Are you getting married? Think again…

By Biplob Ghosal | Last Updated: Thursday, January 5, 2012 - 15:19
Biplob Ghosal
Loud and Clear

“Mumma, I will not wear a ‘lehenga’ less than Rs 50, 000 on my D-Day”, said a girl in the busy Chandni Chowk market and no, I was not following her, but I just overheard it.

So much hoopla; lavish venues, designer dresses, menus - right from the ladies special Gol Gappa’s to kids favourite ‘Chowmein’ and of course ‘Dalmakhani te Kadhai Paneer’ and what not. You name it and you have it.

I might sound hilarious, but I sometimes really wonder if marriages are made in heaven or in banks?

I mean burning your pockets for a wardrobe that will be used only for one night, following which it will be locked up in a suitcase, never to come out again. And not to forget the make-up kit (generally costs somewhere around 20K and more). Girls trust me, you look better without that make-up any day. So, why spend so much?

Let me recount one of my close friends’ wedding this year. (Hope she doesn’t gets angry after reading this). I heard that the banquet hall charged Rs 800 per plate and Rs 3 lakhs separately for the venue. No doubt that the reception was a lavish affair, but I feel spending this kind of money in a country where millions starve is mindless and irresponsible.

It’s is not just about the money being spent by the bride or the groom, but the relatives and friends also spell out hefty amounts on their dresses and gifts. Another close friend of mine bought a gown for 6 or 7 thousand for her brother’s marriage, but set it aside and bought another one for five thousand more as one of her relatives didn’t like the first one! And what left me wondering was that this same friend of mine used to criticize lavish spending on weddings!!

It is a regular phenomenon, we all know it. Be it a grand or a simple affair, the starry attraction apart from the bride and the groom’s clothes is the food. The moment one steps inside the venue, one is interested in observing the decorations and most importantly the menu.

What bothers me the most is the amount of food that we waste at weddings. A large plethora of people concentrate on filling their plates to the brim but forget to finish it, knowingly or unknowingly disrespecting food.

Whenever there is a debate on price rise, people start criticizing government policies and people do have a right to do so. But some part of the onus lies with us as well. Our own lifestyle is also to be blamed. Why don’t we reflect about how our own lifestyle is aggravating the problem?

As money continues to flow into the pockets of a certain category of the Indian population, people are staging extravagant displays to show off their newfound riches. It is a ritual that spending on weddings is the only way parents can showcase their wealth and this is the day they have earned for all their lives.

I feel wedding is about a solemn ceremony, so why make such a big splash?

Earlier this year, Food and Consumer Affairs Minster KV Thomas described the food wastage in wedding ceremonies as “criminal” and he was completely right in doing so.

Organising a wedding has become a high-end business that generates crores of rupees during the year and amid the unabated spending, established companies are cashing in on the festivities. The prodigious waste is certainly a horrifying scenario in a country where millions of children are malnourished and that too at a time when India ranks 94 among 118 countries on the Global Hunger Index.

It’s high time we put on the thinking caps as we are now a world of seven billion.

First Published: Thursday, January 5, 2012 - 15:19

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