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!