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 :-)