Ever been to an Indian wedding? It could be one of the grandest, most spectacular and entertaining affairs you have ever been a part of – with lots of dizzyingly vibrant colours, beautiful songs, pretty dresses, awesome performances and an overall feeling of exuberance that you’ll never see anywhere else! However, as can be expected from any event so spectacular and steeped in centuries of tradition mixed with modern improvisation, Indian weddings are also witness to some rather strange happenings. Here are a few of them for your enjoyment!
- The Horse Riding – Okay, so let’s be fair. There was probably a point in history when this made sense. However, there comes a time in the life of every civilization when it has to make a very important decision about its existence – do we want a marriage, or a horse race? Because the point of driving a rather hapless horse decked up in all kinds of glittery regalia through the narrow streets of a congested metropolis, straddled with a rider who has probably never seen such an animal outside of Discovery Channel before, evades even the most profound thinkers of our times. Have pity on the groom, if you can’t dredge up any for the poor befuddled beast – the dude’s probably terrified out of his mind but too embarrassed to say so. He is not Prithviraj Chauhan and a talent for horse-riding no longer guarantees a successful marriage.
- The Game of Conjugal Dominance – Hard as it is to believe, this is actually a thing! The bride and the groom are asked to play a game near the end of the wedding, where random objects such as a ring or a die (depending on the region), is dropped into an opaque liquid. The couple must then each endeavour to catch hold of this elusive Ring of Power before the other one can get their paws on it, so that you may get the divine right to boss your partner around for seven consecutive lifetimes! Lost the game? Alas poor soul! You’ve lost your undisputed claim to the remote not just for your entire life, but for seven whole lives!
- The Hairy Foot-Wipe – I kid you not, this happens for real! In certain parts of the country, the bride is asked to wipe the feet of her groom with her hair. Amidst all the vociferous feminist opposition and shrill traditionalist support for this frankly rather kinky ritual, nobody seems to be talking about the fact that when all is said and done, hair is a REALLY unsuitable medium for cleaning anything, including feet. All that would come of it is that your toes would get entangled in a clot of frizzy hair. Why not just get yourself a nice comfy pedicure instead?
- The Shoe Kidnapping – If you thought nothing could surprise you anymore Indian weddings are here to prove you wrong yet again! Because it is only at an Indian wedding where the bride’s cousins and sundry brethren are honour-bound to kidnap the shoes of the groom at the first given opportunity! This is done in order to demand a ransom at the end of the proceedings, before the groom can escape with his bride; as otherwise the poor guy would have to undertake the acutely embarrassing task of walking about his own reception party barefoot. So if you are a kinsman of the bride, buckle up your pants and get ready for the first (and we hope only) kidnapping mission of your life!
- The Pot-Kicking – If you think this sounds bad, don’t worry; the reality is even worse. At the end of the long and arduous process of getting married, the bride is expected to finish off the auspices of the day by…guess what? Kicking a pot full of food grains. I am sure there is a logical explanation for this somewhere in the unfathomable depths of the Great Handbook for Traditional Weirdness; but from the point of view of a novice in such matters, I have to tell you that the pot-kicking looks rather strange. There are things in this world that were made to be kicked – footballs, pebbles on a seashore, Justin Beiber dolls – pots of rice just never quite seemed to fit the bill. Oh well, who knows, it might just be a lot of fun! Kicking things usually is.
What are your favourite parts of an Indian wedding? Comment below to let us know!!