Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Wedding File 6.3 : How it Felt to be a Bride: Word by Word, Moment by Moment

To be a bride is to experience every emotion you know in a short span of time.

Days preceding the wedding everyone just had one question for me " How does it feel? How does it feel to be a bride? "

I never had any real reply, when I asked my recently married bhabhi's how they felt they didn't know what to say either, all they advised me was to live the moment and enjoy it!

Now as I sit back and relax in my new home I try to figure out how I felt, to be honest there were soooo many feelings I didn't even know I had back then! And there I was thinking that I don't know how I felt.

The whole 'Bridal' feeling came to me for the first time in a trail room....at the fittings of my bridal lehenga. I had just tried on my Orange Lehenga and had finished dancing on the shop floor. When they brought out my bridal lehenga for trials, all my excitement turned into silence.

As I slipped into my lehenga all I could see was a bride in the making...I walked out of the trial room with my chuni's pinned into place and no words coming out of my mouth, tummy butterfly's fluttering!

I had taken cue from seeing other brides trying on lehenga and knew that if your mother cries then you have chosen the best lehenga you can...sure enough my mom was teary-eyed. My brother saw the lehenga for the first time and the look on his face was priceless!

I didn't want to take the lehenga off, every time I looked at the mirror I realized the significance of it...

Hindi serials so epic-ly show how 'ghar ki dahaleez' (the entrance of the house) should not be crossed. How stepping over that invisible line shows you leaving your home forever, how many times have I laughed at that and how many times in a day I have crossed that line without even thinking about it....

On the day of the wedding everything was packed and ready to go to the wedding venue all my friends and family had gone ahead. Me, my brother and my parents were last to leave. The time had come for me to step out, it was the last time I was crossing that line as a girl only to return this time as a married women. I stopped two steps before the door. I could not leave I didn't want to leave....all I wanted was to go back to my room and get some sleep. It took a little nudge from my mom and dad, and all my courage to step out of my home...

On the way to the venue I returned back to normal and a little excitement set in. When I reached the venue the first thing I did was rush to the site. I saw my dream being setup, ecstatic would be a small word to describe my feelings then! I was jumping with joy when I saw the decoration and transformation of a ground that had huge grass and weeds a few weeks back.

We had reached the venue at noon and had till 4 to relax, the butterfly's had returned in full force. Post lunch ( shahi paneer, dal makani and gulab jamun!) everyone had there own thing to do and I was more than happy to spend that time with my brothers and my sister. Officially I was suppose to rest but every time I lay down and closed my eyes I could feel huge pounding of my heart before I could figure out how to stop that  my Make Up Artist (MUA) had arrived.

I changed and got ready for my makeup, closed my eyes sat back and relaxed, not thinking of anything....

The next time I opened my eyes my makeup was half way done and all I could do was stare...I had in my own eyes never looked so beautiful, I knew I was cute ( :P ) but had never looked or felt beautiful, specially not as much as I did that day. As my makeup finished and I started transforming into a bride I started shivering and my teeth's chattering. As I started looking like a bride I got extremely nervous my teeth's just won't stop chattering!!

I calmed down after 10 - 15 min and sat in front of the mirror just staring away, my MUA finally put a kala tikka ( for buri nazaar) and I was ready...

We did a few individual shots while waiting for the baraat, having 3 camera's pointed at your face, 50 people watching you all in a proximity of a small room when you have just gotten ready is not really a comfortable position.

We had taken rooms for everyone to change in and take rest, spend time, etc. but then everyone wants to meet and see the bride, everyone wants to be around her not understanding that too many strange people that you meet once in 3-4 years makes the bride extremely uncomfortable and distracted.

Thankfully I had tight security and very few people knew where I was, although the room still ended up being crowded but I was happy to see people who I had spend my childhood with being there, people who I would probably hardly see from that day forward coz we were so twistedly related that meeting at weddings was the only possibility.

