Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The wedding flashers!

Think “mallu Christian wedding” and the first thing that flashes in your mind is the flash of a camera. In fact, it is the first thing that greets you as you enter the church for the wedding. A blinding FLASH!! And while you grope around blinded by the flash, you are hit by yet another searing flash, this time the exposure is much longer as it is the Videographers lights being thrust in your face. This completely blinds you and you follow the rest of the church proceeding through a haze, blinking desperately in the vain hope that your vision will somehow surface out of the haze. And just when you are beginning to make out the faint outline of the fat aundy in the bench before you, comes another flash... 'tis time to be photographed as the attentive audience!!! (they have everything covered I tell you.)

You sink into darkness again. The audio is your only clue that the wedding is still going on and you are inside the church. By the time your vision is restored again, the wedding is over and you are wary. You look around wild eyed for the photographer and video guy, petrified they may appear from nowhere and flash you again! And after you spot them, you keep a keen bloodshot eye on them, ready to close your eyes the moment they spot you and say “Hey! Look a gal who can see!! Let’s go blind her!” You spend the rest of the time in the Church covering like an animal being stalked, your senses in full alert ready to flee at the first sign of the "Flash Team”.

When the family album is finally released via Picasa, you look the epitome of piousness with your eyes closed in "prayer" for most part of the wedding, except that smug smirk that will be dismissed by gushing relative as "spiritual ecstasy." Only you know about the middle finger you were holding up behind you. And if you are lucky, they will never catch you err photograph you doing that. (Warning: Please don’t try this during weddings. Only trained people are advised to try this stunt)

After the wedding is over, which you deduce by the Priest saying “I now bless you in the name of the Father *flash* the son *flash* and the Holy Spirit *flash**flash**flash**flash*" you open one eye warily and when the coast is clear i.e the “Flash Team” are flashing someone else ( Definition of’ flash’ and "flashing" - as in photographic flash, please note …sigh) you make a dash for the door.

If you are lucky you get away. But if you are family, then there is no way you will get out of the church without being subjected to some more flashing ( same definition as above). Those who still try will be met with sturdy aundies blocking their way. They are like bouncers, waiting to catch people running away from the mandatory family photograph!! You will be dragged kicking and screaming well...almost and put next to the bride and groom and you groan inwardly as the lights take aim. When the family album is out, you are either seen looking like a man being put in an incinerator, alive or like a poor blind relative.

After you have blinked like a tube light a couple of million times and retrieved your vision, it is time to go for the Reception. You don’t wanna go. But the sturdy aundies make sure everyone has boarded the various vehicles specially arranged to ensure that people do not escape the zapping session at the reception hall. You are transported like a trussed chicken to the reception hall where, if you are lucky, you will escape being flashed while getting down from the bus.

You look for a table away from the crowd, indistinguishable and preferably invisible and then fight a horde of people also looking for a table, away from the crowd, indistinguishable and preferably invisible. If you are lucky, the photo and video guy won’t notice the scuffle and land up to photograph “the event”. And if you are not lucky, the Picasa album will show a horde of blind people fighting over a nondescript table at a remote corner of the hall.

It is pure bliss when the Bride and Bride groom arrive at the reception hall, as every flash worth its weight in gold will be turned on them. You get a much deserved relief from the flash and time to repair your eyes before the next onslaught. After the toast and the cake cutting and the rest of the rituals are over, you groan as the “Flash Team” turns their gaze towards the crowd. From then on, you synchronize your visits to other tables with the Flash Team’s departure from the table. Then you realize that everyone is doing the same. When the Picasa album is aired for general viewing, it will show a whole crowd of people playing musical tables in the hall and a very bewildered “Flash Team” looking very bewildered at the unruly and uncreative crowd that refuses to sit still to be flashed.

Food is eaten at express speed when people see the “Flash Team” approaching and when they near their table the whole table gets up for dessert. Not to be outdone the “Flash Team” will follow them to the dessert section only to have the whole crowd escape back to their tables. The Flash Team, totally frustrated by now use the dreaded "Trap and Flash” tactics.

Err miss which is the non veg section?
To your right

Saar, where is the toilet?
This way!

Ladies! Which one of you is Shinty Thomas?
No one!
Thank you! *Flash*

Soon the Flash Team sits down to eat and you look around and find their equipment is missing. You join the general cursing that emanates from the masses similarly expressing their disappointment at their inability to smash the equipment. You promise to yourself that one day you will find it and smash it before the others!

Soon its time to go the bridegroom’s house for the “bride handing over ceremony”. The aundies ensure that you are once again transported willy nilly to the bridegrooms house. And if you have by any chance made any remark about the need to leave for home early to escape further flashing, then you will get the first chance to be flashed with the couple after the "bride handing over ceremony.”

