Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Scenes from Malayali Christian Marriages

Malayali X'ian Marriage Scenes are very solemn , sober , serious ,pristine, life threatening affairs like those mega serial episodes in Asianet and Surya TV . Moi had been waiting for a marriage from our generation for quite sometime and everything happened in three days flat even before you can say in one breath "my cousin got married in Kochi".

Mine is a very true {fraud} mallu X'ian family with branches from Muvattupuzha to Manhattan , Palai to Philadelphia and Adimali to Arizona . The extended roots of my family is the firm proof behind one of N.Chutney's principles that you can find Malayalis , Chinese food and Cockroaches everywhere and anywhere in the universe including moon.If the plans of my grandmother would have gone right she would have had enough priests to start a seminary and enough nuns to start a convent .However out of the four sons who went to Seminary three including my father jumped out on the first chance possible and none of my aunts even went near the convent . Then her entire hopes were on me since I was the eldest son of an eldest son of an eldest son. I could not understand that all those Achappams , Kuzhalappams and general appams that were specially made for me in my paternal house had a hidden and secret agenda of taking me to the altar for ordination. However since I was her favorite grandchild , the only thing I promised her that day was I will do social service .Let me swear keeping one hand on my head and second hand on the key board that I never went back from the commitment and I did and am still doing social service by not joining the clergy. I feel you people are unlucky , else a duffer like me would not have been writing what you are reading now . I would have been rather preaching sermons in some remote village in Kerala to catholic lambs.

Never mind , So She entrusted me with the task of taking her only son who completed the seminary and who is a principal in a reputed catholic school in Delhi to Kerala in a flight and depositing him back to school amidst all this brouhaha. The itinerary looked simple but the matters looked complex when we reached the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi where scenes where chaotic..

Nowadays whenever I am travelling , I feel that the buses and aeroplanes are similar.These days both are providing lousy service , extreme delays , annoyances and inconveniences at extremely cheap rates.The future of Indian Airports lie in pilots standing in front of planes and calling out to passengers .
just like those drivers standing in front of buses in Thrissur Bus Stand and calling out to passengers

Whatever , finally when we reached Kochi after an airpocket guttery ride in Air Sahara with a huge collection of Sahara Pranams , I could understand that the mosquitoes in Kochi are still the same. Black , fat and with an improved sting these days.

Scene 1 - General Ambience
Christian marriages are solemn and sober because you realise that true catholic families are not affected by any changes that take place in the outside world . They only concentrate on opening more branches in the family tree. As a result the number of tiny tots are increasing day by day contributing more to the cheap labor in Indian Software industry. Last time I counted I had 27 cousins from 9 uncles and 8 Aunts and this time I didn't count because they seemed to be everywhere and number appeared to be huge . More than that it is a hell lot of a trouble remembering relations like your fathers - aunts - mother - in law's - mothers - sisters - sons - daughter or your grandfathers - brothers - wives - in law's - sons - sisters - sons -father.The potential consequence of missing any link in this chain may be catastrophic and may even create a family feud.

Scene 2 - Pre Marriage Night

There is this custom called " Madhuram Vekkal "(Sharing the sweet) on Pre Marriage Night.Well , whoever has thought about this custom has designed it beautifully and even people with Diabetes wont say no to sugar/cake/coconut water amidst tears shed on meeting each other after so many years , generous back-slapping , loud mallu laughters + guffaws , fun-poking and unrestrained joy in a pre marriage night environment. My father and mother who apparently is the godfather and godmother of the bride to be asks the assembled crowd if they may feed the bride some Sugarcane Powder. This must be done three times and each time, provided the crowd shouts "Yes" in Malayalam ( with longest Mallu Yes coming from tiny tots), the sugar is placed on the tip of the tongue of the bride to be.

A huge circle of males (colloquially known as Achayans) sitting together and gulping wine and booze as if there is no tomorrow is another symptom of Pre marriage Night . This is an integral part of any Xian marriage and you can see a neat row of males clad in white Mundus discussing matters ranging from American attack on Iraq to the future of Nationalist Congress Party in Kerala Political Scenario , the future of Prithviraj in Malayalam Cinema to when the bride was born in Lisie Hospital , Kochi what exact role did each one play(other than the role played by mother of the bride) in the delivery.

