On the unique date of 1/1/11, my husband and I got hitched (old post: My best friend’s wedding). We were in a relationship for four years (two years of which were long distance) before our matrimonial status bound us further.
Two years after the wedding, recently, I happened to watch the video of our wedding ceremony, all oscar-worthy performances, mind you, when I was once again surprised about a particular incident. This happened after the wedding rituals took place and it was time to take leave. In Indian weddings, at the end, the newly-wedded couple seek the blessings of elder relatives and the bride usually bids a very tearful farewell to her maiden home. One of the rituals had included my husband wearing a cloth around his neck at one end of which was wrapped a whole coconut. The other end of the cloth was tied to the free end of my sari thus symbolizing the handcuffs that now tied us to each other for our eternal life sentence. It was time to say goodbye. Moving together, trying not to trip each other up, we bent low to touch the feet of the elders from my side of the family and I thought to myself, “Oh dear, what do I do if somebody starts to cry?” I myself did not feel the least bit like crying. I was far too excited. But I had watched enough of Bollywood and TV to know what it is like and had also heard emotional stories from others.
I looked up searchingly at the face of the aunt I had just touched the feet of. Nothing.
An emotional uncle perhaps? No luck there.
My parents? Haha.
I even gave some relatives a hug, for God’s sake! Everyone looked so normal, I might as well have been telling them that I was just going to hop over to the corner shop to buy some potatoes. But perhaps, that was it. It really was so normal and so matter-of-fact that I was marrying my best friend.
Also, I had already spent more than two years away from my country, home, family and friends studying and later working in the USA. My father had accompanied me when I left and also visited me in between on office work there but I had barely met the others during that time. I still remember the goodbye at the airport where we cheerily waved to each other, me on one side and my sister and my mother on the other of a glass partition watching me leave, not one of us shedding a single tear yet again. Hell, I did not cry even when me and the hubby, his eyes all red, said goodbye to each other as we left India to study on opposite sides of the USA, he on the east coast and me on the west coast.
Back to the wedding scene. We sat in the florally decorated car that would take us to our place, where another beautiful ceremony for my entrance into my husband’s home awaited us. I rolled down the window as my side of the family gathered outside, still successfully staring dry-eyed at us. But why wouldn’t they? I had this stupid grin plastered all over my face too. It takes two to make either party cry and I wasn’t helping at all. I waved cheerily as the car started up and began to move forward. I glanced at my husband and was surprised to see that he looked a bit emotional. “Don’t worry. I won’t trouble you much.” I was going to say to him, patting his hand but he motioned to my younger sister standing outside and said very sympathetically, “I think she looks a bit sad.” I looked at her then and thought I saw a slight hint of sadness there but couldn’t be very sure since she was showing all her teeth too at the same time. We consoled ourselves that maybe at least one person had shown some emotion for me “leaving”.
And that is how, there is a video shot of me and the hubby waving energetically at the camera as the car turns, grinning like a pair of newly freed monkeys before disappearing together into the thick new jungle that lay ahead.