Posted in RoMa Chronicles

The Wedding and After

Time flies. Today we celebrate 100 days of  being married. I have already told you what it feels like to be married to one of the most amazing people I’ve met. Ro. I am not goin to go further on that today. All I will say is that, after 30th August 2013, I know for a fact that I am indeed blessed.

Every girl dreams of being married. I said girl. When these girls grow up into ladies(graduated, fully equipped women), some still dream of a marriage and some become the eternal feminist types. I have always wanted to get married. From the time I used to play house house with my cousins and friends, all through school and college and even when I became a working professional, my dream of getting married and having a family grew with me. I nurtured the dream all my life. And then it happened. The dream did come true but not in a way I had pictured!

Disclaimer: Do not read this post if you cannot handle a bit of Narcissism.

30th August 2013….100 days ago

Thank god for photos! I will always remember my wedding date(date not day). I remember crying myself to sleep the night before the wedding. When I woke up the next day, it felt like any other morning. Until Das hugged me and said,”Good Morning, you are getting married today, finally!” SO that’s how the day started. I hate taking a head bath in the morning because I feel sleepy through the day, if I do. Bath and then straight to the temple. I dont know how people know that you are a bride to be even when you are dressed in the most casual dress! On the way to the parlour, stepping inside the temple, suddenly everyone was smiling! I prayed. I payed like I’ve never prayed before. I must tell you its a pretty weird feeling. Those hours right before you are getting married, your mind takes you places!

The place( the parlour) I was going to have a makeover for the day had another bride. She was gorgeous! I knew I wasnt the best looking bride that day. Poof went my dream of being the prettiest looking girl in town that day. However, the lady who dressed me said I had slimmed down and that my face was glowing n all. So I just made myself believe that I was looking good :). There is this moment(If youve seen Band Baaja Bride on NDTV Good Life, youll know) when you are completely dressed like the bride and they make you turn and face the mirror. For me, that moment will always be etched in my memory. I had never looked more beautiful in my life. I looked nice!Really nice. My aunt and chech who was with me had tears in their eyes. I knew what their tears meant. My mother would have been very proud. My Das had done his job of raising me, well. As I got in the car, my brothers were awed to say anything. Their smiles said it all. The 10  minute ride was the best ride of my life. Its that strange time when you are passing by in the car or waiting at a signal, when people on the road, look at you, take a look again and then smile at you. Wow! It really was the best ride!

The brother was there to receive us at the gates of the hall in which I was getting married. My body was shaking by the time I stepped out of the car! As they escorted me to my “waiting room”, I had only one question to ask,” Has he arrived, yet?” That broke the ice and everyone started laughing. My besties met me in my room to give me that push. Everyone I really loved was present in that room. I remember. Then the photography parade started. Group pics are easy. Its the singles that really make you conscious and all that. Weird weird feeling! Later, as they came and told me that I had five minutes to go, one last look at the single me in the mirror bought tears to my eyes. It was an emotion I cannot express. Fear, Apprehension, curiosity, happiness and excitement in one single emotion. I held my das’s hand and he clutched it tight.

The family, the entourage of extended family,my beautiful looking thaalam ladies( In South Indian hindu culture, thats the name given to brides maids) and my besties took me to the hall where my man was waiting. As I entered the hall, I stopped for a second. I couldnt believe how many people turned up for the wedding!There were about 2000 people sitting and about 100 standing!!! I froze. I was too numb to move and Das had to pull me in order to keep up with the pace! And then I saw him. He was sitting, waiting, smiling. He smiles very rarely and when he does it comes from his heart. All my fears vanished. My dad later told me that I was running to the stage and he had to pull me back  ;P

Everything from the time I stepped on to the stage is a haze, a distant memory, a dream for me. I remember beautiful, soothing music in the background(Das had arranged for a live violin concert). I remember Ro’s face approving my look for the day. I remember his nieces eyeing my mehendi designs. I remember his family saying how pretty I looked.And then the ritual started.

