Posted in Others

Review: Band Baaja Bride

Watching the show on and off for years now in NDTV Good Times. Seem to like this fashion designer Sabyasaachi even if fashionakkum enakkum romba dhooram:D He could be a groom himself hahaha. Looks like Virat Kohli’s older bro hahaha. I like the respect Sabyasaachi accords to the aged parents of the brides (very touching), the way he lavishes praises on would-be brides making them feel important, and how he pampers and spoils the girls with his exuberant riches. He seems genuinely happy for them and goes out of the way to make them feel comfortable. I particularly liked the Poppat (Dangal) girl quite naturally but I adored all of his picks frankly. We get an idea of how the designer makes a choice among the sea of applicants. In my guess, he goes for character and charisma in equal measure. His brides are well accomplished, confident and are independent women, the face of the Indian nari (current generation). In someway the participants seem to have broken over a threshold or so here and there.

After years finally, happened to get a glimpse of Sabyasaachi’s palatial home in Kolkata that he seemingly designed by himself. Looks like, his chef etc., are mostly male. Loved his canines! For the kind of luxurious life he seems to be living, he comes across as a down-to-earth humble guy. He sounds warm and sincere. May be a business tactic as well! Must be a tough job to narrow down the list of aspirants and cherrypick the real deserving/meritorious girls to feature in his production. Simply too many may qualify. I can’t recollect individual cases much. Perhaps I can remember faces even if i cannot retain names. I reckon that the chosen brides are truly worthy of their much cherished appointment. Starry eyed, they all look so ever grateful to Sabyasaachi and can’t wait to start their wedding life in style! Honeymoon package is the icing on the cake!

Yet somehow I happen to think that, this is not the way it must be (in general). One thing I strongly disapprove of is Sabyasaachi getting mangalsutra for all the brides which may earn him punya but will depriv the groom’s parents off once-in-a-lifetime parental obligation or responsibility. Certain things, we must never give up in life. Others just can’t take over our lives just like that. In that way, I abhor him taking over the weddings completely and branding them as his house’s. Weddings are such personal affairs that you do not even need to let others know of necessarily. Or you can have an intimate, close gathering making the occasion very private, taking it away from prying eyes. I personally prefer closed weddings which are now becoming vogue thanks to the corona pandemic scare. Even if it is for glamour and free gifts and advertisement and page 3 opp, how can the brides let a third party gain such a predominant access into the most special moments/event of their lives. I just can’t get it. Not everything can be for sale.

Sabyasaachi’s girls are themselves like fashionistas – at least most of them. They are a style statement on their own. His work gets a lot easier that way. After watching the north Indian crowd living outside India as an NRI, i get it perfectly now. Sorry, most of us south Indians just do not accord this kind of priority to grooming. Not even the creamiest and most fashionable among us. May be I missed out on south bound stories, but mostly I saw only the snazziest prettiest ladies swooning over Sabyasaachi.

A visit to dermatologist, not just anyone but No.1 always, to the dentist, to the hairstylist, to the jeweler, to the fashion designer (the producer himself), to the cosmetologist omg… I have mentioned in my previous blog posts, first time I stepped into a beauty salon was in my 36th year, after a previous one-off visit just before my wedding reception. I really don’t get it why such a superficial grooming is attached this kind of hyper attention these days. Finally does it really matter! I guess, to carry well the Sabyasaachi creation, one needs to be groomed to this degree otherwise it could be a disaster. If you ask me, my vote is always for a Kanjivaram. Not many brides however have opted for Kanchi silks in the show. Mostly Benarasi lehengas are the hot favourites among the girls. One more thing: covering the head is for widows in the south. Probably the north Indian Hindus got influenced by the islamist invaders. Such a head covering pallu for a bride is unthinkable in any south Indian Hindu wedding. Lehengas too. Only a full sari – an unstitched robe, can be a wedding dress. We call it Koorai Pudavai – in which you get married. Different families have different parampara when it comes to Koorai pudavai. For example, in my family it used to be 8 yard but now 6 yard deep maroon silk or cotton with tiniest yellow checks. For some of my friends it is 9 yard of the same. Andhrites have it in yellow – with white sari dipped in turmeric to make it yellow. For Keralites it is cream Kasavu. We just cannot have any colourful costume for wedding muhurat in south. We follow age old traditions and customs without altering them a bit to suit our fancy. Similarly only a white dhoti, again an unstitched robe can be the wedding dress for Hindu men irrespective of caste or social status. In north, they seem to be wearing stitched lehengas (brides) and kurtas (grooms) for weddings. In south, this is permissible only for wedding receptions, never for muhurtham or muhurat.

