The Wedding Crashers
The intrusion of government busybodies into our personal affairs should be condemned at every opportunity. Principles, though, tend to fall by the wayside whenever the authorities regulate behaviour we find personally abhorrent.
I may theoretically disapprove of the Sindh government taking upon itself the onerous task of deciding that enough is enough and couples are taking too damn long to get hitched. But I’m also rejoicing that I won’t have to wait till 1 a.m. for the baraat to make its way out of their Batcaves and into wedding halls; 2 a.m. to eat biryani that tastes like its been doused in industrial solvent and 3 a.m. to exchange rings that will be returned when the inevitable divorce takes place. Or, to put it more accurately, I will no longer have an excuse to skip weddings for the aforementioned reasons.
It is excellent news that some wedding halls have taken to turning the lights off at midnight if the wedding party is taking too long to wrap things up. This will give a reluctant bride perfect cover to slip out and have a shotgun wedding to the man she actually loves.
The law, however welcome it may be, can be improved upon. In cases of material breach, it is unfair that wedding hall owners are the ones to face fines and jail sentences. Newly-married couples are spoiled by honeymoons and unprepared for what is sure to follow. A spell in prison will be better preparation for the trials of married life.
Those who have criticised the bill have taken note of how impractical this, and a similar bill in the Punjab which set a 10 p.m. deadline, really are. One newspaper said if the curfew is relaxed “the brides and grooms will be happy – which, when all is said and done, is what really matters.” The editors of this newspaper obviously have no experience of Pakistani weddings. The day extended families take into account the concerns of brides and grooms is the day George W. Bush asks a foreign country for permission before he invades it.
The war metaphor is appropriate since weddings are about threats, alliances and preparation for battle. Thanks to the Sindh government, though, the occupation ends at midnight.
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