Monday, February 18, 2013

Our Story-I

It was inevitable that after writing His Story and Her Story, we had to write something like ‘Our Story’ and so here it is. A hexology in 3 parts – something off of Hitchhiker’s Guide to Galaxy, which is a trilogy in 4 parts!

So we begin at the beginning and that was on 27th, when we both reached our intermediate destination of New Delhi. She reached her final destination of Sardarshahar (SDSR) on 27th itself but I reached my final destination of SriDungargarh (SDGH) on early morning of 28th. (A bit of asymmetry there but then nature is not particularly fond of perfect symmetries, anyway!)

28th Jan

Here’s my welcoming party around 6AM:

Welcome...

A needed welcome is what I would say, after all He was there on the 28th and did not postpone it till 30th to attend His own wedding! Smile

After a light breakfast and some meetings with crucial (or rather, close) family members, I napped for 2 or so hours and around 10AM, the gravity of the situation finally hit me:

Preparations

Seems like everyone is ready, including the Pundit (priest). Even His seat is ready but empty and we all know the reason. That’s why the womenfolk are singing trying to both wake Him up and welcome Him aboard.

Wow… so many people! Anyway, I got over the shock and took my seat in the center after which some half-an-hour ritual goes through. I was told to keep one of the red threads tied for 1.25 months on my right wrist and hold on to a silver cane (sort-of-like-this) till 30th when the next guy (in our family) wanting to get married would take it! A snapshot of the on-going ritual:

Beginning

Then I had to get ready in a formal suit and was handed a red cloth pouch. A hilarious custom where people (I was guessing kids but NO! It could be any person) ask the groom (he is recognized by his attire obviously; in my case, by the red tilak on my forehead) to give them ‘something’. My pouch contained dry fruits (salted almonds, cashew nuts, and dried apricots) and candies. I handed them to whoever crossed my path till I reached the guest house in the evening (My father took the pouch when I started having dinner at night and I heard later that he was enjoying distributing stuff from the pouch! I got the pouch next day again.):

Arrival-I

All the members of my extended family were invited to this guest house for breakfast, lunch and dinner during the 4 days of the wedding (28-31 Jan). Forgot to mention earlier but along with that cane, I was asked to keep a plastic zipper bag containing salt & rye seeds to ward off any evil omens. Evil omens like this compliment: “He is looking great with the silver tie though.” Smile

Nothing as complicated as above happened at SDSR. Well… I wasn’t offered that warm welcome Winking smile and I was surrounded by women singers on the 27th. I think they sang about my connection with important family members and how they would miss me when I would leave the house on the 30th. I put on Mehndi on the morning of 28th:

Mehndi

All the cousins surrounded and giggled besides me. They made the long and boring Mehndi-application process quite a fun experience. On the evening of 28th, we left for SDGH and after some delay arrived at the guest house where the Reception was planned.

Arrival-II

We were first taken to one of the guest house rooms where refreshments of all kinds were served. And then we were asked to shift to another room, which was when I caught a glimpse of Him for the first time this year, after our last meeting in June’12. [I caught a ‘glimpse’ of Her already when She entered the guest house. I was standing directly in Her line of sight when She was coming up the stairs just after which the photograph above was taken! How the hell did She miss me then? I was not expecting Him there, thought he would be hiding inside some room escaping the photographers! Winking smile] He was standing with a few other people holding that red pouch. He nodded without saying anything and smiled for nearly 10s (quite an achievement for Him) without moving an inch. [My current plan of action is to make Him show His teeth for nearly 10s while smiling.] Some important conversations happened between our family members in the other room and we were then asked to move to the Reception ground.

A stage was created in the open ground, besides the guest house, where the Reception was held. Quite an elaborate set-up I think. I had wanted things to be as subdued as possible but some things just don’t change given the familial ‘peer pressure’ surrounding these events.

Stage

Anyway, we somehow made it to the stage. Why the hell is one asked to walk slowly on these days? Maybe for all these photographers trying to capture some good shots (with bright lights set up all over the place). So you got to walk slowly and have bright flashes shoved up your nostrils and still these so-called photographers have guts to ask for re-poses because they missed the moments! So here we are trying to appear calm:

Staged

All the family members present during the Reception came and wished  us. We touched their feet and got blessings along with some gifts (mostly cash, though). In the meantime, some exchanges of gifts happened between the family members from His and my side, too. A picture of us when we found some time to sit and chat a bit.

Calmed

We were called for dinner after most of the guests were done with theirs. And it started with a “kuch meetha ho jaye (let’s have some sweets)” moment. There were different kinds of sweets but I relished the “hot and sweet” badam (almond) milk that was served to us in the end.

Sweets

Well, I liked all the sweets and had trouble trying to gulp down all the varieties (who knows when I’ll get to eat them again)! Not just sweets, there were exotic snack items too apart from the usual traditional dinner. Sadly, couldn’t taste everything! Sad smile I think he made it on 28th here (His REAL intention was) just to taste as many sweets as He could. But it seems like, even then the days were short and the sweets too abundant.

29th Jan

Two small events happened during this day both at SDSR and SDGH. The first one where His mother visited her brother’s house and invited him & other cousins ‘formally’ for her son’s wedding. In my case, I visited my Maternal Grandmom’s house and was given gifts. The second one where His mother’s brother & cousins visited her in their house (the guest house, actually) and showered gifts on her. At SDSR, everyone from my Maternal family – grandmoms, uncles, aunts, cousins, acquaintances and friends visited and traditional gifts were exchanged. Pictures from SDSR for these events are not available but below is a snapshot showing Mummy being given a gift of a saree by her Brother.

A token photo from 29th

So, that marks the end of 29th… I wonder what was He doing while Mummy and I were busy the whole day. He was getting over his jet-lag I presume or the worst thing to do at this point of time (He would call it ‘the best thing’) would be solving his research problems. Smile

Well, it was true that I didn’t have much to do but I did need to perform some minor customs around lunch-time and then in the evening when I was free (after taking a nap) I did do some research. That’s a respectable way of saying I edited some bits of my latest paper! Winking smile

Now, let’s move on to the important event of 30th which is coming up in

Part II