(I must say after all the visits and appointments with the designers and dressers, many brides ended up garish at least in my frank opinion hahaha! They looked much better in their natural setting before all this decking up started! The lehengas too not all were stunning. Some were overdone and gaudy.)

So Sabyasaachi falls flat in our estimation. I mean, of not much relevance. Today’s girls from my place may choose lehengas for reception perhaps. This is also a very recent development only. If you choose a kanjivaram, it is lifetime keep. If you choose a designer lehenga it is use and throw one-time wear.

I got stung by one episode of Band baaja recently that I was watching offhandedly doing some chores in my kitchen. The girl featured was a bit obese and dusky – like regular south Indian dusky. What is there to be ashamed of or bullied for for your skin colour. It is outright demeaning. May be there was more to the story. I will have to catch up with the episode in You tube before I can come clear. If a dusky girl must feel low and find it difficult to get married in India, then 90% girls in the south will be spinsters even now, which is not the case. I guess, a lot more rethinking has to be done by the producers before shooting such hurtful sequences. It is downright insulting. Bodyshaming is horrible. Girls admitting to feeling depressed for physical reasons is revolting. What kind of girls are these. Such a weak mind. Upset being obese, dusky? You may wish to look better, but you must feel beautiful the way you are. At least that’s how I see myself!

What a run-up to the actual wedding! Already these vulgar pre-wedding shoots I find very crass and disgusting, and can’t imagine the educated youth wanting to make a fool of themselves singing and dancing around trees to show off to the world, how intimate they are as couples!

Such ostentatious shows and extravagant weddings to me are total fake. I have enjoyed the Sangeeths and Mehendis of friends’ kids but personally I am never for this bullshit. First of all, these are considered frivolous and have had no place in south Indian weddings. Of late our guys are brainlessly adapting whatever is glamorous and glitzy by Bollywood standards. In this melee, the true sense of a marriage is lost. Having fun and frolic is fine but losing the perspective of having a Vedic wedding as per Hindu rites which is so sacred and puritanical is shocking and unbelievable. The married couple share some special moments in the glow of the ritual fire. Saath Pheras or the Sapta Padhi – how every bride could feel at heart taking every step towards her bright, happy future. Should it all be in front of tv cameras. Emotional moment for the couple exchanging vows, chanting mantras or tying the knot. Very special private moments of one’s life. To be blessed by your near and dear ones. To have the closest and most caring loving people surrounding you. Having strange unconnected people around you at this time can be unthinkable. Everything is commercialized and for photoshoot and media-sharing these days. Nothing is now personal, private and just for the family. I am surprised Sabyasaachi stops with the sangeeth, wedding muhurat and reception and not venturing into the nuptial bed with his designer gown! Why can’t he just stop with designing the lehengas and jewelry. Why should he or his team partake in the wedding ritual? Is it part and parcel of the package.

I think Sabyasaachi must have a reunion with his brides after 20 years and check how well they are doing. I do want them all to be happy. Still, I would want a reconfirmation.

Because, i am a believer in marriages, not weddings. I married with 2k in bank balance and with no parents. That forever has influenced my take on marriages. Recently had my only son have a registered wedding (unplanned) of course. I am fine with that. Do feel a slight ache at times – even I would have wanted a handful of nearest and dearest guests – family and friends for the occasion…. anyway corona weddings are also the new normal! In a way I reflect, perhaps my Mother Goddess gave me what I have always appreciated and prayed for sincerely at heart.

