Big Fat Indian Weddings

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1/14/13

The Big Fat Indian Wedding s; the Only Way Out... by Padmaja Iyeng ar

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The Big Fat Indian Weddings;
the Only Way Out...
by Padmaja Iyengar
At the beginning of an epis ode of ‘Satyamev Jayate’ on Indian Weddings , Aamir Khan quizzed s ome of the young members of the audience about the kind of wedding they’ d like to have.
One young man s aid, “I’ d like to des cend at the wedding venue from a helicopter and not the us ual ghodi (mare) during my baraat (pre-wedding proces s ion of the bridegroom and his entourage to the marriage venue amids t much dancing, mus ic, pomp and s how)”

A young lady s aid, “I’ d like to get married in a palace” There were quite a few in the audience who s miled indulgently at thes e youngs ters . Aamir Khan then held a mirror to the Indian obs es s ion for dowry and os tentatious weddings by pres enting s ome victims of dowry haras s ment and NRI marriage frauds .

He als o pres ented a community elder Mr. Maus im Ummedi of Tanzeem Khuddam E Millat an organization from Burhanpur, Madhya Prades h that has popularized the concept of “No Band, No Baja (Mus ic), No Baraat, No Dahej (Dowry)” to s uch an extent that community groups from other Indian States have come forward to implement their model. Mr. Ummedi informed the audience that in Burhanpur, one can’ t find any dis tinction between the wedding of a rich family and a poor family as everyone follows the s ame norms – No Band, No Baja, No Baraat, No Dahej and a s imple wedding without feas ts . Als o, there are no dowry deaths in Burhanpur. Laudable indeed!

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Towards the end of the epis ode when Aamir Khan as ked the s ame ques tion that he’ d as ked at the beginning of the program, s ome of the young audience members s eemed immediately reformed and s aid they’ d like to have a s imple wedding for which they’ d like to foot the bills too!

This particular epis ode on Big Fat Indian Weddings took me down the memory lane - about four decades back - when I was the only lady probationer amongs t a group of Probationary Bank Officers at the Bank’ s Training College on an Orientation Program. At the dinner table, the young probationers boas ted about how their ‘ market value’ had gone up meaning that they can now demand and get a large dowry. They...
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