Every once so often I get invited to a wedding where I simply can’t refuse to eat.
Weddings are complicated affairs so much is expected of you and there will be people whom you have never met in your life jumping out of nowhere calling you by name and then proceed to ask you if you recognize them. At this point if I’ve not figured out who the person is I blurt out some random name, most people get offended, correct me and then proceed to do this to another person.
But I will tell you what is more complicated than the wedding, it is the wedding feast.
The wedding is between 9am and 10:30am and you have landed there at about 10am. You are recieved very warmly and then escorted directly to the dining area while you are asked “tiffin saaptingala?” You are seated in the dining hall and there are just a handful of people eating and you can’t escape once the escort has turned his/her back. You have to eat and they will send out everything possible from the kitchen. Idly, Vada, Pongal, Dosai, Oothapam, Poori, Parota (Dei, it is morning breakfast da how much variety can one eat.) If you as much as refuse something then someone will stand next to you while saying “Saar nalla sapudanga saar.” (Dei, I already had breakfast in my house).
Breakfast over and you are hurrying to catch the thali tying, you don’t want to miss that do you? So the ceremony is over and then you meet all those Jumping Jacks and Jills who come at you with all kinds of questions. Next you have to stand in a queue to meet and greet the couple and you are finally through with everything by around 12 noon and you should be on your way to whatever it is you do when you are not attending weddings. You are leaving and the Chithappa or worse still the parents of the bride or groom catch you leaving without having lunch. OMG! now it is back to a crowded dining hall. Since it is crowded you can try and exit the building through the kitchen walk around and exit the compound without being detected. But remember if you are not carrying the yellow bag with coconut, betel leaves (Dying actually) and betel nuts you could get caught.
The other option is that you sit for lunch even though your 2nd jumbo breakfast is still in your body till nose level. If you thought the breakfast was jumbo well then you probably would not have words for the number of items they dump on your plantain leaf for lunch.
Here is a sample course…
Lay out plantain leaf
Pour water on plantain leaf to clean it – (I am sure capable of pouring water on my plantain leaf and clean it well.)
- Rasamalai/rasagulla in small plastic cup
- Mysorepak – Why two sweets you may ask? A sweet should accompany a sweet according to vaasthu no wait i think it is in the kalacharam.
- Chappati with Mushroom Gravy and Paneer Butter Masala
- Vegetable Biriyani
- White Rice Dumped on the leaf.
- Paruppu for small portion of rice with 2 spoons of ghee
- Sambar poured on top of the mountain of rice.
- Cauliflower/Mushroom/Babycorn dish
- Ice Cream
The number of dishes that are served (18 in this case) should add up to 9. 9 is the sacred number. The more number of dishes served in multiples of 9 show the wealth and social standing of the person. – Raja the Caterer and Numerologist
And the best part about all this these dishes are served in quick succession. You hardly have time to say no to the dishes. Also you should eat quickly because there are other people standing behind you and staring at you eat while they are waiting their turn. Sometimes you might hear waterfalls behind you.
Most people eventually leave a lot of the food on the leaf because they just cannot eat it before the pandhi is up. What a waste!
So once you have finished all this you can leave after getting your manja pai (Yellow bag). Never, NEVER refuse the yellow bag it is considered as the ultimate insult to the host. You can even refuse to eat.
This is brings us to the end of Scenario 1. Hope you mentally enjoyed the feast. I will be back with more. Scenarios I mean.