An English Wedding- Part I

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The wedding was only 3 weeks away and suddenly there was tension in the air.  No one had expected Reshma to turn difficult in this manner. That too at such short notice. She wanted the venue to be shifted from Lorry uncle?s house to a star hotel.  It came as a shock to  Godwin. He had gone through hell, trying to convince his parents to accept Reshma. And now this!

Before going headlong into the story, let me give you a picture of  how low paid expats live in Kuwait. For many such people who work as servants, drivers and beauticians, life is basically the same either here or back home. They strive to make ‘both ends meet?. They slog from early morning to late night, eat Kabboos with dal or chicken curry, hitch a ride in a friend?s car to the Sunday mass, squat in the municipality park opening letters sent by loved one?s and stroll around the souks buying fake jewellery and chinese made clothes. They eagerly wait for the month end to receive the pittance which they call salary so they can buy recharge card for the mobile,  make a DD for a brother or sister in India and place international calls from the Hundi center. It is a life lived ?for the day?.

Well, Reshma?s demand wasn?t too unreasonable. Marriage comes only once in a life time so why not do it in class? This is how she justified her demand and even Godwin felt the same thing. Lorry uncle had offered his huge villa for the great day but they said thanks and called the ?Pearl Marzouk?.  It would cost Godwin, 6 month?s salary just for the food and the venue, but that would also bring the smile back on his lady love?s face right?

He belonged to the tribe of men who believed that displeasing a woman is like displeasing God…

Well, the smile didn?t last long as Reshma came up with another shocker. Stanly who had offered to do emcee free of cost would be dropped. Reshma wanted an English emcee. The reason she gave was it wouldn?t be respectable to have Stanly as an emcee in a star hotel. The ?English? emcee would charge only one third of  Godwin?s salary , not a big price for raising the class of your marriage so high. That meant they would say sorry to the uncle who was waiting to raise  toast at their wedding! They would find someone who raised the toast in English.

This came as a real lump in the throat for Godwin. Both of them were uneducated. Added to this was a big camp of  relatives and parents who knew not a word of English. How they would feel if the wedding conducted in a language they didn?t understand ? And then there was this goliath task of  replying to the toast in English ?   How would Godwin do it ? 

Reshma wouldn?t budge. She said she would arrange for a friend to train Godwin to speak English.  Reshma had now turned from lady charming to lady possessed. What transformed her in this fashion?  Word spread around and all those who were waiting for Godwin and Reshma?s wedding bash felt cold water poured on their spirit.  All who had offered free services, just kept quiet and prayed that light would dawn on Reshma?s mind.

Reshma?s list grew. It was natural.  Don?t you need the decorators ? and the band which played only English songs ? The cake would be nothing less than 4 tier and 3 feet tall because her friend Shirley had done the same thing. Reshma also refused to wear the gown presented by Lorry uncle?s family because someone told her it didn?t match Godwin?s suit. So she went on a shopping spree buying things that matched. It was clear Reshma wanted an English wedding eventhough they could not afford even a fraction of the cost. Everytime the reason she gave Godwin was that  marriage comes only once in a life time. How would Godwin deny ? He belonged to the tribe of men who believed that displeasing a woman is like displeasing God.  Only his borrowing binge grew like the Tigris and there was no one left  to go for more money.

To be continued…..

Author: Remy DSouza- Kuwait

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