Weddings Again!

  • 18 Dec - 24 Dec, 2021
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Fiction

Eventually, with the Covid condition settling down in Karachi you all know what became rampant, weddings! The wedding season in Karachi was on full throttle. Okay don't remind of omicron; it is still not widespread enough to be considered. Sigh...

I don't know how people manage to do it but as soon as the wedding halls and the banquets were allowed to operate our homes got flooded with wedding invitations. I mean seriously how ready, steady go were you all? I can't even plan a single day to that much perfection; let alone days of events and festivities with elaborate venues and menus and fun–filled activities! Are there these minions in hiding that come out as event planners in the middle of the night to help plan and execute each ceremony to perfection?!

Needless to say with Fawad’s contacts and my friends and our relatives there was a long line of events to be attended. Which meant a long list of preparations. Oh God, something I always dreaded. Can’t, I just have a Fairy Godmother who would make everything ready at the wave of a magic wand? But sadly no; that only happens in fairy tales.

Personally, I wear whatever is in my wardrobe but I know that people actually go shopping and actually take appointments from parlors and salons in prep for the actual days’ events.

First, comes the hair, then nails and feet, and what more? For the actual day; the blow–dry and the makeup. Come on people; it's not your wedding. Why oh why would you go to such lengths?

How can we justify this to ourselves? I mean even if I had that kind of money lying around I would keep it for myself. I would save it to buy something for my family. Is it worth spending so much for someone else’s wedding? What for? For people turning heads, for the compliments, for the pictures on Facebook and Instagram? How shallow are we? How baseless and shallow?

Money is earned with a lot of hard work and spent in a single moment. How much was given away in charity? How much was given to help others?

As Fawad would tell me right about now to live and let live; I shall move on with my discussion. There is so much to talk about.

My favourite part of any wedding. hands down are the food and if that is not good then I am royally disappointed. I don't expect something lavish or extravagant; though I don't mind the jumbo prawns and steamed fish; gosh these days even the mutton is pretty high priced but whatever there is; simple or lavish it should taste good. It should be edible and enjoyable. It should be a feast fit for a king; or Gordon Ramsey; he sets the bar a little higher than royalty.

Having that main reason at the back of my mind pushes me to get ready and to make the effort. Otherwise, I would rather stay in and spend time with my family with a good show and a home–cooked meal.

But all is not lost; at least the Covid pandemic has pushed people to be on time. We’re not returning home back from a wedding at an ungodly hour; it's all wrapped up pretty much by 11 pm; maximum by 12. Phew. The perks of a deadly pandemic are numerous; our leaders would let you know too.

Back to the talk of weddings...

Ibrahim is a huge fan of weddings. Not only does the opportunity allow him to drink countless drinks hiding at some corner of the hall but also gives him the chance to socialise; something that he inherited from his father. Far from being social; I wasn't even closely friendly at times. And if I stop to talk to you for more than or close to five minutes I must really like you!

So, while he’s running here and there I can see Ibrahim chatting and talking and taking stock of his surroundings. The boy is a real extrovert I think aloud to myself.

And coming to the conversations. I mean why will I sit for hours and bitch about my family with you? Because whoever I see the left–right and center are doing this. From husbands to children to the in–laws everyone is doing this.

I’d rather use this opportunity

to uplift, share the positives in my life and also get to know you better. It is because of my ineptness at meeting and greeting that I normally end up on my own, sitting, standing, wandering aimlessly on my own. Fawad catches me in such a state and comes towards me and loops his arm into mine.

He looks me straight in the eyes and says; “You look lonesome.”

I was expecting something romantic but okay; he gets me. The guy always gets me.

“Not really lonesome Fawad; just pensive. I like watching and observing. But I am kind of done now. Can we all have a quick dinner when it's served and go home? There’s school in the morning and you have to get to work too.”

“Saima in all these years I've seen that you aren't able to have fun at weddings. Can’t you be like the other women? Look at them laughing and smiling and strutting around. Why don't you try that for a change?”

I gave Fawad an incredulous look. And why are you even thinking of comparing me with “other” women?!

He knew how fake that all was. How these women are just fulfilling a social role; an obligation because they are there and have to act the part out. They have invested in their clothes and shoes and hair and makeup and have to look the part and get their money’s worth. I didn't expect this from him. Not from him. But this wasn't the place to set his mind straight. So I looked around and for a split second I was surprised by what I saw. Or rather I surprised myself with what I thought I saw...

My mind questioned the surroundings; forced me to take stock of it all with fresh eyes. What if it was all fake? What if they spent a few extra rupees on new clothes and their hair and makeup? In all honesty, everyone looked happy and for a few minutes of their lives maybe they were actually happy. Maybe this evening was a break from the humdrum of life. Maybe their days are so monotonous by work and kids and responsibilities that this is the only way to relax and to find some peace. Some little time, a crack out of their lives. A crack of light through the darkness. A little peep from it all like Alice in wonderland who fell into a rabbit hole and found a new world beneath her full of fun and adventure.

The family hosting the event was paying for the major financial crunch and all we had to do was have a good time at their expense. And show them some love. Show them how much fun we’re having. Just have a good time to glamorise their event. Was that too much to ask of me? Was that such a herculean task? I almost felt ashamed and guilty at all those years of ingratitude and insensitivity to everyone’s feelings; pretending like I didn’t care.

I could feel Fawad eyeing me closely and his eyes bore into me like lasers. I couldn't believe how stupid and ridiculous I had been all those years. All that time was wasted while all I had to do was let my hair down and have a good time.

I turned to face my beautiful man. At the same time, Ibrahim came running to me with a big happy smile on his face.

He clung to Fawad’s leg while laughing loudly; the sugar rush had kicked in I made a mental note.

“Just enjoy yourself Saima. You’ll like it for a change.”

That's all Fawad said as he moved towards the buffet leaving me to figure out the rest of the night on my own.