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.