Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Did he really take her away??

There is something about being young and having a wedding in the family! The year was '92 and my cousin was getting married. The rest of us were at the threshold of ending our teens, feeling the excitement of planning our wardrobe for this wedding. Bengali weddings done in the traditional style have around four to five days of festivities. And each day requires at least two change of dresses, if not more .That in turn requires lots of sessions of ransacking various wardrobes, even the bride's!!

The older and already married cousins proved to be God's gift. They not only let us trample through their kanjeevarams, but even helped in resizing their blouses for us. There was a lot of preening in front of mirrors and taking in opinions, both wanted as well as unwanted, from various members of the family. Comments like,"Ohh!! That colour makes you look so dark!!" or some light hearted flirting from the older brother-in-laws saying," Uff!! had I seen you in that Saree before, I would have married you instead of your sister!" The week before the actual wedding day was filled with nervous tension for the bride and agonizing stress for us cousins who had yet to accessorize their sarees with jewellery!

Late nights saw the bride holding a 'Let- us- get- to- know- each- other' conversation with her husband to be, while we sat in the same room at our wit's end trying to organize our stuff. Often the groom to be, was left dangling at the other end of the std call as the bride helped us reach a decision. And it also happened that the most romantic sentence uttered by the groom went unheard and thus un-responded to, because the rest of us were squabbling about colour choices.

The excitement was palpable as the day approached. Informal sessions of songs and dances have always been a part of this family. The day before the wedding everybody gathered and sat around singing Rabindrasangeet, Bhatiali(Bangla folk songs), as well as popular Hindi numbers. The Hindi hits were supplied endlessly by the bride's best friend, who had herself been married just a month back.We danced to songs from 'shohag chaand bodoni dhoni naacho to dekhi' to 'main sasural nahin jaungi doli rakh do kaharo'. It was a family that was together, a family that loved songs and us sisters who were most uninhibited in this environment.

The wedding day arrived and saw us all trooping in to a parlour to dress our hair. It was a daunting task for the poor lady as there were 7 of us and all with highly unmanageable hair. She was still at her task when somebody hollered from outside," what are you girls up to? You've been gone since ages, and now the borjatri (baraati)has arrived and you are still dressing up??get on with it right now" looks of dismay were passed as we identified the voice to be that of our most stern brother in law, who we knew would not think twice before literally dragging us from the parlour in our various stages of undress. We finally just thanked the lady, brushed our hair and made a quick exit looking sheepish and silly.

That was '92 we were just stepping out of our teens and one amongst us was getting married. Today 17 years have passed. The rest of us have also got married. We have grown from borrowed sarees to self bought ones, from worrying about accessories to worrying about getting leave to attend weddings. The next generation has started taking their vows. Yet it seems like yesterday that she got married and we spent a teary night in our nightgowns discussing how awful it would feel to sign her name differently, to have to ask for permission to visit her own parents. It seems like yesterday that DG took her away in a white decorated car amidst a deluge of tears and the sounds of conch shell.

And today ... I am not sure where she ends and DG starts. To me they are one today and always!

This is part of my chat with her today when we accidentally discovered that both of us were writing on the same subject

suggest a heading for my post

i was about to ask you to suggest a heading for mine

yours I haven't read
you were saying 17 and still not dead
or murdered

mine is how i met my future husband and said yes

think of a song

you think of a song
i am thinking of murder

the song from murder
bheege hont tere

pyaasa dil mera

more like aa dekhe zara kisme kitna hain dum

Here's wishing both of you a very happy anniversary and many many joyous years together!


Arun Meethale Chirakkal said...

For me it’s like getting the taste of a totally different culture. Rabeendra sangeeth, wedding ceremony… And the way you write, let me call it ‘delicious’. And thanks for the breathing exercise tip in the last post. I just read it out to my colleague featured in my post ‘To A Friend’. I hope it will be useful for him.

Nazish Rahman said...

Indian weddings are like a festival. Its beautiful where everyone of your family comes together and has lots of fun. The best of wedding i like is the late night masti that all of us do...its a beautiful thing.

amrit said...

Pata nahi loge shaadi vaadi kyoon karte hain :P

Meira said...

