So I have this really cool NPR news app on my phone that enables me to flip through articles when I’m away from the radio. More to the point, and more relevant to this blog, I found a very interesting article on Indian weddings. It is an interview given by Indian wedding photographer Mahesh Stantaram. Unfortunately I cannot link to the article since I found it on my iPod, but in it Stantaram describes a few of the more extravagant weddings he has taken photos for. One used billboards as invitations, the guest list included 11,000 people! Anyway, one of the questions he was asked went something like: “why are Indian wedding ceremonies such large productions?” Stantaram responded with something I thought was really lovely: “I find them to be fascinating metaphors of my country’s penchant for order and chaos, color and noise, and the peculiar sense of taste and design or the lack thereof.”
I found Stantaram’s description a much kinder one then we have seen in Indian literature thus far. Granted, Stantaram is describing a wedding not a marriage, so perhaps it’s that hindsight 20/20 thing. But it seems to me the the success of the wedding, particularly in Chughtai’s work, often influences the success of the marriage.