Motoring

Choose your wedding car wisely

How on earth can a wedding car be called a getaway car? How can a getaway car with its images of captives driving away to freedom be associated with this ceremony? Obviously, the wordsmith was taking the short view. He was not thinking beyond the honeymoon.

More significantly, this description of the wedding car is glaringly out of step with wedding traditions. Because, from Alaska to Japan, they are designed to give the ‘willing captives for life’ an idea of what’s in store for them. They prepare a couple for the hard knocks ahead. In other words, for marriage. Through their hand-fasting ritual, the Scots beautifully prepare the newly-weds for their future together. “Forget the idea of having a free hand in anything. Thy hand shall not monopolise the television remote anymore.”

Given all of this, the idea of a wedding car as a getaway machine is a disappointment. In our times, the choice of cars for the ceremony is even more disappointing. There is a trend of expensive luxury cars being hired. Not only in the West, where the wedding car drives a key segment of the rituals, but also in India. It doesn’t matter where, but luxury cars are not cut out for the job. They don’t equip two naïve children for the tough journey ahead.

Take the modern Rolls-Royce cars. They are a synonym for smoothness. Put them on the bumpiest road in the world, and they’ll still give you a smooth drive. It grieves me to think such cars are being hired for weddings. They drive newly-weds into marriage with unhealthy optimism. In my opinion, wedding planners should look at hiring a Ford Model T for the ceremony. The rattling Tin Lizzie will do a great job. In the interest of marriage and society, vintage cars, jalopies actually, should be aggressively promoted as wedding cars.

When a jalopy breaks down, it shows a couple it’s difficult to make the trip together. It tells them they have to be equipped to handle breakdowns along the way. When the engine heats up, it shows them there will be heated arguments. At such times, the best thing to do is to be patient and wait for the tempers to cool down. And then negotiate calmly and wisely. Many of the old cars have a small rear seat and cramped space for the rear passengers. This teaches the couple the need for a sense of proportion. The maximum space in a marriage is reserved only for two people. There is space for others, the children and the extended family. But this has to be the smaller space.

In rural and semi-urban parts of India, Premier Padmini and Premier 118NE cars are placed on wedding duty. These cars are modified, their tops removed. In some of these cars, the rear seat is raised. It’s meant to give wedding guests a clear view of the couple. There is also an esoteric meaning attached to it. Only the couple who occupy the seat will understand it. This is what it is: marriage is a great gift. It unites two people. And naturally, it puts them on a high. And anything that goes up, comes down. The high seat prepares the couple for the inevitable fall. It’s good for them to know there will be a fall. Because, when it comes, they won’t land with a bone-breaking thud.


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Printable version | Dec 1, 2021 12:20:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/Motoring/choose-your-wedding-car-wisely/article6503346.ece

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