[PS: Warning: This is going to be a long one ... Come on fellaws, it's about my marriage after all ;-)]
A person in his/her entire life, comes across many such events, experiences a lot of such occasions, wherein some of them are truly mesmerizing and some undoubtedly life changing moments. These series of events, these Kodak moments are truly and fondly remembered for the rest of the life and talked for many years to come and go.
One after other a person goes through such important deviations of life, walks through such bends round the corner entering a different lane across the long journey that he/she has already begun since their birth. As the saying goes, there is always a first time to everything, and an auspicious and important moment that took place in my and Dipali's life was also one of those first time things [ and with everyone's blessings will be the first and the last for both of us :) :) ].
In continuation to my previous post, the pre-wedding celebrations had just ended the night before the D-day and I was lazily loitering around my house wondering about the next day. People have been there for tons of generations before me, and in spite of marriage's own sweet bitter taste of symphony, people are still going for it :) :) :) !! Well the entire week had been exciting, fun and exhausting too. But what was to come would definitely have it's own new fresh set of zeal and enthusiasm of celebrations.
11th Dec 2009 - The day dawned with a fresh stroke of sunlight only to find me sitting in my shorts and a sleeveless tee, in the middle of the room, with about 15 ladies around me, smearing my face, hands and legs with what is said a typical entity made out of Turmeric and Flour, yellowish in color and definitely the worst aroma it could have E V E R !!! No one left a tiny patch of skin neglected as these lovely ladies put their best effort in to perform the ritual of "Pithi" on me. This brings a great shine to the face - that is what everyone seems to instruct me whenever I would refrain from getting this done over and over again for 30 minutes or so. I was just dreaming about a hot shower with a floral essence while all this was happening.
I heaved a sigh of relief right after a nice bath and adorned the clothes of the groom with pride and instantly felt goose bumps coming and going. With a lot of hustle and bustle going on outside my room, the cameramen setting up the living room with their studio lights and people chatting and bantering, trying to have their own little fun amidst the event, I was sitting quietly, all dressed up, wearing the best possible outfit that a male could ever get blessed with (for once and for all in his lifetime lol), thinking about the life ahead. Well you must be thinking is he insane or what right ... To be true, I was not at all thinking of my life, but only thinking about my wife to be ;-)
Well the entire wedding procession was suppose to be in 3 parts.. The first was at Champnivas my home, as per the auspicious time, the second one at Amaltas, where every one was officially invited to be a part of my celebration, and then the third one at Rajpath where the actual ceremony was going to be held. After almost a 100 clicks at my home in all kinds of Bollywood, Hollywood, Gollywood and Kollywood poses, I finally was allowed to tap my feet with my cousins and a couple of friends at the beats of a "dholi". Thereafter a long trip along with two of my sisters to Amaltas felt like never ending, especially when those two kept on talking endlessly about 50 different topics and I was lost somewhere else. (No offense sisters, but try n understand a groom's feelings lol .. lots of love ... ;-) )
The break at Amaltas felt nice, and I got some time to have a breather from the hype and hoolah of the entire event. All my friends, relatives, cousins and dad's friends were present at the venue. The police band was playing all the famous tunes and the dance lovers were leaving no stones upturned as they swayed to the beats and my aunt (Mrs. Ila Jagdish Dalal) made sure that all of them had their hands, hips and legs tapping to the music. I just could not resist and in spite of some big no-no from a couple of people, I just pushed myself into the crowd to give it a go for 10-15 min. That was all, when the right time came to move on with the "Jaan" and proceed to the final destination.
Once again, as we approached Rajpath's Diamond Hall, the auspicious place for the marriage, the music started again, and this time, it was not just us, but for a brief period of time my in-laws joined in too. After the Pandit's interruption only, the band stopped playing, and as I stepped out, my Mother-in-Law approached me for the rituals. Well now, this is the moment that no son-in-law would never ever want to go against him. In this small ritual the bride's mother while performing the rituals tries to grab hold of the son-in-law's nose and tries to squeeze it. The groom definitely has to save his nose and for that, my good friend Vivek Patel did a nice job, as he literally blindsided me with a napkin to cover my nose. At the end it came through nicely and I held my nose high with my mother-in-law staring at me and Vivek lol.
The bride was already waiting with a garland in her hands as my friends made sure that it's gonna be difficult for her to simply put the garland around my neck. Kunjan and Aditya lifted me on their shoulders and all I could do was tell them to hold me carefully and not cause any harm to my sensitive parts of the body ! Well Dipali was not be left out either, as two people ushered her up too, to be face to face, and put the garland around me !!! With that, we the boy's side were given a warm welcome into the hall and the marriage rituals had begun.
The ceremony in Jains lasts hardly 30-40 minutes as after a couple of other rituals, the time came when both of us were instructed to get up and take the rounds in front of the holy fire. With that, came an instant bombardment of almost all the flowers, petals, leaves etc etc etc that my friends, Dipali's friends, cousins could get hold of, and Dipali was literally blinded by that attack on us. There were hardly any strands left on stage which might bear some flowers in them.
Putting garlands onto each other, and with the rings exchange, the entire ceremony ended as we were declared Husband (Has-Bandh - stop laughing) and Wife ... Well, I wondered if I had got married as per the American way, I might have got the opportunity to kiss the bride too, but alas, that would have to wait ;-)
With plenty of blessings from the old members of the family, with lots of hugs and love from the younger ones, and after about 100s of camera clicks, the time came when my in-laws would be bidding Dipali farewell, and I was waiting to see the sad scenes :( But, as my luck would be, Dipali did not shed a tear as people around her were almost down to a bucket full of tears !!! Even her brother managed a few (might be thinking that it's a compulsory ritual lol) ...
With that, we came back home, for a last ritual, where both of us would have to dip our hands in the auspicious red water and hunt for the coin/ring. It's like a game, best of 5, the winner is supposed to dominate the other half for the rest of their life. Well, as it was supposed to be "naturally", I won 4 times and let her win 1 time for the sake of just not calling her a loser 5 times in a row :)
Phew !! Even as I am writing this, I am just smiling and grinning from ear to ear, remembering all those flashes and missing home even more !!!
Thanks to each and every single person, for being a part of the most important occasion of my (our) life, thanks for being there physically and/or remotely and sharing my happiness and joy, and for all your well-wishes and blessings !!! For those who could not make it to my wedding due to unavoidable circumstances I have uploaded some very few pics to share and I hope my description above did made you feel as if nothing was missed :) :) :) !!!
(Sorry due to privacy issue I am not uploading a whole bunch of other pics, but if you have not yet seen those just drop an email to me : firstname.lastname@example.org and I would be more than happy to share those with you !!! )
(The rest on Facebook / Orkut)
More coming up in the next post, but a short version, of the Reception Dinner and how much our haw line bore the pain of smiling through the entire event :)