I was looking at a friend's wedding pictures. A typical Manipuri wedding held in the shumang (courtyard). And all the rituals, people in uniform clothing colours, men in white kurtas and dhotis, older women in white, young ones in their ornate best. You also see the white chandan on everyone's noses, like the orthodox devotees in an Iskcon temple. Then follow the singers and pung (drum) performers, rythmic sounds, melodious tunes, happy thoughts, nostalgic feel... Looking at the pictures, I was transported back in time to marriages of my uncles and my brother's in my village.

But we don't serve food in our marriages. At least that was the norm till many years back. Maybe things have changed a bit now, with consumerism touching rural economy too. All that we ate in the villages were khoidums or sweet balls made of muris or puffed rice with jaggery. And more and more paan, beetle nut and leaf with coconut served in well round-cut banana leaves. I always came back home hungry after attending a marriage.

Delhi marriages are like mini fetes. The chat wallah, the pakaura wallahs, the pan wallah set up stalls to feed the guests. But, of course, you don't pay. The main dinner and my main reason for attending marriages is again lavish -- all kinds of food from continental to Indian to Thai to Mexican, you name it. Considering that parents save a major chunk of their money to marry off their kids, this is expected, I guess.

Anyway.. so, when I looked at friend's photos, something I uttered aloud was, "another one gone". Though not such a bad thing this marriage is, if you are not looking at the number of extra marital affairs people have these days! I gave myself a pep talk on this. People marry in haste, then forever look out, and screw around. Even if you are the one rooting for things you morally oppose, you get caught, sometimes, in this whirlpool of illicit romance. Such is life. Psyches you! But it's never too late to come out of it!

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