IT was the wedding time. All were very busy at home. Family members were running here and there to distribute the wedding invitations as well. I was left all alone at home. In another 5 days Suja will be officially married to me. I was so nervous. Arun was always advicing me that marriage life is just only extra responsibilities. And not only that there will one extra person who will share her life with me.
How am I going to handle the situation? Friends and relatives came home. All were teasing me and pulling my legs. The next was my Haldi function. We call that as Nalungu. Relatives will come home and they would do nalungu for me. I was supposed to wear a Dhothi and a shirt. They will make me wear a garland. Make me sit on a chair. They would apply turmeric on my hands, cheeks and keep sandal paste and Kumkum on my forehead. Bless me by throwing flowers and rice. All the family members do this. Only married people can do that. There were more than 200 people at home. All were busy in taking care of relatives. The function went on for 2 hours. They finally ended the ritual by taking arathi (thisti – blackeye) and asked me to wait in my room. I wanted to wipe out the sandal and the kumkum. But some one or the other kept coming into my room and wishing and blessing me.
Soon the food was arranged and I had my lunch. We were not allowed to call each other this time. 5 days are going be a hell for me without hearing her voice. I called up Arjun and asked how the official stuffs are. He asked me to concentrate and enjoyed the wedding season and do not worry about official matters. I am sure that would be too much to handle for Arjun. Arjun was also busy with his love life as well. He is in love with his child hood friend. And now its been so many years those two had been together. And they were waiting for Neeraj Anna to get a kid first. And Arjun is slowly settling down.
Suja’s Nalungu. Arjun and all my family members had been to the Nalungu. I was not supposed to go to their home it seems. So I was locked at home. I asked Arjun to pick up few pics of my dear and show me. I saw her.. My angel was wearing a golden colour silk saree. The blouse was a maroon one with stones on it. Yeah, that was my selection. I never knew that she would wear that for this function. I was glad that I could also select some good ones.. Wow..
She looked so cute. She was dressed up and filled with so much of jewels. My dear Suja.. how would you bear that weight of gold ornaments.. I remembered that she never liked wearing any artificial jewellery. She told that when she purchases a silk saree.. she ends up in buying a complete gold collection which matches the saree. She did the same when she purchased the other sarees too when she was in Bangalore. She really looked beautiful. I saw the pics of how she was pampered and cuddled by all her relatives. I knew that her mom fed her even now. She was so pampered and she said that she will be missing all that when she gets married.
I had promised her that my mom and my family members would do that to her. I was there for her more over. I was over confident that I can keep her happy and satisfy her needs. The day was done.. another 3 more days to go.
Mehandi function for both Suja and me. Its was in our own homes. She was asked to wear a silk saree again. And I was dressed in pyjama and kurta. I really didn’t understand why these customs are followed. Another 2 more days to go. Everyday ended up with just nothing but almost the same set of relatives at home. And same kind of function. I was so bored. I texted Suja to send me her pics which would be taken today. She send them by end of the day through MMS.
My god… was she a human? She was so gorgeous. Why did she send me her pic? I was not able to wait to see her.. hold her hands.. feel her wonderful lips.. hug her.. my thoughts were interrupted by a phone call.. It was my friend’s brother Neeraj..
“ hello anna.. how are you?”, I started from my end.
“yeah yeah… perfect. How are you pudhu Mappillai.. Marriage kushi a?”.
I smiled and gave a hmm while he continued.
“I wanted to come there for ur wedding da.. but Reena was asked not to travel. I am sorry to say the news late to you all.. I am gonna become a dad soon.. she is in the 4th month.”
My happiness had no boundries. After so many years of married life. After so many miscarriages Reena Anni has conceived. I jumped with joy. “ Anna congrats. How is Anni? No issues if you don’t come. We would come to see you. But, please take care of Anni………..”
Before I could complete he went on.
“ sorry da.. I had to tell you this message late. Everytime she conceives we would say that immediately. May be a thisti or something nothing worked out. But this time doctor confirmed that everything will be good and fine as far as she takes adequate rest. If amma is next to you please hand over the phone to her. I wanted to convey this message.”
Amma was so busy with guests. She couldn’t take the call. But Vanitha anni spoke to Reena Anni and I was sure that was a long conversation and so many girly girly advices and I knew that my phone will not be back for another 1 hr.
Yeah.. I guessed that rite. Almost every one spoke to Anna and Anni and the call took nearly 1.2 hrs. My god. I was worried about his telephone bill. Hmm.. I was glad that along with my wedding Neeraj anna was also giving me a good news.
The function was not in the morning or afternoon.. this was in the evening. Its call penn alaipu (to welcome the bride). This happens in the marriage hall. Here both the family members will be present. Her parents will bring the bride with all the Varusai thattu . They will read out what they are doing for the girl and send her to our home. And in return my parents will give some equivalent amount of varussai thattu to welcome her to the new family. I was allowed to go there for 1 hr. That’s all. L.
I wanted to be there for the entire function. There will be a huge crowd. Close to 2000 people. No wonder my parents wanted to show off and so did they too.
How many plates… in the name of varusai thattu along with my Suja? I couldn’t imagine. I have seen these in other weddings. But this didn’t happen in my brothers wedding. I was unsure why they wanted to have these customs and delay my wedding……..