South Indian hindu weddings are the least time taking. One might think, why the four hour make up for a ten minute event. But its worth it! I took his mother’s blessings and then Das’s. That was probably the last time my eyes filled up. His did too. I noticed. I sat down and was lost looking at the people who turned up when all on a sudden the familiar music started. And before I knew it, his hands were around my neck. Not to strangle me silly, to tie the chain!I prayed. Not to any god. I prayed to my mother, his father and Big B. Believe it or not, in that split second I saw all three of them smiling at me from above. It was a surreal moment. And then I realised that his hand did not fumble and that is a very rare thing! Everyone behind us gasped because he tied the three knots without anyone’s help! And then he smiled! Thats when it dawned that I was a now a married woman. I was officially someones own for life. I would have a family too and I would live life like any other. He then gave me the podava(two sarees which in olden days was the official moment that one got marred), his mother gave me a chain and we took the three rounds. While we were taking rounds, my folks and his were doing non stop commentary! It was fun. He held my hand tight as we took those three rounds. I wonder if he was scared or if he meant something else! He put the sindoor on my forehead like he was Shahrukh Khan of Devdas! All the way from my forehead to the back of my head, one big blotch!!! And I was married!

I had a lot of me moments that day and no it didnt turn out the way I thought it would. But it was one day, I’d hate to forget. I missed a lot of people that day. My mother(she would have been very happy and would have give Das that appy, satisfied, contented, all responsiblities over nod), my grandmother( who would have enjoyed sitting and watching me get married to a Nair Boy), Big B(who would have laughed with me and given my hand a squeeze when I was jittery), Su(who is my sister by choice, who was most excited about my wedding and would have cried all the way with me), Mayur(who is Ro’s brother who would have lifted our spirits up with that wicked smile of his), Div(who would have sat in the front wth that big momma tummy and grinned at me),Sinsin (who would have just been walking around that place with that momma tummy of hers and lil in one hand laughing and talking with the people she knows) and Ms A(who would have done my wedding photography for free and also smiled at me during those moments coz she had already been there done that). I really missed all of you.

Now that I have mentioned those I have missed, its time to thank the people who made my wedding happen! Kerala matrimony and Velliachan for introducing me to RO. The viloin guy who made my wedding feel like the movie wedding. Ms A and valavi for the cards! Shobha Aunty for making me the beautiful bride. Deeps for taking off from college and travelling all the way from Bhutan just to be my side.All those who turned up just to give us their wishes.My family who turned up for the wedding from as far as UAE and USA. My friends who fought all odds just to stand by me. AC, Nani, Mons and Su for the love and support . You guys are the best. Premamayi and Jeevi for being with my dad and helping him at every step and for being my second parents. My brother and sister for taking the time off and making those ten days very memorable. Joeey and Big Guy and the family for everything. I would have not got here, if it wasnt for you guys. Last but never the least, my Das. For arranging a fabulus wedding, for letting me have my way, for the love, the care and the encouragement, for the best arrangements in the world, for finding me the best husband and for believing in me. I love you more than you know. I owe my being to you and you will always be my best man!

 

The day passes away in a daze. Ask any married woman. But you will always remember the day with a smile on your face. Everytime you fight with your other half, just close your eyes and think of that moment that you got married, you will find yourself smiling 🙂

We celebrate 100 days today. RO and I. Happy, contented, 100 days filled with lots of love. Praying that we are surrounded by this love always and hoping to celebrate many such 100 days!

 

 

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Posted in RoMa Chronicles

On the way to the other side

It’s been a crazy few weeks. 10 days to the wedding and I have never shopped like this in my entire life. First there’s manic shopping, then there is manic stitching. LOL! Had just so, so many realisations and unstructured thoughts that trying to get them into one structured piece of decent writing is next to impossible. So I will just go with the flow…

… I have been jobless for over 2 months and surprisingly not upbeat about it. It seems like a nice opportunity to do/ learn a lot of things that my manic work schedule and work life and low stamina didn’t let me. E.g. learn how to make the perfect three course meal or do the surya namaskar perfectly every morning and stay in the presidential suite of a star hotel. These were on my wishlist some time ago, and I am almost there 🙂

