This is the second part of 4 part series “Of Weddings, Rituals & People”. Its assumed that you have already read Guest’s (Women’s Dressing)
North: Men, in this part of the country love to dress up grandly for an occasion like wedding. Although handshake is the gentlemen way of exchanging pleasantries, one must be extra careful when lending out their right hand. The men wear rings on all their fingers. It looks as though they escaped from “The Terminator” movie set and forgot to remove their robotic hand glove. If their fingers can talk, iam sure they will yell out “Gold ring around my bottom (similar to a life jacket) is not going to help me stay afloat in palm full of sweat. TAKE THIS SHIT OFF!!!”.
Men’s dress, the Sherwani, is quite a common site in weddings. Sherwani, if selected carefully can pull off a neat look. Unfortunately this is rarely the case. Most men compete head on with their women in sparkles. This syndrome is commonly known as MTCF (Me Too Can Flash). Instead of making fun of such men, one must understand that these are the few who actually practice gender equality in all forms. These men can also walk the streets of Copenhagen along side their women and thus making them the most energy efficient couple. Turban is another apparel that men use in wedding. Its totally fine if the groom wears a turban, but it becomes ridiculous when every man in the hall wears one. Its a part of the custom that G-Side and B-Side select a color to represent each group. They all wear the same color turban for the wedding. Who ever told them that pink is an acceptable turban color? Whats with yellow, purple? Pink!! seriously? Someone convinced them that its a manly color and it had been passed on from older generations. Men in glittering clothes and “Iam Gay” turban dancing away to the song “Mehndi laga ke rakna” is quite a sight. In some instances one can get to see glitters on the turban too as if to say “Shine a light on me”. The glittering shoes is another sight to behold. This does not mean the shoe is well polished, its got glitters allover. No doubt artistic work has gone into making of these shoes, but if these were to be worn by men it would look ridiculous. This reminds me of the old movie “The Wizard Of Oz” where the main character Dorathy is chased around by the wicked witch for a pair of Ruby Shoes.
Can you see the similarities? WTF! What kind of men wear these?
The talk about dressing is not complete without the mention of delightful sight of red saliva spat out without regard for others property which is receiving its share of red paint. I know that chewing paan is a personal habit and not a part of dressing. But, somehow it difficult to separate both of them as they compliment each other. I have come to believe that people eat paan just to give an authentic wedding look. I think men who eat paan have red teeth which would go well with their pink turban. Probably the reason they spit it out just to make sure everyone can really appreciate their dress matching effort. I would say bravo! Its so thoughtful of them. There is also another way they show off their colored teeth. They dig into their teeth to remove particles that are stuck in between the teeth and fling it in air. They believe that would make a style statement just like Rajinikanth who thinks flinging a cigarette in the air and catching it with his lips is style. I think its only a matter of time when farting in public is considered a style statement. I do not wish to see that day. I wonder if Orbit White has to make any inroads in the market in this part of the country will probably need to sell a paan flavored chewing gums.
South: This is another breed which has its own set of fascinating traits. Men, in this part of the country do not dress flashy for weddings. This means they do not practice gender equality. Their women tend to outshine the rather dully dressed men. The traditional men’s clothing is kurtha/shirt & panche/dhoti. One would be surprised to see that these men have no individualistic taste in dressing. They all wear white and a few odd ones who didn’t wash their white shirt would wear a vegetable colored shirt with curtain designs on them. Their Dhoti is always white. Its either cotton or silk. I know many people who consider Dhoti comfortable, but I personally find it ridiculous. A piece of cloth wrapped around your waist is not the most secure way to cover you bottom. The Dhoti covering from the waist to toe often restricts free leg movements. There are multiple ways in which a Dhoti can be tied to overcome the problem, but I would prefer trousers to Dhoti any day. I might add that Dhoti is probably the way the South Indian men express their sympathies to their women who are tied down by a Saree. One of the ways to overcome the restrictive moment as far as Dhoti is concerned is to tie the bottom part of the dhoti which touch the toe, by folding it halfway and tying it just below the waist level. The “just below the waist level” is the same level as low-hip jeans. Dhoti is often used for multiple purposes apart from clothing. Men often use it as a supplement of hand towel, hand kerchief etc. To understand the need for various use of the Dhoti one must understand a little bit of the food habits. The South Indian people generally use hand to eat food. Since most of the food is spicy and oily, the hands need to cleaned properly. Once the hand is washed, there is a need for a hand towel which is mostly unavailable in weddings. Men unaware of tissues use their Dhoti to wipe their hands. This is one of the most remarkable sight one gets to see in weddings. The method to achieve that starts with the right hand (assumed to be wet after eating) reaches out for the center of Dhoti just below the crotch and pulled up midway till the point the left hand can reach to the bottom of the Dhoti. It is assumed that the right hand is now dry after holding the Dhoti for few seconds. The right hand lets go of the center area of Dhoti and holds the tip of the bottom part of Dhoti which the left hand was holding. The bottom tip is now used to wipe water off the lips and occasionally to blow their nose. During this elaborate procedure if some unlucky soul manages to stand in front would puke at the sight of it. What he/she gets to witness during these events is your guess. The men lose out badly to their counterparts in the north as far as glitter is concerned. The only other aspect that can give the Northies close competition is the oil in their head. These men used lots of oil in their head to give a “neat” look. Iam quite sure if they wash their hair, one can collect enough oil to cook for a Kerala wedding (if you now what I mean).The oily hair reflects light so much so that it can be used as a medium for decorative lighting. The light bouncing off their heads can help to illuminate the entire room without the need to extra lights. Another distinctive feature is the transparency of their shirts. Its as though they want to showoff the brand of their inner garments. If the shirt is transparent why wear a colorful inner wear that is clearly visible? I have no answer to that question. My guess is they are hoping to catch the attention of a Ad director who might be in the crowd and would replace them with Salman Khan for the inner wear Ads. As far as acting is concerned I think they will stand a good chance against Salman.