This is not about surviving weddings for the ones getting married. Nope. They need a lot more help than a mere page full of words can ever provide. They need tales with clauses, injunctions and other legally horrific sounding words.
This survival guide is for the guests that refuse to leave the comfort of their home but they must.
Do you really want to go?
If you really want to avoid weddings, you need to have some decent excuses prepared beforehand. Winter comes for about a week or two every year. That means you have more than 11 months to prepare. Using work as an excuse is unimaginative. Unless, of course, your work is taking you out of the country to save polar bears suffering from heat strokes in Zimbabwe. At the least, you can post a Instagram picture with a Mayfair filter sitting in an airport showing off a watch and your shoes like everybody is required to.
An excuse works when you have been invited less than a few days before the occasion. Some people about to wed are terrible. They invite you months early in anticipation of their marital bliss. You cannot possibly ever say no to that. How do you make an excuse for two months from now? You cannot.
How comfortably can you dress?
Imagine summer weddings in Bangladesh. Hot and steamy but not quite like a hip-swaying dance number from a Hindi movie. Our heat and humidity combined with the dust in the air can make an uncomfortable chocolaty concoction like a failed Masterchef entry. And all that happens under the clothes.
But winter means every place is air-conditioned and you can put on your thickest, manliest, sweatiest coat on for the women to admire. We have it great. For the women though, it is a major trade-off. Do you want to be warm and alive? Or a fashionable hypothermic corpse?
It is make-up friendly
A wedding cake is just like a regular cake but covered in layers of often bland fondant making it appear like a majestic sculpture. Wedding makeup is like the fondant on a cake. You layer it on till the person beneath is better hidden than a muddy Arnold Schwarzenegger in front of the alien Predator that cannot see through mud. It's a pre-requisite of wedding attendance in Bangladesh. Some men also comply. In the summer, the face-mask will melt and eventually the true person will show up like, well, as Arnold Schwarzenegger emerges out of the lake as he prepares to make the Predator very, very dead. But winter preserves the make-up. Nothing melts. It is also the best time to have choc-bar ice-cream. Only in winter, the women tell me make-up may crack. For the men that use make-up, it is often light enough not to crack.
And then there's the food
We go to weddings because as men, we want the kachchi. We are quite open about it, including opening a couple of notches on the belt and a button here and there to facilitate the expansion of the belly. You can't do that in summer. Your already light clothes cannot stand more relaxation without an indecent exposure of a belly. Only belly anyone wants to see at a wedding is that of a roasted mutton.
But in winter, underneath all your heavy jackets and shawls, you can relax, let your paunch out. Unfortunately, you can't relax too long as the food gets into competition with the winter season. Can it get cold and inedible before the winter weather runs out? So appear on time, wait in queue to sit as the first batch and eat till you run out of space.
In the end there's that bit about crying. Luckily, you're in Bangladesh and not in China's Sichuan Province where the Tujia people start crying a full month in advance. But you can hurry home and get back to watching movies like you intended all along.
Ehsanur Raza Ronny is a confused dad, all-round car guy, model car builder, and cartoonist. He is also Editor of Shift (automobiles), Bytes (technology), and Next Step (career) of The Daily Star.