Winter is coming and so are the wedding invitations. Apart from getting hyped about the kacchi biriyani and borhani (yum), we are going to have to mentally prepare ourselves for the ordeal of socializing with countless relatives/friends/parents of friends/colleagues and their families. Forever-grumpy uncles getting down and dirty on the Gaaye Holud dancefloor is just one of many types of guests that we’ll encounter at wedding parties.

Here’s a guide to help us be vigilant.

The Hangry Uncles


“Murubbis” must always have a say on how things should proceed. Don’t be fooled when you see this uncle laughing heartily at the beginning. The anger builds up slowly as the minutes go by and dinner is kept from being served. His hunger will first make him complain to the complete stranger sitting next to him. Soon his anger builds up to a point when his tantrum will put your baby cousin’s wails to shame, only to be calmed by the sweet smell of polao and roast. Let him devour the goodness and the celebrations will come back on track!

The Conniving Plotters


This group is the fun group and they primarily belong to the “meye pokkho”. Their thoughts are mostly oriented with creating two groups: “the gate dhorar negotiators” and “the ultimate jutachors” Now the first group generally doesn’t let the groom and his family enter the community centre without having demanded a huge sum of money. The showdown occurs with the following teams: “The witty groom’s family” vs “The bride’s ingenious negotiators”. Occasionally, the older khalu of the bride’s family is seen trying to get the negotiators to give up and make peace but the phupu of the same family stresses on the “go big or go home” phrase.

As soon as the first group has gotten a good deal, the sly, almost invisible “ultimate jutachors” get to work. Their primary objective is to get the shoes of the bridegroom and hide it. When the ceremony is over and the groom hurriedly tries to find his shoes, this group asks for a huge amount for the shoes. In the friendliest battles, the groom usually settles on a smaller amount and all dues are paid. The ceremony remains a happy and entertaining event.

These days, however, the jutachor-gang have their work cut out as the bride and the groom spend most of their time doing photoshoots, which – sadly for the plotters – requires them to both to be wearing their shoes.

The Posh Socialites


These men, women and children are the most fashionably dressed bunch in the party. Though appearing not to realize, they’ll drop names of brands and costs of the countless lavish items that they have on. They love to be the talk of the wedding and are ever camera-ready. If you can’t find them, just follow the sound of the fake laughter.

The Judging Aunties


You know them well because they’ve already told your mom the many things that you’re doing wrong in your life. Their most trending topic is usually the posh socialites. They also like to talk about “pasher bashar Shokina’s scandalous saree” (the scandalous saree of the girl-next-door Shokina) and how the protagonist in a Star Jalsha series had recently been reincarnated. Of course, these aunties’ stories only focus on the positives and achievements of their own family. The fault lies in the others’ stars! These aunties sometimes also flatter the others in their group with favorable comments. This keeps the group intact and solidifies them against the outer world (a.k.a ‘the judged’).

The Human Selfie Stick


These people are usually the Gullivers of the group. Their height makes them automatically eligible to become a selfie stick even if it is against their own wishes. They are always put in front of the camera to press the shutter button while the others pose in the background. At times they love the attention too.

The Artsy Instagrammers


These people tend to take pictures of their surroundings and Instagram them with deep captions that we, the regular people, have a difficult time understanding. They might take an artsy picture of the napkin and the borhani glass and use #moja #biyebari hashtags to convey the fact they are attending a fun and traditional wedding ceremony where good food is being served.

The Passionate Foodies


These people attend weddings primarily for the food. They eagerly wait for the wedding season to start so that they can gobble up the best free food one can get. From the borhani to the biryani, from the roast to the aloo, all the way to the jorda/firni topped up by a mishti paan – does anything in life get better?

Honorary Mentions: The Crying Babies and the Wedding Crashers

The world is filled with so many different types of people, but only in Bengali weddings would you see so many different people actually setting their differences aside and enjoying the event as a group. So may we all learn to laugh at their eccentricities but love them at the same time, because let’s face it – without them, Bengali weddings just wouldn’t be as much fun.

by Rushnan Aritree