Sunday, January 8, 2012

Mallu Christian Weddings in Gujarat

It is Mallus this time with gujjus as the chicken leg-piece! Read on before taking out the daggers! 

This post has been in the Draft state for sometime now. So to end the agony of this post languishing in the confines of Draft status I am moving it to Published state. Hopefully it will feel better there.

Mallu christian weddings in Gujarat are generally a dull affair and self takes extreme measures in avoiding them. However, during the childhood stage of existence, parents exercised their veto powers against every motion of avoiding these weddings. So having gone to a handful of them, have come out with the some of the prominent features of the wedding!

The wedding reception can also be termed as a Gold Show. Ladies across all age will be heavily armed with gold all around them. The challenge for the bride is to have the heaviest artillery of gold on her. The order of magnitude by which bride should outstrip the other ladies in terms of weight of gold is comparable with Sachin's runs against WI batsmen (the current crop). This will ensure the other ladies will talk in hushed awe tones about the gold. Else the groom will be titled "Pavam*" and the bride will be termed as bringing ill-luck to the family. Alright, I exaggerated there a bit, but it is on the similar lines.

The next persistent characteristic is the queue. It never shortens and you stay rooted to the same spot although the number of people ahead of you increases in an exponential manner. Have heard that this is a typical  characteristic of every wedding happening in the Indian sub-continent. Maybe it is to do with our caring nature. We just cannot fathom that a person known to us is standing so back in queue when we ourselves are soon going to gorge on the delicious looking chicken biryani. More on chicken biryani later in the post. We really want to help the poor relative / friend who is standing way behind and help him get the food almost at the same time when we get it. However this kind of care is only limited to weddings and the care vanishes soon after the wedding.

Food Counter
This is the most happening place at the reception. Mothers, grandmas, wives will scream, steal, and beg for the elusive chicken leg-piece. The perfect almost queen-like women of all ages with their stiff upper lips suddenly turn into blood lusting vampires the moment they near the food counter. Believe, the strong aroma of the biryani rice activates the release of soon-to-be-named hormone which causes them to turn into vampires just like the sight of moon turn people into werewolf. The unbearable heat, the smelly arm-pits, the jostling, screaming - nothing deters the mallus from getting their prized chicken leg-piece. It is the cherry on the cake and nobody can take away their right to this chicken leg-piece!

Chicken Biryani
Yes it is always the chicken biryani. This fascination with chicken biryani never ends. People crib about the biryani when it is not there and when it is there. Like a true cricket fan who carries all stats and match incidents in his memory, people will remember the texture, flavour, type of rice, the softness of chicken, etc they have eaten so far in their lives at wedding receptions in their convoluted mallu brain. The memory remains. Whatever the marrying parties do to make their  biryani best, their biryani will never be able to match the best biryani that each of the mallu present at the wedding ever had.

After last post, I did not want anymore posts on them after my friend threatened with dire consequences. But then he usually does. So here I go again. Gujjus in Mallu weddings are the most clueless people in the wedding. They won't understand all the hoopla happening on the chicken biryani counter as most of them won't eat chicken. Of course some of them will be salivating after  smelling the chicken but this being a public occasion and the chances of mamas, mamis, phoi et all lurking around the corner, they just give the chicken a slip. Some respite for the chicken from the blood-thirsty mallus. Additionally, Gujjus will move in groups i.e. Neighborhood group, office group or college group. They are very easier to spot as they will be the most clueless group around with question marks on each of their foreheads. They only understand two things in the entire wedding. First is the bride and groom and second is the veg good counter. They religiously attend to these two places and go home.The problem is with the hordes of Mallus around and a smattering of Malayalam happening everywhere, they suddenly forget they are still in Gujarat. Poor souls get disoriented. But they do go back with a huge smile on their faces and their orientation corrected for Gujju food is specially served at a zero queue veg counter.

* Pavam - means innocent or in this case naive. The groom gets sympathies if he gets the title of Pavam

PS: Never planned to mention chicken so many times. It just happened and so the disclaimer. No chicken was killed in writing this post.:)