Wedding invitations then and now : The Tribune India

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Wedding invitations then and now

Wedding invitations then and now

Photo for representational purpose only.



CV Sukumaran

IT happened this way: After a good Sunday afternoon nap and an equally good tea, I opened the front door and was stepping out to go for a walk when I saw my neighbour from the adjacent building walking up the stairs. We greeted each other. He said: ‘Well, it seems I would have missed you by a hair’s breadth. In fact, I was coming to your house.’

‘Okay, come in,’ I said, holding the door open. ‘Now that I have met you, I am not coming in,’ he replied. ‘I have to hand over my sister’s wedding invitation card to you. She is getting married next Sunday. Please come,’ he said, all in the same breath. In spite of my repeated requests, he did not come in. Quite an unconventional man, I told myself.

Some people are like that, my wife said when I told her about this. I recalled my daughter’s wedding. Whomsoever we wanted to invite, we saw to it that we visited their houses to hand over the invitation cards. In fact, we had spared no effort to that end.

When I found myself alone, I took out the card from the envelope to read the details, not anticipating that a surprise would greet me. What was written very prominently in red ink at the bottom of the card was not something I had bargained for. ‘Invitees: Only two persons,’ it said.

‘They may be conducting the wedding on a shoestring,’ said my son, trying to account for the emphasis on the number of invitees. Since we were three — my son, my wife and I — one of us had to opt out. On the wedding day, my son told us that he was not interested and suggested we both go. Looking at him, my wife said, ‘Since she was your classmate, it would be appropriate if you go with dad. I am not coming.’ At the end, my son prevailed upon us. My wife and I attended the wedding.

On another occasion, a friend of mine, living in the same city but in a distant suburb, WhatsApped me an invitation for his son’s wedding. As luck would have it, I failed to notice the digital invite. WhatsApp was in its infancy then. Not attending the wedding led to souring of our friendship. And naturally so.

In the pre-WhatsApp days, an acquaintance of mine, working in the Post & Telegraph Department, did something that was true to his calling and yet very odd. He posted his daughter’s wedding invitation cards to some of his friends — all of whom were his neighbours — to save the bother of visiting them! In a tit-for-tat response, all those invitees, 15 of them, did not turn up at the wedding. What they did instead was to telegram their greetings, of course, much to his chagrin. What’s worse, the gesture invoked his wife’s wrath to boot!


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