Weddings make you wish you had a hundred hands instead of a brain that feels like a sponge attached to 10 different heads being pulled in different directions, says Kishore Singh.
Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com
A long, long while ago yesterday, at a time when chaos was just a theory and not the state of the house, when life was regulated by comings and goings to work with the odd coffee break, when I believed myself to be organised, at such a time I had not anticipated how ill-equipped I was to handle my son's wedding.
Was it last week when I could put my head on a pillow and hope to fall asleep?
When order meant drawing up a list and ticking off points one at a time till all was done?
Was it then that one could sit down with a drink over a conversation that made sense?
How did I become Alice in Wonderland?
Maybe because at that naive, innocent time -- soon disabused -- I thought organising a wedding was like hosting a party, only larger, with more people, and some perfunctory rituals.
I told myself that we had booked ourselves a caterer, designed the venue, ordered a valet service, what else was there to do but shine one's shoes, wear something shiny, and turn up to receive the guests.
That was a long, long while ago yesterday, and I now know chaos is not just a theory, weddings are a whole lot harder to organise, and frustration is imminent.
Weddings make you wish you had a hundred hands instead of a brain that feels like a sponge attached to 10 different heads being pulled in different directions, each issuing contradictory instructions.
If you thought sending out invitations was an easy task, you haven't accounted for the tyranny of lists, separate ones for different functions, and woe be yours should these not be coordinated with the e-vites issued earlier.
To say nothing of the gifts that must accompany each invite -- sweets in one, chocolates in another, clothes for some, a mere card for those not in the family's favour.
Some to be couriered, others to be hand-delivered by the driver or sundry other 'volunteers', yet some that require one's presence, inane conversations about the children 'all grown up', and generous portions of dessert just when you were trying to lose weight.
What it all boils down to is knowing how many chafing dishes the halwai wants, the number of tables the caterer may run short by, the permission required for heavy vehicles to ply in the city, the Web site to obtain a licence for liquor to be served, the right spot where a vanity van might easily park so guests have usable toilets, a generator that is genuinely 'silent', the size of the dance floor to print a flex for, whether the DJ can be relied on to play non-Bollywood music, the numbers of mehendiwallis, turban-tiers, emergency electricians, overnight tailors, presswallahs, florists and beauticians-who-come-home on speed dial.
Did I mention the accommodation and transportation that needs to be coordinated for out-of-towners?
Can anyone tell me why so many of relatives want to attend the wedding of someone they haven't met in years?
If there's one thing I've learned, it is to text while talking on the phone, telling the tentwallah what to do, eating, dealing with the courier, shifting furniture around, counting bottles of whisky, ordering the ice, writing welcome letters, all at once, while hoping it will soon end.