Tuesday, March 25, 2008

And in your life...




“…and in your life my infinite dreams live. “ ~ Pablo Neruda

The wedding happened and I got upgraded from Miss to Mrs. Our traditional dress, I must say costume for the wedding, is very heavy and I had a tough time wearing it. On top of that, there was a lot of jewelery and many shiny things on the head. I could exactly feel how it must be in the olden days, having to look slim by wearing tight gowns and corsets and two maids helping them tighten the waist. In my case however, it was not to look slim but to ensure that it stays where it is supposed to stay. The lower part of the wedding dress is too heavy and has a tendency of slipping down if not tied properly. So, the waist was pulled so tight until I felt I cannot breathe anymore. Sis was worried and gave me glucose syrup and some energy drinks to hold on. I did enjoy the experience of dressing up as a bride in spite of all these.


People kept coming, photo sessions kept on happening, and the priest started his religious Mumbo Jumbo in Sanskrit, which made no sense to me. Finally, he spoke in Manipuri and said,” this is for your good luck as you step into holy matrimony. Think of a calf drinking milk, a calm sea, think of pure ghee, milk, honey, feel their aromas, think of sweet smelling bunch of flowers, a white horse, a white pigeon etc. and see on which side of your nose you can breathe easier and step with that foot first. “

Stepping with my right foot first, I was let out to the mantap (wedding hall). I had to bow and show respect to all elders, dad and seek their blessings before I sat next to the groom. Our hands were tied, and over a wooden stand, a clay plate consisting of fruits, grains, dhoti was placed. It seems it signifies that we are going to bear everything in life together. That moment when our hands were tied together, and the priest started the prayers along with my dad, things actually started making sense. I knew this was it, this would mean something that would last forever and that he would mean more to me as the days go by. I did not have the guts to look at him but just looked at our hands tied together and said a prayer, “Bind us together Lord, with cords that cannot be broken, bind us together in love. “


Then I had to go around him 7 times and after each circle, shower flowers and bow to him. How much he must have enjoyed it! I sneaked a glance and it was so funny to see him sitting straight and acting very serious, and unaffected by all the flowers being showered. After this, garlands were exchanged. The garlands are made of jasmine flowers only and it has to be made by the bride herself in the morning. The bride garlands both the to the groom. The groom removes one, and garlands it to her.

We bowed to one and all once more and went inside to exchange beetle leaves and nuts, and a traditional Manipuri sweet with each other and with many relatives and sought blessings. The vidai (send off) happened all in a rush and I did not get time to even feel that I am leaving home forever. Whatever tear that was threatening to fall was also stopped. I was advised that the make-up would be ruined as I have to go to the guy’s house.


I was received at the guys place by his mother and two more ladies. People from the bride's side were served refreshments. While leaving, dad touched my forehead and blessed me. Suddenly, the tears came. My uncles, aunties and brothers followed my dad. Eyes cast low, and head bowed, I recognised each person from their voices and cried. Sis did not say anything but just sat next to me and cried quitely. When we were younger, she has always been the one to whom I went whenever there was a problem. Somehow, in that silence and the tears, I felt she understood me still like she always did.


My friends and relatives left and then, it was the turn of the girls from the groom's side. A bevy of girls just flocked in. One told me to eat something, one told me to look up, one fired a volley of questions. I had never met any of them. I had seen his sister in the photos but the engagement happened between elders in Imphal and we exchanged rings here. I never got the chance to know any of them and so, everything was in a daze. After sometime, I saw him enter the room to take something and then I felt, there is a familiar face, there is someone I know. The dard-de-disco in my heart stopped and I calmed down.

P.S: I have put up my snaps because I have been whitewashed with layers of makeup and even my Manager will not know that it is me :-)


37 comments:

Chugs said...

congrats :)

Stone said...

Congratulaaaaaaaaaaations :-)

Fantastic photographs and you are looking AWESOME!!

Wish you a happy married life!

**Sri Harsha** said...

Congrats!!

You and dress both look adorable !!

Well, wish you the best :)

Alapana said...

Congratulations:) Have a wonderful life ahead.

romila said...

Hey! good to see the pics. You look adorable, v preety.

Welcome to matrimonial bliss ahead.

austere said...

Congratulations.
That line "Bind us.." almost made me cry.

