Friday, July 16, 2010

On your mark...get set....GOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

Picture this scenario - A room with 2 doors... 2 very small doors and a sea of humanity pushing and shoving to get through get at the food that is being served in this room. Old, young, men, women, children alike trying desperately to get in and willing to physically hurt anyone who tries to get between them and the food.

If you pictured this scenario in your head...think of what clothes these people are wearing, where this place could be...for anyone who guessed it is probably some relief camp of sorts and these people are in basic worn out clothes, try again....All those who guessed it to be a gathering of people dressed in their finest, the venue to be a wedding hall in Kerala and these were guests rushing to have the wedding lunch then give yourself a pat on the back. Welcome to the wedding lunch stampede.

The scenario I mentioned is what I have seen at every wedding I have attended - venue, class, caste no bar (Disclaimer - Have only been to a couple of Hindu weddings and 1 Christian wedding, so can only talk about them). Now these people aren't gate-crashers, free-loaders or college students out for a free meal. They are invited guests at the wedding, who know that even if this mad race to the plate isn't won, they will still get served.  These are people who probably make the same meal that is being served at the wedding in their house on a  daily basis - yet the sight of the laid out banana leaf spread or the laden plate causes a hysteria among them.

It's amusing to watch how when people assemble to in the wedding hall, many of them pick seats near the door - easy to rush to the exit (I bet no one thought going to the wedding required such strategic planning). The preparation for the race starts from the moment the bride and groom settle on the stage - ready to tie the knot. The minute the knot is tied...there is rustle of anticipation among the crowd - On your mark....the women look around for their children and grab their handbags, the men put on their shoes or chappals and ready themselves, the elderly look around for someone who will escort them out; Get set...The knot has been tied and the bride and groom start their 1st of the obligatory 3 rounds; Go Go Go...The minute (OK I exxagerate - some have it perfected to a nano-second) the bride and groom settle back down, there is a rumbling sound and when the dust settles only the couple's immediate family and the slow starters are left in the hall. All this to have a free lunch and criticise it later


Tara said...

Absolute truth, well said!! After all this, the lunch at the wedding was horrible wasn't it? is what they have to say. Why do people do this? Are they scared that there is going to be a shortage of food? I still remember for my wedding, they pulled me out when i was changing into my 'manthrakodi' the saree was still hanging around me and they were rushing me saying people are waiting to eat come on, come on!! Hell its my day not their day!!

Laxmi Gopa said...

I find it very amusing when I see people rush for the food...and actually push and shove people out of the way. it's like they feel a famine is coming and this is their last meal.
Ofcourse the food has to be criticised- yet they will still do the same thing at the next event.

Deepa said...

This is one way to look at things. The other reason could be - People didnt have time these days and they just want to be done with it. While we attend weddings only during vacationing; these are the people who might have taken time out of their work to attend this function for couple of hrs and/or some elderly people to attend to at home.

Laxmi Gopa said...

@Deepa - I think this is your first time on my blog...Thanks for reading.
What you said is true, but should they act like it some sort of life and death situation. Actually the people on vacation are the slow-startes cuz they lack practice.:)

Shireesh said...

Weddings (now-a-days) tend to have become more of a formality than the rituals. If you look back at 80s and 90s, the preparations for weddings used to take place at least few months in advance. Relatives, friends and neighbors gather and start to make it more lively and happening.

Change is inevitable. People are always rushing to catch the clock. It could be due to their busy life style. I can see that even before the wedding rituals are completed, food is being served. It is more of like meeting everyone, have food, present the gifts, take picture and back to home.

I don't think its happening only at weddings, it does happen everywhere such as temples, buses, MRTs etc., rushing, pushing, squeezing in.

As an example, the transport system in Singapore is so efficient, clearly indicating about the next train. Yet, I still see people squeezing in the MRTs or run to enter into an MRT when the doors are closing. Can't they wait for a minute or two rather than hurting themselves.

What could be the reason? Impatience? Stressed? Wanna be ahead of others?

Laxmi Gopa said...

@Shireesh - Maybe it starts out as being impatience, but once they start running towards the door, it becomes a competition I guess.

Being a mummy

Full time Mummy!!