Aug 24, 2009

It is green, and it makes me turn red with rage...

Warning: Slightly MCPish post. If you are female and sensitive (is there any other kind?), please, please don't read this.


Time was when a Tambrahm guy could just sit around, playing cards and ogling chicks in their finest silks, on the eve of a relative's marriage. When all he had to do was turn around, and some over-enthu pattu-pavadai-clad-mami-in-the-making would be running around with coffee tumblers and hand him a delicious helping of filter kaapi. With a cute smile too. Ah, those were the days...

The glorious days before the Barjatyas and Johars of the world came up with their Punjabi wedding videos disguised as movies. They introduced alien concepts like designer mehendi and what not, to the hitherto one-big-circle-on-the-palm-and-five-caps-on-the-fingers maamis and their daughters.

And that, dear fellow MCP mamas, was the day when we came to know what women empowerment was, and how it stinks. Much more than the stink of the green goo mehendi.

We would have tolerated it if it were just the bride. After all, it is supposed to be the biggest day of her life and one could tolerate a few eccentric wishes.

But no, the whole female section sits down, gets mehendi all over their hands and feet, and then whenever any work is to be done, they literally throw up their hands...

It gets worse if you happen to be the bride's brother / cousin (especially if you are in your twenties and single). Because, much as one would love to sit back and take in the sight of pretty girls in their pattu podavais and their jhumkis, one would be forced to run around like a dog. Fetch the key we forgot in the house, fetch a rickshaw for the bride's friend, fetch Paati's eye-glasses, fetch, fetch, fetch... At the end of it all, if someone throws a stick, one would go after it like a retreiver. All while the ladeej are sitting around admiring the designs (?) on their hands.

And after they are all done and dusted, they further infuriate you the next day with inane questions like "ain't my mehendi darker than hers?" For all I care, you could have horse shit on your hands lady, and it won't make any difference.

The next big pet peeve is the bride's mehendi. Apparently, the 'bhabhi' (or mausi?) who does mehendi attended some innovation class and decided, for a change, to earn her 1000 bucks per hand. So, she comes up with this great idea of writing the groom's name, one alphabet at a time, in some corner of the strange patterns she makes up.

Now, the bride is not satisfied with just harassing the guy she's getting married to. So, post marriage, while you are taking a 5 min breather before you are asked to fetch something, she'll call you, open her palms, and say (in what she imagines to be a cute voice) "find the letters on the hand".

Geez lady, for one, we are too old to be playing this treasure hunt thingy. And two, that mausi (bhabhi?) could have written "asshole" for all I care. And three, no that squiggle does not look like an 'A', whichever angle you look at it!

But thankfully, before the bride gets a dose of SRK's special brand of sarcasm, someone calls to fetch Paati's rubber chappals which she forgot outside the bathroom.

Believe me guys, I have never felt gladder to go and pick up a pair of slippers...


PS1: This post has been sitting on the draft folder for quite some time. It is the result of attending too many marriages lately, plus an email discussion on the pre-marriage craziness with some like-minded friends.

PS2: I know some of my friends, and all of my cousins / aunts are gonna hate me for this. But it is ok. Sometimes, a guy's gotta do what he's gotta do...

Ps3: A personal reward of 5000 bucks from my side for anyone who can make mehendi with itching powder...


  1. aah... the sting is gone with the suitability editing... srk is getting mellow :)

  2. Ha! What have the MCP mamas of the world come to? I must say the rant is rather warranted, even well deserved, after all the hard work fetching slippers and the consequently denied eye candy time.

    This coming from a not-so-sensitive female who doesn't really care for the name,however artfully hidden, in the mehndi :-)

  3. The sight of Mehendi makes me wanna puke!
    Well written.. I remember attending a cousin sister's marriage.. As the brother of the bride I had to garland the groom at least 6-7 times that day! I made it clear that next time am in-charge, am tailoring the process! :)

  4. THANK YOU! I've been meaning to write a post on something similar for a while! I was going to focus more on the Bollywood induced "Mehendi and Sangeet"ification of Tambram weddings and the sudden influx of words like jeejaji and mausi into the vocabularies of people who haven't even stepped foot in North Arcot, let alone North India! I could even deal with wannabe Cinderellas and their white wedding fantasies, complete with wedding bands, gown and veil; after all we have been wanting to be White for centuries now, but apart from wanting to be White, if we also want to be Northies, then God help us! {/end rant} :D

  5. haha...they females had this one coming to them for some time now!!

  6. I am personally going to ensure that your wife has a mehendi and she has your initials engraved on them and she would ask you to find that out ! :))

  7. @ Anand:
    as it is, i stand the risk of being branded the baa baa black sheep in the family... and many cousins read this blog...

    any more sting, and i stood the risk of not getting invited to weddings... let's keep the sting in mails...

    @ Juggler:
    ha, some support from the ladeej side! most surprising, but much appreciated...
    and as long as u care for the guy whose name is artfully hidden, it won't matter i guess :)

    @ Chiju:
    the sight is still ok, after all the palms are pretty... but the smell... eww
    and it is a darn difficult job being the bride's brother... but let's not go there :)

    @ Idling:
    well, half of India is being Punjabi-fied... the paneer butter masala, the bhalle bhalle song, the karva chauths and the dancing at weddings... but am sure people more qualified than me have ranted on that.

    I just harped on one aspect... and in spite of all I said, I love the Punjabis... but only the feminine half of them... even if they wear the darned mehendi :)

    @ Liberal:
    indeed! the only fear is when they retaliate... you don't even know what's coming and when...

  8. @ spidey:
    well, we'll cross that bridge when we come to that ;)

  9. Anonymous12:03 PM

    After reading this post, first I wouldnt call you a MCP...coz I also hate the smell of Mehendi...even though I am girl..
    Also, I hate the fact that tamil weddings are becoming northish..with the ghagras and sherwani(like SRK..ille ShahRukh from Kal Ho Na Ho)!
    But I like it, when the groom has to search for the initials..I think its romantic..which I disagree with you..

    Otherwise wonderful post, and applause! :)


  10. @ Anon SS:
    1) I am a self certified MCP, so you *not* branding me one doesn't matter
    2) as i mentioned above to Juggler, good to see some support from the other side :)
    Maybe I should start an Anti-Mehendi group on facebook, just to see how many actually hate it?
    3) on the northish trends, seriously! if some idiot hides my shoes at my wedding, I'm going to let her have it...
    4) well, searching for words in your wife's hands *may* be romantic... I wouldn't know yet... but no way am I hunting for words in my sister's hands... I'd much rather solve the Hindu crossword :)