddings that I find rather uninviting.
Non-segregated mehndi: Yes I know we are becoming modern and progressive, and mixing of genders isn’t a big deal anymore, but isn’t mehndi supposed to be a female-only event? Being open-minded doesn’t have to be at the cost of losing gender cliques. I wouldn’t invite any male friends to my bachelorette; why should I invite them to my mehndi?
English songs: This has to be my most irksome pet peeve ever. It’s a MEHNDI for crying out loud! (henna night for the sophisticated beings). I want to see bhangra and luddian on energizing and aww-worthy songs and not your aerobic moves on songs about getting inebriated. You just need to go clubbing more often, or need a life, probably both.
Tappe: When I was a child, women of my mother’s age used to sit on the dholak and sing tappe. Only a couple would know all the songs by heart; the rest would serve as sahelian knowing the chorus and consulting paper photocopies after the first couplet. Now that generation has gotten older and handed the reins to my generation – the generation that can’t even handle the spoon let alone the dholak. We don’t know the songs at all, the paper copies passed down to us are useless because we can’t read Urdu; and having songs in Roman Urdu is futile since we don’t know the chorus either.
Here is a tip to fellow females (am I allowed to counsel in these blogs?): Put them on your playlist a week in advance. You will make your mothers proud.
Where’s the stampede? Parents and siblings are the closest family but it’s a desi wedding! Your relatives also spent countless hours fine-tuning everything for your big day. Walk into the hall with your entire khandaan and be proud of it. If you enter with two people from a chordarwaza I refuse to turn my head to acknowledge your arrival.
The photo shoot precedes the baraat : I love that dialogue from the movie 27 dresses – the best moment of the wedding is when the groom sees his bride. I feel cheated knowing he has already seen her during the photo shoot. Bleh.
The Elegant Groom: [Enter: a guy in sherwani with the perfectly shaped eye brows] DUDE!!! You are supposed to be a hunk who will sweep off his bride to a life of eternal bliss… and not discuss face whitening treatments with her.
The Bold Bride: I do understand that you are a career woman who probably helped your parents pay for part of the wedding, you know your groom well and are confident about your future. But a little shyness wouldn’t hurt, maybe even help your case; otherwise thanks to the 2743 fashion shows that happen every week you just look like one of those dolled up models to me. And how can a bride not cry at her rukhsati? You know you will still get eidi from mommy and daddy!
Hmmm…uhhh…Valima…Was there ever much to rant about it?