My mother, as is the wont of all mothers, has a few pet peeves. The most colorful among them is her hatred towards the NSS (Nair Service Society) and its affiliate establishments like the TDM Wedding hall in Cochin. As a child, I ignored her general remarks. As a teenager / young adult, I made fun of her criticism and now, as an older young adult, I am shocked that I see her point!
I recently had cause to visit the aforementioned TDM hall to attend a cousin’s wedding. As his 2 favorite female cousins were out of the country, I was pressed into service – not to do any actual work, but to stand around him and look shiny.
Nair weddings have, I am told, evolved many rituals to show off the wealth of the participants.
With increased rituals as shared on the spot by the 2 parties’ elder male curmudgeonly uncles and the equally curmudgeonly NSS official, the wedding stage is like a mini bloodbath.
Take this situation for instance.
NSS guy to groom : Take the vermillion, make a dot on the forehead, then take a pinch of the stuff, then starting at the bottom of said forehead, make a line all the way to the top, then take a third pinch of the stuff,….
Groom : OK OK
<begins red wedding > <link for those who aren’t Game of Thrones fans>
Bride’s sister lifts forehead ornament from bride’s face.
Groom’s aunt jostles 3 people to do this
Bride’s grandfather tries to reprimand aunt, fails.
Groom sprays red powder on bride’s head.
Bride sighs, later reprimads groom passive aggressivley.
Not to show off, but i like to think that for my own wedding my insistence on paring down rituals reduced the stress for the participants. Also, all my grandparents are dead.