Sunday, July 30, 2017

"Red Wedding" on the Scale of Poshness

"Does it really make sense to spend so much on a wedding that you feel bankrupt the day after?" asks the subtitle for Seema Goswami's column titled "Red Wedding" in Brunch today. Sensible question, one would say. Except that the examples of extravagance Goswami chooses to cite in her article are so many levels removed from the reality for me that I couldn't relate to them at all. 

Regular weddings are passe. Weddings are now supposed to be destination. So she says "... if the budget is tight... it will be an exclusive beach resort in Thailand or an opulent palace in India. If the money is no object, then the map will expand to include Florence, Venice, Vienna, or any other Historic European Cities." Of course Goswami means that choosing an exclusive beach resort in Thailand is extravagant too. However, for me, a sentence more relatable would have gone thus "... if the budget is tight... it will be Ajmal Khan Park. If the money is no object, then the map will expand to Hotel Ashoka."

From being "flown down in chartered planes" and "first-growth wines" being "on tap" to "trousseau" consisting of "diamonds for the mother-in-law, designer bags for the sister-in-law, a luxury car for the husband", Goswami slots all this as being over the top. The fact that I still by default refer to these items as "gifts" instead of "trousseau" says a lot about the gap between me and Goswami. We are at the opposite ends on the scale of poshness. And then comes the fact that I consider a bridal lehenga worth Rs. 75,000 over the top.

All this goes to prove that the reality is different for Goswami and me. While most people around me are still discussing how baraat bands have started charging more than 50K (Gasp!) for an evening, there is a section of the society that thinks that paying to be "given a tour of the Louvre afterhours" is over the top. The reality is that for people around Goswami, Hotel Ashoka simply isn't worth considering as a destination for a wedding. And for people like us, a wedding in Vienna is still hearsay.

So while Goswami is inundated with wedding invites accompanied by "handmade gourmet chocolates, silver mementoes", I nibble on the chocolate-coated almonds that a relative of mine (relatively speaking, ofcourse) has gifted with the invitation for their son's wedding.

I used to be a regular reader of Goswami's column in HTBruch, however, lately I feel I can't relate to them. At times I wonder whether I am indeed one of Brunch's target audience. I belong to the middle class that stays in two-bedroom flats. I am in a 9 to 5 job, and eating out is still reserved for occasions. The wine I drink is Sula or the Jacob's Creek, if someone is posh enough to gift one. I don't move around with the crowd that Goswami speaks to in her latest column. I have nothing against Goswami and her target audience, but I feel left out. Not a complaint. Just an observation.