.. with a few observations.
Why It Pays To Be The Bride's Cousins:
(and why Ottawa is bo-o-o-o-o-ring)
Gate-dhora. When the groom is about to enter the wedding hall, the bride's cousins will block his entry until he demands to pay a fee. It's usually the saalis (bride's female cousins, that too the younger ones) who do that 'blocking'. This Thursday, I was in Ottawa for my cousin sister's wedding, and I was placed as the 'overseer' of the gate-dhora. Well, we got $200 dollars. We would also have got more for stealing the groom's shoes (don't ask) but nowadays grooms are smart and wear them throughout the ceremony. It's pretty hard to steal shoes when someone is wearing them.
Well, now, it was next day, Friday night, 8 pm, and we have 13 cousins and $200 to blow. And what is there to do in Ottawa on that Friday night?
Absolutely Nothing. Hah! (sorry, just had to get that in there).
Keep in mind some cousins were young so we could not just go anywhere. Some ate Halal/Zabihah so we could not go to any restaurant. We wanted to go for Chinese but the groom (cousin's new husband) was treating us the next day to Chinese. So I suggested we watch the Indian movie Humko Deewana Kar Gaye and go for some dinner later. And what do I discover? There is NO Bollywood movie theatre in Ottawa. They did play the movie last week at some English cinema.
So in the end we all ended up going for shawarma. Shawarma?! I could have done that in some backyard alley in Toronto. We didn't scrimp and ordered the whole plates for each person, BBQ chickens, veggies and what-not, and spent 140 bucks. But seriously, shawarma? If this was Toronto, we would have gone to Woodside at 9, then Gerrard Street to Lahore Tikka for some butter chicken at 12.30 past midnight, then Timmy's for some dessert. Toronto rules.
Why It's Good To Be The Groom:
You get treated like royalty. If you are the guy, you can pretty much demand anything. Even if you are not a demander, your parents will tell you that you MUST demand, to preserve porompora (tradition), as in your sisters' wedding her groom will demand. Besides, the bride's side will get offended if you don't have any demands (huh?).
So BE A MAN. At my wedding, I am going to demand that the bride's party show up with purple M&M flavoured gulab jamuns.
PS. What's Wrong With Brown Skin?
Beauty parlors. What use are they? The desi women going to a wedding go into a beauty parlor and come out looking like Casper the friendly ghost's not so friendly friend. White as hell. What is with that obsession?