These past two days felt like a month. I’ve never been this tired. Apart from the wedding work, there’s the exhausting task of being in charge of the house renovation.
I had to manage three different groups of workers – the painters, the masons and the welders.
If I’m not driving to the paint shop to get more paints that “suddenly” ran out, I’m at the quarry-shop transporting cement, sand and glazed-tiles for the masons. The dickey and back seat of my Wagon R is now covered with sand, cement and paint.
My hands and legs are still bruised from all the carrying and mixing of cement etc. A bag of cement weighs 50kgs, and there’s no proper grip on the sand and cement bags. This is what we’re doing to our garage. New floors. Looks pretty neat now.
Each row of tile requires 3 sacks of sand and 1 sack of cement. That’s +200kg of sweat and toil, multiplied by 10. But at the end of the day, boy it feels great to say, this is my house, I built it with my bare hands.
Wedding cards pain, again!
Yes, we eventually ordered a couple of hundred more wedding invitation cards because the 700 we ordered ran out! Our relatives from all over Aizawl bombarded us with, “Hey you missed out this guy or that girl who’s married to one of our somebody’s somebody who’s a blood relative” etc etc.
And so, the mad cycle of placing a new order for more wedding cards, folding them, writing the names, distributing them etc began again.
Planning the wedding ceremony:
If it weren’t for relatives, I would feel like Perez Hilton at an Amish convention. I had absolutely no idea what was to be done, but my uncles, aunts and mom’s cousins came to the rescue. They were as involved as we were.
It’s not as simple as, “ok let’s conduct a wedding and be done with it.” Nopes. Its way more complicated. Here are the basic things I’ve learnt:
The KTP (Christian Youth Fellowship) plays an extremely important role. They will be there during the wedding as ushers in the church (to make sure everybody’s seated properly and in order, and that they walk out of the church in an orderly fashion), parking attendants / valet (very important, especially with Aizawl’s congested small roads and heavy traffic jams), and also as the choir during the wedding service.
The KTP refreshment committee may be the most important of them all, as they will be making tea along with the snacks and constructing counters outside the church so that once the wedding is over, people can come out and take tea/snacks from the counters. I am not a tea drinker, but one thing is for sure: Mizos loveeeee tea.
The counters have to be made in such a way that there are 4 different options for the people, as every person has their own preference about the way they take their tea:
- A sen hang (black tea, no sugar)
- A sen thlum (black tea with sugar)
- A paw hang (Tea with milk, no sugar)
- A paw thlum (Tea with milk and sugar)
Yes I know what you’re thinking - “Why don’t they just make four counters with the same “black tea, no sugar”, and then add milk or sugar on-the-spot according to what the person likes, instead of making 4 counters with different content as it might lead to wastage of a particular type or a demand for one type that’s no longer there?”
Inventory management indeed. Even I asked that same question, and the answer I got was that people move along the line much faster and that they expect to be served directly this way due to this practice being followed at every function. Funny people, these tea drinkers are For us coffee lovers, its funny to see people making such a big mountain over something so tasteless… (bring it on, you tea drinkers, gimme ur best shot Banzaiiiiiiiii! )
Then there is the cleaning committee, for which my cousin H and I are directly in charge of. It will be our duty to provide dustbins and waste bags at the Church complex and later collect all the wastes (paper cups and plates) and make sure the area is spotlessly clean. We’ll also have to hire a small truck that will carry the waste packages and dispose them at the garbage dump.
Regarding the KTP choir mentioned above, the choir members will be learning a new song for this occasion alone, and since the fellowship is on a voluntary basis, they can learn and practice only in the night after they are done with their school/college/work. And for that, we have to provide the refreshments which include tea (again) and other snacks.
Other people not to miss out are the video-cameramen and professional photographers. Since dad is bed ridden, I was planning to connect a LIVE feed of the church wedding ceremony directly from the church to his TV in his room. I talked to Simjazz and he told me it’s possible as long as the distance from our house to the church is not more than 100 metres. It gets complicated if it’s more than that. It’s approximately 100m away but when I told mom about this plan she said it will only discourage dad from making an attempt to be present during the ceremony so I shouldn’t mention this to him. So this operation is on a standby.
Then there is the practice of inviting celebrity gospel singers to grace us with a song or two. The two singers we invited – Vanlalsailova and Maggie will both be out of station on that date, and Pi Vanhlupuii has a lot of near and dear ones who passed away recently so she said she’ll be there for the wedding (she’s mom’s friend) but she’s not in that right frame of mind to sing a happy wedding song. Hence we are still looking for singers to invite.
Last but not the least, there is the task of decorating and other interior designing work which are undertaken by mom’s cousin Upa Zosangzuala (“UPA” means “Church elder”) and his wife. I went with them to the ceremonial hall (meant for the after-church function) and measured the tables meant for serving tea and snacks (so that a beautiful table cover can be stitched), the frames (where a large “Mazami weds Nicholas” will be printed), the sofa set where the newly weds will be sitting down (so that we can buy or stitch new sofa covers etc) and many more.
They also brought beautiful cane baskets meant for placing the flowers and wedding presents. All in all, these past two days felt like labour camp, keeping me tired and occupied till 2 in the morning. Yeah, staying up till 2am back in Mumbai may be normal, but it is a HUGE deal here in Mizoram because the sun freaking rises at 4:30 in the morning. Since we’re a part of India, we have to follow Indian Standard Time, but keep in mind we’re on the other side of Bangladesh, so we’re around 2 hours ahead of Mumbai, theoretically speaking.
Tonight before sleeping, we’ll also have to plan who’s going to pick up the groom and his family from the airport when they land in Aizawl tomorrow. Eight big English folks. Definitely not something easy to manage.
Ending this post with two pictures taken from my room today and last night. I promised Giddiyaja some breathtaking pictures of Aizawl scenery, but with the current weather, things are far from picturesque. :-(