Indian Wedding Part 5


Read these first:-

Another wedding, another story…

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(The garlands that me and my son went to pick up for the wedding – we had to walk a bit far to a small stall by the road side and the man behind the “counter” asked why we were late and we went like ‘huh?’. He pointed to a box next to the stall – it was all sealed up and it was cold. We walked back fast, hoping the ice cubes in the box have not melt away before the wedding starts)

This time, it was my sister-in-law’s wedding and by right I should not been around for the wedding. I suppose to be away on an overseas assignment and I suppose to be back only after the wedding had long ended. Since it was a “crucial” wedding (after all it was my wife’s younger sister wedding) and I won’t be around, I decided to offer to do something else – a drive to Taiping the next day for the bride & bridegroom (the wedding is in KL but they must be “back” to Taiping as the girl’s house is in Taiping and tradition dictates the newly weds to be in the bride’s house for at least 3 days after the wedding). But then at the very last minute, my trip got postponed and suddenly I was available for the wedding.

With that premise, let’s start the story.

The event started as usual, the night before the wedding where last minute ceremonies had to be done before it was all “green-light” for the wedding the next morning. I had to work, it was left to my wife to do the necessary last minute shopping and attend the said ceremony at another sister’s house. I came back home late after work and had a slow hot shower – a small break before the big day. My wife was not back from the ceremony early so I watched TV waiting for her to be back. The plan was for her to be back home from her sister’s house (not the one who is getting married) and we would make our way to another sister’s house (once again, not the one who is getting married) since it is nearer to the wedding hall. My understanding was that we would sleep the night over at the sister’s rather “empty” house and get ready early in the morning for the wedding. On the way, we would pick up one of our aunties along for the wedding.

When we arrived at the sister’s house, it was chaos all around – a bulk of our relatives had also decided to make the house as the starting point for the wedding next day. All the bedrooms was fully occupied with tired, sleepy relatives, the hall was loud with some of our uncles busy with the football match on the TV and to make things worse, hyperactive kids running around playing “catching” just when the clock on the wall turned midnight. I did not need the “spidey sense” to know that to continue to be around in the house just before a major event would be a disaster. After a quick check with my wife, I decided to drive back home for a quiet house for a proper sleep. My wife had to “work” on the preparation and my son seeing his uncles and his cousins, decided to stay back.

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(One of my brother-in-law who had to step in as the bridegroom’s best man, well he had no choice – he looked cool all the way but when it comes to the time when he had to get the ring from the bridegroom, his hand was shaking on a Richter scale of 8. The bridegroom had to hold down his fingers to put on the ring)

The wedding starts at about 9 am the next day but since I had to pick up my wife and my son (and I am very sure, a couple of my aunties and uncles would tag along too), my day actually started at 3.30 am. I woke up, had a quick shower and by 5 am I was already at the sister’s house where everyone was fast asleep. It took some shouting and pushing to get everyone up and get ready for the bathrooms and time was ticking away. Then a funny happened – almost everyone was up and ready to go to the wedding hall (although the queue outside the bathroom took some time to be sorted out) but no one wanted to make the actual move to leave the house. 2 cars (with its drivers – one included me) was all up and ready to go but the passengers were missing. They were still lingering around, asking who want to go first but not moving themselves.

After a moment of “finger-pointing” and the clock ticking away, a decision was made on who will go first – my car was the first to leave the house to the wedding hall – me, my son and all 3 of my aunties leaving my wife and the rest still in the house packing things up. Despite the short trip and it is being a well-known route, I missed the route and had to make a U-turn but we still arrived earlier than anyone else. After a quick unload of the aunties who soon got themselves busy with the items for the wedding, me and my son went off to get the wedding garlands. Once we had done that, we had nothing else to do except to wait for rest of the guests. The transportation of the bride from the house to the make-up studio and then to the wedding hall was taken care by another cousin of mine. My brother-in-law handled other things for the day including ensuring the caterers arrive on time.

