More often than not, most of our ethical grievances aired online vis-à-vis lavish marriage ceremonies arise out of sheer envy than an actual abhorrence of financial mismanagement.

Are you morally outraging at the big fat Ravi Pillai family wedding You may want to hold backImage source: Neelima Studio/Facebook
Blog Blog Saturday, November 28, 2015 - 13:10

Besieged by news of The Big Fat Kerala Wedding organized by the NRI business tycoon Ravi Pillai for his daughter Arathi at a whopping cost of Rs 55 crores, I casually googled the concept, just to have Ayushi Mona’s cryptic comment jump at me: What is right for me could be left for you!

My till-then-ballooned-enraged ethical self just got punctured. I realized that if we have an iota of conscience left in us, the hypocrisy of all those including yours truly who went all out on a limb to shower Pillai with brickbats of moral outrage will become very evident here.

Pillai, the richest Kerala NRI and 40th richest Indian according to Forbes list justified his exorbitant celebration of his only daughter’s nuptials by juxtapositioning it with his extensive humanitarian activities. But what about you and me -the average Indian citizen? Are we too not culpable of the very same crime we accuse Pillai of? 

Take any recent marriage ceremony we attended in our neighbourhood. I am sure the majority of us don’t get invitations to grace lavish wedding sets designed by Sabu Cyril, so obviously we all have participated in an average middle-class wedding function, where obviously you and I -the aam aadmi- fit in.

Image source: Vishnu Gopinath/Facebook

Were we not aware of the extravagant expenditure involved? I am sure just like me, you too must have made snide comments at some point of time about how your host could have put his or her money to better use by cutting down the costs, and then coolly went on to splurge more money on a family wedding. So where does that put us on the ethical or moral scale?

More often than not, most of our ethical grievances aired online vis-à-vis lavish marriage ceremonies arise out of sheer envy than an actual abhorrence of financial mismanagement. Given a chance, most of us would want to host a marriage that involves any of our loved ones with all the blatant accoutrements that have now become part and parcel of such a social event. Only to keep up with the Joneses, or in our case with the Sharmas, Nairs, D’costas, Hussains… and if possible, maybe even outdo them.

Weddings in India have got commercialized to such an extent that the sanctity of the marriage rites and all that the wedding vows and rituals stand for, have got completely lost in the superficial glitter of all that band-baaja. It has become more of an act of cementing our social status in society rather than a genuine outpouring of love and blessings on the couple-to-be. Even before the saat pheres (the seven-circling which the bride and bridegroom takes around the holy fire amidst Vedic chants in a Hindu wedding) are over, one can hear the malicious whisper, “Kya pata yeh bhandan kab tak tikega...toh majeh loh ab!” (Who knows till when this relationship will last…so let’s enjoy now!)

Image source: Kollam Rising/Facebook

I have known people going into bankruptcy after their daughter’s wedding and then having to flee their native land for fear of social stigma. You think we would take a cue from that. But no, the very next wedding we hear of, the tamasha begins all over again. So my dear fellow-beings, before we cast the first stone on Pillai for indulging in an extravagant whim which he can very well afford, let’s ask ourselves whether we are indeed qualified to stand in judgement of him. It seems to be an apt case of the pot calling the kettle black.

Show us some love! Support our journalism by becoming a TNM Member - Click here.