Rasika Bhatia’s The Great Indian Tamasha is a laugh riot and a book that deserves its TV series or reality show! Rasika is the founder of Wedding Commitments, a bespoke wedding planning company. Her wedding planning experiences pull us into the crazy, chaotic world of the big fat Indian wedding.
Some of the décor themes Rasika mentions in the book- a Harappan Amphitheatre, The Garden of Eden, and The French Rivera, are the stuff that dreams are made of, and would give Karan Johar’s opulent sets a run for their money. She describes the painstaking effort and detailing that goes into designing each set; be it the custom fragrances, the boutique lighting, the fancy tapestries, fresh flowers, or the pyrotechnics. Not to mention grooms arriving in multi-horse driven chariots and brides descending from hydraulic-lift propped staircases.
The book abounds in black humor and is an expose into the underhand dealings of the wealthy who throw lavish parties but develop selective amnesia when it comes to paying the people whose hard work made their event possible. In her inimitable style, Rasika narrates how she fought for her vendors to be paid, even if it meant doing a Dharna in front of the gates of a dishonest client. Equally harrowing are her experiences dealing with hotels and unscrupulous competition.
Her leadership style is evident while dealing with Bridezillas and their equally obnoxious moms. The bride demands the moon, and Rasika scrambles to make it happen while dealing with issues like her employee moonlighting. While handling décor and design, Rasika has also had to maintain decorum and ward off evil designs. She doubled as a mental health counselor, detective, peacemaker, and relationship expert, all in a day’s work.
Rasika’s has a strong sense of ethics and refuses to compromise. In the case of a loveless marriage, she insisted on the families doing the right thing, even if it meant a reduction in her fees. You have to laud the author’s courage in standing up and negotiating. Event planning is no piece of cake, or must I say, wedding cake?
Each chapter had cartoon illustrations that were so on point and had me in splits. The book is eye-opening to the average wedding guest. Behind every lavish set up is a planner who shed sweat and tears and had a great team to back them up.
Go for this funny, intriguing, and entertaining read!