Band Baaja Bakwaas!

I hate weddings, big, fat Indian ones in particular.

They give me a weird vibe. An anxious bride in a heavy pattu saree adorned with more jewels she can possibly carry reminds me of a decked up goat ready for slaughter at the village fair. Or a nicely decorated ox ready to pull a bullock cart for the rest of his life. The crowd, the noise, the ‘aunty groups’ poking their nose into other people’s business and discussing dowry and gold, thousands of flowers withering away, and food, lots and lots of wasted food just turns me off.

It was lunch time and I was trying to catch up on some regular news on when I noticed a pop up that said, “Watch ABC’s makeover on Band Baaja Bride”. Just to kill those 15 minutes, I clicked on the link and watched an episode. That evening, I got back home and watched a few more. Band Baaja Bride is this stupid show where a bride is selected from a pool of applicants to wear a Sabyasachi outfit on her wedding day. The stupidity part comes in when the hosts, Ambika and Bharat take the bride and knock the tube lights out of her pea sized brain. Okay, I would be a hypocrite if I said I wouldn’t be proud if I had a Sabyasachi or Manish Malhotra designed lehenga hanging in my closet. I agree, they are amazing. I also consent to the fact that every bride wants to look beautiful and perfect on her wedding day but the question is, how far will you go to look beautiful on your wedding day? And, what is your definition of a perfectly beautiful bride?

As such, we live in a society that knows nothing but to judge.

Aunty 1: You are 28 and you are not married? Rama rama.. If you remain like this only, you will get twisted babies at 35.

Aunty 2 (at a friend’s wedding): Psst! Do you know how much dowry the girl’s father is giving? All that jewelry is 10 carat gold it seems. For matching matching sarees.

Aunty 3 (if you belong to the groom’s party): No no! Girl is not good. Ears look like an elephant’s, she is dark, she is very short and fat.

Aunty 4 (to Aunty 3): Yes yes! Paavam! He is a software engineer in America so he had only 15 days leave, so he came quickly and had to say yes to the first girl.

Mother-in-law (to Aunty 3 and 4): Hmmm.. It doesn’t matter that she is well educated, independent, decent and comes from a good family, she is not perfect. I will just remain uncivilized and comment on her looks. Her fate! Even Band Baaja Bride rejected her plea for a makeover. Yeah! Let’s just ignore that my son is bald and has a squint eye.

Indian society has made weddings a difficult affair for women, a highly acclaimed business affair, rather. Your dad needs to put his life savings into it, your brother needs to work his ass off to get everything ready, and your mother need to take BP pills to keep her anxiety down as your D day draws near. So much of a business investment that will simply go down the drain the next day. And finally, nobody cares.

In addition to an ‘already pain in the butt’ scenario, this brainless BBB has to come in and give more ideas. As it is, a women’s confidence is constantly subjected to trauma when foolish directors make ads that show that only fair women get jobs, and darker ones will be turned down in an interview. That if you use a certain type of sanitary napkin, you will loose a basketball match. That if you use a particular bar of soap, you will remain young. At the worst of them all being, if you have dark private parts, you will have a sad marital life. Why target women? Why not have a “Santoor for Men” advertisement. Something that has a kid running up to Madhavan or Saif (who use Santoor) while yelling, “Daddy!!!!!” and, the female photographer can go, What?!?!?!?!

Now BBB in all it’s novelty, points out to brides, that they need teeth polishing, or hair straightening. What shit! I don’t blame them entirely. I blame the brides too. Why the hell do you have to come on national television say things like, “I have a broken front tooth, I am afraid I may not be able to give a beautiful, open smile on my wedding day.” Or, “I have very curly and dry hair. I’m concerned that a pigeon will come and lay eggs thinking its a nest.” And, “I have been wearing glasses all my life and I’m allergic to contact lens. Oh Gosh! I want to pose for photographs without my glasses on but I don’t want to be blind too.” Seriously, what were you girls doing for the last 10 years? Couldn’t you just go and see a good dentist, hair stylist, and lasik surgeon. I mean, if your tooth, hair, and glasses didn’t bother you then, why now? Or are you just so cheap that you find pleasure in making the channel pay your bills.

Besides, nobody on the show actually cares about what you wear or how you look on your wedding day. Its all about displaying the Sabyasachi collection. If otherwise, why would Sabyasachi convince a bride who always wanted to wear a red lehenga that green is the color for her? Why would he convince a bride who wants to wear a lehenga to her Sangeet so that she can dance a step or two that she must wear a pattu saree?

The Botox injections for an eyebrow lift and cheek alignment, don’t even get me started on that. As such, an Indian woman is considered eligible for marriage based on her looks and sometimes her dad’s property, and now you come up with this whole artificial face lifts thingy. What are you going to do next? Bring in plastic surgeons and cloning experts to make replicas of Ambika Anands and Aishwarya Rais, I mean, your definition of ‘beauty’. What message are you trying to convey? Aren’t women allowed to have bad hair days, dark circles due to stress, walk on flats next to their really tall husbands, go without a facial for a month or two, and sometimes not wear any make up at all?

I would consider this post almost incomplete if I miss out mentioning the people who file the applications. If it is not a desperate bride dying to wear a Sabyasachi, it is either her mother, or mother-in-law or the groom himself. A few grooms on the show say ridiculous things that makes me want to crack open their skull like a walnut. “My fiance is perfect, but I want BBB to make her ‘more perfect’ on the wedding day”. What does that even mean, you superficial moron? Go and look up ‘perfect’ in the dictionary first. And, only ‘on the wedding day’ is it? Are you saying that eventually when her eyebrow lift drops, her hair goes back to being a bird’s nest, and her tooth filling falls out, you will not be in love with her anymore. You should stand in front of the mirror first and check out your not so perfect beer belly, bald head, and that prickly stubble that you think looks sexy on you. Why have only a Band Baaja Bride, why not have a “Grooming The Groom”? That would give a chance to help you realize your insecurities, talk about it on national television, and make your already perfect highness look ‘more perfect’ like a greek god on your wedding day.

My point is this. Weddings are supposed to be auspicious and joyful. What matters the most on your wedding day is whether or not you are in love with the person you are promising to share the rest of your life with. Whether or not you have all your near and dear ones around you to share the love and joy. Not whether you have bad make up, or a waist band that doesn’t fit you well. There was this one girl on the show who apparently moved her wedding day to an earlier date just to be on this stupid show and wear a stupid Sabyasachi outfit. If I were her groom, I would have called off the wedding then and there.

Please why don’t you just let a woman be!

Let it be okay if she acts at the spur of the moment. Let it be okay if she wants to be dressed in a casual kurti or a pair of jeans and a tee, and get married at the registrar’s office. Let it be okay if she to wants to take her ‘potential wedding budget’ and write a check to an orphanage ensuring that a few hundred kids eat decent meals for a couple of months. Let it be okay if she doesn’t understand the fuss about wearing a saree and lots of gold. Let it be okay if she wants to give importance to her marriage rather than her wedding day. Let it be okay for her to be confident and love herself, her body, and everything about her, her imperfections included.

Let it be okay if she hates weddings, big, fat Indian ones in particular.