The photoghrapher don't make life to easy sometimes, it takes time to get accostmed to them. The photoghrapher I was used to had to go shoot at the venue for the khet pooja and I was left with the ones I didn't know, they made me do a couple of poses which I didn't like and got irritated to the core when one pose he asked me to do almost spoilt my makeup! I left the room in angry with people wondering what happened. I was in a state where even the slightest error would put me off big time!

The thing that brought me out of the room was that it was my big day and I was uselessly getting irritated at a small thing. On reaching back the photographers were kind enough to offer calling the one I was ok with and to make sure that I was comfortable. Not making any further fuss I decided to go ahead with them and have as much fun as I can!

If you look at my wedding video during the time of these photo's I am constantly talking! I stop for a minute smile at the camera and am off again. I was very excited at that time, extremely!

You see that white curtain behind me well after each 'pose' I would peek out and see how far the barat had reached ;) they were burning crackers the whole way so judging by where the crackers were I could figure out how far the barat was and with every look and step forward my butterfly's had a stampede.

Once I found out that the Barat had entered the complex I ran to a window in the next flat where I could see the whole barat from. It was a semi circular balcony covered with jaroka's so nobody could see us from outside but we could see everything. I stood there with all my friends and sisters, the whole bridal party. It was like a classic scene of an old Hindi movie.

When the barat entered all we could see was the family dancing and not the boy or the raat. I kept on looking at the gate trying to figure out where he is, I could see everyone but him and once his raat entered so started my friends hooting. I say that I saw the whole barat when in truth I had eyes only on him.

When my brothers came to lift him off (the brothers are suppose to carry the groom from his raath to the stage) there was some confusion. My brothers kept standing and the boy kept sitting, while we were all shouting "pick up, pick up, pick up" and when they finally did all I could think was this was a moment my brothers had been waiting for since they were kids, ever since they knew of this ritual,... with teary eyes I ran back to my room knowing my call is about to come and ruining my makeup at this point would be disastrous.

There was a tiny problem as well...I had to go to the loo...with the help of two of my friends and a face full of embarrassment we finally managed the impossible with uncontrolled laughter.

My brothers arrived to call on me just as we finished re-fluffing my lehenga. Laughter turned into pure panic and I asked for 5 minutes more, being a punctual family I knew I won't be given time, taking a deep breath I walked on and sat in the car which would take me to the main gate, having just my brothers and my sister in the car with me gave me an opportunity to ask one last time "Movie chal na hai kya??"

I still don't know if I said that out of fear or just as a joke, maybe both.

When I stepped out and under the phoolo-ki-chaddar, I was VERY excited with rats jumping in my tummy and a chill running through my back, my mind going "OMG! OMG! YE! YE!" On the exterior I was pretty chilled out and was continuously talking, (which was probably out of nervousness!) we were a little away from the main gate so I thought no one could see me so I was a bit relaxed.

My bhabhi came running to me and told me "shhhh...everyone is looking....toda sharmao pictures achi aaye gi" it was then I realized I had 7 camera's in front of me which were telecasting everything live to 5 huge screens at the venue. *Ooops*

Then onwards I kept shut and walked slowly taking sneak peeks at my little sisters carrying the diya's and my elder brothers holding the phool ki chaddar feeling so proud of them all and so very lucky to have so many people around me who love me not just because we have the same blood but just because.

It overwhelmed me thinking that not only them but my friends who walked behind me were always there for me. Midway when I looked at the amount of people gathered around to get a glimpse of me it made me panic! I know what 1000 people mean, its easy to think in terms of numbers but when you actually see them all in one place it is highly overwhelming and scary!

 Like a little baby I did the only thing I could...search for my mom, with my eyes on her I walked further. My mother and my dad joined us near the stage right when I needed them, right when I needed the courage to step further forward. It isn't easy being a bride because all these emotions are going on within a short time span.

I stepped onto the stage where the boy had come to receive me, I finally saw him close up and his smile gave me warmth, then onwards it was pure happiness...

