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Our winter wedding


Anoothi Vishal  |  New Delhi 

is finally set to testify in the Nitish Katara case, the Chinese prez has come and gone, and elsewhere is ostensibly learning how to look graceful while sitting on an elephant what with her India wedding finally looking all firmed up.
But you would think that all these were events happening in outer space. The family, which is usually quite aware of world matters, is blissfully oblivious to all such goings-on these days, what with "the wedding" occupying our mindspaces.
"But I thought Sundays were for us. I mean just for the three of us," protested the husband pointing to himself and the baby (who is seriously threatening us these days with tantrum-throwing toddlerhood even before she can turn two).
That was four months ago. Since then he has reconciled himself to Sundays lost to the in-laws' cause and decided it would be more profitable to invest thought into planning the menu for the feasts ahead. "Koftas, pasandas, chicken chettinad and amritsari fish ..." he has his preferences clear.
Er, but we are getting ahead of the shaadi.
Preparations have been afoot for at least the last couple of months, which was when a set of aunts decided to avail of summer discount at and shop for all manner of jewels and fabrics and silver-and-rose suparis in Jaipur.
They came back with trunks full but complained nevertheless about how everything was available and superior in Dilli. So we burned up some more plastic on "Sabyasachi borders" in Karol Bagh, brocade and sarees before someone dispatched another set of willing relatives to Mumbai, to brave the monsoons and hunt for the perfect, "authentic" paithani saree.
Soon people were coming back from everywhere; satin from Dubai, woollens from the US, dry fruits from Mustafa, Black Label from various duty frees around the globe, pearls from Hyderabad, silk and crepes from Bangalore, not to mention a suitcase full of cheap-but-rich looking sarees to "give away". Excuse me, not to the bride.
For her, each exquisite, carefully-selected piece has been lovingly wrapped, hand-made cards with home-made paeans (to her beauty, grace and good luck in marrying into our family) attached, matching bangles, make-up and footwear tucked in.
"Why don't you get the trousseau packed by an expert?" I asked my mother, hoping to slime out of my appointed chores, and for good measure even referred her to a newly opened design studio that specialises in the task.
"Why should I spend so much money when you can do it at home?" she argued back, "besides there is a particular way in which we pack our trousseaus." So this has been my education in the affairs of an elite community as well.
In the meanwhile, other mini event-planning teams have been engaged in other tasks. A ride on the Metro to Chawri Bazaar ensured just the right sample for the wedding card being picked.
Our skills as writers have been called upon to draft the perfectly-worded invite, another aunt with an artistic eye has helped select the font and colour scheme, someone else been put in charge of overseeing the courier service and there has been much debate as to whose names should go under "RSVP".
"We need to keep everyone involved," ruled my dad, before going off to order 200 bottles of water, 100 of lemonade and many more packets of crisps for the baraat's bus ride to Agra.
Every time I have watched the film Monsoon Wedding (and I have watched it a fair number of times lately "" not just because the theme is so inspiring but to hope to copy some dance moves into our own choreographed act), I have wondered about the girl's father supervising the phoolwala.
"Why couldn't they outsource the entire thing?" I have always wondered. With this wedding some of that wonder has surely abated. No, my family firmly believes in taking care of even the tiniest details personally.
So an uncle in the business of exporting garments has been called upon to fabricate table-cloths and drapes and canopies for the reception.
We've been buying floating and floor candles by the kilo and a trip to the morning flower market is in order to look for enough flora to match our blue and gold colour theme "" to match the bride's jewellery. Hope she notices it all!

First Published: Sat, November 25 2006. 00:00 IST