As I closed my eyes and settled in the flight seat after three long days and interspersed with possibly eight hours of sleep, I only wanted peace and a blanket. Not even food could keep me away from taking my precious forty winks. But as fate would have it, I spent half of my flight time explaining to my septuagenarian co-passenger why his phone should be switched off during air travel, why the passenger seats were so uncomfortable, and that in-flight turbulence would pass. In return, I now know his investment portfolio and that his son insisted on sending his parents on group tours to temples around the country.
But I am digressing. This post is on a friend’s wedding that I was returning back from. No matter how many weddings I attend, watch re-runs of the famed Indian wedding films, listen to our mothers and aunts recount their wedding experiences, seeing a girl being given away to the groom’s family never fails to run a roller coaster of emotions through me. As each ceremony progressed, the bridesmaids gave way to more women from the groom’s household. Conversations changed content from taking care of the bride to talking about the bride and the groom. Guests walked up to compliment the bride as I stood by making sure she’s well-fed, hydrated and stress-free. Everyone wanted a word or two with her, a note of encouragement, a word of advice, blessings for them both, or just a picture together for keepsakes. Our secrets spilled out, memories increased manifold – now we have too many jokes that only we understand, we came closer as we glided through the spotlight together – heroine and sidekick.
The red vermilion is a Hindu woman’s mark of being wedded, seeped with a prayer of long health for her husband and good health for her own self. That moment after the pheras* when the groom adorns his bride’s hair parting with red vermilion is my personal high moment – the moment of truth when the bride and groom have sealed their fates together, the climax of three days of wedding rituals, the Christian equivalent of ‘You may now kiss the bride’!
She walked in for the pheras* with her brother by her side, and she walked out with the groom holding her hand. He kept her calm, tugged at her hand when she cried, wiped away a tear or two himself as she walked tearfully through her family towards the new family who was waiting for her by the getaway car. No matter how strong you remain, the air is so heavy with the sadness of a girl leaving her parents, the happiness of seeing her off towards a new beginning in her life, the hopes of the marriage turning out to be as long lasting as forever and the blessings that accompany the newly wedded. It doesn’t matter then if you’re from the bride’s side or the groom’s. Emotions override family ties, familiarity is bred in the strangest of ways.
Weddings – the grand Indian ones or even the smallest and simplest ones are steeped in emotions in a way that Bollywood films never seem to encapsulate.
Congratulations to the newly wedded couple! ❤ May life be sunnier, happier and lovelier for the both of you, as your ‘starry summer’s dream’ comes true.
P.S. : Apologies for the delay in posts! Blame it on the sister. She takes up too much of my time when she’s around 😉
*Hindu ritual of taking seven vows of the marriage in the presence of a sacred fire