It's heaven, when you don't sense time passing by … It's heaven, when you marry a good 'man' … ? pic.twitter.com/bvZc2x62NM
— Anushka Sharma (@AnushkaSharma) December 11, 2018
Trigger Warning: This is quite a “Desi post”; I’m assuming basic knowledge of the Indian cultural landscape (who’s who in Bollywood etc).
There have been 5 “Royal Weddings” this year in India in contrast to the 2 we had in Britain (Prince Harry & Princess Eugenie).
India does many things well but weddings is a particularly South Asian boon. Desis take our weddings very seriously and Pakistan recurrently tries to cap “grand weddings.”
There is a high-octane mix of money, Westernisation and liberalisation galvanising the Indian elite to ever more convention defying customs.
- The first wedding (Sonamkishaadi) was a more traditional Bollywood affair where Sonam, scion of the other grand Kapoor film family, was getting married. The groom had zero name recognition and this is entirely in line with Sonam’s sweet nature where she massively undersold herself (she could have found a more prestigious match if I say so myself). No one knew who Anand Ahuja was and it seemed silly of Sonam to change her name to Ahuja after marriage; almost as bad a mistake as renaming Bombay.
- The second and third wedding can be grouped together. Virushka (Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma) and Deepika-Ranveer. Both weddings were private affairs in Italy and then large receptions in India. Virat Kohli is obviously a great match, being the captain and all, and there was a quiet dignity to Virushka. Both of these couples are “small town” kids who made it big and they followed a rather traditional format; didn’t press the envelop but dignified. Deepika has a much brighter star than Ranveer and that’s why she kept him waiting so long.
- Ranveer is the typical Sindhi-Punjabi Bombay kid who’s hard-core desi, the Hindu Salman Khan. Last summer a rabid Kashmiri nationalist planted in my mind that the Indian governmentis trying to supplant the Khans with Hindu actors (Ranbir Kapoor is not a successful actor), there is only one true heir to Shah Rukh Khan and he’s rotting away in Lahore.
- The Fourth Wedding was of course Priyanka Chopra to Nick Jonas. I was told over the weekend that Priyanka and Deepika both tried to break into America at the same time. It was Priyanka with her light Americanised accent who exoticised India who won over the “trying too hard” Westernised Deepika. But at any rate it was Priyanka’s wedding that really stole the show.
- It was a fully Indian wedding with a semi-American cast. Her wedding video of her Ralph Lauren train and her Red Dress were all big winners. She sold the best of the India without going over the top and there were artful depictions all across. Priyanka’s wedding to Nick just won the show because along with Anushka she simply made an excellent marital match; Nick J is a huge star in his own right.
Now the Ambanis have completely got it wrong with their wedding. With 2,500 guests over 7 days; it’s dripping with show and ostentation that betrays their roots (I apologise for any remarks caused with my earlier comments). Everyone knowns the Ambanis are as rich as god and the way they should have planned their wedding is with style, intimacy and grace as opposed to flash, glamour and ostentation.
The Ambani wedding has “jumped the shark” in terms of lavish Indian wedding. Many rich Indian boys & girls will be looking at that wedding and saying they don’t want that. We must maintain our three/four wedding day traditions (we spread it over 5 days from my birthday dinner event through to the goodbye brunch) but it must be done intimately with the 3S’s in mind (spirit, style & scale).