My best friend got married on the date in honor of which they erupt into ear-splitting cheers when the hands of the clock together point to 12 at night. In addition, he got married not just on any new year… it was the unique date of 1/1/11. And I had no excuse not to attend the wedding. You see, I was the bride!
Looking back, everything seemed to pass by in a blur and it is going to be surreal looking at the videos, like a movie you do not really remember acting in. But in bits and parts, memories are strong, clear and filled with intense emotion. There are glimpses of weaving through busy city streets, stopping at innumerable shops to look at colorful waves of clothes, the sparkle of new gold jewelery, of getting pampered and decorated from head to toe, of heavily-loaded taste buds, of performing rituals over the chants of the priest, of beautiful smells – perfume, incense, henna, of constant grinning for the camera, of continuous chatter, happy laughter and also somewhere, a silent sorrow and longing for close people not present at the occasion.
Days after the show was over, there dawned a sudden realization of the change in status and all of it seemed unbelievable. But it was true! And what joy that truth contained!
Changes thereafter, though not seemingly major ones, are bound to occur and are as matter-of-fact as the piece of paper declaring legal marital status. The sense of responsibility that accompanies, was illustrated amply by an incident that occurred as I was on one of the pre-wedding shopping sprees. In one of the busy by-lanes of the crowded and dusty heart of the city sat a middle-aged lady in her tiny shop selling trinkets and goods needed for rituals. She was casually peeling and snacking on groundnuts as we looked over some items. The clever businesswoman’s gaze was sharp and piercing. As is typical of many such women, she nosily asked who was getting married. I was pointed out to her.
As we finished the purchase and she was wrapping up the items to hand over to us, she suddenly stuck out her hand to shake mine and said, “best of luck”!
To our surprise, she wittily explained, “More than ‘congratulations’, the would-be bride needs ‘best of luck’!”
Laughing with the rest of them, I left, taking away an underlying practical angle beneath the fluffy clouds I was and am still, walking on!