I do view at expensive/theme weddings in positive light for the job opportunities they may create. But I am increasingly getting an impression that the workmen down the line get only peanuts whereas the event managers take the biggest slice of the pie. Besides I am put off by the event management girls welcoming us guests and asking us whether we have had the buffet. How much more estranged can you get with your friend or relative at the family wedding.

Grand weddings are fine if you belong to such a strata of society but using weddings to parade one’s social status is abhorrent. It is much more important to receive our guests personally at our family weddings, after inviting them respectfully and graciously, usher them warmly to the dining hall, seek their blessings sincerely for our children. Very few opt for such simple and nice weddings these days. Prefer the typical Hindu wedding rituals we have in the south followed by a reception for friends and guests.

I invite Sabyasaachi to attend real Kerala temple weddings to know how a wedding can be just a 20 min affair with 2 hr wedding reception followed by a 60 year blissful married life. I love the simplistic Mallu weddings. My Nair friend tells me, even the Mangalsutra is only a recent addition for them borrowed from other state Hindu practices. Earlier, if the bride was given a cotton Kasavu sari (typical kerala off white sari) by the groom’s family and the girl’s family received it with her, it meant the marriage between the boy and the girl just got over. Just like that! Feast on banana leaves with three kheers – one of sweet ripe mangoes, one of coconut pulp, and one of dal. Even in Tamil Nadu, wedding feasts are always served in banana leaves only. You may be a king yet you can have a buffet dinner in crystals for your wedding reception, but for the wedding muhurat feast, it is always the humblest banana leaf only that is like our silver dining ware and cutlery. I hope we never compromise on that for the cheap china.

I have attended simplest but heart warming Kerala weddings and have always thought of them to be the best – not the gulf-money marriages.

Sabyasaachi, I like your show. I am transported to another world weekly one hour thanks to you but I strongly denounce this kind of fakeness surrounding your weddings, i am sorry to say. But the show is enjoyable! I do love looking at the jewelry and the clothes even if I can never come to agree with them. May be every other woman loves you Sabyasaachi and may be I am the only one to underwrite you…

Is it a paid content Sabyasaachi???

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Cakes in weddings: cakes made with eggs are nowadays cut on wedding days. To my knowledge, even in non-vegetarian families, they stop eating meat from before Pandakkal and resume meat eating 10 to 15 days after the wedding muhurat. Similarly in no Hindu caste is garam masala used in traditional wedding feasts normally. But now we have naan and panneer and cutlets served on banana leaf along with traditional wedding recipes. I agree there can be no hard and fast rules, yet reasons followed for sticking to satwik menu for our weddings need no elaboration. Only paal sadham (milk rice) for the wedding night dinner for the newly married and Paal-pazham (banana fruit and milk) immediately after the wedding muhurat. Much married now, I can understand the significance of these practices handed down to us through generations. Introduction of masala and meat is reserved for a special occasion much later after weddings in non veg families. Now even liquor serving is becoming the norm in upper middle class receptions. I am the last person not to welcome change and modernity but when it comes to traditional weddings and religious/solemn occasions, I would rather respectfully stick to our age old/ancient customs and practices followed and advised by our ancestors. There is a time and place for everything.

Posted in Others

Hindustan UniLever Must Withdraw Vaseline Ad

My status in Facebook today:

“Shocked to watch Vaseline body lotion ad in tv where coolly the comparison is made with Coconut oil and the native traditional cocount oil is pronounced inferior to this chemical Vaseline product which is a petroleum derivative in truth. How Govt of India can allow such a senseless and insulting ad is surprising. Will Vaseline maker compare their products similarly with Olive oil and run such a n advertisement pumping lies in Mediterranean countries. In India you can bash all that’s Hindu and native Hindu/Indian and get away with that. VASELINE, TAKE OUT THE COCONUT OIL COMPARING AD now. Swear never to buy Lever products. Must be sued in the court of law.”

Added this comment: “Request all my friends to stop using Vaseline products until the insensitive and damaging ad is withdrawn . With an apology.”

One thought the world is going organic in a big way. And now this.

