A Wedding Affair


Weddings!!! The happiest and the toughest and the craziest time in any family would be when a wedding is being planned. Its mayhem at its best!! Insanity is one thing that could possibly keep one alive through the entire process.

Anybody would understand what an Indian wedding is like if they were to see “Hum Aapke Hain Kaun” or “Monsoon Wedding” (the latter being the better choice if you want to see the chaos involved!!) All the discussions…about the colour…the texture and the material of the clothes to be worn on the important rituals...the mandap...decoration...stay...transportation...guest list...food...menu...the sun...the moon...the stars...the lights...what not?!

As the winter sets in the Gujjuland my friends’ wedding cards start knocking at my new found home. There has been plenty of time I have been to my ‘girl-friend-turned-soul-sistahs’ wedding and always returned  with a tired but big satisfying smile on my face. Not anymore. Am sad and outside the circle, may be a bit for too long. 

Anybody’s life can get changed by just a minute…imagine only one minute before you were just “Miss something” and the moment you completed the last phera you are “Mrs. something different”.
If Punjabis can dance then Bengalis can organise impromptu cafe ambience anywhere anytime. And as it was a wedding shower it meant loads of adda with loads of dressing up. And I missed that last minute catch-up this year.  This season I am all connected with their social delight through myriad photos with mehendi, aaltaa, scrumptious delicacies, smiling faces of their families and extended families followed by few calls from the excited friends’ bridesmaids. And with a grumpy face I look at them and my stupid mind flutters in their biye-bari. There’s this invisible second me that whispers “Even I want to be the bridesmaid!”

If you have ever been to a Bengali Wedding you must have noticed, faces as vibrant as glittering sarees, shimmering with layers of make-up, made the bright lights needless. Men in their expensive sherwanis or dhuti-punjabi moving about everywhere.  The women with their fine trousseau thanking God ten times for innumerable reasons it’s not so cold to wrap their heavily embellished selves in expensive – mind EXPENSIVE shawls.

The blowing of the conch shell and ululation by the women gathered at the biyer-mondop and tune of Shanai fills my ear as I write. The smell, oh the smell of fish-butter fry and rojonigondha mixed with the scent of every perfect attire fills give you a different high.

 A scene pops up in my head, a couple of yards away there’s this trying-to-be-cool dude having a rather candid chat with girls probably half of his age. Another group of middle-aged women involved in something what sounded like a boisterous chatter with very fashion obsessed and high on make-up. The obvious topic of discussion among them would be Bengali T.V serials, geomancy, hair and skin care.

I smiled. I am so very much Bangalee by heart. And I never realised that. 

Flicking though the Facebook in my mobile, I leisurely look at my friend’s wedding attire. She looks stunning, more like a Goddess straight from the heaven.  

I miss running all round like a Mad Hatter. I miss accompanying her to the high-profile salon where they charge a bomb for this transformation.  I miss acting like her first-hand whilst she is busy welcoming the guests.  I miss tucking her saree, looking for a pin, holding her veil, wiping her kajal, wiping her sweat (in December!!!), picking up flowers that fell from her pretty bun, snatching gifts from her hands as soon as they were given to her, shooing off unnecessary relatives and friends, checking for safety pins poking in unusual places (hers not mine), wiping her sweat (did I tell you she had a winter wedding!!), frowning furiously at the Pandit who kept on pouring ghee in a roaring fire, making her wear a saree, folding her clothes, counting and tucking away her jewellery, packing the gifts, getting her water, feeding her, taking her phone calls, doing the screaming for her, sneaking her a drink when she needed it and occasionally reminding myself to breathe.
Her smile, her shy glances at her brand new husband, the chaotic giggles, make up removed, earrings dropped, young eyes meeting, exchanging numbers, the hullor , konya pokkho and patro pokkhyo.


I wanted to see and take part in EVERYTHING that makes a Bengali Wedding a BIG, FAT and CRAZY affair.

It must be hard yet pleased to watch her getting married, you know. It was like a part of me had to let go of her. In what way and why I cannot explain. I don’t know why I would have died every time I saw her crying her eyes out over those four days. I don’t know why I would have looked scared to see her in laws, whom she had already known for so long years, as complete strangers. I wanted to protect her, cry with her, sit beside her, hug her and smile with her all at once if given a chance just before she transformed into a beautiful pretty bride. 

In retrospect, I don’t want to remember much about my chipped nail paint, my mismatched make up, my clumsily draped saree and my spectacular absence in photo ops. But. I wanted to cherish the fact of me being there when she needed to be held, watching her smile, I want to guess what she would have hurriedly whispered into my ear right before she was getting married, I want remember how she looked sitting in the make up studio restlessly twitching her fingers.




With moist eyes, as I write this, I remember our sudden outings at CCD and Oly Pub. Her nervous voice just few minutes back when I called. I wanted to experience all of us, the Jing-Bang together at my deserted home, drunken and musically enriched – just before I left HOME.

2 comments:

HijiBijBij said...

bhishon bhalo hoyeche....jaani bhishon miss korchis....hugs n love to u - shruti

The Mortician said...

:(