Scene 3 - Marriage Morning
Marriage to me always looked like this wonderful union which ushers in a beautiful life of companionship , sharing sorrows and celebration of life between bride and groom.So naturally we expect Bride and Groom to be the most important persons on the D Day. But we realise that there is a set of videographers and photographers who act as the National Security Guards and control each moment of the marriage with their timely inputs , sometimes even demanding a re telecast.They rule the marriage mornings and marriage day.The only place where bride rules the marriage day is the Alukkas jewellery advertisements that appear constantly in Asianet/ Surya / Kairali T V.

Scene 4 - Marriage Ceremony
There will be an extended procession of cars that will be moving towards church on the scheduled time and there is this gala entrance of bride an groom to the church . The ceremony consists of a marriage ceremony , a speech ( with updated inputs on the rising number of divorce cases in Kerala ) and a mass. Everything else in the ceremony is crap other than the nupital ceremony.

Priest: Do you Mathai / Avarachan/ Outhakkutty/ Joseph/ Kurian/ Chacko/ Pathrose
take Shinykkutty/ Marykkutty/Sarahkkutty/ Valsakkutty to be your lawfully
wedded wife?
Groom:Hmm ...Brrrr.... I do ( After looking one more time in the direction of bride to confirm for a last time) .
Priest: Do you Shinykkutty/ Marykkutty/Sarahkkutty/ Valsakkutty take Mathai / Avarachan/ Outhakkutty/ Joseph/ Kurian/ Chacko/ Pathrose to be your lawfully wedded husband.
Bride: I do.(After eyeing the husband to be coyly)
Priest ( With the celebration of Sreesanth who hit Nel for a six ): You two are witnesses for this , Is it ?(Basically this is another way of asking , in case something screws up , you can accompany me to court)

Two innocent looking grey haired uncles step forward from the crowd and shake their heads vigorously. (Sometimes I think womens reservation should be applied everywhere in the world).

Church Choir sing in chorus as soon as witnesses shake their heads..... Puthiyakudumbathin Blahhhh Blahhhh (Loosely translated in English as New family in Earth (Thanks to the priest) Blahhhh Blahhhh)

Everyone who was craning their necks to see whether the bride or groom will say no is also relieved.

World Peace , White Doves and Olive Leaves all around.

Scene 5 - Marriage Feast
Generally there are two sets of relatives who come for marriages in Kerala
1. People in India
2. People outside India who can be classified into two
a)People with Unfortunately Born in India Attitude
b)People without Unfortunately born in India Attitude

Unfortunately Born in India is an attitude that is supposed to be 'kewl' and is exhibited by many relatives who come from Gelf , Europe , Amrica to attend Malayali Christain Marriages.People from UBI gang are ready to give an impromptu lecture on why All Indians are Unfortunate to be born in a third world country like India with its cow dung , pot hole filled roads , corrupt government and all things bad about India . Sadly they dont find anything good in the country of their roots. If you ever go for a Malayali X'ian Marriage make sure you are not near people from UBI gang. Sadly I made the mistake this time.

People of the type 2 b above (the UBI gang) come and talk about lack of sivility and komblex manrs among bloody Indeans and how unfortunate are you to be born in a thid wuld cntry like Indea. They also say that the government should klear up konfusion so that Indeans abroad kan have one more citisenship. There will be growing publik enthusiasm if sitisens from abroad are treated with rezpect.Publik akseptanse of the new citizen policy kan be expekted to reach the shtage where more komplikated changes are possible and Government must enkourage the removal of cingle zitizenship which have always bein a deterent to akurate identity for People of Indean origien.Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech othrs Indean Culturrr. Ze drem of a uniti among Indeans wrldwide vil finali kum tru.

Scene 6 - Leaving the girl :( This part is sponsered by Vimal Handkerchiefs)
Once you finish the feast 89.3% of the people just vanishes . The other 10.7% are relatives who are impatiently waiting to leave the bride in grooms house before starting with their Siesta in the returning vehicle.This was a sad part and I felt sorry for my aunt , uncle and cousin and felt bad about all those white Mundu Clad relatives who wanted to start back as soon as possible.

I returned back to Delhi in the next Air Sahara flight and deposited my uncle safely back to the school. The trip was not worth the investment I could just stay two days in my beloved room and could not eat my favorite home cooked food made by Amma.

