Monday, May 12, 2008

In pursuit of the elusive knight-in-shining-armour

So as i had promised in the earlier post, here is my list of requirements that Prince Charming must fulfil before he wins the tanned hand of his princess..

1. Must know how to cook. Not just maggi and boiled egg but lasagna and shrimp salad as well. I promise to dutifully do the dishes.

2. Must preferably be the second son of his parents. Here is how the funda works. the first son, will get married to a homely girl and take care of the parents while the second son will get married to un-homely me and take care of my parents.. Such a dutiful daughter ain't i..

3. Must know how to write well. Poetic writing is an onus. The reason, I love receiving love-notes and it would suck if the guy didn't know how to write.

4. Must earn handsomely so that i can retire after a while and get started on my magnum opus.

5. Must like to travel. Must not ask me to pack and unpack for him.

6. Must be intelligent, good looking and have a good sense of humour. (I know this is trite, but it is necessary). Must be between a -1 + 4 years range of age.

7. Must have read as much as i, if not more.

8. Must be a Brahmin (Now don't go about pointing casteist fingers at me. I am adding this clause for grandma's sake). I don't mind anyone as long as he is a Hindu by birth. If he is a believer of the Flying Spaghetti Monster then even better.

9. Must be willing to get married when and where i choose. I have already chosen where. The dream wedding shall be in an idyllic village in Kerala where my forefathers come from. It shall be a small affair. I don't like spending on weddings. I would rather save up for my honeymoon to Greece.

Lets leave it at 9 clauses for now for i have an intense distaste for round figures. I shall update the list if i think up of something else.

I warmly extend an open invite for proposals from anyone who fits the bill.
Shilpa Krishnan

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Big Fat South Indian Wedding

Warning: Interminably long post ahead.

Unlike the more popular North Indian weddings that have been made famous by Bollywood, there exist a little less melodramatic but equally important South Indian weddings.

I have just played witness to an authentic Tam-Bram wedding and during one of my several ruminations during the wedding, i realised that it is time someone popularised the South Indian Wedding as well. I decided to take the onus on to my slender shoulders and below is the chronicles of a Pallakad Iyer wedding.

The ceremonies began on Friday morning. I am related to the groom who is the Pallakad Iyer. The girl is a Kannadiga. They met while working in Satyam and the rest, shall we say, is proverbial history. My cousin, the groom, refused to divulge the intimate details of the proposal so i shall leave that to the readers imagination.

Anyhow, on Friday morning 10 of us trooped into a Qualis and headed for the brides house. It was the day of the haldi ceremony. This is a Kannadiga ritual where haldi (turmeric) is applied on the faces of the bride, groom and guests. I applied a big dollop of haldi on my cousins nose, much to his consternation. Then there was the bangle ceremony which is quite self-explanatory.

My mother had composed quite a few songs for the occasion. Yup, amma is a Javed Akhtar in the making. So the songs had funny lyrics like, "Tumhare honge bacche, milenge humko laddoo" and suchlike.

The next day, we went to the wedding hall at an ungodly hour in the morning for some puja. I spent the afternoon chatting up with a cousin of mine. We exchanged life stories and much more. The evening was the traditional reception where the groom and the bride are made to stand on the stage and shake hands and smile at all the guests. Considering that i had slept only for only four hours the previous night, i slept through most of the reception and missed the much-sought-after photo session.

The wedding was on Sunday morning. Dressed in my pretty-pink saree, i went about looking for some eye candy but it was an exercise in futility. Good looking girls there were many but guys, hardly any.

Our weddings have a nice custom called i-dont-know-what where the bride and the groom try to garland each other whilst the other is lifted by his uncle to prevent the garlanding. Later they are made to sit on a swing and songs are sung. Then there is the tying of the three knots and some other puja.

The wedding is then officially done with. We played antakshari in the afternoon and thanks to the fact that i conducted the show, our side won. At home began the best part of the entire show, the unwrapping of the gifts. Most of the gifts were quite good. But one abset minded uncle gifted a piece that was actually a return gift from a wedding held a week ago. He had unfortunately forgotten to remove the incriminating label.

Tomorrow, there is another function for married women but as i am leaving by tonights train, i shall miss it The wedding has been fun. The aunts and uncles and cousins and grandmas were good company. Thankoo all for making this a wonderful one week.

BTW, i have also begun the hunt for a suitable groom. The next post shall be about my list of requirements from the perfect man...

Till then, Good bye and good luck

The Big Fat Indian Convocation

This has been a long overdue post..The last few days have been a whirlwind.

Anyhow, let me proudly announce that i am now a postgraduate. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, i have graduated. I shall upload the pics a little later..laziness wins for now.

The convocation was much fun. I had the duty of tying sarees for half the girls hostel. The family then arrived. And was it a big group or what. Eleven of them, a cricket team in themselves - wielding cameras instead of bats and balls. Pictures were taken in various poses and against various backgrounds. Robes were worn and so were caps with tassels. There was clapping and whistling and hooting..There was food and apple juice. There was laughter and tears.. I cried ocean loads and so did many others. Richy apparently hugged the pillars at the hostel.

Vinodh Mehta, the editor of Outlook, was the chief guest. His speech was a tad too long but quite interesting. I liked his closing lines the best - "News is what someone somewhere doesn't want published."

Amma had bought sweets for all my professors and had written personal letters to them. It was much appreciated by the profs. Wish she had done all this in the beginning of sem, i might have gained some brownie points.

Anyhow, the convocation ended. After some tearful hugs and kisses and promises to keep in touch, we headed to our hometowns. I have some of the fondest memories of IIJNM. It has been an year of laughter, tears and a lot of learning. I have made some really good friends. And found some really inspiring teachers. I owe a lot to this institute and one day, i hope to make it proud.

IIJNM, i shall miss you.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Sunny side up

So my dear friend Sunny (not Sunil Gavaskar) has been pestering me to write a post about him so i thought i would oblige.

Now Sunny aka Sandeep Pampati and i have had a hate-love relationship. We used to hate each other in the beginning of our acquaintance. It was only after i moved out of Hyderabad that we started being civil to each other. We were neighbors and classmates but we rarely exchanged a word or two. I still remember him sending his brother to borrow my english workbooks. Such was the mutual animosity.

But then time flies and people change and so did we. I got his id thru my yahoo school group and added him cos i wanted his brothers id. Turns out, I rarely chat with his brother these days but exchange a word or two woth him almost every few hours. Such are the powers of the internet.

He has asked me to sing praises of him so i shall begin by saying that there is nothing praiseworthy about him. :D

Heh. Well, he is quite a funny guy. He is the guy i call up when i need a shoulder to cry on. Or when i need a good laugh. He loves to make fun of me. He gets fooled quite easy. Once Archi and i fooled him saying that my marriage was fixed. He actually fell for it. That when i was just 19 years old!!

We have had the most absurd of chat conversations. We have exchanged life stories. We have raved. And we have ranted. We have been through thick and thin, tall and long and we have survived it all.

Sunny, you have really made my life more sunny. Thanks for being there for me.