I saw no one was going up the stage after us, that happiness turned into "OMG! why isn't anyone coming on stage" panic! our varmala's were lying on the chairs but somebody had to come and hand it to us...nobody came dispite the stage being surronded by a sea of people. I couldn't see my or the boys parents so didn't want to pick the mala's up, we didn't know in this huge crowd if they could see us or not. Time was passing and we were still standing on stage waiting...I finally saw the boys family we decided to pick up the varmala's ourself atleast one of the family would see.

Post Varmala the rose shower started, with huge smiles on our face we posed for pictures.......kept posing......and posing.....and posing......the rose shower just wouldn't stop!! Both of us got a little frustrated coz we couldn't sit till the shower doesn't end when it finally did we heaved me sigh of relief and sat down.

Then onwards it was pictures, after pictures, after pictures, and in between them, during them, after them we talked a LOT, there are more pictures of us talking than of us posing. But in all those picture one thing thats common is our smile.

There were times when people I didn't like were on stage and I didn't exactly like it, times when people would start chatting on the stage among themselves not realizing where they were, and there were times when people just wanted there pictures clicked and didn't bother to introduce themselves or come forward, what did I do during that time (when I wasn't talking to he boy that it) I looked at the screens and watched the folk show :P

When we stood up for our couple photo's people just kept coming to get there pictures taken. In the end we had people stopping us to have our pictures taken with them, one photographer asking us to stay on stage, other photographers asking us to step inside the studio, family dragging us towards dinner.

It was at that point that both of us were pretty irritated by the amount of people pulling us in different directions in the end we don't have many posed 'couple' pictures like a typical bride and groom and the ones we do are not really our favorites..the ones we do love are the candid ones, the ones we are talking in, one were the boy is helping me down the stairs, and the ones that came later during phera's.

During dinner we were pretty relaxed, rather I was pretty relaxed and VERY hungry. Our plate had the maximum amount of katories and we probably tasted the most amount of food. In the end my mother had to come and tell me to hurry up, the time for phera's was coming up and I had to change! So while eating pizza I quickly told the waiters I want everything that has chocolate in it and no other sweets. Little did I know that after knowing my love for chocolate *gulp* our caterer had every single variety of mousse,  pastry, tarts, puddings, you name it and it was there. So when the whole filled tray was put in front of me I did what anyone else could do in that situation, eat a bite of everything leaving the boy alone to finish the rest.

As I walked to the room to change, all I could worry about was whether or not my sisters would be able to steal the jooti's. With my chachi, my sister and my friends helping me change fast into my phera's lehenga saree I loved the feeling. All of them had just one mission to make me look pretty. Once I was ready there was still time for me to go down and what I hear are sounds of my sister in laws right outside my room! I didn't want them to see my saree before I walked in neither did I want to meet anyone at that time. My sisters and friends gathered around as my guards so even if the door opens seeing me was impossible.

Thinking now its maybe not a big issue but at that point of time you do not wish to talk to anyone you dont want to or to have anyone look at you before time. When your nervous and at the edge all you want around you are people that support you and love you unconditionally.

When the call came for me to go to the phera hall I was nervous and a little perturbed. When I entered and saw both sides of the family neatly tugged into blankets I couldn't help but imagine this as a kind of pajama party where instead of pj's you wear fancy cloths and the entertainment was us. This made me smile while I was giggling on the inside. I was asked to sit between my parents first which calmed down my jumping nerves, sitting between them I knew nothing could go wrong....

Both me and my dad were pretty sleepy and mom would just not allow drinking tea or coffee in between the pooja, so with half opened eyes and sleepy minds we completed the rituals. When I sat down next to the boy and saw the relief on my mom and dad's face (now they could get tucked in a blanket and relax :P) it made me calm knowing they were happy but it didn't stop my butterflies.

Everytime I tried to see the significance of the things that were happening I would get teary-eyed, so I let things be. I didn't know if I was happy or sad, excited or nervous, awake or asleep. I chose to not concentrate on everything but to concentrate on the one thing I was feeling the most - happiness.