… Somewhere down the line, I forgot the concept of a “career”… It’s more like doing an odd job that’s lots of fun and pays decent money. All it takes is conviction. I like it this way 🙂

… Bright clothes aren’t necessarily stupid. The things I have bought in the last few weeks, I couldn’t have dreamt of owning some time back. Like that sea green saree for the reception or that extremely weird jewellery… Or that one terribly embellished pista green lehenga with patterns of white sequence OR that swimwear in pink and blue! And guess what, I am actually looking forward to wearin all that 😉

… Shoes are the most difficult thing to get!! Shop for them first.. Take whats comfortable for you. Never mind the price 🙂

… “Basic +” cooking is neither difficult nor boring. If one does it completely independently.

Cochin is awesome for wedding shopping. It really is! And then there is online shopping too 😉

… Shopping for your wedding trousseau can be a real stress buster!

… Yoga and running are the only interesting ways to lose weight. The claustrophobic gym and eating like a bird are not.

… I have been comfortable in my own skin for quite some time now. Gone are the days…

… I can be terribly judgemental if I am directly subjected to things that I am judgemental about. LOL! Confused? 😛

… They may say that a friend in need is a friend indeed. But it no longer makes sense to me. Everyone likes to show sympathy/ give gyaan/ or generally be on your side when you are down and out. But those friends that are happy for you when you get used to being happy, either in spite or because of the way things are, are the only ones worth keeping.

… People’s negativity is generally a direct outcome of their own minus points/ insecurities. But that doesn’t mean I have to take it. I don’t. I wont.

… I am now a little difficult to work for/ with. Ask the card printer guy and the tailors across the length and breadth of the city… But then again, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do 😛

… Ro has unbelievable patience with me and the amount of cribbing I am capable of. But every time he starts cribbing about the rent for apartments in DXB, or food, or job cringe in the gulf (LOL) during one of those phone conversations, I realise I have enough patience too. Or maybe it’s just his way to keep me from cribbing. I guess that’s what equal relationships are all about 😉

… Joey what would I have done without you! Thank you for all the things. The company while shopping, the pep talks n everythin! You are a god sent. Kiran, you come second. But thats because you are her husband eh! But seriously, thanks for driving us around and waiting while we girls shopped to glory. You are a sweetheart! Deeps you are me. Thanks for the support. I love you till the end. You’ll always be me. Div, you are busy but I still love you. Ol Woman, thanks for those lovely cards!!!Psycho, thanks for following me to DXB. 😉 Anoop n Anju, you guys are my daily boosts of energy. Shaun, thanks for the love across the miles and Big B, I;d have gotten you a shirt if you were around….thank you for the courage you give me whenever I am low n out. Last but never the least…the quintessential cousins…Su, naani, mons, AC, my MNM you guys are gods gifts!!

… There’s a strange kind of contrast in my world these days. At home, there’s always noise… Das n my aunts have all turned into a peon/clerk type and carries a list of things/ names and a pen with them almost constantly. The phone rings almost all the time… And there is generally a lot of converstaion happening around me all the time. At the same time, there’s a lull otherwise. TV is boring and twisted, any public place I I have been to in the last month and a half – malls, restaurants, –  are almost deserted.  There’s something that’s not totally right with the world right now. I don’t know for sure if this feeling is only metaphorical. I don’t know how to describe what I am saying so that someone reading this understands. But for a change, it’s ok.

I am pretty much done with shopping and stitching. LOL! It is soon going to be time for supreme pampering inside the house and monsoon of kerala outside and I am looking forward to it. What better way to prepare for a life-changing event than a place as laid back as Cochin. There’s a lot of travelling in the next couple of weeks. It’s going to be a crazier 45 days. I will see you on the other side I guess. The other side of this  26 year long phase of life 🙂

Till then, I am……..

Posted in close to heart

Addicted

Happiness is addictive. Or so I like to believe. I think its also contagious. Like if people around you are happy, then maybe you become happy too.  So right now I am happy and am on the road to becoming happiest pretty soon. I  am happy and most of the people around me are also happy. Ok I am using the word happy one too many times. I gotta tell you things that are nice to hear and probably the reasons why I am so elated..