Aww..this is beautiful . I came here after reading Aparna's post.
Psst...both of you managed to find great titles for the posts:P

SJ said...

I came here from Aparna! How cute! Time passes so quick no? sigh...

Kavi said...

Your recollections are wonderful and very very vivid !

And wishing your friend a very happy anniversary and heres for more to come !

extremity said...

very picturesque !! and got som idea abt Bengali wedding too :)

ZiLliOnBiG said...

humm, i always shied away from marriage. Finally had to give in to my mothers plight.

It was a torment, posing for millions of photos, smiling throughout, shaking hand with another million unfamiliar men. We had an irritating photographer, i fought with him.

by the time it was over and my first night, i was so tired that i dont remember anything but dozing of. Not a very good first impression my wife had of me. The next we had to go to Kodaikanal for honeymoon and i was sleeping throughout the journey. Nice post....brought back memories:))

Shaye said...

OH Sujata, I really enjoyed this! You paint a beautiful and yet funny scene all at once. I would have loved to be at such a festive wedding ceremony. Happy anniversary to your cousin! And many more happy years to come!



Nona said...

I read your cousin's post before I started on yours! Anyways, she posted it first. :)

It was interesting to read about the same event from two different perspectives. :)

Nikki said...

Every post here gets better and better! Amazing! I am not married yet...lolz. I have a few things to share though from my Kaka's wedding. I shall soon put that up! This is fab!

Gymnast said...

North Indian weddings seem such fun and lively.Stupid old south indian ones are a Pain. Boring and wrought with traditions. Sober.
Sometimes i wish i were a North Indian just for that grand wedding!

Beautifully written,as always.

PURN!MA said...

Aparna is your cousin?? :O I dint know that... no wonder I often get confused who has written waht and where I have commented!

Sorry, but couldn't read your entire post. Will do so tomorrow and comment again.

Rush said...

awesome post dedicated to yesteryears and one great anniversary!! cheers!!

Roshni Mitra Chintalapati said...

just went over and saw her post! So her's was the pre-wedding 'drama' and yours was of the wedding itself!! Its so nice to see how close you too are!!

अनिल कान्त : said...

शादी और उसके आस पास के दिन बड़े मजेदार होते हैं...मुझे भी बड़ा मजा आता है जब अपने ही किसी रिश्तेदार के यहाँ शादी हो.....

मेरे दोस्त की शादी नवम्बर में होगी जो कि बंगाली है ...तब वहाँ जाकर पता चलेगा...की बंगाली शादी में क्या क्या होता है और कितना मजा आता है :)

अनिल कान्त : said...

शादी और उसके आस पास के दिन बड़े मजेदार होते हैं...मुझे भी बड़ा मजा आता है जब अपने ही किसी रिश्तेदार के यहाँ शादी हो.....

मेरे दोस्त की शादी नवम्बर में होगी जो कि बंगाली है ...तब वहाँ जाकर पता चलेगा...की बंगाली शादी में क्या क्या होता है और कितना मजा आता है :)

Priya said...

1st..for this wonderful read and your awesome description...brought back many memories as i too have many similar experiences and more so because of the "Joint family" structure where i was born and brought up...well today leave getting sanctioned is more of a worry than accessorizing the dress, as rightly said.. :D

2nd..i always had this inkling that you and aparna are somehow related to each other...some cousin or relation of that sort...i could never ask you because that would have been kind of bit intrusive, i me at peace... :D

Kishore Choudhary said...

Post is really good

" Uff!! had I seen you in that Saree before, I would have married you instead of your sister!" LOLz

eye-in-sty-in said...

superbly penned post!
Btw, I love the song collection u have. Its retro cool! Reminds me of my Walkman in college days :-)

Sumandebray said...

How wonderfully described.. But it is sad that all this fun fare is getting extinct because of satellite families and lack of holidays...
I like the way you all (read female of the species) stand in front of the mirror and the expression on the face keep changing... sometimes approving and at time not satisfied. I do agree with the feelings expressed by a shayar …. ....
Yea Aina jo tumHe kam Pasand karte haiN...
Yea Aina jo tumHe kam Pasand karte haiN...
Usko malum hai ke tumHe Hum Pasand karte haiN

Suraj said...

