I'm still recovering from the wedding.....a wedding that I had been excited about for seven months...... and its over......like the end of some grand festival......
The bride: Sanjana Govindan.....she remembers me since when i was zero [or so she says]. I remember her since when I was a pesky toddler and she was an exasperated pre-teen, jealous of the extra holidays these insect-like five year olds get......and we've been in touch since then because our moms are best friends [i'll leave the details and webs of stories for later]. So when I heard she's getting married *gasp*, i checked my own scalp for grey hair [none] and pondered over this suddenly apparent generation leap [yeah, K-serial style].
I always thought 'the bridal glow' was way too filmy.....but when I was greeting by this flushed pink face of the bride I was forced to believe it......mehndi wasn't a large affair but thanks to those little building kids who practically bombed the place, dried shavings of mehndi and a clogged basin were what we were left with. we did attempt to dance a bit till the bride's mom began getting palpitations about the noise and excitement and wedding and decided that we must quiten down a bit. Our mehndi had dried up.....pretty designs but obviously nothing as intricate as the bride's. They had even inscribed the groom's name, each letter somewhere in the hand, but she only managed to find the J! [check pics on fb]
Edit. Cut. Let me jump straight to the wedding. Murphy’s law vs. Rheaa’s law. What? Not very philosophical, believe me. Murphy’s law: if anything can go wrong, it will go wrong [pretty pessimistic if you ask me]. Rheaa’s law: if anything can go right, it will go right [yeah, call me a cheap imitation]. Why am I mentioning this instead of the wedding? Oh my followers, you should know by now, drama, drama!!
Supporters of Murphy’s law:
Traffic signals [if you catch one, you’ll catch them all…..especially when you’re in an infernal hurry to get to the wedding site]
Trains [on the day of the wedding, after all that pleading of those Lakme women to come early….yup, the electrical wire holding the train in Mulund collapsed, so did the entire western line…..and we were late!]
Rain [I’m a monsoon baby, but I would get crabby when the rain caused traffic jams and wet my sari]
Supporters of Rheaa’s law:
Rheaa [thaaaaaat’s me!]
The lakme girls [at least they managed to drape me in sari in a jiffy]
Our neighbours [even though there’s this India-Pakistan hostility between us, they did help me drape the sari (even though we got the lakme people to re-drape it)]
So I stumbled in, pushing all the people on the boy’s side who were getting ready to burst in and snatch the bride away. I was supposed to hold a plate with a diya and flowers and walk around in a line of young, unmarried girls and then around the mantap [stage] but alas there were no more trays left so I walked around pretending I was holding a tray and shielding the flame from going out…..when it began to look absurd I walked around flashing my million dollar smile and politely ‘namaste-ing’ all those poor, harassed dears around me.
Enter the groom…..with a polite smile looking rather please and slightly embarrassed at the ‘shenai’ people going complete beserk with loud, extra-dramatic typical Indian wedding music and everyone grinning at him with that ‘ah-ha, caught you’ look. But he has that poise, that calm way of reassuring people that everything was fine and that he wasn’t going to run away.
Enter the bride from the other side amongst the gasps of admiration and the convulsed head-turning of those shenai people giving in all that they had to hammer into people, “marriage, marriage, marriage!!!!” with that single…..single…..haunting tune……I still hear it…..
Decked was the word. If I say that her face shown more than all her jewels: her ornate necklaces, ancient family lion claw necklace, her armlets, her shimmery delicate red sari, her sexy blouse, her hair done up with flowers from end to end…..*gasps for breath*…..if I say this, you may call me soppy, but its true. I’ll never find the perfect word, the perfect phrase to describe the bride…… “ there were tears in my eyes when I saw her” my mom attempted. Its like seeing a completely different person, the beauty you may not have given much thought to earlier, the features sharpened by the glisten….and then you think……do I know her? Have I known her all this while? Okay….stop! too mom-crying-in-hindi-film-types……
Soon we [the ‘bridesmaids’] were circling the mantap…..the garlands were exchanged, the couple did their rounds……over……blessings were taken, they were fed bananas-and-milk…..touched everyone’s feet…..over…..over!!!!! In five minutes!!!!! The whole wedding!!!! Sealing a commitment of a lifetime!!!!!! Sealed…..finished….. [No, I’m not commitment phobic; I was just trying to sink it into my head]
Now for the juicy titbits……
1. My mom, in her excitement of clicking pictures came in the way of the couple while they were doing the ‘pheras’ [rounds] around the mantap [its done that way in Malyalee weddings instead of around the fire] and instead of 7 rounds, its just four according to their rituals [parle 20-20 khao, short mein niptao, huh?]. Anyway, they couldn’t stop, and she didn’t realize she’s in the way despite my screaming [some people never listen do they]…….*dramatic pause* *turn to shocked faces of everyone, going pale*…… until a bob-cut-aunty saved the day and pulled her aside. Whew!
2. some sadistic person had placed lots of wires around mantap…..making it difficult for sari-and-heel-clad souls like me to walk around……a little later, I had to run to keep up……
THE FOOD: now you know my history of gluttony! We were seated at long tables with rose petal spreads and served malyalee food on a plate with banana leaves!! Normally I don’t like south Indian food much…..but who can refuse rice with ghee and rasam, beans with grated coconut, lots of things I couldn’t name but were oh-so-delicious…….and the desserts!!!!!!!!! The desserts beat ‘em all……piping hot jackfruit paysam and hot and sweet kheer [someone help me with the technical names]. The jackfruit paysam was thick, yellow-occur and tickled my taste buds [even the bitter, sour, salty buds begged for an extra serving], complete with small pieces of tender jackfruit, the overpowering essence of which had spread all around the dish, naturally. The sweet kheer was creamy, of perfect consistency with vermicelli blended in so well, not like large worms like I feel when I’m eating some other kheer…….yum……to die for…….competes with chocolate for the top ten tastes of my life <3
The reception had great food too…..a mix of everything for people of all shapes and sizes….. and I just couldn’t wait to dig into eat but for some pesky old ladies who tried to remember where they met me, and how small I was then, and blah blah while THEY were eating while depriving me of the same…..argh! No one comes in the way of Rheaa and her food [specially desserts], otherwise I love endless chattering. Anyway, the reception food. There was thai, Chinese, live dosas, Punjabi……but nothing beats our afternoon malyalee lunch! I’m a fan, I swear! I piled myself with a plate of mixed kulfi! Hmmmm….creamy, fruitilicious…….and walnut halwa, crunchy and g-o-o-e-y……
And then I felt sorry for the newly wed couple……they could only get their paws on the
food after saying hello to the lot……and you know how long the hellllewwws
can get here with dollops of gossip and a pinch of salt and the chatter of old
in the meanwhile my heels began to pinch me.....its a sign.......time to get home! ;)