And for a detailed look at a Manipuri wedding, thanks.

d4u said...

Wish you a very happy married life!!! :)
And yes, you are lookin gorgeous :)

geet said...

a BIG congrats.. you looking soo pretty

claytonia vices said...

Congratulations! Wish you a wonderful life ahead! :)

said...

congratulations.

Aqua said...

Arunima!!!! You make a beautiful bride. I got teary just seeing your pic (and to think i haven't even met you in non-blog life)Congratulations!!!!!

The ceremony you described was beautiful. Yknow "bind us together with love" was one of my favourite hymns back in school (loreto). sigh!

i just can't stop gushing. Here's wishing you both a beautiful life together! God bless!!!

Pallavi said...

Congratulations sweets.!!! I did not know you were a Manipuri. the costume looks beautiful.. I only saw it during a dance.

Do you have a home there.. ?

Another soul from the North East.. nice to connect...

akash said...

Congratulations!!!

Dreamcatcher said...

Congratulations :)

Kishore said...

Congrats! :)
I'd been away for the same reason as you.. March 4 for you, Feb 1 for me. A turbulent lead up, but a safe landing. :)

And yes, I'm back too.. :)

AmitL said...

Hi,Arunima-hearty congratulations..the pics are lovely..here's wishing you a Looong,Happy,Married Life!!Keep us updated,introduce'him'to us in detail via an interview with him someday.:)

The wedding description was also quite unique!hehe to the priest's 'mumbo jumbo in Sanskrit'.:)

Himanshu said...

Congrats Arunima.

Ritu said...

Heartiest Congratulations Arunima... Wishing you a life long of happiness and contentment with hubby ....

Loved the pics and the post... Manipuri Weddings have a lot of rituals I must say... Just like a marwari or tamilian wedding...

All the best dear!!!

shub said...

awww! you look like a doll, and lovely post! Congrats and hugs! >:D<

Anand Sarolkar said...

Congrtas! And thanks for glimse of a manipuri wedding.

Arunima said...

@aqua: yes, even at such an occassion, I could not remember any Hindu prayer you see. this just came to mind. I have been conditioned for some 15-17 yrs by christianity.

anumita said...

Congratulations! You are looking awesome... all the ceremonies and all remind me of light years back when one too went through all that... sigh!
Here's to great times ahead!

plush said...

hey...congrats aru!! wishin u ur rocker a happy n healthy life together..:).

Mamta said...

congrats!!! u sure look very pretty but its not fare u should put pics or MR. Arunima with his name too:-)

Arunima said...

The Mr. doesn't want his pictures to come on the net. He feels that I am a nutcase. So I have borrowed only his turban to show that there was some guy to whom I was showering flowers. :-)

Mamta said...

:-) its fine then All the best to u guys, Enjoy to the fullest.

Cynic in Wonderland said...

hey..congratulations! and you are looking lovely. hope you have a life filled with hope, happiness and love

Surinder said...

congratulations !

wish you a life full of happiness :)

Sparsh said...

Congrats! Thanks so much for the details of the Manipuri wedding - wud never have known.

And you look Beautiful:)!

Asha said...

Hi Arunima,

Came to your blog for the first time and your wedding photos made me stop there and read it. I must say.. I enjoyed reading the full rituals of our Manipuri wedding. I have just attended one in my life ie of my sis-in-law. In my case, though me and hubby both are from Manipur, but it was done in Punjab :) so we had a mayang type of wedding you can say.

I will drop in again and read your other interesting posts.

Wishing you luck and a very happy married life.

All the best,
Asha

V said...

cool pics! and congratulations.

I agree that nobody will be able to recognize you.

:-)

manuscrypts said...

oh damn, how could I've missed this.... I know its really really late, but congrats to you and prayers for him :p

Jo said...

Been a long while since I have come here. And to see that you are married! :-) Hope life is treating you well.

Arunima said...

@Jo: Thank you!
@manuscrypts: yes, you are late but it is ok. :-)

Anonymous said...

hey nice weddin pics...u lookin pretty and the bridal dress is very unique....nice to see a manipuri weddin costume..:))....congratulations!!!

San said...

congratulations - you looked amazing

abhirulz said...

guess i m too emotional..after reading ur vidaai seen..i went too nostalgic bout mine...take care...