Watching a friend get married gives you a good sense of what your age really is. There is a formula for this.
Number of years since you were born (Y) times the number of friends of yours who are already married (F) divided by the estimated number of years you are not going to earn money (E).
Real Age, R = Y*F/E
My real age, R, is nearing a zero. Mostly because my E has discovered the end of numbers! It’s a surreal thing to attend a friend’s wedding, because on the one hand you are admiring the courage that a person has to take this bold step of promising, what hopefully should be, a lifelong commitment, but on the other hand your brain is also thinking “CRAP! CRAP! CRAP! CRAP! CRAP! CRAP! DID I LEAVE THE GAS CYLINDER ON?”
I am not your average pop-culture inspired teenager adult who is “afraid of commitment” and says things like “Marriage Bro. I don’t know if I can handle it. It’s too much effort bro”. I have always thought that marriage is a great institution for as long as I can remember.
Teacher: What do you want to be when you grow up?
Non-Me1: I want to be a Truck Driver. (There is always one kid with this response)
Non-Me2: I want to be an archaeologist. (This kid probably saw Indiana Jones last night)
Teacher Cliché 1: In our days we only had Engineer, Doctor, Lawyer.
Teacher: Mukesh, what do you want to be?
Teacher Cliché 2: With your marks you’ll end up there only.
As to what kind of wedding I want, I didn’t give it much thought until I attended one recently. Going for one reminds you of how elaborate a process this can be. I don’t think I know as many words in the English language as the number of people at that wedding. I’ve decided mine is going to have a strict pajamas and shorts only policy. It’s going to be a Bring Your Own Pajamas Wedding. (Repost that until it becomes a cultural norm). There’s going to be a giant game of hide and seek and the ceremony ends when the bride and groom find each other. Then there is hurrah and merry and champagne and speeches and everybody passes out till they leave.
When people come out of it, people are not going to go “Bro, it was so much fun dudebro. I don’t remember anything”. People are going to go “Wow. That was just super comfortable.
Also no pictures allowed. I believe that a moment should be enjoyed and lived in and stored as a memory rather than trapped in an abstract socio-metaphysical construction such as a photograph. And because in photos my face looks like the age rings of an ugly Eucalyptus tree! So no photos!
The number of photos and the amount of makeup and the amount of smiling for photos at shaadis, gives a dubious desi touch to how The Joker got his scars.
Joker: I can’t feel my face any more. What is happening?
Batman dressed as North Indian Uncle, Bruce Jain: Why so serious, beta? Put a smile on your face?
Is that the best origin story for a villain? Or the worst?
Before I get stereotyped as the guy who wants to get married as soon as possible because he saw a lot of rom-coms, STOP! It’s more a belief in the practice of living together, which I get, is not for everyone. And I understand that there are so many things that go into the life of a couple living under the same roof, beyond the usual rut of romantic gestures etc. But I still feel, that there is a lot of cynicism regarding marriage in so many young people. And I am no one to blame people for their fears or pinpoint the source of their cynicism (American pop-culture, I tell you).
Now I am speaking with the confidence of a Fair Skinned, Brahmin, MS in US, settled in Silicon Valley Telugu Software engineer on Shaadi.Com. But, I am aware that the prospects of my wedding happening in such a manner are near zero. I mean, there are more chances the bride will happen to be a Koala bear given how much they like eucalyptus trees. But I shall be relentless in my optimism. Please consider this as an invitation for the wedding which has the probability of a renegade fat goat Rambo-ing itself to survival during Bakrid in interior Baluchistan.