The benagli wedding really seems to be the type they show in movies, ours is a real short one and people are usually more interested in the deliecious feast that follows !

sujata said...

@Arun Meethale Chirakkal bengali weddings are fun, infact all weddings are fun. Hope your friend practises this exercise its just a reminder but a great one. Thanks for being an encouragemet.

@NR very true the late night masti is truly super, but these days after the entire days festivities, we all do plan for late night masti sessions..but when all is done, we are just too tired to do anything but sleep. Its not 92 anymore for us..but the kids are having fun these days.

@Amrit shaadi isliye karte hain taaki itne dino tak jo logone tumhe jhela unhe thodi si khushi di jaye!!

sujata said...

@Meira thanks, yah finally we did manage good titles..

@SJ thanks. time flies, its our daughters now who are accesorizing and planning hair dresses and stuff for their cousin's weddings.

@Kavi thank you, its an honour coming from you.

@extremity thanks dear

@Zillionbig the memories are always great na, I always thought you had a love marriage

@Shaye thanks dear, you are such an encouragement. Please come to Indi and I will take you to one such wedding.

@Nona thanks

@Nikki thanks will wait for that post

sujata said...

@Gymnast thanks dear but we are east Indians and not north Indians. But I have a feeling all Indian weddings are fun if we make it one.

@Purnima thanks for dropping by will wait for you to come and read it fully.

@Rush thanks

@Roshni yes drama all the way!!

@Anil thanks hope you have a good time at your friend's wedding

sujata said...

@Priya thanks dear, weddings are fun always na..all the preparations and the adda and the cha and the pechone lagaa. Good you are at peace now.hahah.

@Kishore thaks a lot. Hope you are well now. Jija -saali ki ched chaad to har Indian family ka ang hain..

@Eye-in-sty-in thanks. I love these songs.

@SumanDebRay yes we are definitel vain.loved the shayari. choda theke shayari great going!!

sujata said...

@Suraj thanks for dropping by, yah with stuffed squids and jumbo prawns pepper fried I think people will be interested in food, but the fun should also be there and am sure it guys just miss it, ask your female cousins they will tell you

SGD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SGD said...

Loved both your as well as Aparna's post!
You know, during my pre-wedding last day, when the house was teeming with relatives & outstation friends, I really wished I wasnt the bride (read scapegoat;)) & could participate in all the late night addas & masti...but couldnt as all the mashis-pishis packed me off to sleep so that I didnt get 'biyer din e chokher tolaye kaali'!!!!

Loved your narration

Bhavya.B said...

Nice post.Thanks for introducing the Bengali customs which is totally different from that of Kerala.

Aparna said...

I think you guys had all the fun.
I was stressed out about pleasing MIL and depressed about leaving Delhi.And who told you I was eager to get married? Saamne yeh kaun aaya indeed! It was more like 'tumhe ho na ho, mujhko toh itna yakeen hai, mujhe pyar tumse nahi hai'
And what were you doing all that time in that salon? Were you people trying to steal my thunder? I had told DG not to get distracted by my cousins. Told him I would be the one wearing red!

JD said...

Marriage trends have changed now as people do not have time. At times the bride or bridegroom don't get enuf leave too..
nice post

Indyeah said...

This brought back some beautiful memories of weddings in the family of fav cousins:))

the sangeet and gorging on so much food at all times of the night..

beautifully written:)
specially since I seem to have been a bengali in my last janm:D

I am fascinated by the language and culture:)

Swatantra said...

Amazing!! I read aparna blog, i must say you both are amazing writers.

Memories keep us happy... they are the reflection of a beautiful past and brings happiness to present and future!!


Double-Dolphin said...

This was great fun to read, thanks!

R. Ramesh said...

ya amazing there's nothing that holds waits 4 none..and v get old soon..bah:( good post congrats friend

ZiLliOnBiG said...

Hi, i had a love marriage alright, but being married and first night was kinda different experience.i was tired and sleepy at the end of it.. Cheers:))

R. Ramesh said...

Su, et tu??? u want men to suffer??!!lol

Aw.S.M said...

