Chennai Marriage Feasts – an exercise in repetitiveness
Like any other city, Chennai too is a melting pot of various cultures. While this has many advantqages, one place where I wish for some variety is a marriage feast. Any marriage feast is supposed to be representative of the community of the bride and groom. In Chennai, the variety has been all but erased and what you are served is the standardized fare, in marriage after marriage.
It starts with a Naan / Chappathi and some gooey masala, then some mixed rice, followed by sambar sadam, white rice(don’t ask, that’s what the servers call it) with rasam, Curd rice and then an icecream. Irrespective of whether the bride and groom come from a Chettiar / Mudaliar / Nadar/ whateverar community, this is the menu perfected by the caterers of the city.
If you have attended one reception, you have attended them all. The entire process takes three hours. Two hours to tackle the Chennai traffic and land up in the marriage hall, ten minutes to wait in the queue to give the gift to the couple, 1 minute for the photographer / videographer to record your arrival for posterity, twenty minutes to go through the standardized menu and half an hour(since by now the traffic is much reduced) to get back home.
How one longs for a marriage feast with some native flair. Well, for that one has to leave the city and go to the districts I guess. One can’t have it all.