Missing: The Big Fat Indian Maharaj

Hype Weds Hysteria

Missing: The Big Fat Indian Maharaj

Illustration: Mandar Mhaskar/ Arré


here is obviously something to be said for the socialist era-type starvation. The way this deprivation played out for my siblings and me was that we grew up loving weddings. With no interest in dressing up and less than no interest in the bride and groom, what had us hooked like crack heads was the food. Oh Lordy God, the food.

In the days leading up to a wedding, when the halwai or maharaj would arrive with his army of helpers to be stationed near the boundary wall, he would typically be met with all of us kids hanging around like gargoyles, dripping drool. Within minutes of his arrival, there would be many huge pots and pans glistening black on the outside, placed atop expertly constructed open fires, boiling and sizzling with all nature of amazing things.