1. The gauche gharara-sherwani pictures of thousands of couples against the same background in the same filmy pose shot by the same photographer. If I have to see one more bride making a dreamy face at her not-so-dreamy groom, I will kill myself.
2. The mandatory honeymoon to Thailand. Are there no other places left in the world? How is going to a crass place filled with prostitutes and tourists looking for prostitutes, even the slightest bit romantic? Whatever happened to spending horrendous amounts of hubby’s money on the timeless Alps?
3. The post-nikah-makeovers. All previously demure dulhans suddenly become Kareena Kapoors in Bangkok and all dulhas become chest-bearing Salman Khans in Phuket. It also becomes absolutely necessary for the new dulhan to be perpetually laden with gold, making her look like a walking-talking Damas advertisement.
4. The instant Facebook status updates. The speed at which couples change their status feels as if the nikah will not be legal and valid unless a stupid heart appears on your Facebook profile. And please, by all means, suspect a divorce if the wifey doesn’t immediately edit her Facebook name to acknowledge the change in her surname.
5. The all’s-good-parade. Even if the couple wants to slit each other’s throat behind closed doors, in front of everyone, they will plaster the smuggest, most satisfied look on their faces for an entire year.
6. The Married Friends Inc. All the married people will now become best buddies regardless of whether they previously acknowledged each other’s presence or not. The success of these friendships will also depend on how well the friend’s spouse gets along with yours.
7. How every sentence from a newlywed starts with a mention about the significant other. The husband with his usual, “My wife and I” and the sharmeeli begum with her demure, “Woh keh rahay thay…”
8. The secret bitching about the in-laws you are forced to hear as soon as the wedding bells ring. Upon asking my best-friend on her wedding day how it felt to be married, this is the first thing she said: “I am going to throw my saas down this building for making this hideous shocking pink and parrot green gharara for me!”
9. How quickly the two start looking exactly like each other. Best demonstrated in honeymoon pictures where newlyweds will wear almost identical clothing, sunglasses, and expressions of pure unadulterated joy!
10. Making sick jokes about doing the deed suddenly becomes hilarious and acceptable to all. One night before the marriage is when society at large remembers the need for “sex education”. Of course, a 24-hours-heads-up is all one needs to prep up.
Published in The Express Tribune, Sunday Magazine, June 19th, 2011.