The commercial goes on to say how coconut oil lets your skin go dry in less than one hour whereas the chemical Vaseline, product of Lever, keeps your skin hydrated for hours. That a foreign manufacturer has this kind of audacity to present to us Indians such a nonsense and baseless truth is unbelievable.

The nerve these people have (for instance asking us to keep away from savouring Indian/Desi sweets during Diwali for weight-loss whereas Swiss chocolates and the Christmas bakes such as cakes etc., are fine)… Indian media controlled and owned by the Church does its daily dose of mass brainwashing the tv viewers in middle class Indian homes.¬† See how Times Now is degrading Diwali and promoting Christmas in native Hindu soil. Systematically and slyly, cleverly done in a most unsuspecting way. Pictures courtesy (!): Francois Gautier

 

 

Eco-friendly green Diwali is fine so long as Eid is celebrated by muslims without animal sacrifice and Christmas by christians sans the christmas tree. The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India should dispense unbiased justice.

 

Not long ago, India’s national/traditional costume dating back by thousands of years and as ancient as the very Hindu civilization was communalized and politicized similarly by none less than the New York Times. What must have irked them is that, the unstitched single piece garment the Indian Sari has survived the brutal regimes of the British and the Islamic invaders before them to this 21st century. The Sari is the ultimate defiance. Defiance as to how Hindu Dharma has triumphed over westernization and universal Americanization and even Islamization. That the Sari just cannot be replaced or removed is a reminder to the rest of the world that we Hindu Indians will NOT toe your line. (that the reporter/journalist is a muslim comes as no surprise just like the Supreme court case for women’s entry to Sabarimala Hindu shrine was filed by a muslim who was more concerned about Hindu women rights over his own women hiding behind burqa).

https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/love-sarees-not-political-indians-hit-back-new-york-times-71710

Multinational designers and brands have made their way into India in a big way post globalization, yet the foreign fashion houses are dismayed they cannot dislodge the Sari from the Hindu/Indian soul. India is a huge, huge market of a 500 million middle class families. So these manipulators leave no stone unturned to ensure that the Hindu institution of India is deconstructed brick by brick. It is important that the Indian nari is disrobed of her Sari, only then the jeans and skirts can make headway.

Sari, the stark reminder of all things native and pedigree…

As for China and Japan and Korea and other Asian nations, their societies are westernized beyond recognition already. Something that is impossible to do with in India. Hindus steadfastly hold on to the Carnatic/Hindustani music, Bharatnatyam/Kathak traditional dances and other native art forms without being swept over by one huge tide of westernization. Even the Arab world is westernized. From their food habits to fashion/accessories and lifestyle. Indian Hindu psyche is impossible to conquer. Education/employment makes  no difference to our vast majority. We remain what we are.

The Lever’s Vaseline body lotion/moisturizer commercial now playing in Indian television channels is one more direct attack to destabilize and confuse the native Hindu/Indian. Strike at the base, strike at the core of one’s belief system, shake the confidence. Ridicule all that is original, and super impose the fake ideologies. Lower the native self-esteem. Debase. Denounce. Discredit. Then you win in a big, big way. That is how the Philippines went down.

India is still unfinished business for the west. You have to be either a Christian or Muslim in this world. Belong to one of the two violent blocks. India/Hindu means DEFIANCE. We refuse to follow or accept the Abrahamic fold/faiths. We refuse to agree that God came from Middle East. We refuse to accept both Jesus and Allah. We are here. We are Hindus. Our Gods are our native sons of the soil, our ancestors, our blood forefathers. To Hell with Yours!

This Vaseline commercial is the last straw. Already watching the Colgate Ved Shakthi advertisement and the Hamaam Neem ad., in tv, one feels a surge of anger. How Lever without a care in the world has lifted Ayurveda formula into manufacture (without paying a royalty to Indian govt?) is unbelievable. Such an outright intellectual theft is not something taken for granted or tolerated in America or Europe or Australia. But then this is our India. Here you can unleash a torrent of abuse/insult on anything Hindu/Indian and ridicule/rubbish us to our face taking us for a ride, we shall still remain eternally grateful to these multinationals by making them richer by the day.