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Indian Weddings 101: Bro’s Engagement Part 1


I did talk about writing something on engagements and weddings didn’t I? So, I might as well scribble something down whilst I still remember the details.

There were 2 last week…let me talk about the engagement (in instalments – been busy to write the whole thing). My younger brother after years of telling everyone that he is a “diehard bachelor” decided to settle down. It was an arranged marriage and after several correspondences and “site visits”, it was decided to have the wedding registration (brokered by my mom) in April 2008 and within a week, the traditional engagement and somewhere in September, the traditional Indian styled marriage.

My brother had registered his marriage in Putrajaya and on last Saturday held had his engagement ceremony in a small Indian temple near to his future wife’s house. The day started with me going out to buy breakfast for the household – there were 3 relatives joined us for the night, so the house was full (most of us are heavy eaters).

The engagement supposes to start at about 7 pm but there was plenty of work to be done by then. I needed to pick up something from the post office, pick up more relatives, send my brother’s clothes for quick ironing at the dobby shop and pick up the gift trays (what we Malaysians call it as “hantaran”) from some lady in some housing area. True to my skill as a project manager, I plotted the time and travel sequence for this. We need to get this right to avoid wasting time and fuel.

First was the trip to the Post Office. There was a card from the Post Office informing me that there was a package waiting for me. I did not know what it was and wondered what it was but I was excited to check it out. So the trip to the Post Office was somehow gotten prioritized by my curiosity. I did not know that the Post Office had moved – so it took us a couple of turns in the Industrial area to locate it.

The package turned out to be from Reader’s Digest – they sent me 600 pages of complied novels. It will make an excellent entry into my bookshelf. Tucking the novel into the car booth, we made out way to a housing area about 2 – 3 kilometres away to pick up 2 of my aunties. They were waiting for me when I arrived at their house – they all know about my “precision” timings (something that I inherited from my dad where “Indian Time” was not an excuse).

Next was the trip to the dobby shop – need to send the “costume” for tonight’s engagement for quick ironing. The Indonesia lady behind the counter wondered why we do not want to sent to washing but we just made it clear that it has to be ready by 4 pm on the same day and just need it to be ironed. We had to make it clear on this because we do not want it to be in the washing machine when we come back – I think she understood our instructions.

Next, we rushed to a lady’s house in another housing area – we had “outsourced” the work of preparing the gift trays. RM400 and 9 trays of sweets, coconut, etc were ready when we arrived at the house. It was well decorated but at that time, we did not know that some of the trays need to be returned, otherwise I would have some trouble with this.

So, with a large book, 9 trays and 2 heavy-weight aunties in the car, we headed back to the house where the rest been cleaning up the house and making other arrangements for the night.

To be continued…once free

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