October 24, 2012

All that glitters is too much gold!


I’m alive, very much, in case you were wondering.

An anxious comment by a kind reader the other day, asking for my whereabouts, reminded me that I have a blog where I haven’t posted anything for quite a while (Thanks, Asok, for the concern). Alright, I’m lying. I didn't exactly forget about my blog. I've just been a bit caught up with various things, mostly wedding-y stuff. Plus, I honestly wasn't able to write anything good enough to post here.

 So what have I been up to? Let’s see…

Quit my job. Packed up five fabulous years of my life into bags & boxes and said adieu to Hyderabad (grudgingly), reached Trivandrum, went to Chennai for a quick three-day shopping trip, picked up saris, came back to TVM, bought a bit of gold, etc etc etc.

All of which has strengthened my belief in one thing- weddings are such an utter waste of money!!!

I mean, what a waste! Before we left for Chennai, I had told Acha and Amma that I will not be buying a very expensive sari, even if I have to say a firm no to my in-laws (I can’t snap at them like I snap at my parents, right? Nope. Too early to show them my true Mahakali colours), who’d accompanied us too. I don’t mean to sound like a snobbish bride, but I don’t see any reason why I should buy a sari worth one lakh rupees (yes, I did see saris I that range. And there were girls trying them too), when a sari worth Rs.5000 will look equally pretty. So when I was choosing my saris, the question that I asked myself was “Will I ever wear this again?”, as opposed to the more commonly asked “Is this gaudy enough? Will it make me look like a festival elephant?”. Thankfully, I didn’t have to fight too much of a battle over this. I think I must thank the mind-boggling crowd in the stores for this. We were so bloody sick of the rush, we just wanted to wind up and get the hell out of there as quickly as ‘wedding-shopping-ly’ possible. I picked up moderately priced, gorgeous silk saris that I can wear again after the wedding.

Next came the bigger battle- buying gold. I’m not a fan of the yellow metal. And you know how Malayalis are about gold, right? Unless they wear it like an armour, they’re not satisfied. I would rather be dead than wear that armour. So before setting out to buy gold today, I had very clearly and politely told my folks not to buy too much, because there was no chance that I was going to wear more than four chains (which itself is too much!). Also, the price of gold is obscenely high now. But the insane crowd at the jewelry store would have us believe that gold is even cheaper than green chillies. It was mad! Anyway, I picked up a couple of antique gold pieces, which doesn't have that ugly sheen of the normal gold. But the downside of buying antique gold is that it’s almost double the price. Sigh…

But the waste of money doesn't end with the saris and the gold. There’s so much more to be done, so much more money that is going to be spent on it all. But each time I protest, I’m silenced with a “You don’t bother about the money” by Acha. Also a “You can’t always have your way” by Amma. They don’t understand that it’s not about getting my way. Imagine how many trips I could’ve gone to with that money. Think of how many children could’ve been educated with that money. But it doesn’t work that way, I’ve come to realize. This thing called wedding, it’s something that parents dream of probably since the day their daughters are born. And when it’s a dream that’s as long-cherished as that, they won’t let anything get in the way of it. Not even adamant daughters or Burj Khalifa-high gold rate.

You know what? I’m definitely going to encourage my kids to elope.

48 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh I know exactly what ou mean about the gold. And why do people wear so much? It looks soo ugly.

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    1. Ugly. That's the only word to describe it.

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  2. "Think of how many children could’ve been educated with that money".... I respect this part a lot..and glad that you are back..

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  3. I agree...weddings are a waste of money. I had told my parents since I was a teenager that no way would I be having a wedding and I'm sticking to it. A party for my friends yes. But no stupid south Indian ceremony or any other ceremony. If and when the day comes that I do get married, I am sticking to my guns. My dad's perfectly happy with that. Mum was worried about all the other people who would feel upset (read: people who I wouldn't invite anyway!) But yes, eloping is a great idea! :)

    Y;know...I've never worn a sari in my life. Dreaded going to the shops with mum when other relatives were getting married. And don't get me started on the gold!

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    1. Actually, the saris are the one thing keeping me sane. I love saris. :) I don't have a single salwar kameez, but saris, I have quite many.

