Your Blessings for a Dinner Plate

A few weeks ago, much was made in the papers about a high-profile businessman who quietly stood in line at a wedding reception when he could easily have cut the line. Honestly, these stories are nothing but sops meant to con us into believing that the super-rich are still human. But that’s not the point!

The real issue is…why was there a line in the first place!

Run with me here!

When you are invited to a wedding reception (unless you are part of the family or a very close friend, in which case this line of reasoning doesn’t apply), it is because the invitee wants you to bless the newly wedded couple.

Think about it! You have been invited to bless the couple. In other words, the couple has asked you to come and shower your blessings on them…so that hopefully they will get to their 2nd or 5th or whatever milestone is celebrated these days to mark a successful marriage.

Then…why in hell should you have to stand in line to give your blessings? You stand in line when you want to be blessed by your Gods and Ganpatidadas. A wedding reception perhaps is the only time when the blessee is so blessed that the blesser has to stand in line to bless the blessee. Seriously! What sense does this make!

Which is why there is dinner (and sometimes hopefully booze as well) during receptions, isn’t it! To compensate you for the time you have spent standing in line to give your blessing. In other words, the blesser here is being bribed with an offering to patiently wait for his turn…while the other blessers are being recorded on video or stills for posterity.

Which effectively means that you can cut the line, but then you can’t really have dinner because you haven’t earned it. If you are going to have dinner, you have to stand in line. The worst sacrilege is to have dinner and then go away without blessing the couple…I have seen people go up to the stage, look at the watch, say hello to the parents or whoever has invited them and then just coolly walk away…after having had dinner and ice-cream and if available, the whiskey!

If you still don’t want to stand in line even after having had dinner, because you truly believe that your blessing is worth way more than one measly buffet plate, then the smartest way is to cut the line without seeming to cut it. I like the “ambling” method the best. When you see a long line, you ask your spouse to stand in line and then “amble” along the line up to the stage, as if taking a short walk to loosen your limbs in anticipation of the blessings that you have to bestow. You then “find” a friend or relative you haven’t seen in years, start chatting him up, all the time moving along in the line, until you suddenly “realize” that you have reached the stage. When you apologize and try to move away, your friend will insist that you accompany him up the stage…at which time you can ask your spouse to join you.

Don’t you then just love Christian weddings, where you sit at a table, drinking, eating and making merry while the couple takes the trouble to come and seek your blessings?

Hopefully one day, everyone will start doing the same! Until then, there’s the dinner plate on one side and the line to the stage on the other! And you can’t do one without the other!


  • jamna varadhachary wrote:

    Lines are needed unless you want a melee on the stage! It is a toss up whether to eat first or bless first. And as for the super rich, the minute they are spotted,they are invited up right away.

  • H.L. Chulani wrote:

    The line to bless is to fill the ego and the line to dinner to fill the stomach!

  • Ganesh Parameswaran wrote:

    I still have not succeeded in figuring out why spend so much money and time on a matter that is strictly personal and limited perhaps to the immediate family and strictly close friends. Will it not be a better idea to save the money and provide the same to the newly weds to do whatever they want to with that? My wedding twenty-one years ago was just that way. And, I would not encourage my sons to do it any differently, when they decide to have one for themselves.

  • Saurabh S Natu wrote:

    This was really one sided.
    People usually attend wedding due to relationships with marrying couple or their parents and other near ones. Some see this as an opportunity to socialise.
    But one must understand that all the guests/ blessers come their braving odds like traffic snarls and jams, pressure on work time or other obligations. Usually its “jana to padega” So them cueing up for early disposal is obviously natural.
    Its blesses who can change the game by just taking dais out of equation. Many have already taken gifts off the list. I see more cards with “your blessings only” these days

  • sriganesh wrote:

    36 years ago, when Vasumathi and I got married, we stood near the entrance of the wedding hall, shook hands sought blessings, clicked photos and met the guests as they walked in and bid them good bye when they left post dinner.

    Yes, you are right about the Christian weddings but the problem is that they do not stick to time and we have to wait. However, now that the silence time starts at 11 pm, the events start on time!

    Recently I saw at a wedding in Hyderabad when people just streamed past the couple showering rice on them. No waiting, no photos – All the actions were captured on video.

    The practice of standing in line, clicking photos, videos etc. has to change. Let us go back 36 years 🙂

  • Ajay Bhonsle wrote:

    Standing in a queue for blessing the newly weds may be understandable (to avoid a stampede on the stage), but waiting in line for dinner/lunch? (As if one would go hungry otherwise- but in deference to the request/instructions of the parents of the couple- ‘You must have food’- one patiently waits in line anyway – and has his/her fill)! I do agree that Big Fat Indian Weddings are nothing but a waste of money,food & time. A simple registered marriage followed by a small party for close friends & family should be the order of the day- but who is listening?

  • Pushpendra Shah wrote:

    I think blessings can be given by phone,email, SMS, or by card or letter also….. No need to ….

  • Pushpendra Shah wrote:

    line up….

  • Manan Doshi wrote:

    There are so many aspects to this issue … like the time, no of guests, Buffet spread (with or without Booze ) and Caste.. ie in a Gujrati wedding its just not possible as people dont have the patience !! in a family wedding we tried the Christian method but sadly the serpentine line moved with the couple as they struggled to get through the hall …

  • Jayesh desai wrote:

    I attended two wedding at Five Star venue, the guest count went beyond thousand, hardly spent 10-15 second on stage but spent 45 minutes in blessing que and 90 minutes to fill dinner plate. Never again I said to myself. Today you have written about it and refreshed my resolve. Will send blessing by courier, letter, gift whatever suits. So many things we do here in our country do not make sense, we do it because everyone does it or our parents have done it. The rituals keep getting bigger and bigger and the message they conveyed it Or the reason why they were done at the begining is completely lost.Then who will bell the cat? kicks in and so carry on Indians.

  • Prakash Nanavati wrote:

    Sriganesh’s idea is good as also Hyderabad wedding. Still camera is culprit in forming long que. How many guests will see the photos and when? Video is good enough and saves time.

    As for food, I would still prefer good old days of sit-down lunch/dinner with relatives serving to give personal touch. Wonder why no mention of this by Bhavin or others?

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