Sitting at the front, I took out my DSLR and was toying with the settings when my son asked for my phone – he too wanted to take some photos (and play some games whilst he waited). I thought about it and decided to pass on my DSLR to my son instead. I stood next to him guiding him (initially) on what to take and when and more importantly to do without being in the way of the official professional photographer and videographer. My son had some limited experience with my DSLR before in another event, so he knew how to hold the camera (the first thing I taught him as my wife was worried that he may accidentally drop it), how to work the auto-focus (although he need a lot of practice get the angles right) and lens functions (setting it to auto was helpful too).

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(This shot was taken by my son – he had to make way for the professional photographer but this was an interesting angle nonetheless. A nice touch of colours especially purple – a shot that I probably would not have taken. It will be interesting to see what else my son will take from his point of sight as he get used to my DSLR and be the next family photographer in coming events)

When most of the guests made it to the wedding hall in time, the wedding ceremony well on-the-way without any hassle and my son at the stage busy snapping photos, I decided to head back to the main entrance in case we had any last minute guests coming in when another brother-in-law walked over looking rather concerned and asked me if I were busy. When I said no, he smiled and he just wanted to know because he thought two of us could take a break from the wedding and have teh-tarik at the nearby restaurant. After all those work in the morning (couple of months for my brother in law), it all came to a closure in the morning. We made it back in time for the bridegroom to tie the “sacred” string and my son starting to get tired and hungry. Lunch was really good despite it was all vegetarian and surprisingly we need not queue for the food (the crowd was not that mean too).

Wedding was officially over by 12 pm but it was not the end of the day – we still had plenty of things to do. We all went back to the house (it took another round of pushing people to leave the wedding hall) before the newly-weds arrive in the house. A bit more of ceremony to be done at the house before the newly-weds can be “safely parcelled off” for the day and all of us can take a break. The house was still in a “chaos” with relatives and well-wishers lingering around the house – some waiting for their transport back home, some busy with the cooking and some busy with the cleaning up. We waited for a while to help out but it was clear that all of us needed a proper break. When a bulk of things has been done, we said goodbye and head back home – it was already 4 pm by then. My son was already dozing off in the car and we had a hard time to wake him up. We pushed him to take a shower first and after a quick bite, had him to go straight to the bed (he slept throughout the night, not waking up for dinner and only waking up the next morning).

There was one last thing I had to do – to make good of my offer to drive the newly-weds to Taiping…

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Nice But Short-Sighted?


It’s good to be back…but I catch cold once arrived, sigh

(My usual lunch when I was away – the portion was big and it was good but seriously the noodles back in Malaysia is still the best – plenty of “ajinamoto” and much cheaper too. Photos & videos captured on Nokia N8)

And immediately after my return to home, I have been busy with…eating. I lost about 4kg and somehow it seems like events that have been lined up after my return home may make it impossible to keep up with that 4kg lost.

My brother-in-law and his wife celebrated their newborn and the celebration food was heavy – with huge prawns and spicy mutton. Then the next day after a heavy lunch at Pizza Hut, I had to attend my nephew’s birthday in the evening– another round of chicken and mutton on the house. The next day after attending a close relative’s open house lunch which had huge spread, we went to a wedding in the evening. An Indian wedding that is and chicken and mutton would be one of the must have dishes.

Talking about the wedding, from the very start, we were a bit lazy to attend the wedding – and it had nothing to do with the bride or the brides groom. We were not that close but we knew the parents and grandparents rather closely. We were a bit lazy because of the weather – it was raining cats and dogs (you know how bad the rain has been in the last few days) and it was so niceeeee to sleep. But we knew we could not give the wedding a miss – we already done that for the engagement. So, we dragged ourselves to the wedding – it was still raining when we left the house but stopped by the time we reached the wedding hall.

Perhaps due to the rain (or the RM1 parking fees, I don’t know) the cars at the parking lot seemed sparse and I managed to get a good parking spot. I dropped my family off at the entrance before I went off to park the car. The air was cold and surprisingly fresh. I walked into the hall but what caught my eyes was not the crowd but the arch at the entrance litted full of burning lamps.

On the onset, it looks nice – it was not overwhelming as well but who ever had thought of having an arch full of litted lamps at the entrance probably did not think of this dreadful scenario – a large crowd barging in and someone’s clothes (sarees especially) falling on the litted lamp without them realizing it and catching fire. It is almost like walking through an arch of fire. And if you see in the video above, one lady almost get her saree on the fire and thankfully pulled in time.

