1. The audience. Call me a prude but I find the whole idea of cheeky chachas sitting in the audience while other perverted phuphas stare and clap as the bhateeji shakes her booty to ‘Sheila ki Jawani’ very disturbing.
2. The impromptu dances. There’s always some horrendously sweaty, overweight and excited mami who cannot restrain herself and suddenly launches into this embarrassing solo on Gujrallay while her husband and kids look away and pretend they don’t know her at all.
3. Turning the mehndi into an ‘80s wannabe club with a DJ, disco ball and wooden dance floors. Trust me, it does not make you an iota cooler!
4. The dupattas on men. I just don’t get how the bhangra cannot be done without the neon yellow duppattas hanging? Why do men suddenly chuck all their masculinity for one night and willingly drape these duppattas? Trust me, none of you look cute with those!
5. The movie walla. The man has an uncanny ability to always be there when you trip face-forward in your floor-length gharara or drip some salan on your chin. Please know that if he’s flashing you with blinding lights, you have officially made it into the bride and groom’s forever treasured and forever watched by thousands of generations to come montage.
6. The gift-pain-food equation. No matter how great the food is and how much you eat, throw away, feed the shaadi cat or secretly pack for your dog at home, it still does not equal the amount of pain you experienced and the money spent on clothes, jewellery, shoes, blowdries, churian, yada yada, yada.
7. The fake criers. There’s always that one person who barely knows the bride or groom but will start emptying her tear ducts even before the nikkah and hug everyone she can in the process.
8. No matter what you say to the couple on the rukhsati, it just sounds wrong on every level. Phrases to avoid: “Good Luck!”, “I hope all your wishes come true”, “May your joining together bring you more joy than you can imagine.”
9. The wastage of money. Don’t couples realise that the money they are spending on stupid things like exotic flowers, grand stages and gift boxes for five hundred people that they barely know could’ve easily been used on their own honeymoons? Think about it, wouldn’t you rather invest on a romantic honeymoon to Paris than spend thousands on a single night?
10. Pakistani brides. Especially up close. Aren’t they all monstrosities? All un-married makeup wallis take their revenge by pulling the baichari dulhan’s hair back, making her already overdone eyes pop out. Add to that a gharara she can barely walk in and jewellery that weighs more than she does and you have a dulhan who will give the bride of Frankenstein a run for her money.
Published in The Express Tribune, Sunday Magazine, January 8th, 2012.