The typical Pakistani shaadi is no longer an intimate affair between two people about to embark on the journey of a lifetime. In fact, it has all the elements of a roaring circus!
In the midst of it is the beautiful bride, a.k.a the ringmaster, simultaneously juggling tight budgets, short deadlines, entertaining wedding guests and the roaring lions, i.e. the interfering in-laws. By the time the actual wedding day arrives, the stress and anxiety have turned the bride into an oddity, more ballistic than blooming. Come experience these different types of bridal oddities and pray you don’t become one of them on your own big day!
James Bond Bride
This secret-agent bride has an uncanny ability to conceal all information about her wedding and dodge all inquiries. Torture her if you must but she will not fess up. Confront her during her nikah signing or barge into her room on her wedding night and she will STILL deny it!
Reasons: The bride doesn’t want too many people invited to her functions. Or she was engaged before and it didn’t work out so she doesn’t want to jinx it this time around. Or maybe, she is just an introvert trying to avoid the extra attention… We can never be too sure. And of course, Miss James Bond won’t tell us herself either!
While other brides will look down modestly and steal shy glances at their men, this one will be grabbing her groom (read fiancé — the nikah has probably not happened yet!) and suggesting they celebrate their wedding night before all the hullabaloo of the dholkis and dinners starts!
Reasons: She has waited too long for the man of her dreams.
This poor bride appears to be stuck in the 1920s. Once the date for her wedding is finalised, she is blushing perpetually! Ask her the name of her groom and she will place a finger on her cheek or bite her lip. That is, if she does not run away to her room first!
Reasons: Either her mother told her this is how all brides should behave. Or she watched way too many Shabnum films growing up. Let’s just hope she gives up the act once the wedding is over.
She can smile sweetly at the designer who makes her ‘shaadi ka jora’ a glorified version of Lady Gaga’s meat dress. Nothing can break her, not even her nand’s incessant complaining about the 50-hour long plane journey she had to make, all the way from America. She is, basically, Super Bride!
Reason: Perhaps she suffered something terrible in her childhood which left her completely numb? Or, a much-more intriguing possibility, she just couldn’t care less about the wedding.
Granted that tears are inevitable in every ‘shaadi ka ghar,’ this bride takes it to a whole new level! She cries, whines and screams before, during and after the wedding. She will throw a fit if you forget to RSVP, thrash the groom if he arrives a minute after ‘9pm sharp’ and contemplate suicide if the flowers are not the right shade of purple.
Reasons: This melodrama can only be explained by an obsessive need for perfection and focusing all her frustrations on the decor to temporarily forget about what is to come after the wedding.
She has a talent for emptying peoples’ pockets. She will make ridiculous requests that nobody can, or will want to, entertain, such as arriving at the venue on a unicorn, asking her in-laws to bring in a gold-spun dress from Paris and requesting her buddies to colour-coordinate their outfits, etc.
Reasons: YOMO! You Only Marry Once and might as well milk the cow. Not to mention, this is the only way of getting even for all the spending she had to do on others’ weddings.
The religious fanatic bride
No one is allowed to smile at this event — unless it is done without your teeth showing and eyes sparkling. Music is out of the question, unless the bride is in party mode and you can only play the duff very ligtly. The nikah is being held at a masjid! Also, there is no qorma or gajjar ka halwa in the saada menu.
Reasons: Bride ko nazar lag jaaye gi and of course, we wouldn’t want that! Also, it is not her fault all the good stuff in life is haraam.
Published in The Express Tribune, Ms T, May 19th, 2013.
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