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  4. I am so with you on this. It's an utter waste of precious, precious money. Especially gold. How I hate it! And yes, I do know those jewellery guys very well. Fake smiles plastered on to their faces. I remember how when we went gold-shopping for my sister's wedding how they were all over the place. Placing the necklace around their own necks in an attempt to show my sister how she would look. Heights! But you, dear spiff, are super sensible for buying sarees that you can wear again and going for gold without that ugly bling - though it costs more. I hope you enjoy this period - all the pampering and stuff. And play the smashing, blushing, lovely bride to the T :)

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  5. Trust me, no matter how high gold goes, you cant convince our Mallu crowd to successfully abandon their 'avalanche-the-girl-with-gold' desires.. it doesnt even have to be the parents decision.. all the relatives n the milkman and goatherders will weigh in with their opinion of what is the true amount to be placed on u... so enjoy :D

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    1. Ayyo sathyam! It's as though it's everybody's but my wedding! Infuriating!

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  6. Sniff!! Sniff!! You're back!! Thank God you're back! *Melodramatic high pitched Amisha Patel voice here*

    And I agree with the eloping too.

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  7. I totally agree with you.. weddings are such a waste of money..and i dont know why in laws are so obsessed with gold..
    well u have a fan here.. i have read each and every post by you, but never had courage to comment.
    P.S. pleave forgive me if you find any grammatical mistake

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    1. Hey kirti, thanks for dropping in a comment. :)

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  8. "You know what? I’m definitely going to encourage my kids to elope" - This cracked me up totally..:-)

    All the good luck and wishes with the wedding-y stuff..:-)

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  9. I like your ending note, Divya..
    That said, congratulating you on your (yet to be???) wedding.. :)

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    1. Yup, yet to be. December. And thanks. :)

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  10. I guess I came back to your blog after a long time but I must say I loved the tone of your writing, describing the perfect state of mind. Wish you a very happy and fulfilling married life. God bless!

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  11. ha . ha. Nice to see you back .My brother and I used to tell my parents that about the only thing gold is good for is as collateral for a gold loan.. which is extremely painless and has low interest rates and they should be getting me gold biscuits or coins instead of all this jewellery stuff.. You can imagine my mom's reaction to that.. :)

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  12. And... you're back! I expected a wedding update, nonetheless. And here it is! I agree - wedding is one giant waste of money; but can't be helped. I am also the kind that wants to tone it down a tad. But parents are parents - they conjure up this festival in their head; and we have to let them be. Plus, the tacit societal pressures. Ah well, but glad that you're putting down your foot where you can. Don't worry about it too much. Just relax and enjoy (yes, even the pressure and the tension). It happens only once (hopefully!)

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    1. If it happens one more time, I'm definitely eloping or having it registered. I don't have a patience for one more of this circus.

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  13. I have always thought the same about the money being spent on weddings. Especially the 'Imagine how many trips I could have gone with those money'. Such a waste! Spending all the money for a lavish wedding, and you still get criticized anyway. Bout the food, the sari, the whole event. Might as well have a very simple ceremony and spend the rest of the money for the honey moon. Better still, just ELOPE. Saves all the time and money.

    Congratulations again!

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    1. My fiance actually did suggest eloping. Now I fell I should've listened to him. :/

      Thanks!

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  14. We all want to elope, dont we? I hope as parents we do let our children elope and gift a world tour instead!

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    1. Seriously! Throw in a DSLR too along with the world tour, and I'll be the happiest bride in the world.

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  15. //You know what? I’m definitely going to encourage my kids to elope//

    Hi-Fi on that one. Wedding business is definitely equal to throwing away the money in garbage bags and burning them. Why can't we use the money for a better cause or future? Like if parents want to give their kids all those stuff, they can give it as money or gold to help them start a new life or for an emergency in the future etc. Why to spend so much on sarees, arrangements which are a one-time stuff?

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    1. My parents' argument is that gold is an investment. Fine, I buy that. But do I really have to wear all that investment? Sigh... I'm fighting a losing battle here.

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  16. Couldn't agree more with the gold and festivities that go into our weddings. I simply loved the eloping part. But have been wondering whether you would stick to the idea when you have kids. Being a Mom has definitely changed some of my perspectives! Congratz and look forward to some hilarious posts, after the wedding :D

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  17. I just picked up a saree worth 20 grand for my engagement!! And my in laws are strictly against the antique finish in gold. It doesn't look like gold is what they say. Weddings are a sheer waste of money man seriously. Cal and I wanted a registered marriage and then use that money to buy a house or still better a long elaborate honeymoon.

    But then family. Society. And all that blah blah. I've spent over 2 years of my income until now and I'm not even engaged yet! Imagine the wedding!! :(

    Sigh, poor we mallu girls.

