There is a wedding I remember particularly well. I don’t remember who got married exactly. Somebody is always getting married in these elaborate Hindu rituals in our family that I certainly can’t be expected to keep track. Well, what is that I remember you ask. A fair question. I remember my mother looking ravishing in a MS blue saree. That saree was becoming of her, and I really liked it because it was a simple, elegant one that suited my mother’s pinkish hues perfectly. In fact, every time somebody complimented her, she blushed uncharacteristically and turned a deeper shade of pink that clashed with the brilliant blue. (The father had bought her the saree as a surprise, and she thought she had to blush every time somebody said the saree was looking good. I told her that that part of the proceedings was unnecessary, but what the mind knows, it cannot undo.) So, there she sat, looking resplendent and blushing periodically.
The wedding was a South Indian one, and wherever you turned, there seemed to be a photographer looking harried and clicking photograph after photograph. To me, it seemed like the crowd was spotted liberally with these sorry looking photographers till I realized that they were all the same guy – he just seemed different by looking harried at varying levels. Anyway, this man dodged the crowds and kept clicking all around my beautiful mother, never once capturing her at her finest. It looked like he was swarming all around her, but not a single photograph of her sitting there turned up in the wedding album, which we were invited to see later despite strong protests from my end. “Bad enough I sat through the wedding!” was not a good enough protest apparently.
Anyway, while thumbing through the album I noticed that the photographer had waited and waited till she beat it to the dining hall and stuffed her face with three idlis and a vada before taking his photograph. So, there she was looking like a particularly vindictive dentist wrought havoc on her face in the wedding album instead of looking divine and smiling like she ought to. One side of her face was swollen with the idli so badly that had I not seen the size of the idlis served that evening, I would not have believed the feat possible.
Where am I going with all this you ask? Well…We’d been on a cruise recently. A 3 day affair that was spotted about with plenty of food and exotic desserts. Not only were there formal dinners where everyone looked smashing, but there were photographers as well. Ha! Now you see where this leads? These guys wanted to catch me at my stuffed face best, and this episode with my mother’s photograph reminded me to steer clear. I think they give these guys some sort of training to just hover around the vicinity and then attack when the spoon reaches the mouth. I’d just popped in a baby potato and looking very idli-in-mouth-like-mother-ish when this guy came to click my photo.
I mean I can only classify it as bizarre I suppose. I burst out laughing with the potato in my mouth and covered my face in glee that I denied the guy the chance of his lifetime. Ha! and Ha! again! He did not take to this kindly, and used zoom lens instead to get a ghastly close-up picture of me making me look like two me-s, but it was better than what the potato would have done. To that I am grateful.