Tuesday, March 8, 2011

53. Pay them to stay home

Brazen display of unaccounted wealth notwithstanding, the social sanction to getting-fatter-by-the-day Indian wedding has established moral decline of a recalcitrant society. Far from being questioned, the big fat weddings instead tweak middle-class aspirations to emulate it.

Unable to match the unenviable trend, many acquaintances with marriageable progeny have been shocked to learn that feeding each guest at the wedding could cost them upwards of Rs 2,000. Coupled with the often unreasonable price of the venue, thousand-odd guests can turn the one-night ceremony into a nightmare for the rest of the parents’ lives! As the couple exchange wedding vows on the auspicious day, traffic congestion triggered by additional number of cars hitting the road adds to the city woes. Adding insult to injury for the host, the expanded cuisine of predictable taste gets conveniently trashed at such weddings as well.

Can the growing carbon footprints of the big fat Indian wedding be checked? An ingenious solution is on offer! Let the marriage invitation remind the guests to celebrate the day with their respective families in the neighbourhood restaurant of their choice. To cover the dining expenses, the invitation will have a reasonable amount* tagged to it. Neither will food be wasted nor will guests tread extra miles. The decentralised carbon-friendly wedding will nevertheless get celebrated across the city at the same time as the bride and the groom solemnise their marriage in the company of their close families.

(*it could well be 5 times less than what one may pay for food for a family of 5 at the wedding)


DJfossil said...

Doctor, I think the time has come for you to write a book!!!!

amitangshu said...

A lot can be done about the material being used for marriages. Its a pity that a entrepreneurial society as ours can't think of setting up eco event management companies whose job would be to market sustainable marriages. Locally sourced materials, return of the good old saal/banana leaf, use of recycled paper for invites (or even better, just facebook/gmail), zero plastic policy, etc. I believe all this can make a substantial difference. I would disagree with one point here, the big fat India marriage, according to me, is a social necessity where parents pass on their professional and kinship networks to their children. That is an important aspect of marriages, big fat or anorexic.

Vijay Rai said...

Brilliant idea! Doctor saheb tusi great ho.

But what about the 'envelop containing cash' given by the guests to the parents of groom/bride?

The intended guests to the party will be bound feast at a resturant of their choice, at their cost and send the bill to organizer of marriage indicating the intended cash-gift for bride/groom.

The host would then would send an email thanking each and send electronially a sum equal to difference of cost of meals minus the intended cash gift.

It would also solve the problem of empty envelops received in mega weddings besides earning the carbon credits earned for the nation.

-Vijay Rai