The alarm clock went off at 4 am sharp. Just as set. Sleepy and tired, I decided to allow myself 5 more minutes of sleep, like always. That’s when I realized it wasn’t just another day. I quickly sat up and looked through the window. It was dark outside. The city was sleeping. But I was wide awake.
It was my wedding day!
March 6, 2018. A day of rainbows and stars. Nothing less than pure magic.
Just like any other wedding, my day had been carefully planned. My palms had been painted beautifully with mehndi 2 days ahead. It was a surprise for Tathagata (my husband) since I had told him before that I wasn’t eager to get it done. I had chosen a simple design from the Internet. My elder sister, Mitul didi (cousin, but no less than my mother) had accompanied me to the mehndi art kiosk at Acropolis mall (shopping mall). The artist was a talented man. Such finesse!
The mehndi had turned dark red on my wedding day. It looked glorious. There’s a trick to make it look this way. I learnt it from Mitul didi.
Mix half a teaspoon of sugar with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Once your mehndi dries, use a cotton ball to apply the mixture on your palms. It’s going to feel uncomfortably sticky, but trust me, it’s worth it. Let it dry. Now rub mustard oil in your palms. The dried mehndi will fall off leaving the pigment behind. Then wash the residue off with water at room temperature. Your mehndi colour will darken overnight.
And so it did for me too. It gave me so much happiness. In fact, every insignificant thing made me happy that day.
So I got up from bed that morning, brushed my teeth and walked around the house. It was going to be the last time it would be my only home. The last time it would be the only place that gave me strength, joy, comfort and everything else. The last time it would be the only place I lived in. It reminded me of the time I used to pray for everything I have today. I was bidding a quick goodbye to the house.
A new home awaited me. And a new family. A new smell. New memories to be made. I felt sad and happy at the same time. I cried a little.
We had the bags packed and counted. 11 bags. They were waiting patiently on the floor of my room, to be taken to the wedding venue. I carefully made my way through them so as not to make a sound. Adrish (Mitul didi’s son, my favourite 11-year old) was fast asleep on my bed with didi by his side. We had to make room for relatives who stayed back the night before. Weddings are busy affairs. So more the number of hands on deck, easier the job and merrier the event (even though it has its exceptions).
I looked up at the clock. It was a quarter to four. Everything looked so calm – peacefully oblivious to the almost chaotic and crowded time-table of the day. There were rituals scheduled almost every hour. We had to be quick. Or else, we might just miss something.
I could feel the joy swelling up inside me. It was going to be the best day of my life yet. I couldn’t wait any longer. I hurried down the room to wake Maa.
Read Part 2 here.
All photos in this blog have been taken by Srejon Imagery.