…..Mangu(The other M) is getting married in ten days and am super excited for her. Them.

…..Div is carrying and is due in November.

……Captain n Anju are also tying the knot soon. Babs and nandu are getting engaged in September. And so is another friend, Manu.

……All of us together will be starting our wedding shopping soon, hopefully.

……Das is happy because I am smiling all the time and singing and dancing all over the house.

……I am excited coz my own room might just be turing into a reality pretty soon.

……I’ll finally be meeting Deeps after a gap of 6 years!

……Joeeey is back in town and suddenly there seems to be a lot of things to do here!

……I have officially resigned and am looking forward to enjoying the Monsoon with loads of cups of hot piping tea. Finally.

……I start wedding shopping soon. Shopping! Such bliss and contentment.

……Old friends. New Friends. Reunions and more.

……A friend i thought I might never see for a long time is coming for M’s wedding. Or so I hear.

……I have begun to work out again and am feeling good about it.

……And then last but not least, except Whats App everything else that makes me happy is free! Hugs, inside jokes, friends, kisses, long walks, sleep, laughter, family and good memories.

P.S- I am addicted to happiness! Please touch wood.

Posted in Interesting Reads

Its alright to spend on making memories.

This article was up as a good read in one of the sites I follow.  FOr each one of you who thinks that photography is a waste of time and money and all those who think that spending an amount for photography for any occasion is totally unwanted, take a look at this article. 

“My parents have exactly 18 professional images from their wedding. Eighteen. I know them inside and out. I could describe each image to you so well that a sketch artist would be able to recreate them.

How do I know them so well? Because I’ve looked at them hundreds of times. I’ve looked at them hundreds of times because they were on display, in an album. An album that was made by a professional, filled with prints made through a professional lab and bound in a book available only to professionals. From the time I was a little girl I was fascinated by it — seeing my parents so young, my grandparents and aunts and uncles surrounding them. It was a simple leather book, with the images slipped in and preserved behind plastic but it held up surprisingly well over time. Even though I looked at it more times than I could count. Even though this May those images will turn 42 years old.

But what about couples that marry today? What if they decide to forgo an album? What if they decide it’s not worth the cost? How many images do you really think they’ll put into frames? Five? Ten? Maybe that first year married, they’ll have a bunch. But then, kids comes along. Baby pictures replace wedding pictures in those frames. They move, things change. In 40 years, how many pictures do you think their children will know by heart? How many pictures will they have even seen?

Today, a lot of couples think just getting the disc of images is good enough. Here’s the problem with that thinking: it’s not true. Not by a long shot.

Don’t get me wrong, I think that getting the files from your day is great. Today’s couples probably get up to 1,000 images from their wedding, WAY more images than my parents did. After all, what happened to all those other images from my parents’ wedding day? They probably sat, negatives in a box, at their photographer’s studio never again to see the light of day. So I think it’s wonderful that couples get ALL their photos. But what worries me is that even with that option, it won’t mean that today’s couples will necessarily be better off. My fear is that today’s couples will actually end up with LESS than what my parent’s got in 1971.

Think about it, will the computers of 2055 even have DVD drives? USB ports? Will they even have hard drives at all? If the past is any indication, the answer is no. You know what the big technological advancement was when my parents got married? Eight-track players. What if their images were stored on the equivalent of that? How in the world would I see those images today?

But you know what never becomes obsolete? What never goes out of style? Photographs. And not just any photographs. Not photos printed at a drugstore. Professional photographs, printed by a professional lab. Those are the photos you find in an attic. It could be a 100-year-old photo, but it still looks good. Because back then, the paper photographs were printed on was high quality and developing them was an art form. There were no machines that spit out pictures onto cheap paper with inexpensive ink. I actually have to stop myself from intervening when I see people at those automated machines in a drugstore. Whatever they’re charging, it’s too much. Because those prints aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on. They will fade. They will curl. They will not stand the test of time. Not even close.

