Of Lehenga Shopping

I’m getting married in December, in what can only be described as a hodge-podge wedding. My fiance is from UP, and I’m Tamil Brahmin so of course there is almost nothing in common between the wedding traditions. To further complicate things, I’m in the US at the moment so I’m doing remote wedding shopping. Yes. Remote. This involves waking up at 6AM to look at badly-lit pictures of sarees that my mother sends on Whatsapp. Now, I have 3 receptions for this wedding (do not let me get started on that, it’s like a Bharat Darshan of reception parties!). And one of them is up north, so of course I have to wear a lehenga. Thus starts the tale of lehenga shopping.

My mother tried looking for some in Chennai. But of course that’s the absolute worst place to look for one. So A, did what best friends do – she offered to look for one while she was in Delhi for work. Not one to ever do things by half, she did extensive research to figure out the best area to go find a good deal and decided that Shahpur Jat (this new upcoming area, that is apparently the HKV of Delhi today) was the place to go. She confidently showed up there and then hit the first roadblock. Because, of course, nobody would let her take pictures. I mean, what if she ran away and stole the design? I guess they don’t realize that the internet is riddled with Delhi brides who have been surreptitiously clicking selfies in the trial rooms. But, whatever. So A is now reduced to verbally describing these outfits to me, at 1AM PST. Which she promptly does in Tamil, while including tidbits like – “D, this is raw silk. So you can open it up after the reception and get it restitched.” (I’m sure she would’ve been thrown out of the store if the guy realized what she was advocating as an end result to his creation).

The next problem was that she couldn’t tell any of these people that she was shopping for the bride. See, I don’t like heavy work, nor was I planning to pay through my nose for an outfit that I will probably wear once. So she went around telling people that she was buying an outfit for a friend to wear to a Sangeet in the US. Even then, they weren’t completely convinced and kept showing her outfits that were way over budget. I wonder what the designer of the lehenga I eventually got would say if he realized it’s being worn by the bride, at a reception. He will probably write me off as a tasteless moron.

She had also chosen to club this visit with a plan to go to a yoga studio, so many of the shop keepers were not ready to give her the time of day (yoga pants do not equal serious shopper). She got thrown out of a store because it was “by appointment only.” Eventually, after a lot of roaming around, she narrowed in on the lehenga to buy. We discussed it on Whatsapp and I told her to just get it.

Once we picked the lehenga, A scandalized the guy by saying she needed the lehenga right away so there was no need for any ‘customization’. Then, she added salt on an open wound by daring to offer him a credit card. At this point, he asked her, “aap baahar se aaye ho kya?” Sigh. On the one hand, I have friends who are chewing my brains to jump onto the entire online wallets phenomenon (that I’m hoping to resist forever, but there’s another post in that). On the other hand, we have these parts of Delhi, that are still untouched by the plastic phenomenon.

Eventually, she got the lehenga, and now has a Sony Experia box to lug it around in. AM, her husband insists I ought to be paying him for sending his wife on a life threatening errand. Let’s just say that one of the best stories from a wedding FULL of crazy stories, is going to be this one.

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3 thoughts on “Of Lehenga Shopping

  1. haha I like your writing 🙂 My best friend is getting married in November, and since the last two months has been on the hunt for the perfectly-priced-and-beautiful-but-not-too-chamcham-lehenga in Delhi.. apparently its quite a long process!

    • thank you! Ask your friend to try braving Shahpur Jat – I hear you can find anything there, though you may want to claim you are buying it for a baby shower or something, else they expect you to pay half the cost of your wedding for it! 😛

      • Thanks, I will tell her to check it out! I believe last she was trying to get the price down of a copy of some famous designer lehenga in Chandani Chowk!!

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