Yes Yes i m late again..but i have fever :(

Congrats to aparna and wow your marriages sound Hum Aapke Hain Kaun types i wish i could attend one :D.
Oye find me a bengali bride...pronto!!


Kishore Choudhary said...

सुजाता जी,
जीजा साली की छेड़ छड़ तो होती ही हैं और ठीक वैसे ही होती है जैसे आपने लिखा. यही मुझे बहुत अच्छा लगा कि आपने बिना एक भी शब्द घटाए बढाए सटीक लिख डाला. पढ़ते हुए लगता है आप इस छेड़खानी को देख रहे हैं.

KParthasarathi said...

You have a knack of transforming even day to day events that everyone comes across into interesting posts of beautiful writing.You are a magician with words.

anamika said...

was just browsing then realized that yurs and Aparna post are on similar heading then what a surprise u both r linked only..:)
nice post indeed

sujata said...

@SGD I can understand that..the entire time goes in dressing up and sleeping on time and even bypassing the yum vien er khabar for home cooked bland affair to prevent tummy upset, but what I hated the most was the 5:00am dodhi should be banned forever!!

sujata said...

Thanks @Bhavya.B I do have a fair idea of kerela weddings as one of my very good friend is from there.

@Aparna we tried our best to steal all your thunder but were so resplendent in red that we just couldnt match up..

@JD yes maybe it has, but we try and keep the weddings long and eventful even now, as thats the only time we all can come together. Now our next gen has started taking the vows, so far we have all managed to join in and have a whole lot of fun..hope it stays that way!

@Indyeah thanks. Weddings are best enjoyed when you are not the bride isnt it?? I love all Indian weddings and am all for the traditional affair..cannot understand the court marriages at all.SO unromantic!!

sujata said...

@Swatantra thanks a lot and welcome on board!

@Double Dolphin thanks! do keep visiting

@R Ramesh time is definitely the greatest thing ever, it gives us memories of a beautiful past and also heals us of what we have lost.

@ZB I myself slept peacefully not only the first night but the entire week after my marriage, why give a damn about impressions we are already married right!!! thats the best part of a marriage

@Ramesh Men should bear kids feed them and then have the andropause thing also..I think that would mellow them down a lot!!

@A.W.Sm uh huh not well?whats wrong? late night partying? hangover?Get well soon. The bengali groom is the most teased mind fun for him at all..just days of leg pulling!!

@Kishore thanks for coming by again, only when a relation is transparent and pure can such encounters be enjoyed. The jija saali relation is one of the best!!

@K.Parthasarathi, thanks a lot. I am flattered by this remark coming from you! Your stories keep me glued.

@Anamika thanks for dropping by and liking the post. Do visit again

Guruprasad said...

i've realised that its the kids who enjoy weddings the most... nobody to control them too much, all their cousins and friends around, running around and having fun, stuffing themselves with good food and things which would normally not be permitted... oh yeah kids enjoy wedding the most! :)

numerounity said...

That was truly brilliant, apt and here- déjà vu.

The chat script at end takes the cake!

♥ Braja said...

I loved that Sujata...nice to find you :)

hary!! said...

Marriages are made in heaven, Indian marriages are sure in, i think this is the first post on wedding! any ways! cya, nice blog wil keep visitin

Smitha said...

That was such a wonderful account! I was actually transported into the wedding!
I grew up with Bengalis as neighbours, as friends, classmates so have actually attended more Bengali weddings than Malayali ones :) And your post transported me right to my childhood memories..

Hopped over from your comment at my blog - thank you so much for your kind comment :)

lala said...

haha... being from a bihari i know marriages are 10 days of fun (and exhaustion. my cousins married when i was a teen and there are a couple more lined in the next 2-3 years)... the part of you and aparna talking was hilarious... 17 years and i am 23 now... the age she married... nice post. thanks for stopping by mine.

anupama said...

dear sujata,
thanks for your visit to my site.and i am grateful to partha for i could land up here.
recently i wrote a post on the engagement function held in our family''ELLAVARKUM VANAKKAM''.we all love n enjoy the traditions ,culture,festivals n celebrations.
and your chats with cousin reminded me of my little star and maza.
enjoyed reading your post.keep writing.and when you get time,visit my site.