Malayali X'ian Marriages are very interesting events. Dont miss one if you ever get a chance to attend a marriage. In case you are not getting chance for next two/three years , you can post me a mail on Dec 31, 2009 . Hopefully by that time me and my parents will agree on the fact that I have become a marriage'able' and I will run out of all the excuses in the world :P.

P S: What happens when these Malayali Christian Traditions meet Punjabi Wedding Style ?. You can check here

PPS(Added Later ):Enjoy another of Malayali Christian Marriage experience here(Given in bold , Please note :P)


Alex said...



What is UBI group?

"timelt inputs"- A typo


Attribution said...



Reminds me to update my blog with details of the wedding in my family last year..

So thats coming soon...

Anonymous said...

saarrrr, thaat vas simbly vunderful ... a sooper post ! & i laiked the new term thaat yu kreatedd ... "UBI" !

Neihal said...

I guess I ll have to wait for Dec 2009 ;)

Ajith Prasad Balakrishnan said...

Scene 2 - Pre Marriage Night
Aa huge circle of males (colloquially known as Achayans) sitting together and gulping wine and booze as if there is no tomorrow is a symptom of Pre marriage Night . This is an integral part of any Xian marriage
--- The booze party is turning out to be an integral event everywhere..not just in Xian marriages..And we went a step ahead for my cousin's marriage..Had Romanov just before the marriage feast :D , though not as a public event :$

Alex said...


Thanks to 'taks', i found out what UNI is. lol

N A R I YA L C H U T N E Y said...

@ Alex: UBI means Unfortunately Born in India :P Sadly :(

@ Attribution : You had been promising to me about this blog updation for a long time like those promises made during election times by politicians :)

@Taks:Thanks Siiiirrr. It is not the creation of a new term but naimg of an already existing attitude :)

@neihal: Dont think so since you are in the blogroll of so many Mallu {non}anonymous bloggers inlike me :)

@Ajith: Hmm, Did your cousin who was getting married had the Romanov too?. Truly agree with you , on the non Xian part :)

@alex: It is not UNI . But UBI . You can add it to the collection of all those economi terms :)

Seema said...

You surely are doing social service by not joining the clergy!!! LOL Blessed art thou for this glorius act !

On Malayali Christian Marriages...all of this just seemed going down the memory lane for me (still so fresh)..just attended mah first cousins marriage in Jan n the biggest mistake i very innocently committed was being there 5 days before the marriage... vallathe oru kurishaaaayiii ennu matram parayaam ! Learning - Reach JIT on the day of marriage, will save u a lot of irritation...moreove, u just land up becoming a topic of discussion (read scapegoat)for all the ungles n aundiesss n ammoomaaas for match making n the alikes !

Alex said...


Ooops. UNI was a typo on my part.

LOL. :))

flaashgordon said...

hehe..hilarious one that !!!!!sure i can relate to that...alas !the picure of a christian wedding which the others have is totally different..the groom never even gets close to kissing the bride in our case for eg:- Lunch and the booze being the only highlights...and all of it in a hot sweaty , crowded hall ...
horrors !! u just want to escape asap usually :-) esp if u are the groom

Unknown said...


I liked the UBI part. I'm going to make it a hit here. Of course courtesy Nariyal Chutney.

Hey you didnt tell anything about the feast.... my favourite part. About the Beef ularthiyathu????

Anonymous said...

Can't stop laughing :D..Pièce de résistance truly!

I couldn't get thru reading UBI type 2 completely, cos I had tears in my eyes, after laughing so much.

Btw, Matthachan/Thommichan and Jincy/Mincy(and other first consonant variations) can be added to your groom n bride name list ;)

Jiby said...

good one nc...i have a suspicion u are an ex-blogger who quit recently...hehe??? you missed the sthuthi kodukkal on the morning of the marriage.also there used to be margom-kali by the women on the eve of the marriage earlier but now looks like the art-form has disappeared totally from syrian-xian households. and like flaash who recently went thru the horrors, my nigamanam is that so long as it is not your own wedding...christian weddings are fun.

Anna said...

Great post.. I couldn't stop thinking the marriages that I have attended and realized that all those were are exactly as you have posted.

Neihal said...

okay....hoping they will invite me ( you guys listening!!)...but I'll still keep the date in mind ( back up plan) :D

N A R I YA L C H U T N E Y said...

