There has been so much of media-manufactured drama unfolding across the country, that I did not feel the need to add to it by writing a blog. Our raucous media is busy promoting a thoroughly undeserving “prince”, while shamelessly extolling the benefits of dynastic rule. Patriotism is now a dirty word and faux-secularism is the new armour for petulant “liberals”, and arm-chair satirists for whom the proposed bullet train is the new whipping boy. Playing politics over human tragedy and finger-pointing are the new games being bandied about, with blaming the incumbent government for all woes being the latest trend. Not that these problems did not exist earlier, but we are now unfortunate enough to have media that is blatant in its misreporting, misinformation and misdirection.
Amongst all this, I had the engagement ceremony of my nephew to attend. Vinay is someone I have seen metamorphize from a new-born to the strapping young man that he is now. I had missed his elder brother Ajay’s engagement a couple of years back, so I made it a point to attend this one. In addition to socializing within the family (I am famously notorious for being anti-social), such functions are an interesting place for character studies. It always presents a plethora of various characters who are interesting as well as amusing. The occasions, venues and people may change, but most character traits among its participants remain the same.
Like there is always some senior citizen (mainly elderly uncles / aunts) who exclaim that you are a doppelganger of your late grandparent. One other pet peeve of such senior citizens is the fact that my hair has started graying. I steadfastly refuse to colour my hair and the said seventy-plus senior citizen has jet black hair, so imagine the comedy that plays out for onlookers!
There is always the over enthusiastic individual who wants to be the first on stage to congratulate the couple getting engaged / married. You will notice such individuals perennially hanging around the stage, waiting for the on-stage rituals to conclude. Even before the dust has settled, this individual will display amazing acrobatic skills and land up on the stage somewhere close to the bewildered couple, who are still recovering from the intensity of the deific but incoherent mumblings of the priest. Short of photo-bombing, this individual will hover around the couple like a land-based drone that is about to annihilate the few moments of peace that the couple try to steal in the ensuing melee.
In every such function, there will always be a disgruntled or angry relative (mainly elderly uncles / aunts), who feels slighted by some inexplicable offense perpetrated on him by the already hassled parents. He will stand in one corner gnashing his teeth, sipping on the umpteenth glass of the welcome drink, staring past bushy eyebrows at the stage, like an old black-and-white movie villain. Its only thanks to the wonders of modern technology, the poor dentures stand the test of this monstrous bicuspid pressure. Only multiple unconditional apologies from the parents – who are as confused about the reason for his “hurt”, as some traders are about GST – can assuage his feelings.
There will always be someone who looks confused in any such function. This individual will keep vacillating as to when to go on stage, when to go towards the food counter and when to leave. You can identify such individuals by their propensity to approach the stage, the food counter and the exit at multiple times, without completing the act they initiated. They usually remain equally confused even when you meet them in the next function.
Then there are the bored or the indifferent ones, who usually sit in a cluster and pass cynical comments on the happenings around them. They mean no harm, but this is just their way of keeping themselves amused in what they consider dreary circumstances. You can always identify such individuals – they sit somewhere at the back of the venue and keep talking among themselves, displaying least interest in the proceedings around them.
And finally comes the foodie. This individual’s main aim in any such function is to eat! This individual is usually the first to win the race to reach the food counter and check out the sumptuous feast laid before him / her. They never hesitate in giving their gratuitous but uncalled-for views on the quality of food. They have abject gymnastic skills which they make use of, after loading their plate with mini hillocks of food and scrambling to find a place to sit, in the process invariably dropping curry or gravy on some unsuspecting soul. The way they contrive their bodies, expertly balancing their laden plate, will put the best of yoga gurus to shame!
The above is not written with malice towards anyone in particular – they are just my personal observations, which I find hugely enjoyable at such functions. These characters exist in all functions, and I am sure most of you have been witness to these (and more). If not, then be on the lookout – observe and be entertained!