Thursday, February 19, 2009

Reminiscing Marriage

On the 28th of Feb, 2009, it shall be a year since we've exchanged vows to love, cherish and respect each other. When I reflect on the marriage rituals, I realise they really didn't imply much then (I cursed myself for prefering Hindi to Sanskrit as Third Language at school), although I recall being extremely alert during the whole process, trying to participate consciously in everything pertaining to it. My mind has rarely been so active and vigilant, not only noticing whether every single person who wanted but was wary of trying to draw my attention (since I was 'busy' getting married) was being accorded the necessary polite responses but also objectively attempting to comprehend the meaning of all actions that K and I were being asked by the priest to perform. I've often heard other brides recalling how their marriage passed in a trancelike state, their beings half-caught up in the wonder of it all. So it's surprising when I consider my extreme and even heightened awareness of the prolonged period of marriage that drew forth from my innermost recesses every shade of emotion known to existence. It was, without doubt, the most eventful phase of my life till then.

I might have struck terror in the heart of my limited number of readers with this sombre start. Fine. Let's move on to lighter episodes !

Some of the actual events of my marriage itself might perhaps interest readers of this obscurely narcissistic blog : (please click on photos to view enlarged versions)

For instance, how the bride sat down to her 'aiburobhaat' almost ravenous, a victim of what my male parent diagnosed as 'nervous diarrhoea', and eyed the lavish spread mournfully, finally eating a miniscule amount of it in the form of shukto-bhaat-payesh, while the maachh, the alubhaja and begunbhaja, the mooger daal, the chatni, mishti and the doi remained unscathed. And almost unfed throughout the next day, except the regulation ritual chnire-shondesh early in the morning. That naturally resulted in an extreme distaste on my part for anything edible late at midnight, after almost every guest had been bidden farewell and the immediate family sat down to the remains of the catered dinner.

Two days later, that extreme metabolic dysfunction precipitated horror on the face of the parlour personnel who were to 'make up' my person for the reception. Apparently, every single time they applied a layer of foundation and sprayed water over it to give it hold, my skin absorbed the water lightning-fast, telltale signs of extreme dehydration. Chumki Boudi finally handed me a bottle of glucose water and loomed large over me until I surrendered and downed the entire draught in one quick gulp. I still can't believe I received so many basketfuls of compliments relating to my beauty and poise at the event. I must have done much to prevent myself from looking visibly mystified.

Talking of make up, K had to spent a considerable part of his phuloshojya night patiently plucking hairpins from my hair. He un-haired almost 80. After applying hairspray to the entire hair, all possible paraphernalia and accessories had been employed to shape it into a retro updo. Apparently my hairspa sessions had done such wonders for the quality of the hair that its being so smooth and silky impaired all efforts to style it without the aid of chemical products designed to give it hold. Every female guest expended considerable energy and enthusiasm on hailing my hairdo. Poor K however was evidently at the receiving end. I spent an hour the morning after the reception in the shower, shampooing out all the mess and valiantly trying to retrieve what would have once been my hair.

There were too few people left to occasion a memorable bashor raat. Dhrubo, Babai, Bumba were the brave few that were determined to see it through, all the same. Most of my friends left for their respective residences, citing work next day. To be fair, one can't expect to have much fun if one insists on getting married on a Thursday. The bleak scenario dissuaded us from testing the patience of the worthy bystanders. We dispatched them summarily. The rest of the night was spent by K and Appa Dada at our Salt Lake residence, warding off the assaults (quite literally) of my worthy sibling and mamato cousin, Mohua, who refused to return his wallet, watch and mobile until he made a verbal commitment to gift (!) them a considerable amount for their trying to engage us all in a productive bashor. (Shudder.) Appa dada was dismissed as a traitor for attempting to side with the poor, solitary bridegroom, despite being the bride's cousin.
This rigmarole, it seems, had lasted till 3.30 pm, when everyone submitted to a state of deadlock. The exhausted bride, btw, had been fast asleep since 2.30 pm. Several were left wondering at the bridegroom's acidity (literally and medically) next morning. The bride's father, a doctor, fortunately resolved the problem in time with some medicine. Mitu began to cry so much in anticipation of my departure that K, downright scared, promptly handed over 3K to pacify her. Unfortunately, she persevered.

The bride hardly shed any tears at the bidaai. This unprecedented proof of heartlessness secretly owed much to the bridegroom, who had earlier expressed his extreme fear of being made to feel like an abductionist on the aforementioned occasion. The anticlimax came much later, when he actually enquired of the bride what had caused her lachrymal ducts to dry up so unexpectedly. He hasn't heard the end of that, ever since.

I was supposed to be exhausted after the whole marriage event and encouraged by my in-laws to retire early on kaal raatri, so that I would feel quite myself on the day of the reception. I shared a bed with Titai (my beloved sister-in-law) and Muniya, a friend, and we exhanged the raunchiest anecdotes we knew of till about 2 am, several times nearly rolling off the bed with laughter. So much for the cause of slumber.

Poor K was accused of stealing longing looks in my direction everytime his eyes happened to be in any direction except straight. Indignant, he left for Titai-Abir's place, a 10 mins' walk from our place, to spend kal raatri . Apparently he and Abir shared a bed. I don't think that contributed much to Titai and the latter's marital felicity. I myself overheard Abir grumbling at the injustice of it all. After all, it was only 3 months that they had been married. One couldn't possibly find fault with his wanting to share his bedroom only with his wife.

There are several such small and funny incidents related to our marriage. More of that some other day. I myself am too tickled at this moment to continue, even if you insist.

1 comment:

Clytemnestra said...

Great read! A lot of things I could relate to eg.-

Nervous diarhhoea anyone? Me me me - from the night of the wedding till the day we got back from our honeymoon, I was one nervous bride. Could't eat any of the highly anticipated delectable stuff :(

My nonod did the nitpicking, er, the pin-picking and managed to extricate around threescore and ten pins from the bird's nest that my hair had become post all the hairspraying. I spent the next 2-1/2 hours and 1/2 a new large bottle of shampoo trying to restore some semblance of normalcy to my poor hair. Shaving it all off would have been a better option. Of course it remained limp throughout the next week despite daily shampooings. Consequence - a permanent phobia of hair sprays.

Guess we should compile a little coffee-table book-cum-guide of such wonderful snippets from the wonderful experience :)


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