Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Antony - Engagement

Should I call it a bus or a moving wild life reserve? “Udayam” had it all, mosquitoes, bed bugs and even cockroaches! On top of it, we had to wait an hour for some guy who couldn’t make it on time. Traveling to Kerala from Bangalore has never been more horrid. I was thus manically depressed by the time I reached home, bereft of sleep and covered with sores all over me.

The mana-sammatham (engagement) of Antony with Ammu was slated for 11 May 2008. Engagements are the sole responsibility of the girl’s family as per Syrian Christian traditions, so I didn’t have any heavy duty stuff to do this time around.

Antony was looking cool as ever (There seems to be some genetic disorder in my father’s side, nothing kind of “shakes” them. I’ve actually seen the family *laugh* and crack jokes during funerals!!). Amma, on the other hand was nervous and I was at the receiving end. Through much of Saturday, we crossed swords for the silliest of things.

Kasavu-Mundu and Jubba was what Amma ordered for Antony. I did not like the Dark Maroon color for the Jubba, but was proven wrong when he put it on. It suited him very well. I picked up a trouser for myself, but when paying time came, Antony “magnanimously” offered to pay. If only I had known earlier!!! Talk about lost deals.

I, with my typical hard working nature volunteered to look after the drinks department on D-Day. There was some competition from Appan who wanted the same post, but I won finally.

Sunday (I hate Sundays!!)
As usual, Amma forced me to church and that too at 6:30 in the morning! Relatives who were supposed to reach by 8:30 did not reach (as expected) so I stayed back and waited for them while the other three left for Kottayam. That was a good decision, Amma with all her pent up nervousness was sure to eat me alive, if I had gone along.

The Toyota Innovo, Appan had arranged was spacious and comfortable. I was joined by 4 talkative aunts and a silent uncle. In those 2 hours of journey, I heard more gossip about my family than in 2 decades. But, most of it was truly funny and we (me and the uncle) laughed all the way to Kottayam.

The church and my mother’s eldest sister’s house share the same wall. Thus, the house was a natural choice for all the ladies to change into their fine silk saris. As long back as I can remember, Antony was very much capable of dressing by himself. But today, the photographer deemed otherwise. I and other cousins were supposed to dress him up. Hmm… sounded nasty! But then, we thoroughly enjoyed “man handling” him. Antony, who was not too sure about his mundu tying skills, judiciously put on a belt above it, causing much amusement to bystanders.

He looked very handsome at the end of it all. Then came the second round of photos. Amma and Appan were asked to face the camera this time. Appan was game for it, but Amma was heard murmuring something about photographers in general. Next was my turn, fortunately younger brothers are not considered hot photo-able material and I was spared fast (The envious claim that it was coz the camera man wanted to keep his “standards” but then, you know better!)

We could walk to the church, but Appan decided to drive and keep our “status”. At the church, the girl’s family was waiting. I rushed outside to take some photos. It was 12 in the afternoon and sweltering hot, so I prudently decided to switch on the car a/c for Antony, lest he melt in his own sweat. What was not so prudent was that I forgot to idle the engine and when Appan found out that the a/c was running on car battery, he blew his top. I was left thinking “There goes the Menacherry-family-acting-so-nice cover”. In a moment’s notice the girls father was seen shouting at his son, seems like both families had shunned their “best behavior” formality.

The church function was short and sweet. Like always, the priest mixed up parents, families and edavakas while announcing the engagement. There was a beehive of activity immediately after the function in the church. It was the priest who blew his top this time, announcing over the mike that this was a church and that proper decorum was to be followed.

I had to get up on stage for the announcements but I excused myself by telling Appan that I had to take care of the drinks dept. Turns out that I had underestimated my family a bit. By the time I reached, my dear cousins had all but finished the last drop! I ran back so as not to miss the food. The food(especially the non-veg part) was great! I had multiple helpings of almost everything.

Now, the only thing left was to talk to my chedathi. This was the first time I was seeing her and we had never talked before. But as events turned out, we could exchange hardly two words before the photographer whisked them away in search of soft green grass and huggable trees in true Bollywood style.

Punch line by a dog tired Antony at the end of it all: “Now I know why people don’t marry more often!”

Next in the itinerary was the visit to girl’s house. It went off pretty well with no protocol gaffes. With this final diplomatic victory under the belt we set back home. Which left me thinking, “It was over so fast!” The enormity of the fact that one new member is going to join the family now hit me. But somehow, I know that this is going to work pretty well, you can just sense it.

Paapi pokunidam pathalam
-Hell is where the sinner goes – Old Malayalam proverb
The bus back did not have any bed bugs or mosquitoes, but with me inside it, something was bound to go wrong… It had engine trouble near Krishnagiri and could only go at 30-40 kmph. We reached Bangalore a good three hours later than usual.


George said...

Hii Abe

Congratulations.... on the new addition to your family...

Looks like you had a good time ;)

Our weddings though one of the most simplest of weddings in comparison to the other weddings, become so complicated ..
(well mine turned out to be :)),
cherukan side, pennu side, up the stage, down the stage, stand and smile throughout the reception,sweat, try to recollect faces when your are introduced to some one - all peduthapol thericha bendhangal- o God...
Abe , wait for the marriage, athu ithindae bakki aiyarikkum ;-)

i wasnt able to open the pics.. will try from office tomorrow.

Anooja said...

Hey Abe, it was me wrote the previous comment. I never realized that George had not logged out of his gmail, when i started to check blogs. I was surprised to George's name in the comment, and then i realized :)

This time the pics opened. Looks nice. Are you the one standing behind Antony?

stillwaters said...

Hey ..Nice pics!!
so when is the wedding?
Welcome to the "next in line" club!!! I bet u'll hear a lot of "you're next" at the wedding..
(or do they say it only to the girls.. I wonder..)

Abraham Menacherry said...

Anooja: Congratulations go to my mother... ee rakthathil enikku yathoru pangum illa...:D

Stillwaters: Nope, it is not just for girls, I already heard the "next in line" for the nth time...:( Fortunately, I got some cousins who are older than me, so the line is still not "clear"...:D

N!$#@N^# said...

aby: next in line ...well i don't think so, i think your destiny is to open the car doors, switch on the AC,
managing the drinks section without getting a drop ofany and of course hogging ..... prove me wrong if you can.. :)

say congratz to chedathi and bro... (its good to know that we will get more good food, next time we come to your place.... )

TESSIE | മഞ്ഞുതുള്ളി said...

next in line???
aa vellam ipole thilapikaan thudanganda mone :D

congrats to ur bro and chedathi...

and BELATED B'DAY wishes... (guess i was too involved in ma newly-engaged-life (ahankaram) that i forgot ma dear frnd's b'day :-) )

Abraham Menacherry said...

nishu: nee "Dhaaravi, Dhaaravi" ennu kettitondo?

Tess: Thanks for the wishes. Pinnae vellam thilapikunne karyem.. he he I am very realistic. No thilapikkals now!

Pointblank said...

hey there!

That was a really interesting post! Being a mal syrian x'ian myself, I could sooo relate to it!

And i guess weddings are tough on the elder bros n sis'. I'm suddenly glad that m the elder one!

Btw, is that u in the blue shirt???