The Wedding

3 Apr

My best friend got married recently to her boyfriend and she was busy planning every single detail for her outfits, accessories, the ceremonies from the US . The wedding took place in India but she was extremely in tune with all the preparation and ensured her vision for the wedding came through and was executed to perfection. They had their wedding website, their engagement pictures and their own invite (different from  the one their parents designed).
When I look back on our wedding that took place almost 5 years ago , it was different in every aspect. I almost feel we were guests at our own wedding and just did exactly what were told, wore what we were told and just let our parents direct and produce the grand event.

We got married really young by most standards. I was 23 ( 2 months from my 24th birthday) and the husbadoo had just turned 25. It was life changing month for him overall – finishing his Ph.D , turning 25 and of course, marrying me.
A majority of our friends commented that we were too young and joked that it was like a child marriage. Looking at our wedding pics, we do appear really young and innocent. Neither of us cared much about these comments though. We were in love and our parents were finally coming around . Nothing else mattered.

As far as wedding preparation went, we both were in our respective cities in the US while our folks back home planned the wedding in true Indian fashion – the location, the ceremony, the catering etc .
Of course, our families had their own preferences and though everyone was nicey nice to each other on the surface, each set of parents complained to their kids about the other family’s choices and why they were so wrong.
Now neither the husbadoo nor I had any preference on any of this but we did want to support our own families and argued with each other and saw the issue only from the eyes of our own parents. If we did have our own preferences on anything, I think it was buried so deep inside that we never let it surface at all. It was all about what our respective parents wanted. I had further issues that i was putting my parents through the trauma of an inter community marriage and as they had finally accepted even that, I now wanted every little thing related to the marriage to be done in the way they wanted and made this abunduntly clear to the hubadoo. Those months leading up to the wedding were extremely hard on our relationship.

My mom picked my sarees for the ceremony, and though extremely. beautiful as they were , I was not asked for my choice of colors or anything. It was just one of the many tasks she did. No pictures were shared of the final picks either. They were just shown to me when I landed in Bombay a week before the wedding.
My in laws wanted to pick my reception lehenga with me so we all traipsed to the shops – the husbadoo, I , our parents and some aunts. I was happy to atleast be asked.
Each of our families wanted to see the ceremony done in their own community’s style – so we had a complete Tam Brahm wedding first, a Gujarati wedding immediately after that, and  a reception by the seaside that very evening. A day that started at 4 am and ended past midnight for the bride and groom.

For the Tamilian ceremony, I was dressed exactly how my mom had visualized me –  down to the million flowers in my fake hair and the several sovereigns of gold she had painstakingly collected since my birth.We had a Tamilian beautician work on me and when it was done, I could barely recognize myself. My only saving grace was that I had lost a good 15 lbs for the wedding and was at my skinniest best . This helped me not look humongous in the 9 yards sari that was draped later. To start with I was in the 6 yards one.
I hated everything about my look and could have pulled a long face but then I stepped out onto the mandap to catch a glimpse of my handsome boyfriend,  topless but for his angavastram (cloth wrapped around him) and his traditional veshti , smiling at me, dimples and all. He looked the very picture of a good Iyer boy and put many a true one to shame. I still think it was this look that even swept my mom of her feet that day. His natural charm and personality had even my most crusty and judgmental great aunts warm up and smile for a change.

From that minute onwards, my mood was uplifted and I sat through every ceremony ,almost in a dreamlike stupor, just so happy that I was marrying this man, who would go to the ends of the earth to make my family and in turn, me very happy.

He too says that the first glimpse of me in my blue six yard sari was enough to keep him happy all through the day. We had the Tamilian traditions play out – the Kashi yatra, the jhula , the ceremonies, the changing into the nine yards sari for me, the kanyadhan on my father’s lap. I remember holding my dad’s hand tightly as I sat on his lap and him squeezing it in turn and then I looked into the husbadoo’s eyes as he got set to tie my mangalsutra. The non-verbal communication I shared with these two men in those five minutes will stay with me for life.

