Why Are We Scoffing at the Akash Ambani Video? Aren’t All Our Weddings About Manufactured Happiness?

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Why Are We Scoffing at the Akash Ambani Video? Aren’t All Our Weddings About Manufactured Happiness?

Illustration: Robin Chakraborty

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f you’re planning on getting married in the near future, I’d strongly advise you steer clear of the latest Amazon Prime offering, Made in Heaven. In terms of quality, it’s a new benchmark for Indian web series, but it’s also an extended, nine-part polemic against the hypocrisy of Indian weddings. During the course of an extremely binge-worthy first season, Made in Heaven shows us that the glitzy, glamorous façade of the Big Fat Wedding is exactly that – an empty display.

At the last wedding I attended, the festivities were spread out over five separate functions on five different evenings. Literally hundreds of people attended, and thousands of Instagram stories were updated. For the guests, all those affairs were part of an indistinguishable blur of free drinks and buffet tables, a no-strings-attached night of fun. But the bride was frustrated and exhausted, confiding in her friends that she couldn’t wait for the ordeal to end. And who could blame her? Months of crash dieting to look good for the big day, innumerable pujas and ceremonies to sit through, and having to put on a smiling face for people you’ve never met could do that to the best of us. But even so, you wouldn’t be able to tell by looking at the wedding photos. Just like Made in Heaven, it was an experience that made me think about hollow happiness on display at Indian weddings.

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