At the very least, they should have stationed someone to keep an eye on the litted lamps as people walking in and out of the arch. Artistic values is one thing but whenever there is a big crowd, safety should always comes first. But thankfully nothing serious happened and the wedding continued without any other incidents.

Overall, it was a good day – with additional load of the delicious food from the dinner, of course.

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A Hungry Malaysian…


It is a not a big secret that a hungry Malaysian is an ugly Malaysian. Add the opportunity for free food and you will get ugly and brainless Malaysian.

(It was almost like this when it comes to free food in Malaysia – desperate people rushing to grab on whatever is there . Image source: here)

I attended a wedding last wedding and it started at about 7 in the evening. 15 minutes into the wedding, my son nudged me and with a very soft voice, informed me that he was hungry. I looked at the buffet table which was a long way back in the wedding hall and immediately I knew that once the word “Dinner!’ is sounded, there is going to be a load of hungry piranhas heading towards the buffet line. From my current sitting place, I am probably going to be standing at the very end of the buffet line.

So, anticipating the long queue, I decided to inch closer to the buffet table and position myself strategically so that when and where a buffet queue starts to form, I will be standing nearer to the front line. I was not alone – another 20 or so people were doing the same. As everyone knows, an Indian wedding is not a so straightforward ceremony – there are too many procedures and rituals to be done.

So, by an hour later, everyone in the wedding hall looked very hungry. The more composed, educated ones remained at their seats and patiently wait for the actual dinner time. The more desperate but educated ones simply inch nearer to the buffet table but remained focus on the actual wedding (we just do not want to look too obvious). The really, really desperate and selfish ones simply walk to the buffet table and start helping themselves with drinks.

Once one thirsty guest takes the first cup, it did not take long to get a small queue started and when one old Chinese lady suddenly appeared with a large tumbler and started to fill up the iced orange juice, I knew that things will only get nasty.

The time was getting dangerously close to the actual dinner time – the bridegroom ties the “thali” around the bride’s neck and suddenly everyone knew what that meant – time to attack the buffet table. Thankfully I had made the right move and suddenly found myself at the front of the queue with my son standing in front of me in the line. There were some people started to jump queue and immediately shouts of “get in line”, “you don’t know how to queue ah?” and “please queue – there is enough food for everyone” started to emerge in the atmosphere around the buffet table. There were plenty of pushing as well – my son was almost got squeezed by the crowd.

The good thing was an orderly queue started to form despite the frequent queue jumpers. Just when I was about to touch the large rice spoon to scoop the briyani rice, the same old lady appeared and grabbed about 8 empty plates and started to distribute to her family members. Those younger ones of that family perhaps knew that it is not right to jump queue, walked to the end of the queue and started to line up for their turn. The older ones was a different story all together!

Oblivious to the people who been patiently queued up, they just tried to push the people away and grab the rice. I keep saying to them to queue up and there is enough food but they must have been too hungry to listen. One or two older ones were luckier – I decided to give way and allow them to grab the food. Perhaps they must eat something at particular time or they might die of hunger. The rest – I just pushed them back, (I could have ignored them but I just hate queue jumpers) which worked except for one determined lady.

Finally despite trying to be courteous and diplomatic to this lady (she is someone’s else guests), I had enough when she started to push my son rather rudely. My remark “tak pernah makan nasi kah” (never eaten rice before?) must have knocked some sense into this lady. As almost everyone started to look at her, she stopped and decided to move away until I have taken my food.

I got enough for my son to eat his dinner and enough for me and my wife to have something before the end of the ceremony. My mom and my aunties stayed on at the table until the crowd got lesser uglier. True enough, by the time we left the wedding hall, there were still plenty of food on the buffet table. Those who were not desperate earlier took their food very leisurely and even had time to choose the right chicken piece for their plate.

When it comes to Malaysians and free food, it is no longer the expression “a hungry man is an angry man”. The angry ones would be the one who had to fight off the queue jumpers, cutting queue and pushing just to grab on the free food.

Read Also

TV Smith’s look on the same topic

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Indian Weddings Part 2


A short trivial question:-

Question: What is worst than having to attend one Indian wedding function in a day?