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    1. Hey you both, imagine sitting in a sweaty afternoon over a homam and reciting in a language we hardly know. Not to forget nine yards of a garment, half a dozen garlands and four hours of tyranny. And you call yourselves poor! Soum, if you are getting married the tambrahm way, I am so going to love your post on it :P

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    2. You know what I have to say. Your wedding is entertainment and fun for everyone else. Even me. I am laughing at the mental image of you and gold chains together. Please imagine something like this (http://goo.gl/nOoDo)

      Even if you elope, I would have helped folks track you down and give all that gold.

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    3. Hahaha, so love you Arch <3

      I am getting married the tambhram way only :( , hence all the sulking. God save me!

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  18. Honey,welcome to the group of vexed-malayali-brides.When it comes to gold it's a battle you are going to lose.

    Have fun shopping for rest of the trousseau...

    And I am sure you will want to murder your photographer and the beautician who might want to cake your face with foundation so that you look "white" and obviously like someone else.Oh!I am just warning you.

    You'll have fun...

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  19. hha ha, so true...Investment or otherwise I'm not much fond of gold and have no wish to become the spare wall for them to hang on...But *long long-suffering sigh* we cannot argue with moms on these wedding-y things mostly because it’s of no use...I so wish eloping was the solution because I think when you come back you will have to bear even bigger gold-assault, you know moms can do that just to get back at you for not allowing them to plan gold-assaults on you :D

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  20. "You know what? I’m definitely going to encourage my kids to elope"---------Seriously?

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  21. Malayali Marriage is nothing but Bad Business..i mean bad use of capital.... Investing on yellow metal,food,sarees,Marriage hall etc etc etc..... just to use for one day...that too just to sign a contract in front of a majority of unknown people(most of the relatives r strangers to the wedding couple).......What a waste of money? .....But The Sadya part is cool.....majority of the crowd come just for that!!!!

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  22. You know what...I went through the same phase three years ago. I also bought sarees that I could wear for festivals and functions without looking too gaudy. My Christian wedding saree was also an organza one with thread work which was too pretty to be shut inside after the wedding so I wore it again at my son's baptism and was appreciated! I had a world war with my parents about the gold thingy, and finally, won. I wore just one necklace on my wedding. JUST ONE! My in laws were super impressed about the simplicity :-) I am not boasting..but thats the part I liked best about my wedding. Mummy was worried about what her friends would think about me, but I dint care and therefore the snaps looked good finally. I am not a head turner,I look very very average and have the south indian look plastered on me, so big jewellery and bright colors dont go too well with my look or complexion. So I fought this war to look my best and not like a joker on my big day :-) By the way there are some women who still manage to look good after they are decked up on their necks...honestly. I totally understand your feelings. Always go with your convictions, because finally its you who know what looks good on you. I swear, men love simplicity too.

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  23. The same happened during my marriage too. I was adamant I would not waste my father's hard earned money on such nonsense. My bridal saree cost only 2k and was criticized by my relatives for it but I am not ashamed of it. I was also criticized by both my relatives and in laws for the simple sarees/salwars and jewels I wore for the other rituals, video shoot (thats another horrible part of the wedding) and 'virunnu pokal'.I hate yellow gold and gaudy shining dresses, much to my Amma's awe. My close relatives who had come along for the shopping were looking at me with disgust when I said no to everything expensive and gaudy. Actually the Gold salesman told me I was the first girl to come there for a wedding shopping,who was saying "please no more", even when the parents wanted to buy her more gold, it always happened the other way around it seems.
    But reading your post and the comments I am happy to know there are many more who think like me.

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  24. Amsi...just read this blog of urs now...i relate to all that u've written, considering the acha and amma are the same in my case too..however its quite strange that for my wedding, i got everything done my way...minimal gold and pretty sari...guess this is where the respect that parents have for their older child plays a huge role!! (Geaahahahahhaa)...or maybe it was just me..i mean the way i explained it to them, it all made sense to them...how i wish u cud learn some of these things from me darling...(GEAHAHAHAHHAHA)

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  25. Phew!!.... this blog entry of yours was really good....Could relate to everything that happened to you as i watched my dear ones go through the same plight.I also liked the sweet manner in which u ve narrated the events... Good work.. :)

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  26. Wow!!! Loved your post.
    You seem to be facing quite a gala shopping time these days. Wedding shopping is always endless. Congrats and good luck for your D-Day and the new life ahead. :)

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