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Lights, Camera, Kalyanam

Note: Glossary of terms you may not understand:

Alai Payuthey (Waves are flowing) - a romantic drama by Mani Ratnam 

Vinnathandi Varuvaaya (Will you cross the skies for me) - a romantic drama by Gautam Menon 

Minnale (Lightning) - a romantic drama by Gautam Menon 

A little over 3 months back, I grudgingly surrendered the boon of bachlerhood. Nearly 30 years of attempting to play hide and seek with the institution of marriage ended up in me being finally caught like a deer in the headlights. The game was up. There was no where left to hide. After you sign on the dotted line, life gets divided into phases: 

a) Pre-marriage - The Vinnaithandi Varuvaaya stage when you are waiting for your beloved.

b) Marriage day - The Alai Payuthey stage when there are smiles all around.

c) Post-marriage - The Minnale stage when reality sets in.

Each phase comes with its corresponding questions and pronouncements.

a) Pre-marriage - How are preparations? All set? 

b) Marriage day - How does it feel? Maacha, maatinde da! Where are you going for your honeymoon? (the most commonly asked question)

c) Post marriage - How is married life x infinity

How is married life is a tricky question, one you have to answer like you are Phillipe Petit walking on a rope across the twin towers and not like Rajnikanth. Try telling your wife Naan oru thadava sonna, nooru thadava sonna madri (if I say it once, it is like saying it 100 times).

Evolution has ensured that weddings have changed their form over time. But as I have discovered, marriage hasn't. Weddings can be adorned with candid photography, exotic locations, a 70 course menu, a couple arriving in a helicopter, couple kissing underwater and Photoshop. Why, I was told I look fair in some photographs. Marriage cannot be adorned with any of the above mentioned toppings. Mani Ratnam, when speaking about Alai Payuthey said that marriage begins when the milkman comes home and you figure out that someone has to wake up and make (and smell) the coffee. 

The wedding is the cover. Marriage is the book. Which is why you should never judge a marriage by the wedding album. 

Until the wedding, life is like an IPL auction where people are shouting at the top of their voices to be heard. Post that, it is like a match where everybody is sitting around waiting for the action to begin. I wonder why it took so much time for t20 cricket to be discovered. In our country, t20 is the default format. If you get a job, everybody is in a hurry to get you married. If you get married, everybody is in a hurry to make you a parent. If you become a parent, everybody is in a hurry to find the right school for your kid.You get the drift. 

To that end I must confess being a groom is easier than being a bride. That my wife didn't collapse under the weight of the silk saris, the shopping, the garlands and the unsolicited advice is commendable. That I didn't punch someone is commendable too. 

After you are married, you will receive some sort of VIP treatment wherever you go. Maybe married people know something you don't and it is their way of asking you to make the best of now. 

Romantic movies make you believe that love makes every moment special. But here's what the movies don't show: 

1) Couples doing the laundry (women washing clothes by the riverside doesn't count)

2) Doing grocery shopping at Balaji Departmental stores, D Mart, Parimala stores

3) Sacrificing watching a cricket match, football match, tennis match, kabbadi match

There is another iconic movie, Mouna Ragam (silent symphony) by Mani Ratnam which is about two people who don't talk to each other because the woman hasn't dealt with her past. 

All marriages will have periods of Mouna Ragam, Vinnaithandi Varuvaaya and Minnale. 

And your marriage is a movie which you script, direct and act (who acts and who directs is anyone's guess).

It's a movie worth auditioning for. 


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