The wedding fiasco

Published: September 5, 2011
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Wedding photographers tend to always catch people who are eating PHOTO: AMNA IQBAL

Weddings are a big deal in Pakistan. Whether the person getting married is a close relative or a distant acquaintance, one witnesses drama that comes with this gloried event.

I personally love a good wedding. Here are just a few things that I have experienced at the weddings that I’ve had the chance to attend:

Wedding aunties:

At every wedding, you will run in to at least one pestering aunty who will want to know every little detail of your life. Therefore, it is usually the girls who dread going to weddings, as they are typically at the receiving end of a million questions levelled at them by aunties hoping to find an appropriate match for their unmarried sons.  Thus, girls at weddings go through every possible means to avoid the nosy wedding aunty.

However, we guys have our own reservations about these aunties too. People tend to forget that every aunty who conducts a full-fledged interrogation has a son who is almost constantly pestered to get married, and is incessantly asked to offer an opinion about every passing girl. If you are under the impression that all guys enjoy giving their opinion about random girls whom they don’t know, then you couldn’t be more wrong! Being questioned by one’s mother on a girl’s looks and figure is a topic most boys avoid like the plague.

Dinner time and shamelessness:

No matter how classy and sophisticated the venue is, as soon as we are told dinner is served, all hell breaks loose. We take off from our seats at lightening speed and jump at the seekh kebabs, pushing and shoving our way in, not giving the slightest thought to the poor little boy who is trying desperately to grab a naan. And yes, I usually am that little guy who fails to understand why we can’t form an orderly queue and wait for our food like civilised people.

All etiquette and manners seem to disappear at weddings. There is always someone who will step on your foot or slap you across the head while dancing and won’t even bother to apologize. Instead, there will just be a little laugh and an assumption that you didn’t mind it at all.

Then, there are those people who will steal your place if you make the mistake of leaving your seat even for a minute or two. Here again, there will be no sense of shame and all you’ll get is a nonchalant, unperturbed face, and a pointless comment about how there are not enough seats in the hall, which is never true.

On camera:

Be prepared for the camera-man, with his blindingly bright light, who insists on filming every person present at the wedding. You will often find the one unfortunate person on a wedding video who will be shovelling food in to his mouth like food is going out of fashion. With a mouth full of naan and qorma, the victim will usually catch the camera on him and either duck behind the person sitting next to him, or make a move to quickly swallow the monstrous bite in his mouth. This leads to gagging and gasping. Eventually, the red-faced victim ends up looking at the camera with angry, vengeance stricken eyes.

Why do wedding camera-men fail to grasp the idea that some people do not want to be filmed while they are eating? I feel like these camera-men are paid to make a bloopers reel, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I see my face on “Pakistan’s funniest home videos”.

The glass is half empty:

However much the bride and groom try to make their special day as welcoming and enjoyable as possible, there will always be people who will have something dreadful to say about the event. For example, it is common for the elderly couple to say that they weren’t given enough importance and weren’t greeted properly. Moreover, they will complain that the food wasn’t good enough, it was cold when they got it, the waiters were rude and unfriendly and so on. These complaints are endless, and mostly completely untrue.

When will we realise that a wedding is to celebrate the union of a man and a woman? As long as this is accomplished, everything else is secondary.

With so much drama, you might be wondering why I stand by my statement of loving weddings. The answer is simple; where else would I ever get a chance to witness love between families, and such happiness amidst people during the troubled times our country is facing?

Most importantly, however, where else would I get a chance to eat as much as I like without paying a single penny?

Saad Hafeez

Saad Hafeez

A British Pakistani living and studying in London.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.