“Aunty ap zara andar hojaein please.” shouts a photographer trying to fit in the entire family in one photograph. Camera flashes, flashy jewellery and clothes, posing for the pictures, smiles, laughter, food and of course the bride and the groom without which the wedding is incomplete. Yes we are talking about the event which is the start of a couple’s life together and a reason for the rest of the people to dress up and show off.
Wedding season in Pakistan is always an ongoing thing taking a break only for Ramazan or maybe Moharram. One cannot imagine the amount of weddings happening in Karachi or any other city for that matter since all the marriage halls are bursting full of guests and the sound of music and the smell of food. The amount of time, energy and money put into this week long event shows the enthusiasm and excitement of the family members for the looming marriage.
The pre-wedding excitement starts with endless dholkis and dance practices being held and having the friends and family dance until they drop dead every other weekend. The aunties of the family singing their throats hoarse with every available shaadi song they can think of. The excitement of all the females on applying mehndi on their hands and the endless shopping sprees to make sure they don’t run out of dresses to wear. One simply should not fall short of looking their best.
The mards of the house are running around setting up everything and doing all the behind- the- scenes work. They are available as electricians, caterers, decorators and at times they end up being chefs as well. The groom will always be found harassed and overworked in trying to get everything right for every event being held, but still manage to end up looking like the groom on his big day.
The bride is fretting over how her wedding jora ought to be and hunting down matching jewellery and visiting every bridal salon available in the city for her big day. For her it has to be perfect, from her shoes to the selection of flowers for the event. It’s her day to shine and be shy and be happy all at the same time. When she enters the room and walks down towards the stage there is a sudden awed silence and contained excitement for the crowd and especially the ladies to check out her dress, shoes, jewellery and makeup. Whispered comments from the crowd and the nervous excitement of the bride and the awed expression of the groom upon setting eyes on his bride.
No matter how stressed or nervous or overworked the family is, the people attending the wedding have a ball of a time since they have a reason to dress up and take pictures and socialize and gossip. Not to mention those who are anxiously waiting for the food to be served so that they pile up their plates and disappear in the corners to enjoy in silence and solitude. Little kids are running up a storm and knocking down anything and everything that comes their way. Young girls dressed up in their ghararas and lehangas looking adorable and young boys looking quite handsome with their suits on.
Photographers, none of these events will start if there aren’t dozens of photographers taking pictures. They weave in and out of the throngs of people pressing forward to look at the bride clicking away furiously with their cameras. They have a knack of squeezing into places unimaginable just so they can manage another beautiful picture of the Bride and the Groom.
For a lot of us weddings are just another thing happening at every corner of the city. But for those who live abroad it’s what they cherish. The craziness, the families bonding together, shopping till you drop, late night hangouts and dance practices, being exhausted but still working on as energetic than ever. Every wedding season comes with at least 4 to 5 invitations to weddings and a harassed me trying to make sure I attend all of them. But the charm never wears off, it’s always magical than ever.