I saw my Suja walking peacefully in slow paces. Her head was down. She was dressed in a beautiful peacock green saree. She wore a garland on her neck. She didn’t even lift her head up and see for a moment. I guessed she was shy. I saw her wearing so much of jewels. How many bangles? I was never interested in jewels. Vanitha anni was never a jewellery freek as Arun hated them. He used to say just dress up in a simple manner and doesn’t like to be dressed with so many jewellery stuff. And I have seen him snub anni saying : “ I don’t want you to show off how much jewels you have.” Arun had almost my characters. I couldn’t even think of saying that to Suja. If she likes. .. let her wear.. J I just need to give up on that…….
I never knew that I had to give up on so many things to Suja. A compelled life. I was not aware of all the disaster…………
Thank god.. the last day to wait to hold Suja hands. My reception. It started at 5.30 pm and ended by 11pm. This happened in the marriage hall. I was dressed in a wedding suit.
I wore a grey blazer and pant. I wore a purple shirt and a tie. I wore a formal shoes as well. And my dear was dressed in a purple silk saree. She just looked like …….. I have no words. Can a girl be that beautiful or was that a make up. She wore saree in the Gujarathi style. And I heard her anklets. She walked up to me. I lost myself in her beauty. No wonder so much of jewels and bangles. She had left her hair loose and pinned with gold beads. That shone like gold…
We were next asked to do pooja and pray god. Then asked to exchange garlands and then did a vanakkam to the crowd.. and then started the function.
Why did my in laws and parents call so many of them. God what a pain. We had to stand and even in the tiredness had to give a broad smile and stand for a still …. What a hard day.. I had never experienced this. I saw Arjun and my friend Vijay having a nice food here and there. They picked up so much eatables and kept walking around. And Arjun even came up to me to show the smell. My god.. the hunger was even the worst.
We were not even allowed to sit for a minute. Standing the entire evening till mid night. Stand and pose for the photographs and smile. Suja was almost tired and she looked like she would faint. But seeing the huge set of crowd who came to see us.. I kept encouraging her that it would be over soon. And she managed to stand.
All was over by around 12 am and then they served us the dinner. We were dead tired. I waited to atleast talk something to Suja. But, she was not interested in anything other than to hit the bed. When she was about to return to her room, Vanitha Anni called her and said.. “ Suja, wake up at 4 ma.. we have a nalungu, then would be the mugurtham.” And she replied, “ Hann. Fine. I was told about that. That could happen only if you allow me to hit the bed soon.”
That was a bit rude. And Vanitha anni got tears in her eyes. I was just furious. Vaishnavi Anni stopped me saying….. “ That’s ok. She is tired Tarun. Please don’t pick up a fight. She will be fine.. don’t worry”. Hadn’t she stopped me , I would have yelled at Suja. Was that right to talk to an elder like that? Anni was just fine and she just consoled me. I expected Suja to ask Anni sorry the next day. And I was just worried and called Arjun.
Arjun.. my friend, denied to take me for a drink. My friends are having a party in the marriage hall in one of the rooms and even denied to join me as I was supposed to be awake the next morning. But some how managed to drink few gulps and didn’t even knew when I slept.
I was woken up by Varun. He was really angry and asked why did I drink so much and I even heard Arun and Arjun and few other people yell at me . I just recognized the voice and didn’t recognize faces. Arun threw some water on my face and then I just lost my hangover and got up. My sis – in laws were also yelling that they were trying to wake me up frm 3.30 am and it was already 5. They asked me to take a shower and come. I got dressed in a hurry. And it was quick nalungu with just 11 people. Finally every thing was done for Suja itseems and she was in getting dressed for Mugurtham.
I again got dressed and came to the privileged wedding seat in front of the homam fire. It was already 6.45 and she was not out. Now the priest started shouting, “ Kalyana ponna allachitu vanga…” It was almost the 20th time he yelled and the bride’s room door opened. No.. it was not Suja.. it was her friends, cousins.. even her grandmom.. at last I saw her forehead first. My girl………… My to be wife was there… What a beauty. I was lost seeing her pretty face. My anger didn’t even dare to stay for a second more. I was just blank was watched her walking all the way.
We sat together and she didn’t even lifted her bowed head. She didn’t even look at me. I didn’t want to make that obvious to everyone that I wanted to see her face. I was floored with her silence. All the rituals and customs were followed and finally the moment came and I was handed the “sacred” yellow thread .. with the gold Thali pinned to it. As I held it in my hand I heard some one scream “getti melam” and I was asked to tie on her neck.
Then started the next set of rituals one by one like wearing a toe ring, putting rice on each others head, finding the ring in the milk pond etc. some how everything ended by 11.45 am. Then we sat there for a few mins and left from the mandapam around 2 pm. We were first taken to my home and did some pooja and welcoming the new bride session. I was dead tired by then. So was she. Then again had to rush to her home before 6 PM. As soon as we entered her home, Suja went into her room to change, and never returned back.. I was asked to go and check what she was doing. But I saw my sweet angel lost in her own world.. sleeping. She was a sleeping beauty indeed.
It was time for dinner and we were asked to refresh and come to the dining hall. She wore a saree again. O this time a pretty simple one and she was there for dinner. After dinner we were asked to go to the bed room and our door was locked from outside…… There ended my wedding story……
It was a happy one indeed .. but the disaster was to start from my honey moon………….!!!!!!
Memories would continue.