While you grope your way out of the house, getting slapped and punched for touching people in the wrong places, you realize in a 'flash' that retinal damage, ligament tear and permanent blindness is all part of the fun of the big fat achayan wedding! :)


Anonymous said...

at weddings, we've always hated the flash and the blinding light when we are eating... after all which poor couple wants to see bakasura at full force on the most (im)memorable day of their lives

DD said...

Definition of’ flash’ and "flashing" - as in photographic flash, please note ROTFL!
And Anju, remember you will be one of the lucky ones in the spotlight too...the day you get married, you will be totally blind

Amey said...

Now imagine what happens when you are the bride :D

I am working on a photovoltaic device which will store the energy every time there is a flash. Initial studies suggest a wedding per month should server all my energy needs. Will keep you posted...

deviant said...

Aundies, UnGles, bowyss and gyerls. Simbly fohcus on dhi payasam drinGing, and dont be thinGing about dhi flashing atall I say.
Prohwlem souled?

Unknown said...

you forgot to mention the multipath interference created by the flash-light reflected and deflected off the tons of jewelry on the bride and the auntymaar, like a very scary kaliedoscope..
when it comes to weddings, we bring the bling..

jj said...

This is a perfect description Silverine.hats off... reminds me there is a wedding coming up soon in the family and *Gulp*

(I guess it would be a cool idea to fake conjuctivitis and sport sunglasses for the big fat wedding!)

skar said...

Ah, so you attended a flashy wedding! :)

Anonymous said...


mathew said...

When the lord said "Let there be Light"..

I think he just forgot the "flash team" who took it on themselves!!;-P

btw awesome post..!!

Philip said...

The only reason I go to weddings is to eat the food. It really pisses me off when the flash party arrives and unleashes the power of a thousand suns when the chicken leg is halfway through its journey to my wide open mouth :(

Anonymous said...

>>“Hey look a guy who can see!! Let’s go blind him!”<<
If this is what the wedding-attenders feel, think about the fate of the poor bride and groom - they are blinded on one of the best days of their lives.

skar said...

LOL, why so many sympathisers with the bride and groom? One musn't fail to recognize that they grin away happily in spite of the flash team's desperate efforts because they are blindly in love! :p

Abhi said...

Awesome post. What i'd seen in a wedding is described perfectly to the T here. Loved the line of definition of Flash. :) don't think anyone will appreciate the OTHER flashing in a wedding. Hope you had a nice time answering queries from aundy's about ur impending marriage.

PS: Did you see that Lolakutty is back on Channel V? She was teaching some general knowledge to the crowd @ Gateway of India on independence day. :)

Sriram said...

We should have realised sooner or later that it's the camera's evil nature which, in anger at its naturally retarded vision, inflicts pain and torture, with the help of its holders at its beholders.

S said...

AAHAHAHA :D ... have you ever been to a Punjabi Wedding? there you will get more fat Aunties, camera flashes, and fat Aunties' jewellery flashes than you can handle! sigh...such is life! ;)

Neena Padayatty said...

Photographers were once prohibited at weddings in churches.I've actually seen a photographer elbowing out the priest handing over the 'thali' saying "Acho,onnu mariye focus kittunnilla."!!
The worst time is definitely when we are eating.Thank God they don't follow us into the wash room.
Maybe u cud send one of those "blinded" snap of urs to Manorama's "candid-at-weddings" photo contest.:)

Rada said...

Have always wanted to post comments on your past posts. But by the time I get around to it, there are at least a hundred guys who have already commented. It is almost as if they are waiting for their feed readers to signal a new post by Silverine, to pounce on it and comment! :-)

Very funny post. What you so vividly describe is true for Indian weddings in general and is not exactly confined to a certain state or community. :-)

Mera Bharat Mahan!

Diviya said...

The photography session at my wedding was longer than the actual ceremony. Sigh! I should have said no to photos!

Kunjootty said...

at most weddings in kerala i feel tht the audience is seated to get a good view of the "rear"s of the flash-team!!! wats the point in attending these weddings if thats all we get to see???? :-P u described the situation to a T!!! :-) kudos on tht :-D

silverine said...

Iyer Education: LOL!!

DD: I guess all of us will 'go blind' one day! :p

Amey: Now thats a novel device indeed! Make power from wasted power! Wow!

deviant: LOL!! That was some good advice. You forgot to add, "close your eyes" and drink the payasam! :)

JAckson: "when it comes to weddings, we bring the bling.." Wow! Now that can be used by the All Kerala Wedding Photographers Association as their USP! :)

JJ: Sunglass!! Why didn't I think of that!! :(
Thanks girl! :)

Karthik: Very flashy wedding! :|

Rahul: :)

Mathew: Thank you! :)

Philip: You know in our family, we actually sit and laugh at the photos of people who were snapped up eating :p

ms cris: Right now I am too busy feeling sorry for myself to sympathize with the couple! :p

Abhi: Thank you! :) btw the Lolakutty act, is getting too irritating. I have stopped watching it long time back!

