The days in the near future are gonna be dotted with assorted functions in close and extended family circles, attending which is mandatory by default. Was at one such family function recently. It was a people-packed affair and emotions ran high. Along with all the gaiety and festivity, as it is with any such event, there were incidents and words which bordered on the dramatic, leaving a rather bitter after-taste.
Such events leave me completely drained – one is the physical exhaustion caused by rising in the wee-hours, getting ready with the pre-function preparations if at home or rushing to the venue when hosted by a relative, running about bare-foot doing all the chores and errands – endless in such ceremonies, the heavy and odd-timed eating, the post-function winding down and relentless rounds of grinning “hello, how are yous” to scores of people – the identities of many of whom are recovered from the depths of my vague memory! Added to this is the mental disquiet and tensions – constant worry about how and what might go wrong, listening to the veiled barbs and sarcasms of insensitive relations, the mind is never at ease till the last guest is fed and packed off with the tamboola!
I sometimes wonder about the remarkable changes that have transformed our society to the one it is now, with most such functions and celebrations being occasions for farcical display of one’s wealth and clout. Earlier such events were meant to be get-togethers for all kith and kin from different parts of the country – to meet, eat and enjoy some moments of familial togetherness. Those simple pleasures have now been brow-beaten into submission to the stringent and stupid rules dictated and imposed by the society. All that one gets to see and be a part of these days is a show – of pomp and vain pride, wealth and superficial virtuousness.
I wish such ceremonies were simple, homely affairs with just the close family and people-who-matter in attendance; instead of the loud, elaborate procedures they most often turn out to be.