Your memories are worth more than that. And your wedding images? They are worth TONS more than that. These aren’t snapshots from a vacation. They aren’t pictures from your iPhone. You cared enough about these moments to hire a professional to photograph them. Follow that through by having a professional print them. Have that professional print the pictures you put into frames and have them design you a high-quality wedding album that you will cherish for decades.

If you purchase an album through your photographer, you can see a sample in person. You can touch and feel it and make sure it is worth every penny.

I know that albums are expensive. That’s for good reason. They are custom-designed books, usually hand-stitched and hand assembled and made just for you.

But of all the things you spend money on for your wedding, your wedding photographs are the ONLY thing that will increase in value over time. As the years pass, you’ll be more and more glad that you have them. Especially, if you can experience looking through them by flipping through a gorgeous custom-designed album instead of sitting in front of your computer and clicking “next” with your mouse.

So, figure out a way to make it happen. Figure out a way to afford that album. Forgo a centerpiece. Cut back on your guest list. Opt out of the vintage car you’ll drive in for all of 20 minutes.

Don’t just do it for you. Do it for your children. Do it for your grandchildren. Because when they root around in your attic in 2075, they will have no idea what do with a USB key anymore than they would with a laser disc player.”

I know I’ll spend on photos on every notable occasion in my life. I have always done that and I will continue to do so. WOuld you keep memories alive for your generations to come?

Posted in close to heart, RoMa Chronicles

And when the day finally arrived

This arranged marriage setup is kinda awkward really and twisted. Its like reverse engineered love. You are made to believe that this is the person you ought to spend the rest of your life with, then you get to know each other and then somewhere along the way, you fall in love.  It sounds twisted and I must say that I was very very apprehensive about the whole thing. And then it happened.

You never really know those special day of your life. The days you think are going to be big ones, they are never as big as you make them out to be in your head. It’s the regular days, the ones that start out normal. Those are the days that end up being the biggest and the special ones. And yesterday was my biggest day so far. I wouldn’t have believed it if someone told me that when I woke up yesterday that it would be my biggest and one of those special days.

Here’s the thing about arranged marriages. You would know exactly when you really fell in love, you would know when you felt that connection being made and you would know the precise moment when you see the sparks fly.  It was beautiful. Perfect. You never really know the special day of your life is your special day, not until it’s happening. You don’t recognize the biggest day of your life, not until you’re right in the middle of it. The day you commit to something or someone. The day you get your heart broken. The day you meet your soul mate. The day you realize there’s not enough time because you wanna live forever. Those are the biggest days. Yesterday was mine. The day I foolishly realized that I was irrevocably and unconditionally in love with the Nair Boy. The day I realized that I cant just stay without him around. The day I understood that I cannot wait to be his. The day my heart told me that I want to grow old with him next to me.Yesterday…..my special day.

“….and one day the two shall become one, to have and to hold. All because they fell in love.”

Posted in close to heart

She is married!

Remember this and this? This post will be the end to that series alright. You know you’re someone’s best friend when you go to to that person’s wedding and everyone knows you! And for those who don’t, you’re introduced as a very special member with words like ‘Hey, Meet my best friend” etc. So my girl got married on 5th January 2013 and while I watched her say “I Do” with a voice that I couldnt stop smiling about later, I realised that dreams do come true. It does. All you need to do is to wait. Just a little patience and your dream would come alive. When I saw her that morning I couldnt help sit and admire how much she had changed overnight. Just last week we were shopping, giggling like school girls and making a hue and cry at the shop and now she was here, all decked up, smiling and ready to step into the next chapter of the classic book of life.

All I can talk about is her smile that day. She was smiling from cheek to cheek! While the prayer was going on, while her sister sang for her, while the blessings were showered on her, while Ashish said “I do”, while she said “I do” and through the length of the wedding, she was smiling! And a very naughty one that too. I have never seen a bride as happy as she was. Well she still is. I chose to believe that she was overwhelmed. But no. She was genuinely happy and man am so super happy for her.

