Sunday, March 23, 2008

Sponsored Wedding Receptions

Sponsored Wedding Receptions
Let the good times roll - for everyone.

- By Cecil Pinto

"Hello! Hello! Is this Kingfisher Villa?"


"Can I speak with Dr. Mallya please?"

"Just call me King. And who are you?"

"Cecil Pinto at your humble service, King. I bring you greetings and
salutations from Aldona, Miramar and Panjim. May your brands fly as your logo does. May competitors, who use gimmicks like giving money prizes under
crown caps, keep losing elections. May you and your family always prosper

"Cut the crap! What do you want?"

"Ok, King. I have a business proposal for you."

"Speak man. Speak up!"

"You can't hear me? SHOULD I SPEAK LOUDER. IS THIS OK?"

"Stop shouting into the phone. Speak up about your business proposal. I
don't have much time to spare. Speak fast man. You're wasting my time!"

"Ok! Ok! See I celebrate my tenth Wedding Anniversary in May next year."


"I was thinking you could sponsor the entire celebrations."

"What? Why should I sponsor your Anniversary celebrations?"

"You sponsor events don't you?"

"I sponsor public events."

"My anniversary is a public event. All my friends and relatives are public
people. In fact most of them are so public that you wouldn't notice them in
a crowd. Some of them are absolutely mediocre. In fact my cousin ..."

"But this is unheard of! Liquor companies don't sponsor private parties."

"Why do you sponsor anything at all?"

"What do you mean?"

"When you sponsor an event, why do you do it?"

"For publicity, goodwill, brand building...."

"And you think my Wedding Anniversary will not get you publicity? It will
be the first of its type. Think of the press coverage, and goodwill. Have
you ever been to a regular Goan Catholic wedding? Goodwill is there in
fortified doses. The only antagonism is between the bride and groom's
families. But since we've been married ten years that should not be an
issue anymore. I hope. Except for this one brother-in-law who..."

"Ok! Ok! Carry on and stop digressing. You have my ear."

"I want your money, I mean sponsorship. What will I do with your ear? I
already have two ears. There was a song by Alfred Rose about a boy who
had no ears, and his mother donated her ears, and on her deathbed the boy..."

"Will you please stick to this sponsorship proposal of yours!"

"Ok! Ok! Here's what. I print your logo on all the wedding invites and mass

"What are mass booklets? Do they have mass appeal?"

"Yes. Very much! At the reception we have signage of your products very
prominently displayed. Banners, cutouts, danglers, balloons whatever.
As long as it's tastefully done. We serve only your products - beer,
whiskey, mineral water..."

"Goan wedding receptions don't have your famous Caju Feni served?"

"Strangely no longer. A bottle of Feni is sometimes kept for the border

"Borda? Isn't that near Margao? Is it that important?"

"Don't bother. Only seems that way."

"Ok. Now let's talk money. How much is this reception sponsoring thing
going to cost me?

"I've not finished. Next day is the porton, a small reception hosted by the
bride's folks. You will be paying for this too."

"You must be kidding. They have a porton ceremony for a Wedding

"I do."

"Isn't that what you Catholics say when exchanging vows?"

"I did not. That was in the olden days when people were illiterate. Now you
have to recite the vows yourself. You've never really been to a normal Goan
Catholic wedding have you, King?"

"No. All my friends are rich people. We have mega blasts. Never anything
small or normal."

"Would you like to attend a typical Goan Catholic wedding ceremony?"

"I would love to attend. Nobody invites me."

"Attend mine! Rs. 2,000/- per head. Ladies, and children below twelve, half
rate. Unlimited drinks and eats. Live music. Spot prizes. Fun for the entire family... "

"I sponsor your celebration and I have to pay to attend?"

"Not you. But your friends will surely want to attend. They will have to
pay. Or you can buy some invites and mail to them. Oh! And by tradition
they have to bring decent presents. Can't break tradition now can we?"

"But me and my friends would like to attend a typical Goan Catholic
wedding, and not this sponsored Anniversary celebrations you're proposing."

"King, King! Why don't you understand? After my celebration this will be
the typical wedding in the future. We have allowed commercial sponsors to
invade every aspect of our lives. From Parish Fetes to Feast Souvenirs to
Crib Competitons. This is the logical next step. Weddings, Christenings,
First Communions... Let the sponsors in with open arms. Not all of us can
afford lavish receptions. This is a decent compromise. You get publicity,
goodwill and decent branding. Your non-local friends get to participate in
local ceremonies. We get our celebrations paid for. Everyone's happy."

"Sounds interesting. How much money are we talking about? Where is the
main reception? What is the entertainment?"

"I was thinking of the Mariott maybe and then the porton at Fort Aguada
Beach Resort. Guests could be accommodated at the same hotels and
transported by your yacht and helicopter. And I was thinking of maybe Billy
Joel, Britney Spears and Madonna to start off the show. Then a small
Russian Ballet troop, an item number by Yana Gupta and Abhishek
Bachchan, a Laser Lights show..."

"This sounds even bigger than my fiftieth birthday bash! Was your wedding
reception ten years back so grand?"

"Naaah! But I didn't have a sponsor that time!"

The humour column above appeared in the December 22nd 2005 issue of
Gomantak Times

(Graphics and pictures input courtesy: extracts from website)

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