After the Tamilian wedding was over, it was now his mother’s moment and she quickly took over directing Act 2. We were grabbed a minute too soon to my mother’s liking ( of course, you can never keep your families completely happy , can you?) and a group of my mother in law’s make up women transformed me into a Gujarati bride in the traditional red and white sarees. The husbadoo looked prince like in his Sherwani and everyone on both sides commented that we looked the part perfectly in each ceremony. We came on stage for the Gujarati pandit to start his role. The interesting part was that both communities had their own version of almost the exact same ceremonies.
After that we were the last ones to lunch. It was maybe 3 pm by then, not sure. The lunch following the wedding was a beautiful mix of traditional Tamilian and Gujarati dishes.Here I am talking Tam wedding potato curry and Thayirsadham coupled with Dhokla and Undhiyo!
It was quite late when we were done, but my mom was not going to be done out of the important Tamilian ceremony of taking the groom to the bride’s house. So we drove all the way to South Bombay to my house and then after the said ceremony was done, the husbadoo drove all the way back to Central Bombay. I meanwhile was whisked away to the beauty parlour . Here they noticed I actually had a slight cut on my cheek. There is no saying who caused it – the Tamilian beautician or the Gujju one. Anyway, they covered it up and I was ready for our reception.
The reception was really our favorite part of the wedding, it was by the sea in South Bombay and there was a nice breeze that balmy May evening. We stood on stage for what seemed like hours and  there were some fun controversies about which side the bride was supposed to stand as this differs in south and north India. Thankfully in the confusion of welcoming 1000 plus people, a lot of compromises were made all around . We probably had 10 friends through our college gang/s show up,less than 1% of the crowd. Anyway, we shared a few candid happy moments that evening and were fairly relaxed.
We sat down for dinner with our immediate families around 11 pm and as I looked around the table, I felt a sense of accomplishment of having merged these two different clans and actually having survived the day.Our only regret is not being able to enjoy the food as we were so tired from all the standing and posing.
So that is how we got married. It was probably our parents’ day and not really ours but at the end of it we were married and all was okay in our world.

15 Responses to “The Wedding”

  1. Titaxy April 3, 2014 at 7:57 pm #

    such a sweet post. loved reading about your wedding journey…

  2. princessbutter April 3, 2014 at 8:51 pm #

    That is adorable! Super cute wedding story. The xBF is also from
    SoBo. Tirupati apts where the American consulate’s VFS center was till a couple of years back.

  3. Little Fingers April 4, 2014 at 7:00 am #

    Your story reminds me mine, hubby and fought for the same, we both didn’t have any opinion but wanted to make respective families happy. Chaos , travel back and forth all reminded of the same . Indian weddings are patents day more than the couple.loved reading this post . Now when can we expect your love story 🙂

    • popgoesthebiscuit April 4, 2014 at 7:34 am #

      Glad to hear you could relate:) You have really inspired me ,LF to write our love story. I will do it soon, mostly when I travel next week as I will have some time on my hands. I too will have to split into parts and password protect so that I don’t hurt sentiments of family members in case they ever chance upon my blog.

  4. magic April 5, 2014 at 4:03 am #

    hey been reading your blog for sometime now, love reading your blog.

    This wedding story made me comment here, coz it reminds me of my wedding time 7 years back.
    I had just turned 23 and G was about to turn 25 in 15 days that’s when we got married.
    There was lot of opposition from my parents, G was in the US I was in Bangalore fighting with my folks,I am a telegue/kannada married to tambram (iyengar) so our wedding was mix of both , but the main thing was like the iyengar style me wearing the nine yards and Andak kondai and all, we too din enjoy our wedding food coz we were just too tired with all the rituals sigh,
    this post just made me nostalgic , do post your love story waiting 🙂

    • popgoesthebiscuit April 5, 2014 at 7:06 am #

      Thanks for reading! It’s nice to hear others have had a similar experience . Guess at the end of the day the wedding is only a day to be together for a lifetime. Will definitely write the love story soon in multiple posts:)

  5. magic April 5, 2014 at 4:04 am #

    oh god my comment is like a post itself.

  6. Pepper April 8, 2014 at 12:43 am #

    I was going to comment on how familiar all of this sounds when I just realised a few things.
    Your home is in South Bombay and you had a reception by the sea in South Bombay? *FAINTS*. You must be so rich! 😮

    • popgoesthebiscuit April 8, 2014 at 5:12 am #

      No dad’s in a govt job that has housing in south Bombay! We lose it when he retires soon:(

    • popgoesthebiscuit April 8, 2014 at 5:15 am #

      No dad’s in a govt job that has housing in south Bombay! We lose it when he retires soon:(

  7. tandooripanipurilife April 15, 2014 at 11:32 am #

    Wow!! loved reading about your wedding 🙂

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