@ Seema: You bet on the scapegoat thingie. Since I envisioned it , I followed a JIT policy for this visit . @ Least somethings that they teach in B School are useful :P.Aunties and Uncles basically doesnt have much other work right?

@Flaash: Horrors come in if it is your wedding :). Else everything is fun. Kissing the bride , I wish. Elders frown even if you just hug her . You know how closed Kerala Mallu Xian Community is . May be Priest may also walkout if you kiss the bride , Who knows? :P

@ Umesh: No beef , only chicken . I am a chicken guy . UBI is a cute term . May be we should form a party against the UBI gang and do a demonstration against giving them citisenships. Kerala Style :P

@Shikha:"Pièce de résistance truly!" What the hell was that ? . Visited your blog to see everything was all right with you and I could understand that this is a German effect :P. Along with Matthachan/Thommichan and Jincy/Mincy Kunjumon and Rosakkutty also can be added:D

@Jiby: I see , I have and know eX but no eX Bloggers. Nariyalchutney is a new blogger who alwasy believed that the road to success is always under construction .Margam Kali , I wish dude . It seems we are losing so many things that we cherished once. Stutikodukkal these days is populated with photographers :P

@ Annam . When everything becomes predictable , it becomes boring . Wish something strange to happen in the next marriage I attend . Like both bride and groom saying no . Oopz :P :)

@neihal : Dont u think that gals should also listen to this . Anyway I am listening , dont know abt other guys ? :)

mathew said...

ROTFL..terrific take..i think our achayan style marriages should be the best documented...

Attending a marriage was lots of fun when I was a kid..but now the show gets boring..only the groom and the bride thinks its some serious business..

adimali to arizona!! :-P lol!!

Anonymous said...

NC: I knew I would get you with that line ;). Yes, after coming here, I've completely and hopelessly started seeing/writing all characters with umlauts - i.e. those funny little dots and dashes on characters :D. What else do u expect, since I'm tortured with the language in all nooks and corners, even on my own blog!

What I meant in our language was, that your post was jhakaas/adipoli.

Btw I truly love anything that highlights how amazingly funny people we Mallus are, and I've forwarded your piece to a couple of my Xian friends :D.

Kunjumon! How could I miss that one :P.

Anonymous said...

love ur post. uniformly funny, esp since i could relate to all of it. am adding u. will read the rest later ( of ur blog)

GK said...

Hehe, man that was wicked! Thanks for droppin by my blog.

The girl knows, I send it to her as i wrote it while chatting w. her and erm... she said i write nice ! ROFL! Not what I expected eh!

Anyhoo, c'est ala vie. Once again wicked wicked site, reminds me im having nariyal chutney and dosa for breakfast !

have a nice day
peace be

N A R I YA L C H U T N E Y said...

@ Mathew: U r right dude. Think even this post is my two paise contribution to the documentaion.

P S: In one of our family branches one brother lives in adimali and another in arizona.

@ Shikha: Dont worry abt the nuances about German language . You are getting a free company sponsored opportunity to learn it . Last time I asked abt German coaching here in North India , they told me it may cost almost 18K to speak fluently.So I went for French

@Amoomma:Nice name , reminds me of all grannys in Kerala :P. Thanks for the addition and welcome to the party :) of bachelors as the first spinster :P

@GK:Hmm , :).ATB wicked dude :D.You seem to be on the right path because no gal has ever told me I write well all of them have told that I am a nut case who lacks humor sense :(

Anonymous said...

well, hope i get a warm welcoming reaction fro the others?

Renny Markose said...

sbody told 'Margamkali' has disappeared;not true-instead of women our Achayans are doing Margamkali the previous night after gulping all the 'thanni'. This Margamkali proves that Xnity is really ancient in Kerala, bcz all Achayans dance without 'Uduthuni'.That reminds me the ancient tribes who lived without clothes- what other proof we need to establish that Xnity as old as the creation of man?

prakash said...

Malayali Christian Marriage the sentence stands for the Syrian(Suriyani) Christians ,who are the majority there-unlike Latin Christians of Other states like karnataka,tamilnadu etc.

Syrian Christians are different in all their ways.

Ria Thomas said...

How lovely your post is!Im a Mallu Christian who is an accidental Londoner. I love the UBI group descriptions.