Karthik: Absolutely right! :)

Sriram: That went over my head! :p

road to perdition: Yes I have attended Punju weddings and loved it! :)

Neena: ""Acho,onnu mariye focus kittunnilla."!!" Hilarious!! I am getting bugged with their pushiness! Like Bits said, whats the use of the wedding if you cannot see anything beyond the backs of the flashers!

Radaa: Thank you! :) Feels good to know that it is the same everywhere. But in Kerala I have noticed that the photographers actually run the show!

Diviya: I understand the need for photos, to relive the happy moments, but now it has become a sort of a P T drill!!

Bits: Agree with you totally. And thanks! :)

freespirit said...

Looks like I am the only one around here who loves getting clicked :) I say send em all over!

Philip said...

I think wedding is your blog's USP. I confirmed by checking your archives...the ones that had me laughing out the most had something to do with weddings. BTW 98% of your posts are related to weddings and they are all hilarious :D

Machiavelli said...

A moment of silence for the newly weds also...who are left with a video of their respective selves subjected to some drastic editing by the video guy who it turned out had a very post modern aesthetic sense. I distinctly remember seeing a video in which the groom looks up at a coconut tree and sees the brides head among the coconut bunches.

Anonymous said...

Firstly, I am so thankful that you clarified the meaning of 'flashing' in this context. Or else,the world would have thought that South India is full of perverts who routinely engage in mass flashing exercises... That would have been a disaster. We've been trying to keep that a secret, you know.

Secondly, as much as I can empathize with your blinding plight, I have to say - I've never been in such an unfortunate position. I have a camera - A Nikon D50, and I'm usually on the other side of the flash... {fiendish grin}

Of course, the major reason for this seasonal vocation is because if I don't do the camerawork... or at least PRETEND to do the camerawork, I'd be bored to deep slumber.

Our weddings are usually boring routines. Hell, in my own wedding, whenever that happens (preferably in the next decade),I'm seriously afraid I may start snoring during critical ceremony procedures...

"Do, you, blah blah blah, lawfully wedded wife?"

"Nghaaa... bhurrrrrrrrrr... nghaaa... bhurrrrrr...."

That would be unfortunate. I should plan to be the photographer at that event as well... It might be a bit tough to convince my folks about that though...

Balanarayan NT said...

You realised in a flash.. LOL that was hilarious!

Inder said...

i haven't yet found the answer for this:
why are the wedding/reception photographers obsessed with shooting the dining moments???

rk said...

IM BAAACK!!!!!!.........Definition of’ flash’ and "flashing" - as in photographic flash[:D]....GUD ONE....

Tony Sebastian said...

non veg, flash, grope.... I'm having evil thoughts! I should attend a Dhyanam!

nice post Sil vous plait (Translation - Sil, you please :) )

Godwin Francis said...

addipoli... words were just flashing here n there...after a verrrry longg time ppl just thank the flash team!! (isn't that the other part of story) :-)

VMJ said...

Ive been mostly encouraging your writing silently when they were great. But i guess there's no such thing as a mute critic.

Unknown said...

Flash! flash flash!...:D

LOL. One invention that is long overdue is a wedding camera without flash!

Anonymous said...

Looks like mallu weddings're close to heart?? :-)

SP said...

It is easier to criticize than write a blog. Congratulations to VMJ for making the smart choice.

silverine said...

Freespirit: You are lucky then, because it doesn't become an annoying issue for you, as it is for most of us! :)

Philip: I guess thats because I write about stuff happening around me. And thanks! :)

Machiavelli: That totally cracked me up! LOL!!! I have seen faces morphed into sunflower, roses etc but this takes the cake!!!

Hammy: Hilarious!! You will be too nervous to sleep at your wedding dude!!

Balu: Ah! Someone noticed that!! :p

Inder: I think that is to capture the whole event in the minutest possible detail! :)

cain: Welcome back buddy! Nice to see you! :)

Tony: LOL!! You and dhyanam? What next? Nuns at a male strip tease club!! This I gotta see...you at the dhyanam I mean! :p

Godwin! Thank you! :) You said it...I guess people do enjoy the photos for a long time to come after the event is over!

Abraham: The flash makes an awful sound too! Like paper being torn! :)

Anon: Any wedding with good food is close to the heart dude! :|

SP: Chech!!! *umma*
Ignore the self appointed frustu critic dude, though I am thankful he made you appear here. btw lady you are no young filly to race around on Koramangala roads at 70 kpmh :| I saw you today!!! :p

Anonymous said...

this one somehow didn't match up to your standards.
that said, you do set really really high standards, so it's probably hard to stay there all the time.

btw, i'm no qualified critic either and this is just personal opinion... there might be others out there who think this is your best.

