This Indian life:

The wedding hashtag as challenged by Aunty Mona

How older relatives put the byte on weddings of the 21st century

Shoba Narayan
Hindustan Times


From:[email protected]

To: [email protected]

Subject: #katiestolethevic

Dear Aunty Mona:

Namaste! Hope you and Uncle Jolly are doing well in New Jersey.

I have some great news. I am getting married. No, not to a nice Indian girl… but an equally nice Jewish girl. I met her in college. Her name is Katie Eisenberg, but my Mom has christened her Katyayini as her Hindu name. I may as well tell you. She is 30 – four years older than me. I know I haven’t kept in touch, but I want to invite you both to my wedding. We are having a destination wedding in Orlando, Florida. Right next to Disneyland. All the details can be found at our website in under the password “katiestolethevic.” Our Insta hashtag is #katiestolethevic. I know it isn’t as edgy as #Krishnangoescuban or #Randeepika but our names are particularly unsuited to hashtags.

Anyway I hope you come.

Love, Vic

From: [email protected]

Dear Vickram:

Nice to hear from you after a long time. There is a spelling mistake in your email. It should read “happycouples” not “appycouples.” Blessings to you and your Katie a.k.a Katyayini from me and Uncle Jolly. Also, what is a hashtag? And where is this website?

Aunty Mona

From: [email protected]

Cc: [email protected]

Re: your son’s wedding

Dear Brother Jolly and dearest sister Mona:

Vickram forwarded me your email. How nice to connect with you after decades. How are you and the children? We are quite well settled in Orlando. In fact, we have a string of motels that are being managed by none other than our dear son, Vic. As for the wedding, these youngsters have created some website in which they post photos of themselves. It is somewhat like our wedding albums but all this happens before the wedding. I tried accessing this website but it disappeared from my screen. So I have asked Vic to give me a PDF of all the wedding details, which I will mail to you.

Sorry about the confusion and with kindest regards to you both,


From: [email protected]

To: [email protected]

Subject: #katiestolethevic

Dear Aunty Mona:

My father forwarded your email. A hashtag is like a Hindu priest. Remember how the priest oversees the whole wedding ceremony. In social media, a hashtag covers all the bases, whether it is on Insta, Twitter or Facebook. Whenever you post a picture of our wedding, please don’t forget to insert the hashtag #katiestolethevic.

From: [email protected]

Subject: #katiestolethevic

Dearest Vic:

I would like to suggest that you don’t use the word “stole”

in your wedding. It is not auspicious. Instead, please use any

of the below hashtags:

#katiespellboundthevic, #katieconjoinedwithvic, #katiemixeswithvic,


I have an even better suggestion, which is most appropriate for our Indian culture. We treat marriage as a co-mingling of two families, not two individuals. So you can use #katiefamilyalliancewithvicfamily or #katiefamilyjoinsvicfamily or #katiefamilyandvicfamilywelcomesyou. Since this is in America, you can even say #namastefromkatievicfamily.

From: [email protected]

Dear Aunty Mona:

We cannot change the hashtag as it has populated all our wedding collaterals including the app. If you don’t like this hashtag, you can simply say #blessedup, which means that Katie is making me blessed.


From: [email protected]

To: [email protected]

Subject: #katiestolethevic

Dear Vic:

This is Uncle Jolly. Blessings to you and Katyayini, even though she is older than you. First of all, what is the meaning of collaterals in a wedding? We sent your hashtag and wedding details to the entire Indian community in New Jersey. About a thousand Patels complained to us that the IRS was going to audit them after getting this email. All because it contained the word “stole.” So please delete it. If you insist on using the word ‘stole’ in your hashtag, how about adding two more words. “Katiestolemyheartvic,” would be a better hashtag. Don’t you agree?

Blessings, Uncle Jolly

PS: what is an app?

(This column addresses the issue of parenting our parents and other unique facets of This Indian Life and our culture. If you have stories about the weird and wonderful relationships that enrich or enervate your life, write in.)

This Indian Life appears every fortnight

From HT Brunch, May 26, 2019

First Published: May 25, 2019 19:24 IST


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