expectation in the air We had some pre-marriage functions prior to the
actual ceremony. First, there was the "SAINTH", then the "JANEHU"
(thread ceremony). This was to be followed by the "SEHRA BANDI" in the
evening prior to the actual marital bonding ceremony.
It wasn't all as easily done – as we'd hoped. The decorator put up the
tents, forgot everything else and walked off. Repeated attempts to
contact him from both sides failed. I set about getting things
arranged before sitting my backside down for the rituals. The weird
priest kept on with his intonatations, expecting me to follow suit. I
did, after a point. He started a fire going and had me pouring ghee
into that. The dang thing was so hot – I ended up singing the hair on
my knee – talk about getting a free WAXING done!!
Done with the fiery session, we moved on to getting me dabbed with a
mixture of herbs and stuff. This is the local version of the facial –
ensuring I stayed rosy fresh for the nuptials in the evening.
Now's the time when the jitters started getting to me. I was being
trussed up like a big hen!! Maybe not that close actually – but there
were lot of restrictions on me. I couldn't move out of the hotel. In
fact there was talk of confining me to my room, with a bodyguard too!
I survived. I also got my SEHRA on and reached the venue – where I
safely boarded the mare. She was ready and waiting for me – literally!
The band started and the family started their dance. I was not allowed
to dance – so I shook a hip on my seat. Finally, they condescended and
I was allowed to dismount and boogie for a few minutes before the
ceremony started. Supriya saw nothing of this. She was in her own
world. In her own words, she was being given regular updates by the
Child brigade. I'm sure she'd not have been able to dance, not with
the heavy sari and jewelry, the way it was. I was led up to the
wedding Mandap, my shoes placed in safe custody with John & Gautam. I
went thru some of the ceremonies briefly with the Bengali priest. Our
wedding was an amalgamation of the North and the East. Hence the need
for 2 priests who conducted things both ways and consulted as
necessary. The brief was simple – KISS ( keep it short'n'sweet).
Supriya arrived – ever the bride – an image I shall carry with me
forever. She looked breath taking…. So I took several – before saying,
We went thru the rituals like 2 robots – following instructions and
Isaac Asimovs laws of robotics – not inflicting harm on those who gave
us the instructions.
I also maintained a steadfast smile, so that the imagery recorded for
posterity – showed that I wasn't tense. I was – a lil. I'm sure she
The ceremonies ended – we took blessings from all concerned and bent
down innumerable times. In normal conditions people develop 6 pack abs
with that kind of workout. I just had a bit of tummy clenching pain –
which I bore without any visible change in my demeanor.
There was the whole incident with my shoes. We weren't gonna part with
them easily. Luckily the age gap between the 2 warring parties was
substantial – and in the interests of not showing us as younger than
we were – the shoes were given to the cousins on her side of the
family. I agreed to pay them too – the only catch was a kiss that I
requested from each one – on my cheek. We reached a compromise after
several minutes of haggling & near deadlock in the negotiations. I got
kisses from the youngest members of the group and my shoes in return
for a nice lil "cashy" envelope. I also got to take their sister with
me – as my wife!
As she herself says in retrospect – I get to keep her too. She's the
one who'll actually keep me and the home and the family.
We left the venue amidst heightened emotions and shedding tears,
reached the hoteland were promptly stopped at the gate there. This
time I had to contend with Tina, my sister, my bua, bhabhis and a host
of ladies. Further haggling ensued and I was 5 digits of cash lighter
before Supriya and me were allowed to proceed to our room.
I checked the room for pranks – but my night vision failed me and I
didn't see the intruders before it was too late. Nope – nothing
actually happened – although they claim otherwise. They came out in
time to give us a few blushes and also saved us a lot more. I owe
Vishal and Asha a few pranks for the future. Things could have been a
lot hairier if Vishal had gone ahead and lain TOPLESS on the bed …
hairy one that!!
All in all an interesting day – and that's where this discourse must
end. The rest of history, as they say – must remain a mystery!!