PURN!MA said...

:) I loved the marriage description!

*Honestly, I feel horrible to have referred to you both by your first names as if we were chuddie-buddies. suggest me something appropriate*

Rambler said...

Nice post. I always used to feel bored at wedding as a kid. Now the rituals n all seem so meaningful.

prithvi said...

lol, this is so different, all other posts had something or the other to write about, but marriage is an unchartered territory, but I think I still have a bit to contribute, Bengali marriages are awesome, I could gain 2 kgs in a day , such is the feast we have, rasgolla, bhapa elish are a must. Ummm...already my mouth has started cousin is getting married this winter can't wait. Well written!!!

sujata said...

@Guruprasad kids, teenagers and the about to be married cousins have the most fun at weddings!!

@numerounity thanks dear!

@braja thanks for stopping by. Please visit again.

@hary! marriages, wherever they are made, are great fun. Welcome on board. Thanks for dropping by.

@Smitha thanks for the encouragement. You have a great blog yourself.

@lala thanks dear. Hope you have a good time at all the upcoming weddings, you'll see its such a joy to reflect about it 17 years later!!

@Anupama I loved your site will visit again and read the post you mentioned. Do drop in again.

@Purnima thanks for reading fully and commenting again. dont worry about calling us by our names..its okay with me..Aparna is lots of compliments about looking like a college you can call her aunty!!

The Survivor said...

That was nice to read some cherished memories.

Wishing them a Happy Anniversary

sujata said...

@Rambler thanks for visiting hope you visit again. I have always enjoyed weddings even when I was a kid.

@prithvi dont forget the bhekti fillet fries and the kosha mangsho or the luchi torkari and bonde for brkfast the list is endless!!

raj said...

very interesting n b`ful post....

Debopam Chaudhuri said...

Osadharon.. chokher samney diye drishyo gulo jeno bheshey gelo!! khub bhalo laglo, the descriptions are vivid and lively to create scenes out of the words...
onek din baadey check korchhi, SAS is somehow taking all the time and energy now, not the SAS of the sas bhi kabhi bahu thi though!!

Deeps said...

Hey,Sujata just dropped by to thank you for visiting my page and also to let you know of another commonality between us. And thats Oman!I lived there for 5years prior moving to Doha in sep. And I'm still too much in love with that country to fully embrace my current domicile!
I'm sooo happy that we stumbled upon each other :)
Will be back to read more of you :)

sujata said...

@Raj thanks for stopping y.

@Debopam Chaudhuri Thank you. Sas ne bura kiya hain haal!! do some blogging its a cure for all evils!

@Deeps thats great, I have been here for the last 4 years and have absolutely no plans of going anywhere else. Do visit again.

Deeps said...

what a wonderful way to wish a friend on her anniversary. beautiful,Sujata.
Marriages are so much of frolic,happiness,laughter,a bit of crying,looking your best,all splashed around,isnt it?Nowhere else can we see such diverse customs&cultures being followed to celebrate that one occasion of togetherness.
Beatiful,absolutely beautiful,Sujata.
Heres wishing your friend Aparna & her DG many more years of togetherness. May God bless them always.

This post reminds me that its been a while since I have attended a wedding.I really have got to press my brother even harder to get married fast:)

Babli said...

Lovely post and beautiful description about the Indian marriage.While reading I was thinking about our marriage.It was full of enjoyment as everybody gathered together and had lots of fun.

sherin said...

your writes are delightful..
and the Bengali marriage you described was even more delightful.

Sucharita Sarkar said...

Brought back lovely memories of weddings of cousins and aunts.

BTW, it is great that you and Aparna have this telepathic connection sometimes. Cousins are like that only. And cousin-bloggers more so. Enjoyed both your posts immensely.

sujata said...

@Deeps thanks dear for returning with a detailed comment!

@Babli marriages are really fun times.

@Sherin thank you dear

@Sucharita Sarkar thanks, yes we do have a connection!