I think the Universe is trying to tell me a very important message : thou shalt not go for wedding receptions.
How else could I explain the mishaps in the last three weddings I attended?
When the weather turns cooler and the relatives from overseas come home for some sunshine, the people of Mumbai decide to get married i.e those who are not married and are in a relationship or in the process of finding a life partner……so come November and wedding bells begin to peal or rather the bands begins to bajao. It is a season that leaves me with mixed feelings – happy because I can meet my friends and relatives , feast on good food and wine and enjoy the good weather; and sad because I invariably have to let out the seams of my blouses which get tighter with each wear or worse still get a new one made to match the sari I plan to wear. So I often land up at weddings literally stuffed into my blouse praying hard that the buttons wouldn’t pop at the most inappropriate moment.
Well, the first wedding I attended this season was a Parsi wedding at the prestigious Jeejeebhoy Agiary at the southernmost tip of town. Since this was the first wedding I had blouse that was sufficiently comfortable and I was looking forward to stuffing myself with the choicest Parsi fare since the reception was being catered by the legendary chef Ghodiwala. Unfortunately the reception line leading to the dais was quite long and I felt that with each guest being photographed with the bridal couple it would take longer than I’d bargained for so when a plate of tantalising chicken tikka was whisked under my nose, I greedily reached out and grabbed a piece. I was thoroughly enjoying the kebab when I remembered that I had to chew carefully and slowed down my chewing till I found myself just two people away from the dais and the kebab still nowhere close to becoming a bonus. So I did thinly thing I could think of doing which was swallow. Now that was an even bigger mistake than eating it in the first place because it just got stuck! I didn’t know what to do and just as I stepped on the stage I began to gag and had visions of regurgitating before the bridal party. Horror of horrors! What can be worse than throwing up in front of the bride. Somehow controlling the urge to purge, I quickly shook hands, muttered a hearty congratulations smiled into the camera and walked off the stage to look for a loo. The loos we strategically located farthest from where I was, so I slunk into a corner and discreetly dislodged the offending kebab. I was convinced anyone who saw me would think I was drunks nd hurriedly rushed to the bathroom to set things right. Needless to say, I skipped the dinner and just had a few more kebabs before getting home.
The next wedding was a Catholic wedding and I had to make sure that nothing untoward happened to me for fear of embarrassing my husband in front of his colleagues. Luckily my heels didn’t break, the sari didn’t rip and the acid did not reflux my gut. But I managed to spill some of the yummiest paneer makkhanwala all the way down the front of my sari and had to try and look nonchalant about it as we wished everyone goodbye.
The last and most ignominous one occurred early this week at the posh Willingdon Club. The crowd was oh so sophisticated , where subtlety and inheritance were spoken in the same hushed tones as the conversation. This was one of those dos where food for thought was more important than food to eat. But I was not disheartened as the highlight of the Willingdon Club dining experience is its fabled chaat counter so after piling my plate with lasagne , I marched on to the chaat counter, beckoning me with its tantalising fare. With one eye on my plate and the other on the badly disguid uneven ground, I put my hand forward only to find my legs buckling below me. Within seconds I was on ground,sitting squarely on my butt, the sari a mess with all the food spilled on it and the plate held triumphantly aloft! I was so shocked that I actually laughed, amused by my fall and the thought that everyone who saw me would think I was truly drunk. But I wasn’t. I had hardly had a sip.
As I hobbled home that night, I realised that may be wedding receptions are not for me especially when I go with the idea of stuffing my face.