Amey said...

It's the age of recycling, after all ;)

rk said...

do chk out my blog sometime ...updated....wud b an honour to hav your comment in one of me posts[:D]

Annemarie said...

Awesome post!! Described the situation to a T as others mentioned!! I just love to drop in here and see something fresh every week! That said I am due for a wedding next month :-S

Tony Sebastian said...

If you ever reconsider about the being a writer bit, here's a link that might help


That's Jaya Jha's self publishing website.
Jaya Jha - JEE rank 88 (gulp)
IIT Kanpur, IIM lucknow.

PS: I have no stake in this - Just thought its a neat idea, and that this was the right place for a mention.

Anonymous said...

Same to same with Jat weddings! Nice blog.

Praveen said...

i can tolerate at anytime...

when I am busy devouring the tasty food. It just makes me mad when they focus on the big load of food that I've stuffed into my mouth

silverine said...

innocent bystander: Thanks for the observations! :) Good, bad, fair etc are tags people have given me. I don't subscribe to any of them as I consider myself just another blogger who got a chance to rant! :)

Amey: It sure is! :)

cain: Read your post and was struck was nostalgia! Sigh. Will comment soon!

Phoenix: Thank you! :)

Tony: No dear, I don't aspire to write or publish! But thanks for the link. I am sure there are many people who will find it useful! :)

Shruti; So I am learning now! :)

Praveen: You bet, it is embarrassing and intruding too!!

nostringsattached said...

there is plus point of this too..
1, when you are at distant relatives marriage, these "flashes" can be used as testimony to prove that u attended the wedding...and you can scoot, w/o waiting for the 2nd one..
2, when you are at close relatives marriage, these flashes(video lights) almost makes you perspire too..making the aundies happy..they wil say.."see Anju was running about so much for this marriage..so nice of her"

Anonymous said...

Been off the net for a while, and was generally checking in. Had to comment on this one. Being a 6' 2" guy pretty much precluded any groping by anyone, so I guess I have less emotionally scarring memories of Achayan weddings. For me, with my healthy obsession for non vegetarian food, these occasions were prime targets for some real demolition. I've always had a problem with the church part of it as it generally takes too long, and being quite a chubby kid, I was always forced to go give the poor couple flowers as soon as they get out of the church. I mean what was with that. But ya, well written post.

Anonymous said...

Very well written Anju!

Sarah aunty

flaashgordon said...

Thank god for the additional "a" in my name!! Else people wouldve thought u r talkin abt me ;-)

Had a lot of fun reading this one ;-)))as i could really relate- Those "dreadful-midmeal-openmouthed with half a chicken-leg- in- mouth" sort of snaps r such a nightmare

Neway guess u know that these camera guys flash everyone in sight coz they're paid by the number of snaps they manage to take , i think it was some 10 bucks per snap ! I had to devise a code with the photographer as a part during my own Wedding reception as a part of my cost cutting initiative. If i showed him a single finger clicking motion when ther was a known relative/ friend on stage, he had to take the snap - else , even if the person/ group posed for the snap he just had to pretend to take the snap ..Album was just 5 kg instead of 10 kg because of that ..

phoenikhs said...

Guess it is one such flash that caught me eating through my nose at a Mallu Christian Wedding. The embarrassment was processed for all to see.

Roweena D'Souza said...

Got here via DP. Hilarious stuff...
I understand your sentiments, 'spiritual ecstasy', that's were I tend to be too during wedding nuptials!

Anonymous said...

Here via Desipundit. Hilarious post. Amazing blog!!

Cynic in Wonderland said...

the trick is to get BEHIND the camera. get a camera and flash at others for all its worth. flash the flashers and give them a taste of being flashed. even if you dont actually get a camera, just get a flasher and pretend to be one. Tell teh family you are sentimentally storing photos for posterity. they will coo how sweet and you will get some brownie points as well!

Kris Bass said...

First of all, I must confess, I was interested in 'Flashing' at the Mallu Christian wedding. I was even interested in the seemingly vulgar, gay bishop side of things!

Very nice post! First time, here totally enjoyed it!

Anonymous said...

Very Hilarious and you had to use the words flash and flashing a million times! I guess you are probably getting a million seach engine hits for Flashing with a different meaning. and seriously Flashing in the Toilet?

Sampige said...

Add Iyengari wedding to the list! I think I have many pictures of me with 5 fingers stuffed in my mouth while the &^%&^% "flasher" takes pictures. I HATE them :-)

Anonymous said...

ROFL.....gosh!!!!!!!!!!! laughed for ages...every line is rib-tickling...jus love ur posts!!!