Seeing her in a PINK saree sitting next to her man, looking all regal and elegant reminded me of the times when we used to care two hoots about our looks. I remember how much fun we used to have back in our college days. The who-cares-a-damn-about-what-we-wear- attitude and the make up sessions and the haircutting sessions and the saree session we used to have. Then it moved on to the girly phase were we did everything we could to look like girls! It was fun. And all that changed with the blink of an eye. Rugged, tough jeans paved way to elegant looking salwars. Floaters changed into dainty looking sandals. Scrunchy tied hair changed to well styled, blow dried, hair sprayed hair!

That my girl is beautiful,would be an understatement.She literally…literally…took one’s breath away. And through this solemn, peaceful composure – that only comes from a certainty of knowing that you’re doing the right thing  and that my girl is in trusted hands- I watched her as she went from Ms Diviya Ann Koshy to Mrs Diviya Ashish with a magical smile and a skip in her step.

Posted in close to heart, m@dness

A Dream Wedding

I told you I would write on my dream wedding.

Yes I was a tomboy during my growing up years but that does not make me any less feminine now. I dream. Like every normal girl of my age, I dream. I dream about that wonderful life, happy family, good career, nice well settled life, a dream wedding and I dream about that one man who will make all those dreams come true. Ya ya I know. For all of the above to come true, I need that one man in my life. My knight too shall come. And this is for you, so that you begin to know me and help me achieve my dream…. So as far as my dream wedding goes. Here’s the one I would love to have!

The Engagement

We hindus, here in Kerala have a very small ceremony for the wedding. Its mostly a twenty minute thing. The ritual, that is. Well traditionally we also have the engagement which is also the ring exchange.Since the engagement also marks th beginning of a new life, it would be great to have a small gathering of about less than 50 people, immediate family and close friends. I would prefer it is in my house rather than a hall. An elegant looking saree and he in a nice looking kurta and mundu! Who said only Mohanlal and SRK looks good in Mundu!

Eve of the Wedding

The bride and the groom seek the blessings of their elders and well wishers on the eve of the wedding. Last month, at a family friend’s wedding eve, I was just amazed at how well they had conducted it and I decided its what I want. The entire ceremony will be in a hall. Once I have finished taking blessings, all the elders can have food and leave. We, friends, cousins and myself will stay back and have fun: singing, dancing, ragging each other etc. After all it would be my last night of singledom!

The Wedding

We have a way two processes, one is the thaali kettal( tying the chain) and then exchanging the garlands. As far as I am concerned, the former is very important and a very private moment. I have seen many weddings and in most of them the bride is very scared during this moment and the groom generally starts trembling while tying the chain! In some very private weddings I have been to, the ones where only a few are present for this ceremony, the bride prays while the groom, happily ties the chain. That’s what I want. So I want a very very small gathering, with just about 20-25 people, really private affair. I want to take in every moment in the most pristine manner. I don’t want hundreds of people looking at me and stealing my moment in time from me. Not that day! I want him to enjoy and in a very nice, calm way take in the fact that he is a married man now and not get scared by the ruckus people create during the wedding! Me in the traditional set saree with just a chain and earings and one bangle and him in a simple shirt and mundu. Yes yes I am fetish when it comes to men and mundu 😉

The Reception

I have nothing to say about this. Everyone is invited, anyone can come. Family, friends, friends of friends, anyone! It would be great if the reception is on the day after the wedding. Laid back and relaxed. A nice theme for the reception, maybe. Something I have in mind is this: A nice venue by the water. Candles/ lanterns lit up all over the place, no stage and stuff, tables and chairs arranged in clusters. Me and him walking hand in hand, welcoming, greeting and meeting people rather than them coming up to us! Great food and drinks! This is me and this is my dream wedding. I will definitely write on how it actually was once it is over and done with. For all those who are confused or wondering if I am getting hitched, No. I am not. Not even remotely close to getting hitched. You, yes you, keep reading my blog and when I get married, you are invited too  🙂

For the time being, here is to all those of you who are married and happy 🙂 Hope every day is as good or even better than your wedding day 🙂