Kerala Kakophonies

Kiarna went for her first Kerala wedding reception. Very odd. Both bride and groom live in England. Both bride and groom’s families live in England. For many years now. And they’re in Kottayam in what is an exotic and alien culture to their kids. Hopeful me thinks, ‘ah roots..’ Cynical me thinks, ‘hmph just so that they can show off. Status and all that sort of thing’. Maybe I should just stop thinking.

The reception was at the aptly named Windsor Castle. While the original castle is grey and short and looks like a castle, this one is white and tall and looks surprisingly like a hotel. As we entered the general ‘heritage’ looking reception area we saw all the priests sitting at a special table and eating away. They looked like white pigeons with their cassocks pecking away at their food. If a bishop came it would’ve been a purple pigeon. If it was a Syrian bishop probably he would look like a crow. I’m rude.

Weddings in Kerala are too many a piece in this season. All the Gelf mals will arrange a wedding with the US mals and the Uk mals will arrange something with the bangalore mals. And so they swoop down on their ‘homeland’ much to irritation of all the young ones concerned.

‘Mone arriyamo?’ Is the oft repeated question. Son do you know me? Nope uncle don’t know you from Adam, Kurien or Varghese. Your dad’s 3rd cousin’s wife’s dog’s brother’s owner’s brother-in-law who lives down the road. Baa Baa.

These Christian weddings are very funny. Most likely the UK born and brought up couple will barely understand the service, though now the relevant portions are now in English. Of course, if a relative wants to sing or play in the service it has to go through various committees and even with permission at the last moment you could be banned. I was prevented from entering the cathedral with a guitar. My brother shouted at the hapless peon, but ah well… what could he do? It was a huge scandal that I played on the Cathedral organ for my own brother’s wedding. One bride’s sister was singing a song and the bishop made his late grand entrance with his topi and everything. My father who is a priest was playing the keyboard and he was poked in the arm with the question,’when will this singing stop’?

The presence of the bishop is very important at these weddings. Somehow it gives that grand touch I suppose. Kind of an expensive human decoration. (Sorry grandpa, not you.) That’s just how it feels. It’s funny how we elevate ordinary human beings to positions where we worship them. My fun friend VA Philip reached out to a bishop and shook his hand, saying ‘hi!’ and the bishop jovially replied ‘hi!’ but the crowd was scandalised. Some of these bishops hold it together while others insist on their churching buying them the latest Mercedes Benz.

I’m glad I didn’t get married in Kerala.


6 thoughts on “Kerala Kakophonies”

  1. I don’t plan to get married in Kerala either. If I can help it, I’ll make a scandal large enough to ensure that most of the mallus don’t attend it anyway, wherever it is!

  2. Actually I want to get married in Kerala. It’s been years since I went to a circus and this sounds like the most interesting of them all. Is the bishop a walrus in a tophat?

  3. Bass,
    I agree to your perception to Kerala Christian marriages, being a Brit born.
    But, this ‘mone manassilaayo’ is not a real thing to be made fun of.
    It’s because people of Kerala are more connected and inter-linked by their strong family ties (to a greater extent among the Hindu counterparts). It may be a real surprise to the West and to the metro-dwellers, but this is a way in which the people of Kerala (the previous generation) show their love to you (not 100% but mostly).
    It really gives them pleasure and happiness to meet their old old friend’s or relative’s son or grand son. They may be a stranger to you, but they don’t regard you like that. You are some one more special to them (to most of them).

    Don’t expect the same from the present generation.

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