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Book Review: The Big Indian Wedding by Sakshi Salve

 
Title: The Big Indian Wedding
Author: Sakshi Salve
Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: Rupa Publications (7 October 2015)
Genre: Society & Culture
Read: Paperback
Stars: **/5
Buy On: Amazon India | Amazon US

 

Summary:

(Goodreads)

the big indian wedding presents the largerthanlife, sometimes outlandish, generally madding, and always highoctane world of indian marriage ceremonies!

dip in to discover of the zany, overthetop, and thus far undisclosed stories associated with the wellheeled indian’s courtship and nuptial dance. from inebriated first dates over bottles of dom pérignon; to inspired proposals in exotic locations; to the entrance of the bigticket wedding planner to, finally, the giant wedding itself, preluded by shopping sprees, bachelorettes, sangeets and mehndis, and culminating in the mother of them all, the ‘saat phere’ this book is the ultimate compendium to the indian marriage tamasha.

written by someone who has keenly observed and enthusiastically participated in weddings and has almost been roped into one herself and peppered with witty observations, merry quizzes, and a whacky proposal manual (bollywoodstyle), this book is a satirical account of the excesses of modernday indian weddings, and a sobering comment on the simplicity of the past.

 

My Review:

Note: Thanks Sakshi Salve and Weber Shandwick (publicist?) for offering me this book to read and review :)

Cover: Eye-sore

Paper and font: Ebony and Ivory

Readability, language: Easy on eye and mind

Why did I choose this book: The premise of the book had looked promising.

This is a book about the weddings of the Elite of India – the rich and the fancy. It covers how weddings have changed with time, the various functions, the costs, behind the scenes and more.

The Big Indian Wedding is an appropriate title for this book. The cover is an illustration by Ankit Parikh who has other illustrations in the book too. No offence to the illustrator (I have no degree in art) but I really didn’t like the cover. It looks cheap and tacky. The blurb is OK except for the largish para on the virtues of the author!

The book starts with the proposal and runs along all the functions and parties in-between before ending at the wedding. Salve covers so many “do’s” at big-shot weddings that you start wondering what they don’t do. Each event is given its due attention and is detailed in terms of the partying involved. (The partying animals seem to have no clue about the why and how of the events.)

Salve compares the earlier generation’s modus operandi with the current gen’s as she describes each event. This is all fine except a lot of times it felt like she was comparing the upper class with the Upper than that class. For example she talks about the Bahu with cooking skills. Which super rich family ever looked at a Bahu’s culinary skills!?

The book is set in no one place as Salve takes us on a wedding locale tour from Goa to the Greek Islands. She talks about the travels and destinations of choice for the Indian rich as they go about out-doing each other in spending money and finding excuses to party in the run up to the wedding.

The Big Indian Wedding is about the rich and elite of India. This isn’t the upper class, rather the Upper upper class, the boys who can buy all the toys and Salve’s descriptions of their shallowness and materialism are bang on.

Written in second person, Salve holds a constant but boring pace. After a while of reading I started to wish the pages would fly by fast, but they moved along only at a tormenting pace. The language is simple but very clichéd and the text is filled with cheesy dialogues that didn’t make me laugh. And a lot of those were in Indian languages.

There are many pages of illustrations by Ankit Parikh that break the book up into 4 sections. I enjoyed perusing some of them while others I felt were just taking up space.

That said the book did have it’s moments (though rare and in-between) when Salve’s sarcasm shone through.

I didn’t enjoy the book at all and now I wonder what even got me interested. I had hoped for a funny hilarious book on rich Indian weddings but the book turned out poor in that department. At the end, Salve puts in a little epilogue about how she is jesting in the book, but I thought the book it self was a jest. Avoidable at best, unless you move in Salve’s circles, then please get a copy for display!

Buy On: Amazon India | Amazon US

About the Author:

 
Born and raised in New Delhi, India, Sakshi is the daughter of Harish and Meenakshi Salve and mentee of Suhel Seth. During her free time, Sakshi can be found in her personal library which is home to over “25,000 titles”. And when not writing, she is mostly in the kitchen baking cupcakes, or playing with her two loveable dogs, Rio and Caolila.

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