Post phera's the boy side remembered that they had forgotten to put the mukat and chunni so it was done later and all I could think was 'OMG am I looking fine' I kept looking at my friend hoping for her to understand that I need help, I think she got my signal, she came near corrected the askew mukat and placed the chunni properly. To my sigh of relief the pictures show me looking good.

Next came the recital of chand's (sheer/shayari) by the boy in front of the whole family, the first one made me laugh, the second made my already red cheeks red-der and the last unprepared one, the one he made up on the spot made my heart melt.

We sat down for beej-bona next, where all the married couples gather around the newly wed and drop seeds and little water around them, circling them 7 times. This is infact my favorite part of a wedding so I was super excited while this happened practically at the edge of my seat.

Post that it was my time to go and get changed before the Vidai, it was much much harder to control my tears while I changed into my saree with the help of my chachi and my mother. I remember trying to distarct myself by asking all kind of wierd questions, fake-worrying about the shagun my sisters would ask for in return for the jooties, instructing everyone to take care of my bridal lehenga which I will be picking up later.

As I walked out changed for Vidai a strange silence took over, post a few more rituals the time had finally come for me to toss the rice back to my mother trying to remember how this is the significant of a girl leaving prosperity behind and walking to her future I took the rice from my brother and tossed it back to my mom......well I can only wish it happened that way, I had 4 chunni's on me and instead of throwing it back to my mom I ended up throwing it on my own head *facepalm*

That moment did lighten the mood for a bit but what followed were hugs and tears. I had asked for a traditional Bollywood wedding and I did get an old Bollywood teary goodbye. My brother just wouldn't let me go , my dad cried for the first time in my life, my mom hugged as hard as she could, my childhood friends, sisters, extended family all had tears.

At that moment all I felt was deep sadness.....and angry, because the camera man was continuously clicking pictures and I needed privacy!

When I sat down in the car I just wanted it to drive and drive fast to MY home, my childhood home not that of the boy..

So how did I control my tears...well after traveling for a bit I realized nobody is going to drive me home and with us living so near I could always visit whenever I want, plus I figured there will be a lot of people waiting for us at the boys home and mascara running down the cheek doesn't make a good impression...


  1. Very Detailed n emotional post... Thankx for sharing your experiance with us:)

  2. Wonderful post :) Made my heart very, very happy! I can relate to all you went through - I can swear that was the fastest day of my life!!

    It's also so interesting to read about different wedding rituals!
    P.S - you made a stunning bride :D

    1. Thank you :)

      I know !! one minute your getting in the car to go to the venue and the next minute your leaving the venue as a Mrs.! Everything goes by in a blink of an eye!

  3. Wow... beautifully written!! The vidaai part made my heart melt.. (I'm still to get married :D)
    You looked a gorgeous bride... :)

  4. Loved your post!. It reminded me of my own wedding :) The tagline is so true - weddings can make you happy and sad at the same time !

  5. Loved this post, beautifully crafted :) So detailed and pretty emotional. Though i am unmarried but i can still understand your emotions at the time of wedding...happy+sad :)

  6. You Have No Idea How Many Girls Would Have Cried After Reading this!

    I Have No Words to Write.. I Read a B'ful Post After a Very Long Time!

    God Bless You With Loadza Happiness n Love!

  7. beautiful... I am getting married next month & i have imagine each n every moment after reading it... Nice article dear :)

  8. wow!! i had goose bumps reading it, specially the part about crossing the invisible line. i am getting married in feb next year and had never given much thought to it... u have written it so beautifully...

    1. Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! How are the preparations going?

    2. Thanks...To be honest haven't even started yet...being kashmiri we have to take mahurat for shopping n all..so on 13th oct maybe will have a small pooja after which we will start shopping & all...

    3. oh I didn't know about that tradition. For a Feb wedding you will still have lot of time to shop! Enjoy these days as much as you can!

    4. yes..luving all the attention and importance... ;)

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Hiii
    I love the way your are expressing your words about your wedding day and customs..am getting married on coming 14 feb...believe me i was about cry when i read ur feelings towards ur brother and parents...god bless u


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