To be honest, I’ve been a little hungover on the wedding series. It’s such a huge event that it spills beyond the 24-hour-duration that it is allotted. Actually, there are more events in a wedding than just the ones on the D-day. More events naturally mean more pictures (Yay!) So, I thought I’ll do a (sort of) sequel to it. I know you’ve been aching for it like I have. So here goes.
Leaving Maa Baba behind is tough. Because if it’s school tomorrow and I haven’t finished the project yet, Maa would stay up all night and finish it for me while I slept soundly. Because if I want a Tweety bird cup (just because my cousin sister got one) late at night during a vacation in an unknown city, Baba would get the store owner to open his half-closed shop to buy one for me. Because they would move Heaven and Earth for me. So it’s tough. Too tough to write this without tearing up.
We visited Mohonlaal Mandir on the way for blessings to start our new life. We needed as much of that as possible.
We reached home. Everybody was downstairs to receive us. Boron was lined up – a holy ritual of accepting me as the new member of the family.
A small tub containing a mixture of milk and aalta (a red coloured liquid that married women wear on their feet) was placed in front of me. A white saree was laid on the ground from the tub to the stairs and up through the door. I stepped into the tub and walked on the saree with wet feet, leaving my footsteps behind as I entered the house. I had a fish (alive) in one hand and a water-filled kolshi (container) on my waist.
Next up was Aashirbaad. Tathagata’s family members blessed us one by one with gifts to start our new journey. There was a fun kori (sea shell) game after.
After lunch, it’s forbidden for the bride and groom to see each other until next morning. This evening is called Kaalratri. Myth has it that once upon a time, Lakhinder (a character of Indian mythology) got bitten by a snake the night after his marriage. But I think there’s more to Kaalratri than just a myth. It gave me an opportunity to interact with my new family members, get to know their faces, names and how they are related to me (even though memorizing everything is an uphill battle since Tathagata has a large family). It was also about making friends, sharing fun secrets, becoming familiar with the corners of the house and getting accepted into a new squad. It’s a stress-reliever, no doubt.
Tathagata’s cousins had an entertaining evening planned for me. Everyone sang, recited, danced and cheered till our throats turned hoarse and the dinner calls kept coming.
The morning after – Bou Bhaat – As per tradition, this is when the groom takes up the responsibility of shelter, food and clothing for the bride. And the bride serves food to the family which is symbolic of taking care of family needs.
I have a different idea about Bou Bhaat. I think it’s about both of us taking up the responsibility of each other’s and our family’s well-being. For me, tradition isn’t just about following a set of rules being passed down since way too many generations. It’s also about what you make of them. I may not bend rules but I surely bend what the rituals mean to me – in a way that makes sense to my contemporary mind. To each his own.
A quick rest later, we loaded up in Phool kaka’s car and made our way to the Reception venue. Avijit Paul and his assistant arrived a few minutes later. They pulled out the magic wand.
Glitter, bronze, gold and silver
Make this girl way, way prettier!
There I was, a newly-wed ready to receive guests with Tathagata by my side. I will let the pictures do the talking.