Most of us have worn something that we did not want to wear. For me it was a nose ring. When else but at my wedding reception. Now, I did not get a hole drilled in my nose, but an appropriate ring was arranged for me that could hold on to my nose like a pair of pincers. Needless to say, on that day I had to wear a lot more other than just a nose ring that I had to be careful about not dislodging every time I nodded my head. A flowing maroon gharara on which I kept tripping whenever I had to be moved (thankfully due to a predominantly seating arrangement for the bride, as is customary in Indian weddings, there were not too many such stumbling trips). A matching dupatta with sparkling golden work pinned to my head just right so that the required measure of the face was visible. A head jhoomar adjusted to the left side delicately balanced with the aid of hair clips and pins. Strings of gold surrounding the neck in increasing order of length, so that each could be displayed without hiding the other. Burdensome eye-aching gold jhumkas slid through the already four-day-strained pus-filled ear holes, only with the help of generous application of Neosporin ointment. Golden and maroon bangles vying for attention over the the thick gold bracelets and Arabesque mehendi flowers. Not less than five fingers, including a thumb, circled by golden rings. With the necessary concomitant of “fairing” facial makeup, rouged cheeks and plentiful dabs of red and maroon lipsticks. All this while alternating stiff not-used-to-ground-sitting urban legs between left and right, surrounded by questioning ladies “is this the necklace that you have brought from maika?”. A distant cousin dropping a plastic lizard on my lap resulting in shrieks and screams from all quarters around me. Countless rounds of salaams and namastes, introductions after introductions that never registered, the fixed smile on my face never getting a chance to fade away. I cannot imagine going through the prolonged discomforting scrutiny again. Even then, looking back now, when many of the faces in the crowd are family and dear friends, I am glad that I did the charade then. I probably enjoyed playing along as well - the captured photo and video albums are now the standing evidences for my active collusion in the whole affair.