Answer: Having to attend 2 Indian wedding functions in a day!

I blog about it, briefly, sometime in June last year when my cousin got married (well you call it as Part 1 sort of). Last Sunday was a hectic day – there was a wedding in the morning and then there was a wedding dinner in the evening. In between, I had the task of picking up my father in law from KL who was attending the evening wedding dinner.

So, you can imagine the running about to various places with no time to rest. I hated that. After all, Sundays are for sleeping and playing computer games only (and perhaps in between, taking care of kid)? But when I got 2 invitation cards for “I cannot opt to miss out” wedding functions, I knew my Sunday was gone.

The 1st wedding was in the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple’s Banquet Hall. It is the newly built hall next to the temple. It’s a very nice, clean and convenient place for holding functions. We went there early – one because to get a good parking spot and another was because my dad wanted to be there early (he is very close to the bride’s father). The hall has a 2 storey parking basement and I thought parking there would be a breeze since we were early but I was dead wrong. Anyone who has come to this hall before would know what I mean.

This is the place that demonstrates just how “smart” the some people were, in planning the layout of the building.

The temple built a hall that can easily accommodate 5,000 people (that’s at the 5th floor) and then reserve a place for serving lunch (on the 4th floor) but trimmed it down the place at the 4th floor to accommodate only 300 – 400 people. So, the entrance was jammed up, made worse by hungry queue jumpers and if you are lucky to be and got your food, most likely you will be eating whilst standing up. You may call it an outrage but that is still fine with me.

But when it came to reserve parking bays – it went beyond “outrage” and was dancing around the realms of stupidity. It only had parking bays enough for 30 odd cars! 30 times 5 people = 150 people (out of the 5,000 who attended) So, can you imagine the chaos when people drive down to the parking bays only to find them fully occupied and there is a very little space for them to turn around and return back to main street? Luckily for us, we arrived early to catch one of the last 2 parking spots available (yes, we could have opted to park outside but parking here was free, so we took the chance).

When it was over (although the ceremony took much longer than the usual but the food was great) we returned to the parking area, knowing very well that there will be chaos parking and we may end up waiting in queue to come out from the parking. There was chaos indeed – cars parked “arbitrarily” and were blocking the path of the properly parked cars. One idiot even parked his car right at the corner near the exit, making it difficult for cars to exit. Luckily for us (and thanks to my driving skills – ahem!), we managed to exit with an ease.

By the time the “morning” wedding ended, it was already past 1.00 pm. The next wedding function was slated to start at about 7.00 pm in Klang and my father in law was arriving in KL by bus at about 5.00 pm. So, there was only about 3 hours for us to rest and get ready for the next function. Hmmm, not much time to take a quick nap but I managed to have a quick game on the computer (so typical of me!).

Luck was on our side for the evening function – my father in law managed to arrive early and although we reached the dinner hall a bit late, the organizers also started the function late (no choice because most of the guests were on “Indian Time”). So, we were able to get a good place for the dinner. The marriage was between a doctor and a lawyer – so, everything for the dinner was done very professionally (just like them). There was no chaos unlike the morning and everyone was able to enjoy their food whilst listening to a live band (and a funny slide show on the couple). Even my son had enough “space” to enjoy himself and he sat down on the chair just like the other adults for the dinner (he likes the papadam the most).

Most of the people who came to the dinner were either doctors or lawyers – so, for once in an Indian wedding function, there was a proper queue at the food area. No one was jumping queue and everyone was patiently was for their turn to grab the food. Even children who were queuing for food, was given the preference to take the food first. I had to pinch myself to believe it.

It was tiring by the time we came back home – my son was fast asleep by then (he was already “drowsy” when we were travelling back from Klang).

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Indian Weddings


Last week was my cousin’s wedding. Even though, I was not involved actively in the wedding celebrations, I had to attend as he was one of my closest cousins. Otherwise, I can’t attend another family function without having to answer for it to every of my aunties and uncles.

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The entrance to the wedding hall. Grand and very inviting

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The bride and the bride-groom (immediately after the wedding)

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The “rock band” for the wedding…sorry, they don’t play “Sweet Child of Mine

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Sorry brother, no beers served for today