Mega-Super-Giga WeddingsSun, 15th Feb '04, 2:25 am::

I was searching for something online and chanced upon this mega-wedding in Lucknow, India. Seems like the son of Sahara India corporation is getting married and for some reason every celebrity, VIP, politician is there. Hell even Bill Clinton was supposed to be there but couldn't make it! And that was followed by 101 couples tying knots in a group ceremony. I don't think I will ever even remotely understand our Indian fascination of big weddings.

Personally I hate ten days of ceremonies and events, even though almost EVERYONE I know loves them. I don't know when, where, and how I will get married, but I do know that it won't be as flashy as every other wedding. Well that is as long as my bride-to-be is ok with that. Haha. I think that's the real reason guys go along with these weddings. Because of the girls. Tomorrow every girl I know is going to beat me up for saying everything that follows, but oh well, bring it on! Girls love flashy weddings. And diamonds and gold and silver - but NOT because they are expensive, but because they're ooooooooh sooooo shiny! The guys just want to get over with it as painlessly as possible. I'm sure I make a gross generalized statement on behalf of all guys when I say this, but come on, which guy in here doesn't agree with me on this one: Men don't care about the little ribbons around every glass and chocolates wrapped in cute little silver foils. So why do men go through it?

Maybe the elusive "love" really makes a man blind. Maybe he thinks this will make the girl stop nagging him. Or maybe, just maybe, he realizes that the beautiful girl he wishes to marry absolutely deserves the grandest of the weddings for she is truly the love of his life and the bane of his existence. I don't know if that will ever happen to me. I'm not bitter or jaded; just not as naive as I was a few years ago.

I think you have to be at one of the three stages in life to decide that "Ok this is the woman I want to hear scream my name in hell-raising fury everytime I forget to put down the toilet seat." The first stage, as I said before, is of naivete, between the ages of post-puberty and early adulthood. This is when you are 19 and in "love" for the first time. You have met a pretty damsel with enchanting eyes and want to spend every silly second of your life with her though you barely know her last name. I have no qualms in admitting that I have felt like this before. And not just once, many many times. Now if only polygamy were allowed I'd be one happy chap. But alas it is not, so I must wait until I hit the second or the third stage.

The second stage is when you are moving from your late twenties into your early thirties. You have had a series of relationships and a fair share of thankful and regrettable breakups. You have seen everything the feminine gender has to offer and yet for some reason you choose not to stick to any of them. Then your best friend's kid goes into grade-school and gets an A in crayon-painting. You remember how great it felt two decades ago when you got that A in spelling class too. And that's when it hits you. You don't have too much time to spare if you plan on having a family of your own. Sure, for years you laughed it off as something suckers with no ambitions do but now that your job is stable (and boring), that marriage thing sure sounds sweet.

If you're in India, you'd get your parents to start searching a nice bride for you. Since you are 31, you aren't exactly going to meet a pretty 20 year old. You'll end up saying 'yes' to whoever is available. On the other hand, if you're an expendable sprocket at some mega-corp in New York City, you go back into your closet to find that blackbook and see if any of the homely girls you once liked are still single. Chances are they're not. And that's when you decide to get married to whoever says 'yes' first. In either case, the marriage will be however she wants it - flashy, extravagant, ostentatious - in other words, expensive. Well what else do you expect? You were too busy being a free little bird when you had the chance to propose to that nice girl but didn't since you thought she was too clingy. Now you don't have a choice my brother.

And then there's the third stage. This is more like the thirteenth hour that strikes once a blue moon. Not everyone enters the magical third stage for it is shrouded by mystical clouds of bad dates, stalking ex's, hopeless setups, and shameful hookups; visible only to ones truly in love. This is when you have known someone for half a decade but feel like it has been forever. You never really loved her as madly as that hot chic from choir but you never really lived your life without her either. She knows how many Advils you take everytime you have a headache. You know how many hours it means everytime she says "just two more minutes." Both of you know what the other likes in their subs and sandwiches and both of you know everyone in the other's family. Being good friends, you spent a lot of time together but never really thought about being a couple, since neither of you is a fantasy of the other. When all of a sudden, one day, love happens. Out of the blue and unexpectedly spontaneous. It doesn't make sense! You are friends not lovers. This is so wrong. But it feels so right. You are not made for each other yet you cannot be without each other. But this isn't love. Love is supposed to be all natural and at first sight. Love is supposed to be tingly with butterflies-in-tummy. Love is supposed to be what they show in the movies and car commercials and beer ads. Or is it?

I don't think I can say what it is at this moment. Maybe some day I will. I hope when I get married, it is in the mysterious third stage and not the dreaded second; chances of the naive first stage are pretty much nil. Till then, I'll just take whatever life has to offer me.

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