Well phobiaphilic ain't the best oxymoron but it sure makes me a complete moron simply because I usually freak the crap out of people when I tell them about my Phobias.
As always facts first: I am allergic to/scared of 4(main)things:
1)Beetroot (ask my mum who tried[in vain] hiding it into pakoras and giving me)
2)Thermocol (ask my inconsiderate colleagues who have a ball of a time seeing me go mad when they scratch it...aawwww the thought of it gets me hysterical)
3)Pregnant women (not allergic, but as a kid, I was a little scared when I saw them. This fear seems to have faded away though. Perhaps it will vanish completely by the time I really cannot afford to have that fear :p. Talk about God and his plans! )
4)Weddings.(A not so inexplicable allergy)
Based on historic data, I can, with confidence, tell you that even my best efforts at making people understand the first 3 phobias would be futile. Hence, I am jumping to the last one right away.
Attending a wedding is the last thing I'd do on mother Earth and I had taken an oath long ago, that the only wedding I'll attend next is my own. However, God always has his own plans and he has never allowed things to happen in my will. I have been attending a few of them, thanks to parental pressure.
Reasons why I hate weddings and also discourage people not to attend them:
1) You will not know 99.97836521% of the people who attend the wedding. Sometimes, you may not even know the bride and groom and the only reason you are required to attend it is either because,
a) You and the bride would've played hide and seek in the same colony 15 years ago,
b) your mom and the groom's mom would've met each other in a neighboring supermarket a few weeks back.
b) the groom is your very very close relative. By south Indian standards, a close relative can include someone who is your grandfather's cousin brother's son's sister-in-law's husband's sister's second-cousin(phew)
2) You'll encounter two different kinds of people.
a) GROUP 1: (Consisting of people who have seen you recently, say 1 year back)
Regardless of how grossly fat you've become, they will ask you that one typical question: "ayyo! aen romba elachhi poitte?" ("why have you lost so much weight?").
One stare at my mum and she is quick to say "They're just concerned". Yeah right. Somehow, I only see the sarcasm in the statements and concern seems invisible however I look at it.
b) GROUP 2: (Consisting of people who only remember seeing you in chaddies)
"adaengaapppaa evlo perusaa valandhuttaaan..chinna vayasule paathadhu" ("wow how much he has grown..saw him when he was a child..he was soooo small then").
Do they expect a child, not to ever grow so that, how they see me now matches that of what they remember to have seen me? Ridiculous statement I say.
3) Your spinal cord gets the maximum burden during weddings. Old people from the 18 hundreds(1800s) who stood the test of time attending marriages right from your great grand father's to your cousin's weddings fill up the first few seats of the wedding. And why are they there? To bless people with wealth, health and prosperity.
I would have no choice in such situations but to fall flat 180 degrees on the floor and wait for them to finish scattering the yellow rice grains on my head.
Simultaneously they recite a host of cliched "blessings" like "live for 100 years" (used to Wonder if 100 was some sort of blessing-allowance limit and after that you should rather, kick the bucket). Only after that are you allowed to get up.
The cliched blessings would sometimes be way too templated that it ain't the right blessing for you! Stuff like:
"nalla perya perya padipellam padichi peryaa doctoraa varanum" (may you study "big big studies" and become a "big doctor") Poor old people, they wouldn't realize that we have already passed out as engineers and that, his blessings are going waste!
"nallaa sekka seve nu oru ponnu unakku amayanum" (may you get a fair girl to marry). What if you already had a girlfriend who was dark?" and what is the funda behind blessing someone with only a fair girl? Are all dark girls doomed to be kept out of old blokes' blessings? We must all vehemently protest against this racial blessing :)
4) The most dreaded part in any wedding is the Advance Booking System. No, I'm not talking about trains here. Talking about wedlock!
Jobless aunties with daughters are always on the lookout for prospective son-in-laws. It may seem too early for both the girl and the guy but should the right parameters match, they are quick to grab the opportunity a deal and get their daughters introduced to you.
But before all that is the secret interview. They first ask you if you are an Engineer. Most guys pass this criteria and they move on to the second round. Next is the company you work for. Like the sign which reads "All major credit cards accepted", the aunties have an implicit agreed-upon database of software companies that are recognized and accepted for wedlock. I would proudly say that Bye-Bye was one of them :)
After ensuring that you are a qualified candidate, the aunties reveal their true colors. They bring along the equally embarrassed daughter (always noticed the degree of embarrassment on the girl's face when they were being introduced to my cousins) and start off by saying something like "She is my daughter.Very intelligent girl. She also works for this great company. Earning good salary. She is a very bold and confident girl etc etc)
I always had my sympathies for the girl for all you know, she wouldn't have,in the wildest of dreams, realized till then that her parents had plans for her wedding.
5) Gifting is mandatory in any wedding and it has to happen on the stage only. Being photographed is acceptable as it requires only a second from your side. But standing next to the couple, doing nothing but forcing a smile for 100 darned seconds is a crazy idea.
In this case, I had my sympathies for the couple. Meeting an entire jing-bang of blokes and posing with them is clearly catastrophic considering the amount of people and the amount of jewelery they adorn . Not to forget the one ton garland each of them wear which almost covers their entire body.
6) Leaving the wedding hall without having food is completely unethical for reasons beyond the scope of my understanding.
Anyways,have you ever thought of killing the asshole who flashes bright yellow light on your face when you were eating in the dining hall? Why the fuck would anyone wanna videotape and record you when you're having food? Well, I still don't get the funda. Anyways, such videos are a breach of privacy and must be banned from being published!
As far as weddings are concerned, I'd recommend you to attend it only if you have a bunch of friends to go with. The best wedding I had ever attended was that of my sister's. Had around 40 of my friends coming and we managed to transform the wedding hall into our VIT hostel with all the galatta.
Of course I wouldn't deny the fact that it was the best wedding simply because my sister was getting married and not cuz my friends had come :p. I hope the last statement calms my sister down when she reads this post. There there, I can already see you smiling, Manju :)