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.

  • Phatty

    I LO-OVE WEDDINGS!!! ^_^Recommend

  • Saima chaudhary

    I love your writing man!!! Really touched my heart. And dont forget the never ending comparisons between the bride’s height and the the grooms khamba like figure. Ppl go as far as anything just to have a scoop. But i love weddings!!!!!! P.s . You dont have to pay a penny for the food but your parents do have to pay a coupla grand ki salami!!Recommend

  • narayana murthy

    Watch this video : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4p-8l9-BOZY

    Very funny.

    Also read the comments. LOLRecommend

  • MK

    oh and don’t forget the gawking at the bride as soon as she reaches the stage, and saying “haaayyyyeee kitni pyari lag rahi hai”, or sometimes even “hayiiii she looks much better in real life nahi? makeup buhat ‘over’ hai…” damn man, if you dont have something good to say, then don’t say anything!!Recommend

  • Mustafa Moiz

    That’s why I enjoy going to weddings of people I don’t know and haven’t been invited to. No family to restrict your movements, no one to really keep your appearance up in front of, and lots of girls. The only thing is if the food is good I have to go somewhere else to properly enjoy it since actually enjoying mutton isn’t something you can do decently in public.Recommend

  • Ashfaq Ahmad

    I don’t like wedding customs as they are not Islamic. Especially dancing we should rid our selves of these Hindu customs and to back too the basics. Recommend

  • Javeria Mahmood

    I love attending the wedding ceremonies ….. bara maza ata hai :) jab risthe atay hain Recommend

  • Falaq

    @Ashfaq Ahmad:

    I think you should read Feisal H Naqvi’s article on this website called Dancing for Joy? Haw Haye! seriously!Recommend

  • umar

    Well said, well written specially the part of shamlessness and camera great obervation and so true.. Recommend

  • Canya

    Wedding meals aren’t free!
    You have to either give a present or money as present… :)Recommend

  • Ashfaq Ahmad

    @Falaq Too much of our culture is too Hindu. Look at Nadia Khan, Hina Shaheen , Ayesha Khan and they way act in the movies. Tell me if this is any way Islamic. 90% of women also wear tight or colorful clothes and makeup in public. We need as I said go back to basics.Recommend

  • Bilal

    This is funny but has a good message at the end as well! Well done!Recommend

  • Falaq

    @Ashfaq Ahmad:
    Oh god! If you have any problems with them wearing make up and “tight and colourful” clothes then don’t watch them! If you’re such a pious Muslim as you claim to be, you shouldn’t even comment on them! Colourful clothes, seriously? Since when is wearing colourful clothes haraam?

    People like you make me sooo angry!Recommend

  • Ashfaq Ahmad

    @Falaq
    In Arabian countries women do not where tight and coloruful clothes. ditto Iran. So it is haram. Recommend

  • http://Australia Naeem Siddiqui

    @Ashfaq Ahmad

    Bro! As it’s painful for you to see women in tight and colourful cloths I would suggest stop staring them.

    Islam is not being threatened by the tight and colourful cloths of women! Instead the real Threat to Islam is coming from illiterate mullahs who are distorting Islam and dividing Muslims on sectarian hatred and sending teen age suicide bombers to blow-up mazars, mosques, imambargah, markets and Jirgas.Recommend

  • Saad

    @Ashfaq Ahmad:
    You cannot be serious! LolRecommend

  • http://dodgeaurburn.wordpress.com Annie

    I enjoyed reading this immensely. Thank you for a good laugh :)Recommend

  • me

    @Saima chaudhary:
    hey i just realised, is your name really saima chaudhry or are you supposed to be the faisalabad wali saima chaudhry? lolRecommend

  • Omar

    @me:
    You are not me!Recommend

  • Citizen of the world

    Absolutely true Saad Bro! wonderful article..every thing is so true and written in a light and hilarious way!

    I loved the parts of the article which mentioned people attacking the food as it opens, people getting filmed while eating and capturing your seat if you leave it!!

    But from my perspective, the only interesting thing at weddings is food and I unashamedly confess that I go to weddings solely because of food, otherwise what interest do I have in two people’s reunion?

    I also make sure that I eat a lot (in fact over eat) because I have to make sure that I recover the value of the expensive gift or thousand rupee note given by my mom as a wedding present, knowing fully well that my mom and other siblings will eat even less than their normal diet at home!! So I am the only one to recover the value of the gift by eating as much as I can….LOLRecommend

  • Citizen of the world

    @Ashfaq Ahmad

    Absolutely agree with you Bro! Most of Pakistani wedding customs are from hindu traditions and should be stopped if we are to follow true Islam. Also you rightly said that women should dress more modestly…but girls probably put lots of make up so that they also get rishta proposals from visitors at the wedding. Its a problem with our society, where girls are valued by their beauty rather than by their religious piety.Recommend

  • Asad

    Honestly to me all brides are of the same face…a heavily made up bridal face…Mujhe tou saab dulhane ek hi shakal ki lagti hain….The groom also always looks like a circus clown entertaining the crowd with a fake smile and sitting in front of the blinding camera light…and there is one special friend of the groom who tries to be present all the time and you keep wondering if he not have any other thing to do… its the food that matters, and makes me remember a wedding. good food.good wedding.bad food.bad wedding. simple. Recommend